Kettle Moraine State Forest


Kettle Moraine State Forest is a large and diverse state forest located in southeastern Wisconsin. The forest is known for its unique glacial landforms, including kettles, moraines, and eskers, which were shaped by the last glaciers in Wisconsin. Here are some key features and information about Kettle Moraine State Forest:

  1. Location: Kettle Moraine State Forest is divided into two main units: the Northern Unit and the Southern Unit. Both units are situated in the Kettle Moraine region, which extends across several counties.
  2. Northern Unit:
    • The Northern Unit is located near the cities of Campbellsport and Plymouth.
    • It features rolling hills, forests, and numerous lakes, providing opportunities for hiking, camping, fishing, and wildlife observation.
    • Popular trails in the Northern Unit include the Ice Age Trail, which traverses the forest and showcases glacial features.
  3. Southern Unit:
    • The Southern Unit is closer to Milwaukee and includes areas near the towns of Eagle, Whitewater, and Palmyra.
    • This unit also has a variety of trails, including segments of the Ice Age Trail, and offers opportunities for camping, hiking, and horseback riding.
    • The Scuppernong Trail in the Southern Unit is known for its kettle formations and diverse plant life.
  4. Ice Age Trail: Kettle Moraine State Forest is a significant part of the Ice Age Trail, a thousand-mile-long trail that follows the route of the last glaciers in Wisconsin. Hikers can explore segments of this trail within the forest.
  5. Camping: Both the Northern and Southern Units offer camping facilities. Campgrounds include family campsites, group campsites, and backpack camping options.
  6. Outdoor Recreation: The forest provides a wide range of outdoor recreational activities, including bird watching, mountain biking, horseback riding, and cross-country skiing in the winter months.
  7. Visitor Centers: Each unit has its own visitor center, providing information about the natural and cultural history of the forest. These centers often offer educational programs and exhibits.
  8. Parnell Tower: In the Northern Unit, the Parnell Tower provides panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. Visitors can climb to the top for a stunning vista.

Before planning your visit, it’s recommended to check the official Kettle Moraine State Forest website or contact the relevant unit’s office for the latest information on trail conditions, camping reservations, and any other updates. The forest is a popular destination for nature enthusiasts, offering diverse landscapes shaped by glacial activity.

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