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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Erratics, Jacks and Trillium on the Kewaskum Segment

You can find the 2.1 mile Kewaskum segment of the Ice Age Trail near the intersection of Ridge Road and Prospect Avenue.  On Ridge Road you eventually arrive at the large well marked parking lot at the top of a large hill.  The segment route then traverses downhill again on a fairly gentle slope toward Sunburst Winter Sports Park on Prospect Ave.

Once on the trail I entered a young forest that was carpeted in Spring Beauty and Mayapple.

Spring Beauty's tiny pink flowers carpet the slope

Clumps of Wood Anemone also popped up along the trail.  Its leaves are different from the Rue Anemone that I saw in Janesville on the Arbor Ridge segment.

If you're hiking in the Midwest no doubt you've seen big piles of rocks and wondered how they came to be there.  Look around for evidence of farming, most likely that's where the farmer threw all the rocks they found while plowing.  Lots of rocks to be found in the area with most of those hills being formed by rocks and sand deposited by the glaciers.

rock pile being overtaken by the woods

This trail segment runs through rolling farmland broken up by sections of forest.  It was nice going in and out of the different sections, first being secluded in the woods and then popping out to nice views.

One short bit even cut right through the middle of a field, probably soybean last year and corn before that by the evidence I found on the ground.

There were a few erratics along the trail, big rocks deposited by the glacier that do not originate from the region.  Easier to leave it there and plant around it than move it or just coincidence?

The Bloodroot are fading already, making way for other flowers to bloom.

pretty petals fall to the ground

Flowers like the Trillium that I kept eyeing, hoping to see some that were open.

And eventually I found a few that were!

The butterflies are arriving to check out the blooms.  One even held still long enough to get its picture taken.  It was my only companion, looking for flowers as hard as I was.

One flower it probably wasn't interested in was the Jack-in-the-Pulpit, but I'm always happy to see Jack again in the spring especially the purple ones.

The trail emerges from the woods at the parking lot for Sunburst and then continues a little further as it follows alongside the roadside on Prospect Avenue and then goes under the main highway before connecting to the Milwaukee River segment.  Not being OCD about completing every tenth of a mile of the trail I bypassed the asphalt and turned around to go back up the way I came.

The climb uphill was not bad at all compared to other segments I've recently been on and only took me 45 minutes with just a few short stops.

Campbellsport Drumlins in the distance? A mystery for another day.

Just half a mile from the trailhead parking lot was a dispersed camping site which I wish I saw more of along the trail.  One of the reasons I keep doing short bits is the lack of camping facilities near or along the trail.

Wayne came home from Alabama on Monday night and now we're looking forward to our trip to Two Harbors, Minnesota.  As much as I'm enjoying the Ice Age Trail it'll be nice to get out of Wisconsin with my hubby and see something new!


  1. You have white Trilliums! We live in the Sierra Nevada foothills at 3200' and have huge native Pacific Trilliums, which are a deep purple. And, guess what? Mine are finished already. Our spring began early, lasted a long time, and it's begun to feel like early summer.

    I don't think I've ever seen a Jack-in-the-Pulpit. Nice that you saw them!

  2. Nice hike. I felt like I was right there with you.

  3. Love the spring flowers, especially the trillium and jack in the pulpit:)