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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Governor Dodge State Park, WI

June 10, 2012 

(Picture heavy!!!)

It was a sunny day with pillowy white clouds hanging in the sky. The high for the day was near 90 degrees F with low humidity, making it a great day for a long hike.  We decided to hike Governor Dodge State Park because we had been fishing there for a couple of years but never attempted to do any hikes in the area. We started the 8 mile trek at 3pm and ended at 6:30pm. We hiked through woods, meadows, marsh, prairie, sand, horse poop, hills, a canyon, and even found some caves. The park had about 40 miles of maintained trails, most of which were pretty easy to hike. The best surprise for us were the hills along the Meadow Valley Trail. They were abundant, steep (40-50 ft hills in some areas), and encompassed different habitats which made me appreciate Governor Dodge even more. 

I decided to pack a "heavy" backpack with 3 liters of water, sunscreen, bug spray, and food; the weight of the backpack was about 15 lbs. Since there was no rain in the forecast and there was a moderate to severe drought in the area, we figured we didn't need to pack anything but the essentials. We dressed in light polyester t-shirts, shorts, and hiking boots. 

The biggest problem and regret about this hike was that I forgot my camera at home! The picture quality did not do the hike and the park any justice but I only had a camera phone so please bear with me. M and I do plan on going back but until then, these camera phone pictures will have to do.

Lastly, the best thing we did for this hike was that we went out and bought Platypus water reservoir bagsThe drinking straws were very handy, making the hike easier and more enjoyable. These bags were inexpensive, fit into our regular backpacks, and are easily replaceable should we need new bags. We chose this method over getting hydration packs because they (the backpacks and water bags) were cheaper than the packs and this way, we could vary how much water to carry with different size water bags. 

Summary of our hike (in purple): we hiked the internal loop that encompassed  4 trails; most of the trails we hiked on were horse trails so they were wide and well kept.


Lost Canyon Trail

Start of trail
Steep drop off, we are above the canyon
Bottom of canyon
View from the trail

Stream crossing
Out of the canyon
Spring House: there's a natural spring in here

Trail crossing

Goldmine Trail

Meadow Valley Trail

A lot of horse poop on this part of the trail

Side excursion to see the small cave
Trail to Small Cave
Trail to Small Cave

Cave Trail

Twin Valley Lake

Trail to the cave: small, less maintained but easy to hike
Sadly, we didn't find the entry into the cave

Off the main trail, seems to be an old trail, full of sand  and very steep
Can't really tell but it's very steep and slippery

Back on the main trail

Back on Meadow Valley Trail

Twin Valley Lake
View of cave cliff face
Sand, sand, and more sand! Very hard to hike through

Tired and very happy with the hike


END of the trail and hike. We found a momma spider carrying her babies on her back.

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