Sunday, April 30, 2017

Lapham Peak Segment of the Ice Age Trail

The Lapham Peak Segment of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail (IAT) is not far off the beaten track, and along much of trail the rumbling of traffic is heard in the distance. Part multi-use trail and part footpath, this segment carries the hiker through forested areas as well as restored prairies, with the majority of this segment within sight or earshot of civilization.

From the UW Waukesha Field Station parking area, the IAT heads east along the Glacial Drumlin State Trail for 2 miles. This multi-use stretch of trail tends to be busy with runners, walkers and bicyclists.

Along the Glacial Drumlin Trail.

Farm at the UW Waukesha Field Station.

Along the Glacial Drumlin Trail.

The IAT leaves the bicycle trail, crossing Wisconsin State Highway 18, and heads northeast into the Lapham Peak Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest. When the trail begins heading west, pay attention to the yellow blazes to hang with the IAT as other trails criss-cross the trail. While the bicycle traffic disappears here, plenty of runners and dog walkers use this portion of trail as well.

The Lapham Peak area of the Southern Kettle Moraine Unit.

Along the Lapham Peak Segment of the IAT.

S. Kettle Moraine / Lepham Peak

Yellow blazes along the Lapham Peak Segment of the IAT

Along the Lapham Peak Segment of the IAT

Along the Lapham Peak Unit of the IAT

Startled 4 deer and a turkey into these trees 

The IAT meanders through wooded areas with plenty of benches and  leads to a busy observation tower atop Lapham Peak with views of the surrounding countryside, cities and towns, and Holy Hill. At the observation tower, there are toilets and a parking area. Beyond the observation tower is a spur trail to a backpacking campsite and more forested areas.

Observation tower at Lapham Peak

Tower View

Tower View

View towards Holy Hill

Continuing along the IAT, once you reach the pond with the wildlife blind, the forested area soon ends, and an area of restored prairie begins.  This area of prairie offers a brief step through a wooded area amidst the restored prairie. This forested area, in springtime, treats the hiker to a plethora of flowers including dutchman's breeches and bloodroot. The segment terminates at the trail head parking along Cushing Park Road where the Delafield Segment of the IAT begins.

Restored Prairie

More restored prairie

April Flowers

More April flowers

That's all for now, let's get outdoors and keep our wild places wild.

Map of today's hike

Total Distance Covered -  15.2 miles (24.4 km) total, the Lapham Peak Segment is 7.6 miles (12.2 km) one way. 

Difficulty - Easy with moderate hills.

Trail Conditions - Blazed and well traveled trails, with a few wet,muddy spots, 60°F (16°C).

Highlights -  Enjoying a number of benches through the wooded portion of the trail, seeing deer and a turkey in the forested area, and the views from the observation tower.

Total Ice Age Trail Miles to Date - Total official trail distance completed  275 miles (440 km).

Amenities - Benches, the UW Waukesha Field Station and the Glacial Drumlin Trail, Lapham Peak observation tower with parking and toilets, backpacking campsite.

Location - Parking at the UW Waukesha Field Station in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin; the Lapham Peak observation tower, and the Cushing Park Road trail head.

No comments:

Post a Comment