Kettle Moraine Pike Lake Unit - Panorama From Powder Hill Observation Tower

Kettle Moraine State Forest – Pike Lake Unit #optoutside

Black Friday shopping madness?  Nope!  Once again I decided to #optoutside and burn off the turkey and pie.  This year’s hike was part of an event hosted by the Ice Age Trail Alliance at the Kettle Moraine State Forest – Pike Lake Unit.

Part of this hike was a segment of the Ice Age Trail.  Maybe someday I can do this as a thru hike but I need to lose my job first.  Hmm…

Today’s weather was near 50°F and clear, much nicer than recent weeks.  Snow was melted into a slippery ice pack in many spots.  I didn’t have micro-spikes which made for some interesting acrobatics at times.

I was late and tried to catch the main group but never did.  Going counter-clockwise in a loop my first main destination was Powder Hill to climb the observation tower.  Atop a glacial kame at 1350 feet above sea level this is one of the highest points in southeastern part of the state.

Views looking down are actually very neat today.  Without leaves blocking your view and snow cover giving extra contrast the trails appear clear as day.

Views across Pike Lake in the distance are spectacular.  Weather today is grey & bleak but sights up here are still worth it.

One downside?  Today really drives home the fact that hiking season is ending rapidly here in Wisconsin.  Winter is coming.

Back on the trail there aren’t many breathtaking views besides the customary dense and leafless forests.  The trail is mostly downhill to the lake from this point with some rolling elevation changes.

Near the end of my loop the trail skirts alongside Pike Lake before meeting back at the parking area.  Several days later we started getting regular snow and bone-chilling winds – besides hunting this was my last pleasure hike in Wisconsin for the year.

Hiking Data

Overall this is quite the amazing short hike as the terrain changes several times with a huge 300 feet elevation loss, both unique for our area.  Hiking clockwise would be much more of a workout.

Lat = 43.3089905 , Long = -88.3214111 -- Show at Google Maps

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