Where do the days go? Seems we were just dragging our souls through the winter, anxious for spring, and now summer has actually arrived.
Summer, with it's blue skies, thunderstorms, nestling birds, baby ducks, wildflower blooms, leafed-out trees. Summer, with the buzzing of bees, humid afternoons, cricket song, fireflies. Summer, lush and green, hot and hotter, picnics, hiking, boating, fishing. Summer in Wisconsin, all of these things and more. And I want more. More summer. More green. More Wisconsin nature. Greedy. Yup. That's me. But, I'm willing to share.
Over the past few months, from early spring, to, well, just last Sunday, we have been out in nature, seeking out new adventures. New preserves (to us), new hikes, new local parks, historic trails. And we've found quite a few. In seven different counties, a dozen different gifts of nature to share. All of these listings can be found under the header NEW LISTINGS 2018 at theparknextdoor.com. Following are a few of my favorites:
GORDON TABOR MEMORIAL WOODS - Caledonia (Racine County)
Gordon Tabor Memorial Woods is one of 18 preserves and trails in this Racine County community. My sister lives near the preserve, and I was surprised that I had never noticed it before. Although it is hidden off of a residential area, it is easy to find.
You'll find well-marked walking and equestrian trails, wildflowers, plenty of birds, a creek running through it, and benches to relax on and just enjoy the view.
ICE AGE VISITOR CENTER NATURE TRAIL and VISTA TRAIL - Campbellsport (Fond du Lac County)
The Nature Trail clocks in at just under a mile, but it's a wonderful little hike of hills, woodlands, wild birds, and blooming flowers and trees. Here you'll find Shagbark Hickory, wild Umbrella plants, and wild roses.
The Vista Trail is about a .25-mile trail up a lengthy (but manageable) flight of steps to a vista viewed from a wooden deck. The trail winds about in a short loop, then down another flight of stairs, and exits out the entrance to the Zillmer loop trails. Along the trail you will find wild Columbine, and a gorgeous view of the surrounding Kettle Moraine.
MUSH-KO-SE-DAY PARK - Fort Atkinson (Jefferson County)
Mush-Ko-Se-Day Park is a lush 52 acres and includes tall and short grass prairie, woodlands, a large pond, and an ephemeral pond as well. Wanie's Pond has a short boardwalk and viewing deck for bird watching. The pond is a haven for migrating waterfowl and songbirds. Easy, well plotted hiking trails traverse the prairie and the woods. We hiked, maybe a mile, but daylight was fading. So, there's plenty more to explore next time.
So, there you have it. A quick preview of more Wisconsin beauty to enjoy. There's so much to be found here, in our state. We plan to make the most of the summer days, and adventure locally. We hope these new listings will help you to do the same.
A traveler, singer, novice photographer, and nature lover. I've been keeping closer to home these days, and truly discovering the beauty that lies in The Park Next Door.