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Saturday, April 18, 2015

Tackling Lapham Peak and Wildflowers at Scuppernong Springs

I'm exhausted!  Last night Wayne and I brought the fifth wheel out to Ottawa Lake at Kettle Moraine for its first voyage in 2015.  This morning we were up early and headed over to the Lapham Peak Unit to tackle most of the Lapham Peak segment of the Ice Age Trail.

It's all about the ups and downs on this segment, and up we went to the top of Lapham Peak which is actually a kame with great views of the surrounding area.  It was named after Increase Lapham,

From the Wisconsin Historical Press Society's website about the book about Increase Lapham:

Lapham's ability to observe, understand, and meticulously catalog the natural world marked all of his work, from his days as a teenage surveyor on the Erie Canal to his last great contribution as state geologist. Self-taught, Lapham mastered botany, geology, archaeology, limnology, mineralogy, engineering, meteorology, and cartography. A prolific writer, his 1844 guide to the territory was the first book published in Wisconsin. Asked late in life which field of science was his specialty, he replied simply, "I am studying Wisconsin."

notice Holy Hill at the right above the lake

I haven't hiked with Wayne since the Smokies in October and I had to admonish him to slow down.  I have shorter legs and haven't been very mindful of my using my inhaler as often as I should lately!

Lapham Peak in Delafield is very popular and heavily used with a series of trails for use.  We saw lots of folks out with dogs and runners seem to really like it there too.  We made it about 2.5 miles in and turned around and hiked back out.  I'll finish the "bookends" of the segment tomorrow morning after Wayne leaves the campground to take the fifth wheel home.

When we got back to our campsite it wasn't long before I crossed the road by myself and wandered in to the Scuppernong Springs hiking trail.  Barbara and Ron were right, they have done a lot of work restoring this area, I almost don't recognize it from the last time I hiked it in 2012.

ditched the hiking boots and the big pack for this easy stroll

The trail passes six springs that are formed when the water table reaches the surface.

Scuppernong Springs, notice the young guys stopping at the far end

Marsh marigold blooming!

bubbling water leaves circular marks in the sand

After I passed Scuppernong Springs I saw a sluggish mouse on the trail.  I helped move him off the trail, but it's likely he will make someone an easy meal before the day is done.

The picture below marks Emerald Spring, a lovely spot where I dropped my iPhone in the spring and then had to crawl through the space at the bottom of the rail and snatch it out of the water.  That's twice this month I've dropped camera equipment in the water.  What is wrong with me??

Besides the water (which I'm starting to think I should stay far away from in the future) a few new  flowers are popping out to say hello.


I accidently hit the button that turns the viewfinder around on the phone so here's a picture of what the flowers see when I'm staring down at them.

bloodroot just opening up

This one was in the swampier section of the trail, anyone know what it is??  There were about 8 of them in one area and I didn't see them anywhere else.

I almost missed the Mayapple colony, they were a nice surprise as I was making my way off the trail and back to the campground.

My Wayne is a patient guy and he was right where I left him.  Five miles was enough for him and he was happy to watch the birds and ground squirrels while listening to the radio and having a beer or two.


  1. That interesting brown plant emerging from the ground is the fertile frond of a Field Horsetail. In a few days it will probably be releasing spores, then it will die and disappear while the green plant grows up and stays over the summer.

  2. Nice selfie! Ahhh....isn't it great to be out hiking again?

  3. I forgot how barren things are this time of year up your way. So glad you got a little color with the spring flowers:) I bet it felt good to be sleeping off the ground! Glad you have the RV out for a new season.