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Topic: Best Views - Weigh In, What are the best views in your region?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
 Post Number: 1
kherrel1 Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 30 2013, 7:03 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

In our September 2013 issue, we asked guidebook writers, BACKPACKER field scouts, landscape photographers, and other local experts nationwide to rule on the sweetest backcountry vista in their corner of the union. The result? Fifty unforgettable views and a Top 10 list that will fill memory cards. We stand behind our choices, but no doubt you'll have your own favorites in your region. Think we got it wrong? Let us know by posting your own choice here (ideally with a photo)!

Our picks:

Illinois
Indian Point, Garden of the Gods Recreation Area
37.59254, -88.38428

Indiana
Devil’s Backbone, Pine Hills Nature Preserve
39.94154, -87.04970

Iowa
Crow’s Nest, Pikes Peak SP
43.000504, -91.164165

Kansas
Big Pasture, Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve
38.49105, -96.58268

Michigan
Grand Portal Point, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
46.553084, -86.462467

Minnesota
Rose Lake Cliffs, Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness
48.101356, -90.472927

Missouri
Bell Mountain, Mark Twain NF
37.627861, -90.865120

Nebraska
Toadstool Canyon, Oglala National Grassland
42.85124, -103.592234

Ohio
Old Man's Cave,
Hocking Hills SP
39.432999, -82.544220
Trip ID www.backpacker.com/hikes/5712

(Photo by Tracie Conner)

Oklahoma
Black Mesa, Black Mesa Nature Preserve
36.931848, -102.997805
Trip ID www.backpacker.com/hikes/960985

South Dakota
Little Devils Tower, Custer SP
43.8522004, -103.5383964
Trip ID www.backpacker.com/hikes/311930

Wisconsin
Parnell Tower, Kettle Moraine State Forest
43.69968, -88.09004

- Posted by BP.com staff
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 Post Number: 2
WisMike Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 30 2013, 8:46 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have yet to get there myself, but I do believe Juniper Rock overlook on the North Country Trail is regarded as one of our best: Link and Link 2

Also nearby and better known is St. Peter's Dome: Link and Link 2

We've got some others a little east on our section of the North Country Trail as well.

(All in NW Wisconsin)
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isawtman Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 30 2013, 10:28 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I've been to the Parnell Tower near Greenbush, Wisconsin.  The View is great, but it's a tower, not a natural overlook like Juniper Rock.  I haven't been to Juniper Rock but I know Mike so I'd have to go with his assessment of it.

Another option is the Harrison Hills Tower near Parrish, Wisconsin.  But it's a metal Fire Tower with narrow steps and not a wooden Observation Tower like the Parnell Tower and many towers in State Parks.  I think the Harrison Hills Tower has a great view, but it's dicey getting up to the top. Here's my video of it http://youtu.be/jDFnhOrlIuI

The NCT has a tower near it in Copper Falls State Park and an observation deck west of Mellen off of GG, But I think the Parnell Tower is a better Overlook than those

I agree with the Rose Cliffs in Minnesota.  I think I nominated that one along with Matt Davis.  It's stunning.  There are also a ton of great overlooks on the Superior Hiking Trail.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 31 2013, 11:21 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Lots of nice views in Wisconsin, but Devil's Lake has by far the best.

A different perspective, the view from the South Bluff (no trail, go XC):

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Eric H Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 31 2013, 11:44 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I would have dq'd Parnell on road noise alone. KM Drive is nearby and . . .

"Juniper Rock"? from online pictures that seems to be the dome just west of the Marengo R. on the NCT. Nice spot yep, but sight lines (perhaps most of a mile, max) just aren't long enough to push it to the top of my list.

St. Peter's Dome? A sweet spot for sure, and the combo of doing it and Morgan Falls makes it a must do if nearby. Popularity drops it down my list tho and memory has the view as long but narrow.

Took a quick look at what I listed as "best of -- views from high places" in my Hiking Wisconsin guidebook and I'll mention the three below as most worthy of mention. FWIW, 800 miles of walking to create the "database", opinions.

Some criteria. Not a tower. A "natural" viewpoint from someplace offering a little elevation (which does eliminate some memorable shoreline vistas such as Rock I. simply for their "lack of height"). And I'm wanting "a sense of wonder",  components being a relative lack of road noise, good "natural ambience", relatively good odds for solitude.

Lone Rock -- near Adams/Friendship

"The Overlook" -- n. end of Oak Island, Apostles

"Sullivan Cr. Overlook" -- Penokees

I also have good memories of Death Door Bluff (Door Co.) but only was there once and less sure than the 3 above.

One "sleeper" worth mentioning. Top of the shoreline bluff at Lions Den Gorge (south of Port Washington). Get away from the developed paths, sit a bit and this can be one powerful place, view.

Edit: Kudos to IceAgeHiker for going off trail, the South Bluff view at Devil's Lake.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 31 2013, 2:42 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I never heard the name "Sullivan Creek Overlook" before but I think that's the one on our Uller Section of the NCT, pictured here  https://www.facebook.com/NCTinWI....7566939  Although this is one of our best overlooks, this section of the NCT will eventually be decertified as NCT as the trail route is changed to go north instead of east.  I would assume though that it will remain accessible, and it may remain part of a "connector route" to connect the NCT to Hurley.

