Tag Archive | nature

Governor Nelson State Park


10-9-14

Gov Nelson State Park sign

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.

Woodland Trail at Gov Nelson State ParkIMG_8318

 

We didn’t see that but we did see an Ovenbird and Question Mark butterfly on our hike.

 

Question Mak Butterfly and Ovenbird

 

Lots of fall color! Here is a beautiful collection of autumn splendor!

Fall Color Collage at Gov Dodge

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.

Fish Cleaning Station at Gov Nelson

Al and Laurie selfie with anchor

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.

 

Madison Skyline from Gov Nelson

Governor's Island at Gov Nelson

This part of the park has a sandy beach and a very large shelter. Also a playground and even a checkers table!

Large Shelter at Gov Dodge

Beach at Gov Dodge

Checkers table at Gov Dodge

If you have a lot of items to bring down to the beach, they have carts you can use to do that.

Gov Nelson carts

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.

Fall color at Gov. Dodge

Glenwood Children’s Park in Madison


5-4-14

Glenwood Childrens Park sign

Park plaque 1

Glenwood Park plaque 2

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!

Glenwood Childrens Park 1

Tree stump chairs

 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.

Glenwood Park Council Ring

Here is a fun ravine with large sticks to build a fort out of!

Glenwood Park ravine

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!

glenwood park sandstone

Lake View Hill Park – Madison Northside


Northside sign

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.

Lake View Watertower

Lake View Hill Park sign

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.

Lake View

An abandoned fountain is also there, a few flowers still grow  naturally.

Old fountain

Bee on flower

The building in the background is the Dept. of Health and Human Services. It was built in 1930 to house tuberculosis patients originally.

Dept of Health and Human Services in Madison

In the woods behind the building is a nature trail, in it are some foundations of buildings no longer there.

Building foundation full

Ramp of former building

Lake View Hill Park

For a great retreat into nature still in the city, come here!

Related Articles and Sites

* Friends of Lake View Hill Park

Community provides input on Lake View Hill Park project

* Hidden Madison, Lake View Woods, church, cemetery

* Madison Recognized as Bird City WisconsinBird City Wisconsin sign

Token Creek Park – A Refuge for Nature


Token Creek Park sign

 

12-26-11

Token Creek Park in theTown of Burke is near the Northside of Madison, entrance is near the Pine Cone Restaurant and Truck Stop.

pine cone truck stop

 

This park has a lot to offer, with nature trails and camping in the warmer months.

Token Creek Pond

 

Sedge Meadow Trail sign

The trail was for the most part a boardwalk, elevated above the marsh. It took me through woods and creekside.

Sedge Meadow trail

 

Token Creek

 

Also some dense woods..

Token Creek woods

 

This park is quite beautiful any time of the year.  I hope to see spring there this year.

Related Sites and Articles

*  Park Virtual Tours

* Pet Exercise area

* Trailmeister.com trail map

* Paddling  Token Creek to Cherokee Park

 

 

 

Nature in Crystal Lake – Illinois


7-20-12

Every once in awhile, we make a sojourn to our neighboring state of Illinois.  Our destination was Crystal Lake, since we had other business in town that day. Went to the Chamber of Commerce first for information. We went to the McHenry County Conservation  Center-Prairieview. Believe it or not, the Chicagoland area is not all concrete jungle. We found this center dedicated to preserving an area to resemble the prairies that used to cover much of Illinois.

Crystal Lake, Illinois Chamber of Commerce

McHenry County-Prairieview

The grounds are beautiful, and we could hear the laughter of children enjoying summer activities there.  As you see, were were the only other visitors at that time.

McHenry County Ill. Prairieview

We went inside the main building and picked up a map to the trail through the prairie. It was a hot day, and you could hear the buzz of insects in the tall grasses.

Illinois Prairie

Towering above the grass were some large trees, possibly here when all of Crystal Lake area was unsettled.

Prairie tree

Also flowers.

Prairie flowers

We had an enjoyable visit, but it was time to get back to Madison.

Madison’s Cherokee Marsh – South Unit


7-2-13

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”.

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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.

Sandhill CraneIMG_9738

purple flowerIMG_9806

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An enjoyable visit, I be back again for another visit.

Madison’s Cherokee Marsh Park- North Unit


7-1-13

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.

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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.

IMG_9605Dragon fly

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You can see the Token Creek water tower from the path.

From the other observation platform you have a great view of the Yahara River.

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The park also has a shelter with restrooms and water, you can park your car there.

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It was a great hike, wear comfortable shoes and a camera!