Natural Bridge State Park

Fall colors are upon us here in Wisconsin.  With a late October warm pattern pushing temps into the 70s, I booked last-minute vacation and hit the road.  Full trip starts here on Thursday 10/19 and ends late Sunday 10/22 – stay tuned for more posts, there were over 10 stops and it takes time for photo processing.  First stop was Natural Bridge State Park near Baraboo/Devils Lake.

The park itself is relatively small at just over 500 acres and is day-use only.  According to Wikipedia, this is the oldest site of human occupation (back to 9000-8000 BCE) and the largest rock arch in Wisconsin.  From the parking lot it is only a short 1/4 mile hike to the arch itself, but the full trail runs in a 3.5 mile loop and traverses rocky outcroppings, dense forest, and cleared farm meadow.

From below the canopy, leaves appeared neon bright at some points.

I backtracked a few times just so I could do the whole trail, but mostly traveled in a clockwise direction.  Heading away from the arch you cross a county highway through farm field.  From atop that small rolling hill I could observe the widest angle of scenery.  Favorite part?  On an otherwise quiet Thursday morning, a single tractor cruised down the road and was the only traffic in sight.

Hiking Data

Nothing too crazy here.  Most difficult part was south of the highway where the trail was completely covered in leaves and easy to lose.  Many fallen trees on the trail you have to climb/scramble over.  Mostly easy with a few sections of stairs or steep inclines.  Only a few other hikers that stayed north of the highway.

Lat = 43.3463440 , Long = -89.9323273 -- Show at Google Maps

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