Monday, July 27, 2015

Camping at Roche-A-Cri State Park

In the mood for someplace we'd never visited before, we packed up the car and headed out to camp at Roche-A-Cri state park. The name Roche-A-Cri derives from French words meaning crevice in the rock. The park contains about 5 miles (8 km) of hiking trails, campgrounds, an observation deck atop the 300 foot outcropping at the center of the park, and a creek that can be fished. The campground contains vault toilets only and no showers. This park is small, and entirely accessible by foot from the campground. The campsites are wooded but fairly close together, and our walk-in campsite appeared to be the best in the park, number 34. This walk-in site put us further off the road offering a tad more privacy, although the neighbors on all sides were easily visible and well heard, particularly their music.

The hike to the petroglyphs required only a 5 minute hike from our campsite, and the stairs to the mound required about a 10 minute hike. My stroll around the entire park on the Acorn trail, including a stop at the petroglyphs and a side hike to the top of the mound, took a little over an hour.

View from the top of the mound.

Late Saturday morning, we decided to take the canoe to Nepco Lake in Wisconsin Rapids and paddle. The day grew hot, so after paddling our daughter took a swim at the small beach at the Nepco Lake County Park before we headed back to Roche-A-Cri. This turned out to be a nice lake for a paddle. If you take kids out for a paddle on this lake be sure to paddle by Lester Island for cute views of the carousel on the little beach near the picturesque home and gardens of its occupants. Sorry no pictures, the evening of our paddle my seven year old started playing with the camera, and ooops!

After another night of camping, I talked the family into the short walk to the petroglyphs and up the stairs to the top the mound. Although they didn't feel much like a hike since it had been a hot and muggy for two days and nights, afterward they seemed glad to have done it. Maybe. I did hear a good bit of mumbling about 303 steps from our daughter.


You can do it!

She easily made it to the top, although she didn't think she could.

It is pretty special to see petroglyphs, and I will never understand what compels people to carve their names over petroglyphs. Lack of respect for history, nature, I don't know. I did my best to find a few spots with minimal vandalism to enjoy. But the impression that it left with me, that sick feeling about the human condition, is hard to put into words. Teach your children respect for nature and respect for Native American history folks. That's all I can say.

Nepco Lake.

Hike around Roche-A-Cri on the Acorn Trail.


Meal:                           Food:
Snacks                           Granola Bars, Munchies, Cashews
Breakfasts                     Oatmeal, Bananas, Bacon, Eggs, Toast
Lunch                               Tortilla Pizza, Grapes, Carrot Sticks 
Dinner                              Subway on the road day 1, Bucky's in town for AC and pizza day 2

Roche-A-Cri State Park is located at 1767 State Highway 13 in Friendship, WI. The usual Wisconsin State Park entry and camping fees apply. The entry fee is $25 annually for in state residents and $35 annually for out of state residents. Day passes are also available at a lower rate. Camping is $12 daily.

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