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Topic: Looking for Dry Car Camping, Southern Wisconsin - Madison Area< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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WiscoHiker Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 02 2013, 6:17 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Any suggestions?  I'm going to be in my Madison residence for a few weeks and would like to get out and camp/hike.  I'm not necessarily looking for a backpacking trip, more interested in a state park or the like for some car campiing and day hiking.  Any DRY places?  It's pretty wet around here with the melting snow, but higher elevations and hard terrain could be dry.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 04 2013, 9:53 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Mmmmmmm...  you do know that our forecast is calling for rain, right?   :;):   It is mud season, after all.

Highest elevations close to here would be Blue Mound SP (I personally love it there) but you will want some waterproof shoes.  You're always hiking in and out of little drainages.  Depending on just how wet it's been, I like Wildcat Mountain SP as well.

If you've never been, check into Effigy Mounds NM in Iowa (there's camping nearby at Pikes Peak SP or Wyalusing).  It's mostly blufftop hiking so it isn't too lake-like on the trails themselves.  Both Wildcat and Effigy are about 2 hours from here.


Sections of KM South are along the ridgeline and probably a little more dry.  But there you are also in and out of drainages.  I think it's a general hazard of being down in the driftless and the terminal moraine areas.

No camping there, but Brooklyn NWR has some higher elevation sections and is always good for a daytrip.

IN town there are probably a few options for "drier" day hiking trips.  But there are also sections you want to avoid in wet weather (IAT south of Verona, I'm looking at you!) - so let me know if there's more info you're after.


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 04 2013, 5:19 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Come up north a bit. Everything around Madison is that rich black clay that will pull your boots right off, and turns into cement when it dries. We have sand. Devils Lake is largely paved, or you're on rock. Gibraltar Rock is paved, Natural Bridge is sand, kind of terraced into big steps. Parfrey's Glen is sand, but very bleak without vegetation due to all the flood damage and you'd turn an ankle for sure on the boulder hop at the end if you go all the way back to see the waterfall. Pewit's Nest you walk mostly on rock.
Kind of like hiking, and I wonder if they're open, a cave tour when it's raining good is interesting. Last time we were at Cave of the Mounds, everything was dripping and running. I commented on it because I'd never seen it like that and they told me that meant it was really raining up top. We'd left the top down on the convertible. You would not believe how much water they can hold  :/  Still, it was interesting to see it all in progress.


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 05 2013, 10:33 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Yep, the central sand counties, other sandy spots are the place to be.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 08 2013, 12:30 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The Southern Kettle Moraine is great right now, I always hike there during the spring thaw. The glacial ridges, hummocks, eskers and the like are made up of rocks, gravel and sand, and they drain/dry out faster than other areas.  Flat grassy/prairie areas are still muddy in places (with some occasional leftover melting icy patches).

The Devil's Lake bluffs are of course rock, so they're dry.  Stay away from the Steinke Basin trails right now though, they're quite wet and will remain that way for a while.

Blue Mound, due to its topography that makes for great skiing conditons, takes a long time to dry out.  I know that from experience. :D
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 08 2013, 12:34 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Car camping?!! Is that allowed on this website? :-)

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 08 2013, 10:08 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(hikerJoe2 @ Apr. 08 2013, 12:34 pm)
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Car camping?!! Is that allowed on this website? :-)

Probably not, but what the heck! LOL
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 26 2013, 5:48 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

This was one of the worst months I've spent in Wisconsin -- rain, rain, and more rain.  I never got out to camp, but did a fair amount of day hiking around the Madison area.  Now I'm heading back home to FL where it looks like summer (yuck) is in full swing!  I'm coming back up to WI in August and will spend three nights in the Porkies -- looking forward to my yearly backpacking trip!
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