With the temperature a frigid 13°F (-10.6°C), a piercing wind froze my fingers as I tried to fill out the form on the envelope for my annual Wisconsin State Park sticker until I couldn't move them. I also wore my camel back inside my coat due to freezing, and found that I needed to warm my camera in an inside pocket to overcome battery issues. Despite this, the parka my husband gave me for Christmas kept me toasty warm. Thank you, Honey.
Little to no snow and ice cover left the trail easily passable in trail runners, unusual this time of year. As the morning progressed it warmed up to 22°F (-6.6°C). Starting from the South Shore, the national Ice Age Trail ascended 0.4 miles up the bluff to Balanced Rock. It traced the East Bluff Trail, then followed the East Bluff - South Face onto the Uplands Trail portion of the Ice Age Trail for almost a mile, where the Ice Age Trail split off from the Uplands Trail and gradually descended the Roznos Meadow Trail down to South Lake Drive.
With family waiting at home and a chill setting in, I backtracked along South Lake Drive until picking up the Grottos Trail back to the South Shore parking area.
|East Bluff South Face.|
|Huge quartzite boulder along the trail.|
|Between Darcy's Buttress and Happy Rock, remnants of a recent candlelight tribute.|
|Time to back track from the Roznos Meadow Trail along the South Lake Road|
to the South Shore parking area.
Trail Conditions - Well marked, easy to follow trails, cold 13°F (-10.6°C), little to no ice and snow cover.
Distance Covered - Approximately 6 miles (9.7 km).
Difficulty - Strenuous on the portion ascending up to the East Bluff Trail, remainder moderate.
Location - Devil's Lake State Park South Shore, near Baraboo, Wisconsin.
Highlights - The spectacular view to the South and East from the East Bluff, Balanced Rock, the candlelight memorial on the bench.