family reunion near Edgerton, WI -- any hiking there?

7:46 p.m. on June 27, 2011 (EDT)
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Exactly as subject says. I'm going to a family reunion in Edgerton, Wisconsin. I will have some time to do my own activities, and am wondering if there is any hiking in the area. I imagine I'm looking for something pretty close, but if there is are any amazing trails, etc., I suppose I would be willing to drive up to 3 hours or so.

Suggestions of any length of hike are appreciated, but I am looking for more than "Well, you can walk around this motorboat lake if you like." I haven't seen any wilderness in that part of the country, and don't know enough about WI to know how close I might be to some cool areas.

This is the first stop in my research, so forgive my ignorance. Again, all suggestions are welcome.

FYI: Edgerton is on the west side of Lake Koshkongong, southeast of Madison, and west/southwest of Milwaukee.

Thanks!

9:27 p.m. on June 29, 2011 (EDT)
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Blackjack Springs wilderness, Whisker Lake wilderness, Headwaters Wilderness, & Sylvania are in northern wisconsin, but probably a solid 3-4hr. drive.  In early July, I'm sure you could wander around any of them and not see many people, especially if it's during the week.  The insects will be pretty thick though, so be prepared.  

Lost Lake campground in the Nicolet National Forest has a loop trail around a non-motorized, undeveloped spring fed lake.....meaning the water is super clear and cool.  The trail links up with the Lauterman Trail, which ends up in the Whisker Lake Wilderness.  You could put in a 20-25 mile day on this trail system and pass many undeveloped lakes.  It's also a cool mountain bike ride if you're into that.  There's a ton of beautiful old growth pine trees surrounding Lost Lake.  Also lots of black bears & deer.  The chimpunk rapids is also near the campground, which is pretty decent trout fishing.  This would be a great place to spend a long day or spend the night.  Does it get much better than a long hike followed by a beautiful beach to swim & chill at? I lived in WI for 27 years before moving to Montana five years ago, and spent my weekends in the northwoods of WI in the Tipler area.  I had this place to myself quite a bit.....and I admit I'm reluctant to give up this secret!

 

11:41 a.m. on July 13, 2011 (EDT)
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What an informative post. Thank you so much. I didn't make it quite as far as I thought I would (drive time), but ended up doing about 10 mi. on the John Muir Trail close to La Grange. It also looks like WI is setting up a pretty cool trail system with that Ice Age National Scenic Trail.

I end up back in WI every couple of years, and I've printed off your tips for my next trip. Thanks again, Kleon.

September 14, 2014
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