Chapter 143- Kettle Moraine State Forest- Pike Lake Unit

A few weeks ago (ok, it was mid-March.  I’m a little behind here) I desperately needed to walk in the woods.  I’m finding a direct link between my emotional state and exercise/exposure to the outdoors, and on a Sunday that my husband was coaching soccer, I packed up some snacks and winter gear and headed north on highway 45.

The kids asked for a place with an observation tower, so a quick search turned up Pike Lake.  The drive was only about 40 min from Milwaukee, and was super easy find.

We parked near the playground on the beach, and headed north on the hiking trail.  Before we even started, though, two of my kids got super muddy and started crying.  Luckily I’m good at deescalating (ignoring) things like that and we made it to the beach to find shells and lots of fun ice formations.

We had left the car about 20 minutes prior, and made it only 30 feet into the trail, so I tried to get the kids moving.  Eventually they gave in, followed me, and then ran ahead leaving me in the dust.  We found a little fort and Little T took notes while the other girls discussed some very serious business.

We stopped at the next lake access and threw stones.  Because it wouldn’t be an adventure without throwing rocks in water!

About 1/2 mile (and about 45 minutes) later, we stopped on a bench for snacks.  The terrain had turned to a prairie with a much different view and we sat and talked about how different the trail was at this point.

This was one of the first hikes that I actually brought a physical map to, so we spent lots of time learning how to read a map.  We were on the lookout for trail markers, and decided that since this was one of the slowest hikes we’d been on, we should take the green trail as a shortcut.  That trail cut down into very beautiful and muddy valley, and the kids did a great job learning to read maps/signs.

   

We found some pine trees and the kids listened to me go on and on about how beautiful the small forest was.

The kids spotted an uprooted tree and speculated how old it was, if we could get it to live again by tipping it back up, and what it could provide for animals/plants now that it was on the ground.  And we poked it with sticks.  Cause that’s pretty much childhood, right?  Poking things with sticks.

 

Close to the end of our two mile and TWO HOUR hike, S was feeling a little tired and whiney so J took her hand.  It was a pretty sweet moment because it was completely unprompted and served as a good reminder that they do indeed care for each other.

When we crossed the road back to the parking lot, after slipping and sliding down a muddy hill, the kids cheered for their accomplishment.  It wasn’t all THAT far, but those little legs carried them for a long time.

They of course still had energy for a playground, so we played for a few minutes, and then cried when it was time to leave.  Which is how many of our adventures end.  Yay!

We didn’t make the observation tower, but it’ll be on our summer adventure list.  There are lots of other trails we’d like to try, so we’ve got plenty of reasons to head back.  Plus it’s so close to Milwaukee!

Thanks for your patience in my posts…I’m trying to get caught up.  But who knows, maybe it’ll be June and you’ll still be seeing posts of hikes in snow 🙂

A. Storm

Write us your thoughts about this post. Be kind & Play nice.
  1. Mom says:

    Soooo real, love it. Can you tell viewers that they need to click on the title to post a reply or is that something most people know? Love Ya!

    Reply
    • amber says:

      Thanks, Mom! I love YOU 🙂 And I’m trying to figure out how to get it back to an easier method, thanks for letting me know!

      Reply
  2. Carol Storm says:

    When your family is grown and can look back on all the fun, beautiful (and sometimes tearful) exploring you have done together, they will be so grateful that you are their Mom!

    Reply

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