The backpacking sites along the Pike Lake Segment are visible from the IAT. The three neighboring sites do not offer privacy from one to the next, but are conveniently located along the IAT. The IAT crosses the parking lot for the backpacking sites, where a portable toilet is located. Further down the trail, the campground is a short hike from the IAT on a spur trail, and provides a good place to find running water and showers.
The observation tower on Powder Hill just off the Pike Lake Segment is worth the side track down the spur trail. The tower offers a nice view of Pike Lake, Holy Hill, and the surrounding area. I felt rather sad looking around, remembering the crisp, blue, haze-free skies of my youth and noticing yet another vantage point with encroaching haze - but of course we've all seen worse. I happened to take in this view the day before this hike as I enjoyed a family weekend at the campground at the Pike Like Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest. The trail also passes the beach area on Pike Lake. This is a nice spot for a picnic, a dip in the water, or a bathroom break.
|View from the tower on Powder Hill in the Pike Lake Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest.|
|View of Holy Hill from the tower on Powder Hill.|
|Relics from the past along the Pike Lake Segment of the IAT.|
|Looks like the face of a wise old owl along the Pike Lake Segment of the IAT.|
|Deer near the road crossing of the IAT, Pike Lake Segment.|
The Pike Lake Segment of the IAT is overall a pretty hike with plenty to see and do. To travel between the Pike Lake and Slinger Segments of the IAT one must cross busy Wisconsin State Highway 60. From this crossing, the trail wanders briefly through a wooded patch, and then along Howard Avenue, a sleepy residential street. The trail then follows Hartland Road through an industrial area, then heads downtown up Kettle Moraine Drive. The downtown offers a few pub and grub options, a Heros Sandwich Shoppe, and a number of churches along Kettle Moraine Drive.
|The trail is well-marked and well-signed through the Pike Lake Segment. Plan to consult your map on the Slinger Segment.|
|Kettle Moraine Drive, downtown Slinger.|
|Hartland Road, Slinger.|
|Bloodroot along the Pike Lake Segment.|
|The map gives the illusion the Slinger Segment is longer whereas Pike Lake is actually the longer segment.|
Trail Conditions - 65°F (18°C) with wide, well-maintained, well-signed trails along the Pike Lake Segment. Slinger Segment is less well-signed, traveling mostly along streets with a short stretch of trail.
Total Distance Covered - 9.6 miles (15.4 km) out and back.
Difficulty - The Slinger Segment is easy and relatively flat. The Pike Lake Unit is moderately difficult, from south-to-north a couple miles of the trail are uphill.
Highlights - Spring flowers blossoming and leafs beginning to open.
Location - Parked at the campground at the Pike Lake Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest off Wisconsin State Highway 60 near Hartland, Wisconsin.
Total Official Ice Age Trail Miles Completed to Date - Total official Ice Age Trail distance completed 155 miles (248 km).