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Monday, January 28, 2013

WORBA Trail, Blue Mound State Park, WI

January 13, 2013

M and I hiked the WORBA single track trail at Blue Mound State Park. Even though it was a mountain bike trail, it also served as a snowshoe trail in the winter. We hiked the route in the direction that bikers would have taken it, counter clockwise on the 7 mile loop. There was one mountain biker out that day and we ended up following his snow tire tracks. 

The day we hiked the WORBA trail, the temperature was 20 deg F thus freezing the snow that had fallen two days earlier and with wind gusts at 23 mph, we were feeling the -3 deg F windchill. The chilly weather gave us an incentive to hike quickly so we could warm up. However, we didn't anticipate the numerous obstacles the trail had such as roots, rocks, fallen trees, and ice. Since the trail encircled the mound, we ran into icy patches on the northern section of the loop which slowed our pace significantly. Other than that, the trail was easy to hike as it steadily going over rolling ridges, crossing creeks, and winding around and in between trees. If I were a proficient biker, the trail would be a treasure.

*WORBA Trail for single track biking/snowshoeing consisted of: Gneiss and Smooth, Chert Dip, Basalt and Pepper, Winding Spring, and Holy Schist Trails.

**Personal post about this hike here

Map of our hike, started at Orange dot and went along Purple trail. Yellow trail was where we got lost.

Start of trail near the parking lot on Gneiss and Smooth Trail

Hiked over this rock pile on Gneiss and Smooth Trail

Crossing a creek on Gneiss and Smooth Trail

Gneiss and Smooth, WORBA Trail signs for biking and snowshoeing

Down tree along Gneiss and Smooth Trail
M on Chert Dip Trail
M on Chert Dip Trail, going up ridge
Where Chert Dip Trail meets John Minx trail. Next section of trail, Basalt and Pepper, is to M's left, through woods

M on Basalt and Pepper Trail
On Basalt and Pepper Trail

Eating a PB and J sandwich on Basalt and Pepper Trail

Fallen tree on Basalt and Pepper Trail
Snow tire trail that we ended up following on WORBA trail

Icy patches on Willow Springs Trail

Got lost where Willow Spring meets Flint Rock Nature Trail (also a cross country ski trail)

Hiked up Flint Rock Nature Trail

Realized we were going the wrong way so we hiked down Flint Rock Nature Trail

Found correct trail: Holy Schist Trail

M on Holy Schist Trail

Holy Schist Trail on the right side of the picture

Rocks we had to hike over on Holy Schist Trail

Holy Schist Trail

Trees that fell and snapped on Holy Schist Trail

Holy Schist Trail

Creek (or what's left of one) crossing on Holy Schist Trail

Raccoon paws followed the entire WORBA trail

Holy Schist Trail through two trees. Don't think I would be skilled enough to bike through this

More snow on Holy Schist Trail, southwest on loop

Southwest on WORBA loop on Holy Schist Trail, trees damaged from storm prior to hike

M resting on tree that fell over Holy Schist Trail

Holy Schist Trail meets hiking trail that goes up to West Observation Tower

Signs for hunting in the area. Be aware of hunting season dates.

Back on Holy Schist Trail
Raccoon paws on Holy Schist Trail
Trees fallen over on Holy Schist Trail

Crossing trail that leads up to Nature Center on top of mound. Holy Schist Trail to the right.

Holy Schist Trail home stretch
Holy Schist Trail

Holy Schist Trail meets main park road

Cross street after Holy Schist Trail and go to parking lot.

M and I
Enjoying some hot tea in the car, trying to warm up before we leave the park.

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