Our first Outdoor Kids walk was a success!
- GREEN LAKES STATE PARK
- (around) 5 MILES
- 2.5 HOURS
Three of us went to Green Lakes State Park on a gorgeous Sunday morning to embark on our maiden walk together. Neither of my companions, Lauren and Mitch, had ever been to the park before and it’s always exciting to share that first experience with someone.
We got to the park around 9:30 AM and it was still quiet in the park. Swimming doesn’t start until 11:00AM, so we pretty much had the park to ourselves, save a few walkers.
Our hike started on the gentle trails along the top of both the Green Lake Trail and the Round Lake Trail. There are several trails that Green Lakes has to offer, but I wanted one that was a little challenging and longer than what one trail alone could offer. Cobbling together a path along many of the trails gave us exactly that. We left the Round Lake Trail to head into the hills of Old Growth Forest. Lauren was pumped…Mitch was, well….less than pumped about all the hills, but trooped on (I think he used the word “masochistic” to describe me at one point). It’s nice to hike earlier in the day as you can take breaks as needed and don’t need to rush trying to get back before dark. The other bonus to morning hiking during summer is missing out on the real heat of the day. We took plenty of breaks for water, photos or to catch our breath before the next hill.
As you’re walking on the trails you may notice some more modern looking post markers as the ones in the photo, but for the most part, you need to know what color trail you want to be on and then follow the trees that have a splash of that color painted on them. Many times the only post markers you would see are where trails intersected.
One of the most challenging parts of the hike is a particular trail called Hernia Hill. As we walked, suddenly we came to the crest of the hill so lovingly named for a painful organ displacement. We ended up walking down Hernia Hill instead of up it’s steep ridges. Don’t be fooled, you have to pay as much attention and have control going down as you do up. We all did a great job of not falling on our butts as we walked with our feet sideways down the hill.
Once we got back on the Old Forest Growth Trail back to the lakes, suddenly we found ourselves at the Golf Course Maintenance Site. Suddenly there were no trail markers, so we tried heading right, through the maintenance lot. That ended us up at Hole #17 on the Golf Course. Hah! Word to the wise, when you get dumped out into a clearing full of lawn mowers and tractors, head left instead of right and you will find the marker where the trail picks back up.
By the time we got to the under bellies of the lakes to head back to the car, it was late morning and the trails became packed with runners, bikers, hikers, babies, and puppies. Mitch made sure to tell everyone how I tried to kill him with the walk and got the reply, “it’s good for you”…hah!
The best part about this park are clearly the glacial lakes, which are emerald green in color due to all the dissolved minerals in the water as it flows through the rock. You can also swim on the end of one of the lakes. Next time I am bringing my bathing suit and hiking all morning with a swim and a lounge on the beach afterwards.
Until next time. Happy Hiking!