Last stop for my short weekend trip on 8/5/17 was Rocky Arbor State Park. It’s one of the smaller parks (244 acres) and is sandwiched in between busy highways I-94 and Hwy 12. It can be easily hiked in an hour or two with features including rock bluffs and a variety of plant life.
I took the trail in the opposite counter-clockwise rotation meaning I started on top of the bluffs and rotated around coming back down. I didn’t see another person on the trail during my entire hike, and with still winds it was nearly silent other than a distant roar of highway traffic. Trail was relatively boring at first but there were a variety of new-to-me wildflowers and mushrooms.
After descending a staircase at the far north end, I was on a valley path heading back towards the trail head. This path ran in between the bluff faces and a swamp which caused muddy trail conditions in small stretches. Our state bird (the mosquito) was ever-present and didn’t seem to mind my bug spray one bit. The rocky bluffs weaved in and out of view between lush overgrown vegetation.
In the middle of the swamp was a large boulder that likely broke from the bluffs and now had trees growing directly from it. Also found some very cool porous rock surfaces with colorful mineral deposits. Sunlight was waning by the time I finished, but the view back through the valley gave some nice contrasting light.
Not the largest or most spectacular park, but interesting anyways. Surprising really how much diversity in plant life can be found in such a small area!
Not a very long or strenuous trail at all. Very pleasant other than bug bites which were only unbearable in the swamp section.Lat = 43.6419449 , Long = -89.8058319 -- Show at Google Maps