I must be thinking spring because I've had state parks, state trails, and hiking on my mind all week. In my 11 for 2011 post I mentioned my love of the Wisconsin State Park system. Aside from the famously picturesque parks of Northern California (which I hope to see this summer) I think this State may have some of the greatest parks in the nation. One of my goals for 2011 is to visit five state parks that I've never been to before. My choices:
Aztalan State Park - This park is archeologically significant as it was the home of a native American civilization, sometime before the year 1200. In fact, there are pretty strong rumors that there is some significant paranormal activity there. This is so close to home that there's no excuse not to see it.
Kohler-Andrae State Park - Said to be among our most beautiful parks, I can't believe this is one I have never visited. Kohler-Andrae is right on Lake Michigan, so we have all of the amenities of the lake, plus miles of hiking trails and a nature trail. I'm told that this park also has a great area for sledding, so this may be a winter trip for us. Again, it is too close to home for us to miss out.
Richard Bong State Recreation Area - Yes, the photo of a road sign that says "Bong Recreation Area" isn't a Photoshop - we really have one. Richard Bong was a renowned wartime pilot, and the park area was actually originally intended to be an airstrip, but the project was abandoned at the very last minute. While this park offers typical activities like hiking, biking and snowshoeing, it also offers an area for flying model planes, rockets, hang gliders and hot air balloons.
Devil's Lake State Park. Whenever we are in the Wisconsin Dells, we opt for Mirror Lake State Park for its beautiful hiking trails and great canoeing, but Devil's Lake is also nearby and has much to offer. Devil's Lake is also a popular site for rock climbers, and someday I want to be able to give that a try.
Big Foot Beach State Park. I have been to this one, just once before: Big Foot Beach was the site of my very first 5K run, but I was the only one in the family who really got to enjoy the beautiful hiking trail. Big Foot Beach has so much to offer: amazing trails, a beautiful beach on gorgeous Lake Geneva. This is definitely a day trip for the family this year.