After leaving Governor Dodge State Park, I lost cell service (PS – Sprint is no bueno in WI), so I busted out the paper road atlas and picked the nearest destination. This time it happened to be Tower Hill State Park. I didn’t know anything about it beforehand but discovered the original purpose was for taking lead and making buckshot. The site was later purchased by Frank Lloyd Wright’s uncle and donated to the state (more history at Wikipedia).
I started by taking the far north part of the trail towards the Shot Tunnel. Even with loads of bug spray, the mosquitoes were eating me alive. Mill creek, tranquil but almost stagnant, ran along the banks and flows back into the Wisconsin River. Another nearby faded sign detailed “white nose syndrome” of bats in this cave and reminded visitors not to enter if not properly decontaminated. I left my headlamp in the car because it was daylight and did not get to explore the Shot Tunnel area. I didn’t want to spread fungus from other areas and hurt bat populations, so this was probably a good thing.
After looping back along the trail on the outer edge of the visitor area, I climbed back up a very short but steep semi-paved path to the Shot Tower. This is where they would drop the molten lead down a chute into the Shot Tunnel area. The most remarkable scenery was looking out over the forest from behind the Smelter House.
As I mentioned, my loop was probably non-typical because I was just wandering around. Steepest slope was the walk up to the Shot Tower with a few other strenuous sections. I believe I walked every path this park has to offer in under an hour.
Overall this was a nice short visit and checks off another Wisconsin park from my list. If you visit, bring A LOT of bug spray!Lat = 43.146637 , Long = -90.0476456 -- Show at Google Maps