Friday, August 22, 2014

Glen Hills trail heads from scenic vista along wooded lake

Glen Lake from scenic overlook.

Flowage popular
among fishermen


Tucked within Wisconsin’s dairy country is a hilly, wooded region that gives day hikers the chance to get back to nature.

Glen Hills County Park in eastern St. Croix County offers a plethora of trails amid 700 acres of maple, birch and oak hardwoods. The 2-mile round trip Glen Lake East Trail (so christened here for convenience’s sake) heads from a vista to a campground.

Glen Lake
To reach the park, from U.S. Hwy. 12 in Wilson, Wis., take County Road W north. Turn left/north onto Rustic Road 4 then go left/northwest onto Thompson Lane, which dead ends at the parking lot.

The trailhead begins on the lot’s southwest corner. Before hitting the trail, though, walk across the grass to the scenic overlook of Glen Lake.

Eight-four-acre Glen Lake is a flowage that controls flooding from Beaver Creek. A dam sits north of the scenic overlook but is nicely shielded by trees. Running 36.4-feet deep, the lake sports largemouth bass, panfish and trout for anglers.

The first portion of the trail runs downhill toward the lake. In short order, the trail reaches the lake’s shores. It then angles away from the lake, and hairpins to the campground’s south end.

Northwoods wildlife
Along the way, you’ll cross three intermittent streams. Keep an eye out for such northern Wisconsin wildlife as white-tailed deer, squirrels, chipmunks and a number of songbirds.

The turnback point is the road Campground Lane. Hikers with a little extra energy, however, can continue the trail by heading down the campground road and picking up a path as it heads along the lake’s southeast side.

Glen Hills County Park also offers a swimming beach and picnic area. Those facilities can be accessed by entering the park from the west via Rustic Road 3.

Find out about trail guidebooks available in the Hittin’ the Trail series.