"Wisconsin-Happy Festival State", by Eve Phillips. My husband and I love to travel in the state of Wisconsin where we live and get great pictures on the way. My name is Laurie Kutil and photography has become a great passion of mine since 2010. One thing I have learned in researching each town before visiting it is that, "Every town has it's story". When I do uncover those stories by connecting with local residents, our experience becomes so much richer. In turn, sharing the stories with you brings me joy :)
Governor Nelson State Park is the one closest to our home, but this was our first time here. We wonder now why it took us so long, what a beautiful place! We hope to do some cross-country skiing and snowshoeing this winter there. This visit we looked for fall color and found plenty! Great trails too.
We hiked on the Woodland Trail, they even had a QR code on a sign to help you identify animal tracks you may see on your hike.
Lots of fall color! Here is a beautiful collection of autumn splendor!
This park is on the shores of Lake Mendota, the largest in the Madison Chain of Lakes and northernmost. For great fishing information about these lakes, contact my brother Lee Tauchen. He is a Captain and professional fishing guide who will take you out in his boat to the best spots to catch the fish of your choice.
We made our way toward the lake and found a fish cleaning station. An anchor is on display nearby.
It was beautiful lakeside. we could see the Madison skyline from here. Staff were removing the piers for the winter the day we went. We were across from Governor’s Island from this location.
This part of the park has a sandy beach and a very large shelter. Also a playground and even a checkers table!
If you have a lot of items to bring down to the beach, they have carts you can use to do that.
We saw more color as we wound our way back to the car. This is a wonderful park and plan on coming back to see all the seasons.
It’s hard to believe I have lived in Madison for 30 years and didn’t know about this park. Not even my grandparents who lived not far from here when I was a kid. This is a park of a natural sort, no equipment made by man, just made by Mother Nature. This park was the last project designed by Jens Jensen, who had a major influence in Door County. We saw his museum there on Washington Island in 2011. He also designed the famous “winding road” in Door County also, which we need to see sometime.
This park was once a quarry, now is a great area for kids to play, and plenty of climbing. For many years the park fell into disrepair and neglect, but in recent years a major restoration has been taking place. I saw the results and was impressed!
Two tree stumps were carved into chairs on a hill, cool! On top of another hill is a “Council Ring” where groups can sit and talk around a fire.
Here is a fun ravine with large sticks to build a fort out of!
This is a great place for kids and adults alike, come here to relax in a natural environment that is easy to miss it is so secluded. Even I missed it!
Lake View Hill Park is a beautiful retreat from the bustle of the city high atop a hill overlooking Northport Drive and a view of Lake Mendota. The park is still undergoing restoration, these are spring 2011 and fall 2012 views. This is the historic (but still in use) water tower. It may be replaced since the water capacity is not nearly enough.
View from top of hill, over 1000 feet high! The street below is Northport. On the left is Maple Bluff jutting into the lake, you can just see the Capitol to the far left.
An abandoned fountain is also there, a few flowers still grow naturally.
The building in the background is the Dept. of Health and Human Services. It was built in 1930 to house tuberculosis patients originally.
In the woods behind the building is a nature trail, in it are some foundations of buildings no longer there.
For a great retreat into nature still in the city, come here!
There is another part to this huge marshland, the South Unit. It is in the process of being restored to its former state before human interference. The marsh filters the water before it spills into the Yahara River and in turn Lakes Mendota, Monona, Waubesa and Kegonsa. They are known as the Madison“Chain of Lakes”.
The terrain is different here, and there is a boat landing also. The map shows several nice trails. I just explored a small area today near the boat launch. There were animals and plants I didn’t see at the north unit, including a beautiful Sandhill Crane.
An enjoyable visit, I be back again for another visit.
I found I had neglected exploring a natural area less than two miles from home, Cherokee Marsh Park, North Unit. I have lived in this area for seven years but overlooked it. Not anymore, I see great potential for fall colors here. Follow me on my hike, here is a map.
Some parts of the path are on metal walkway just above the water of the marsh, I never got wet. The path also has two observation platforms. This is the first one. There were many wildflowers too.