When you think about hiking in April in the Northern Kettle Moraine do you think of snow? Maybe you don’t think about hiking, if you don’t, it’s time to think about doing something outside! Well, since we are in Wisconsin you can never assume there won’t be snow. Last Monday and Tuesday’s storm dropped a decent amount of snow on the Northern Kettle Moraine, and there is still a decent amount. There was enough for them to groom the classic cross country ski trails, so maybe still 4-5 inches in some parts.
Today’s hike was all in the Northern Kettle Moraine. Jared, Todd, and I did a portion of the Parnell Segment and started at Butler Lake. We hiked north and ended where we ended last weekend along the Greenbush Segment. When we arrived there was a big group of people gathering. Chatty Jared found out that it was a trail run. (He will probably give me a hard time for calling him this.) This group was doing a 25k and there was another group that would be coming through doing a 50k. We were passed by about 36 50k runners throughout the day. (I may have miss counted a couple times.)
Overall it was a nice sunny day for hiking. The snow was a pain in spots. There were a few portions of mud and even fewer areas of dry ground. It was a bit windy, but we were in the woods, so it wasn’t bad at all.
We came to a large fallen tree that Jared had previously walked across. At first he was going to pretend that he did it, and then he started crossing it. I told him I was still going to hike tomorrow even if he hurt himself.
The Northern Kettle Moraine is pretty hilly and we were walking up and down a decent amount. We also walked on an esker, my favorite glacial feature! Along the way we also passed some shelters that you can rent and stay overnight.
I felt pretty good all throughout the day. At times I felt a little sore, but my ibuprofen had worn off, so a bit more made a difference. I had my knee taped for the IT band tendinitis and my ankle/heel taped for the possible Achilles tendinitis. I think my IT band tendinitis is almost gone because it really doesn’t hurt anymore.
Once Jared and I finished, we had to go find Todd because he was father back. We went back to the Butler Lake parking lot where I took Jared’s car to check into the hotel and he went to pickup Todd. This hike was 11.71 miles according to my GPS watch and the Mammoth Tracks app said 11.7 miles, so it’s nice to know that it’s pretty accurate.
After we were all back together we went to Culver’s. Jared and I then did 2 more miles. We were staying in West Bend, so we did a small piece of the West Bend Segment through Ridge Run Park. Most of the trail followed Silver Creek. We came to a spot that Jared called his third favorite picture place, a small dam. We of course stopped and took some pictures!
The trail soon popped out on a road, which took us to highway 33. The trail travels behind Culver’s, which is where we left the car.
Across the street from Culver’s was a sign that said future site of the Ice Age Trail. The sign looked pretty new. The section we had just done would someday connect up to where this sign was located.
Between this end point and where we started today, we have approximately a 24 mile gap to do. Tomorrow we will hopefully do 14 miles and next weekend or another day soon we will do the other 10 miles, and we can bring Penny.