As much as I like Devil's Lake, one of my criteria would be that little or no civilization or farmland be visible from the spot (though that's admittedly somewhat subjective), so I would have to cross Devil's Lake and a lot of the other nice views in southern WI off my list (there are also some nice views in the southern Kettle Moraine BTW).  But there are definitely some nice views from Devil's Lake notwithstanding.  I like Eric's criteria and other suggestions.  I've only been to Madeline and Raspberry Islands (great view from the lighthouse), but I take his word for it on Oak Island.  I bet there's a nice view somewhere in the Nicolet too, but I haven't found it yet...
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 01 2013, 3:40 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Mike, yes it is near/part of the Uller ski trail system. And the Facebook pic does look like it.

Possible I'm the one that tagged it "Sullivan Creek Overlook".
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 11 2013, 2:05 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I can't speak for Devil’s Backbone, Pine Hills Nature Preserve in Indiana because I have not been there. My vote, however, would be for the top of the fire tower in the Charles Deam Wilderness. To meet Eric's solitude requirement, go late at night when there is a full moon.

For Ohio, the rock shelter in Hocking Hills SP is beautiful but on any given weekend you would find more solitude at Disneyworld.

For Michigan, Grand Portal Point is a good choice but The Escarpment in the Porkies and Norwich Bluff in the Trap Hills should get honorable mentions.
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 20 2013, 3:54 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Indianabob @ Aug. 11 2013, 2:05 pm)
QUOTE
I can't speak for Devil’s Backbone, Pine Hills Nature Preserve in Indiana because I have not been there. My vote, however, would be for the top of the fire tower in the Charles Deam Wilderness. To meet Eric's solitude requirement, go late at night when there is a full moon.

The fire tower at Deam occurred to me as well. For that matter, there are a couple camping spots at Deam that I'd nominate...if I'd give up their locations.
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 22 2013, 1:05 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

You can barely see the lake from the Hickory Ridge fire tower. In fact, you can barely see over the trees that have grown up alongside. Brown County State Park has some wider vistas, that they maintain by cutting down trees. Devils Backbone looks down into a pretty canyon. Down along the Ohio River are some nice overlooks, where you can see a lot of landscape. Points along the Knobstone trail also have some wide views, from high hills.

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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 28 2013, 3:32 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

GOTG's is incredible.  The location I think of is the highest point in that area, where there is an open rock overlook into the Shawnee National Forest.  Experienced an amazing star show and sunset. My avatar is a picture from this cliff.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 06 2013, 7:37 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Really - Parnell Tower for WI?  There are many other places I can think of in WI that would blow that away.

View of the the Basilica of the National Shrine Help (aka Holy Hill) from the Ice Age Trail - looks like a castle from the trial. - http://goo.gl/d6A5g3

Or even fall colors from Peninsula State Park's trail - http://goo.gl/Ym3Nt6
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 07 2013, 11:00 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

"Really - Parnell Tower for WI?"

You're hardly alone in that thought.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 11 2013, 3:23 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(tammyvh @ Oct. 06 2013, 7:37 pm)
QUOTE
Really - Parnell Tower for WI?  There are many other places I can think of in WI that would blow that away.

View of the the Basilica of the National Shrine Help (aka Holy Hill) from the Ice Age Trail - looks like a castle from the trial. - http://goo.gl/d6A5g3

Or even fall colors from Peninsula State Park's trail - http://goo.gl/Ym3Nt6

That surprised me, too.  I would think there are better views up north, or something along the lake.

I would sarcastically suggest the best view near me is from the Sears Tower sky deck  :;):


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 06 2013, 2:21 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hard to argue with the choice for MI, though I think the overlook just to the west of Chapel Beach might be better.

As for IL, the view from Indian Point is quite good, but if you have ever stood at the base of Jackson falls on a sunny spring day (after a good rain), you might beg to differ.



Or perhaps Cedar Falls, slightly west:


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 06 2013, 9:14 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Nice pics of Jackson Falls!

I was there several years ago on a sunny weekend after it rained hard for days. Jackson Falls was flowing, and so was East Falls around the bend near the break in the bluff that provides access to the canyon floor. Water was falling through just about every crevice in the bluff wall. The rock climbers were out in force that beautiful weekend. At the parking area for Jackson Falls was a car with Utah plates; if someone comes from Utah to climb Southern Illinois sandstone, you know it's a special place.

Burden Falls was a gusher, with smaller waterspouts along the top of the bluff downstream. The waterfall at Fyrne Cliff (usually just a trickle) had some real flowage, and it was impossible to cross the creek on the round concrete stepping stones that provide access to the Rebman Trail & Hawks Cave.

Damn, just typing this I'm motivated to take the 5 hour drive south on the next good weekend after a rain  :D


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 06 2013, 11:09 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Agreed DW. I saw Burden Falls, Bell Smith, Jackson Falls and Double-Branch Falls one sunny weekend after 2 days of rain. It was amazing. I also saw a video of Burden Falls once after a huge rain that was terrifying.

The Shawnee is a hidden gem in the midwest.


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 07 2013, 10:11 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Denali reflected on a calm Wonder Lake during the peak of fall colors is really hard to beat. Major bonus if some huge bull caribou or moose are feeding, or fighting, in the foreground.

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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 07 2013, 10:47 am Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Colter @ Nov. 07 2013, 10:11 am)
QUOTE
Denali reflected on a calm Wonder Lake during the peak of fall colors is really hard to beat. Major bonus if some huge bull caribou or moose are feeding, or fighting, in the foreground.

That's in Indiana, right?

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