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Monday, July 9, 2012

Wyalusing State Park, WI

Wyalusing State Park, WI

March 10, 2012

With the warm winter weather Mother Nature gave us, M and I thought it would be fun to do a camping trip in early March. The weather was supposed to be high of 60's and low of 30's.  It was a chilly morning when we arrived at the park but the sun was up and no clouds were in sight. The ranger was surprised we had wanted to camp but said that we were more than welcome to do so. Since it was winter, our amenities were running water (ice cold!) and pit toilets. 

We camped in the Wisconsin Ridge Campground which was situated right on the bluff. (Wyalusing State Park Map) We set up the tent right away, per my request, since I felt we would be too tired to set it up when we got back from our hike. This proved to be a terrible idea as the ground was frozen solid and no amount of hammering made our stakes go into the ground. We ended up tying the tent to the fire pit and picnic table. This was the best we could do at the moment and the tent held up well, even if it looked silly. We decided not to build a fire and instead focused our energies on hiking and exploring as much of the area as we could.

Overall, the trip was well worth it and I am ecstatic we were able to camp in WI during March! The only regret with this trip was that I didn't wait for my sleeping bag to get in so it was very cold at night, which was further exacerbated by the fact that I fell off my sleeping pad and slept on the cold ground for a good portion of the night. Other than that, the area was gorgeous and it was pleasant to be there on a weekend where there was only one other tent camper and one RV couple.

Tent set up: tied to the table and fire pit
Summary of hike


Bluff: looking into Iowa
Bluff: looking into Iowa
Bluff Trail: through the opening, down steep wooden stairs, short icy trail on the rocky bluff to get to Treasure Cave

Climbing into Treasure Cave
Treasure Cave
Seminole Ridge Trail: muddy with some uphill hike, passes Indian mounds
Sugar Maple Trail: most difficult thing about this part of the hike was the mud, about 2 inches thick.  
Pictured Rock Cave: on the Sugar Maple Trail, trail ran on top of the cave and steps lead you down to the cave. Thick leaves covered the trail, hiding some deep holes but it was an easy hike. 
The colored sand in the cave
Pictured Rock Cave's large size was a surprise as it didn't seem that big from the trail
Turkey Hollow Trail: woods and meadows with some creeks, wet in many spots
Whitetail Meadows Trail: prarie hike, dry, nice easy hike
Sand Cave Trail: didn't complete this trail due to thick snow and 3-4 inch thick mud
Sand Cave Trail: snow and I'm unhappy 
Sand Cave Trail: uphill snow climb
The Knob: at the end of the bluff campground on the east
View at the east of the bluff/campground
M and me
Climbing up from the east side of the bluff/campground, leaves and mud made it slippery

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