Lime Kiln Falls

Thanks to my friend Bob over at I was made aware of a fairly large waterfall at High Cliff State Park in Sherwood, Wisconsin. He is referring to this as Lime Kiln Falls upper & lower because the main access is directly off the Lime Kiln Trail. I’ve been here before but never even noticed a waterfall – seems the flow here is seasonal and best done in spring after rainstorms.

To find these “falls” look for the large stone ruins covered in graffiti. Not sure if these are old foundations to lime kilns, other buildings, or something else. See the second photo below – best access is taking the trail to the right of these ruins going up.

Upper Falls

Now right at the point where these falls cross the Lime Kiln Trail it doesn’t look like much – just a small flow of water across a few loose rocks and gravel. But this is basically the bottom of the “upper” falls and where it transitions to the “lower” section.

As mentioned before take the trail on the left side for best access. I didn’t know any better and took the worn path on the right side which is quite slippery and dangerous. I do not recommend this!

It was afternoon and the light was harsh, but you can see the upper falls cascading steeply down the cliff side. It’s not very deep or swift but the cliff is very high and has a dramatic view from here.

At the very top is a small picnic area not far off a park road and a small pronounced “falls” down a few feet of stone. Starting the journey from here is good but there is no parking so it’s a long walk.

Looking down the stream flows through another old stone foundation – I’m not sure what these ruins were either but likely something related to the limestone mining operations.

Looking back upwards at this old ruins the stream is quite polluted with deadfall, rocks, and other debris blocking any clear views.

Here is the path I should have taken on the way up. Thankfully going down the proper trail was much easier work.

Lower Falls

Back at the Lime Kiln Trail I searched for a way to the “lower” falls section but found nothing obvious. You can see parts of the “falls” here but most views are obstructed by dense brush. Thankfully I found some younger kids coming upwards from the beach which showed me the slippery and dangerous access to climb down just near the graffiti ruins.

Here’s the same stream view from the bottom – you can barely see anything from the lush overgrown brush.

After slipping, sliding, and falling all the way to the bottom I reached a small beachfront on Lake Winnebago. Water levels here, much like most other places right now, seem extremely high.

Sadly as expected the beach is covered in shells of many invasive species. Lake Winnebago has experienced water quality issues for a long time and locals often refer to it as “Lake Winneseptic“.

From the very bottom you get the best view of the “lower” falls section which looks much the same as the “upper” section as it flows across the rocky cliffside.

I spent lots of time playing with cameras and the sun fell low on the horizon – a clear signal it was time to head back & plan my next journey!



Here’s a short video of the falls in action. Enjoy!


Accessing via the Lime Kiln Trail itself is very easy and flat. Hiking from there to the upper falls section can be relatively easy if you take the left path; much more dangerous on the right side while going up. Getting to the very lower falls section is somewhat dangerous due to slippery gravel slopes and no formal trail. Overall not sure I would do this again – really not worth it to see a barely visible waterfall.

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