Blue Mound State Park - Wisconsin

US National Parks and Monuments Travel Guide: US-Parks.com

Park Overview

Perched atop the highest point in southern Wisconsin, Blue Mound State Park offers spectacular views and unique geological features. A swimming pool is available in during summer. Over 20 miles of scenic hiking, off-road biking, and cross-country ski trails, as well as a family campground, access to the Military Ridge State Trail with bike-in campsites, and a rustic cabin for people with disabilities make Blue Mound a popular destination year-round.

History

Before this region was settled by Europeans, the mound, its forest and the surrounding prairies had black bears, timber wolves, bobcats, Canada lynx, fishers, elk, bison, and cougars (mountain lions). And, thousands of years ago when the thick ice blankets of the Wisconsin Glacier lay to the north and east of this area, these park lands felt the weight of giant, elephant-like mastodons. These huge beasts were hunted by nomadic Paleo-Indians who killed them with heavy-shafted, stone-tipped spears.

Camping

The Blue Mound campground is open year-round and contains 77 wooded sites, 12 bike/hike-in sites, and a rustic accessible cabin for people with disabilities.

Each site including the cabin has a picnic table and fire ring. Toilets and water fountains are conveniently located throughout the campground. Two electric sites are accessible for people with disabilities. A modern flush toilet/shower building is across from site 30.

Activities and Recreation

Hiking

While all of the trails in the park are open to hiking, there are three trails designated as hiking-only in spring, summer, and fall: the Indian Marker Tree Trail, the self-guided Flintrock Nature Trail and the Pleasure Valley Hiking Trail.

Bicycling

The park provides 15.5 miles of challenging off-road, singletrack bicycle trails. A state trail pass is required of all bicyclists aged 16 and over (in addition to the vehicle admission sticker). Trails are open year-round unless groomed for skiing or wet trail conditions exist. There is also access to the 40-mile Military Ridge State Trail from the park’s campground.

Picnicking and Shelters

Blue Mound State Park offers a number of beautiful and relaxing opportunities in the picnic area.

Playgrounds

Playground equipment and sandboxes are in the picnic area near the shelters and in the campground.

Swimming

Blue Mound State Park is the only Wisconsin state park with a swimming pool. The pool is L-shaped, 75 feet long on each side, and contains almost 200,000 gallons of crystal-clear water. Depth varies from 3 feet in the shallow section to 11 feet in the diving area. A safety rope at the 5.5-foot level separates the swimming and diving areas.

Cross-Country Skiing

More than 10 miles of meticulously groomed and tracked trails wind through peaceful rolling fields and mature oak-hickory forests. All trails are tracked for classical skiing when snow depth and conditions allow. In low snow conditions all the trails are groomed for skating.

The trails at Blue Mound vary from beginner to more advanced, and can be reached from the trail head at the pool parking lot. A state trail pass is required of all skiers aged 16 and over (in addition to the vehicle admission sticker). John Minix, Pleasure Valley, Willow Springs, Flintrock and Ridgeview (in order from easiest to most difficult) are groomed for skiing when conditions permit.

Winter Hiking and Snowshoeing

Hiking and snowshoeing are allowed anywhere in the park except on cross-country ski trails. A designated snowshoe trail with a 0.75-mile loop and a 3-mile loop has its trailhead on the east side of the pool parking lot.

Sledding

Blue Mound State Park has a hill for sledding, just west of the Cross-country Ski Trailhead in the pool parking lot.

Nature

Southern Wisconsin's Blue Mound State Park is a great place for observing nature, both close up and at a distance from the two observation towers. Learn about and experience the birds and other wildlife, trees, wildflowers, and geological formations. Stop in at the nature center in the picnic area to look over the displays. The amphitheater provides an excellent setting for evening naturalist programs. Programs about the park, the plants, animals, human history, and the natural environment are presented throughout the summer.

Getting There

Blue Mound State Park is just north of the Village of Blue Mounds, about 25 miles west of Madison via US Highway 18/151. From Highway 18/151, go north on County Highway F and turn left on County Highway ID into Blue Mounds. Go west on Highway ID about a half mile to Mounds Road. Turn right (north) and follow Mounds Road north through town. (Mounds Road becomes Mounds Park Road once you leave the village.) The park entrance is one mile north of the intersection of Highway ID and Mounds Road.

Contact

Blue Mound State Park, 4350 Mounds Park Rd., PO Box 98, Blue Mounds, WI 53517 -- (608) 437-5711

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