July 15, 2018 by: Kathleen Fleming
Hiking, Biking, and Riding in Kettle Moraine State Park
The Southern unit of the Kettle Moraine State Park is home to 160 miles of excellent hiking, biking, and horseback riding trails. With over 22,000 stunning acres of glacial hills, lakes, prairies, and dense pine forests, the Kettle Moraine State Park is a true paradise in the summer. No wonder visitors come from all across the state to discover it themselves. However you choose to explore this beautiful & diverse landscape, whether it’s by foot, bike, or horse, we think the park should be on the top of everyone’s summer to-do list.
At 1,050, Bald Bluff is the highest point in Jefferson County. This is the perfect hike for anyone who wants to explore the park’s flora and fauna while also getting a great workout. You’ll even learn about some fascinating Native American history along the way. And of course, the views from the top are unbeatable. Another great uphill climb is the Lone Tree Bluff nature trail. You’ll hike up 89 steps and then walk another ¼ mile to reach the scenic overlook with gorgeous views of the park’s unique glacial terrain.
Paradise Springs is an easy & accessible trail that will take you past a horse track, tennis & shuffleboard court, old bottling plant, fishing hole, and historic Spring House before your reach the scenic site of Paradise Springs. People have been enjoying the pure water that comes from the springs since the late 1800s. An impressive 500 gallons of water flow out of the spring per minute. Take the short hike around Rice Lake to spot bullfrogs, blue heron, rainbow turtles, and a variety of waterfowl. Just don’t forget to bring your binoculars.
Kettle Moraine State Park is a popular spot for cyclists from all across the state. It boasts 20 miles of mountain biking trails and 30 miles of nordic skiing trails that can also be hiked or biked. The two major trail systems in the park are the John Muir Trail and the Emma Carlin Trail. The John Muir Trail consists of 5 different one-way loops color-coded according to difficulty. Some consider the John Muir Trail system the most-visited in the state. If you’d like to take a longer ride, you can connect to the Emma Carlin Trail from the Green Loop Connector Trail. The Emma Carlin Trail is a little rockier and less trafficked, perfect for those looking for some solitude and a challenge. You can also bike the park’s excellent nordic skiing trails. There are 6 different routes of varying lengths and difficulty, all with stunning sights along the way.
There are 87 miles of well-maintained equestrian trails throughout the Kettle Moraine State Park. These routes will take you through oak savanna prairies, hardwood forests, and pine plantations. Make sure you stop at one of the many look-out points to admire the beautiful kettles and lakes. If you are interested in taking an overnight ride, there are several horse-friendly campgrounds located throughout the park. The Horseriders’ Campground is centrally located in the forest and includes both a shower and electricity.
Are you ready to hike, bike or ride the trails of the Southern Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Park? No matter what type of adventure you choose, the Kettle Moraine State Park will have something magical in store for you. And our favorite thing about it? It’s located just 5 minutes from the Hamilton House Bed & Breakfast.
Planning a trip to Whitewater this summer? Book a stay at the charming Hamilton House Bed & Breakfast, conveniently located near the Southern Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Park.