Hiking Quincy Bluff - Friendship WI


Quincy Bluff - Friendship Wisconsin
Quincy Bluff - Friendship Wisconsin

A Wisconsin state natural area, Quincy Bluff shelters rare and endangered wildlife. Large parts of the area were originally established by The Nature Conservancy. The preserve is a stone's throw from Wisconsin Dells and offers vacationers an opportunity to break away from the tourist trap for an hour in the Wisconsin wilderness.

The hike is an easy 3 miles through old growth oak barrens and white pine forests. The wide and clean footpath accommodates families and hikers new to the sport of hiking. It is also an ideal route for trail running or cross country skiing.




Quincy Bluff - Friendship Wisconsin
Quincy Bluff - Friendship Wisconsin


Quincy Bluff is a mound of granite upsetting an otherwise flat horizon. It rises out of the fertile Upper Wisconsin River Valley where agriculture is the king industry. 150 years ago part of the state was referred to as the big woods of Wisconsin -a term made famous in the book by Laura Ingalls Wilder. But, since then central Wisconsin has been logged of nearly its entire stock of white pines and oaks.

Oak barrens once populated more than 5 million acres in the state; today these barrens shade less than 10% of Wisconsin's red earth. When you read the words "for the protection of Wisconsin's ecological heritage", this is what those words mean.

Flying over Wisconsin, the landscape looks like the grid work of Sol Lewitt. Preserved forest lands like Quincy Bluff are a welcome nuance in this design of rigid rows.

At ground level you are lured into a thicket of stately oaks by a sun dappled footpath. Where this trail lacks in inspiring vistas, it makes up the difference in wide understory views of forest life. This is either a place to clear the mind or for pensive meditation.

You will gradually ascend the bluff at a slow and meandering pace that disguises your elevation. Just before cresting you will pass through a notch in the granite spine of Quincy Bluff and just as gradually descend towards thick wetlands. The trail skirts these wetlands, ascends the bluff again, and gently lowers you back to complete the loop through a towering white pine forest.

While you are free to roam the broad expanse of this state natural area, there is not an established trail following the ridgeline; the absence of which is striking considering the opportunity lost.  The Nature Conservancy has erred in failing to present Wisconsin's outdoors enthusiasts with a premium hiking experience at Quincy Bluff.

Nonetheless, this short and easy hike is an hour in the outdoors that is worth finding your way to; if not for magazine cover photography, then just for getting away from it all.


Quincy Bluff - Friendship Wisconsin
Quincy Bluff - Friendship Wisconsin



Directions and Trail Map




Address for your GPS: 2674 16th Dr Friendship, WI 53934 | coordinates: 43.867390, -89.887961 |

From Wisconsin Dells30 Minutes
From Milwaukee2.5 Hours
From Madison1.5 Hours
From Green Bay2.5 Hours
From Wausau2 Hours
From Minneapolis3.5 Hours
From Chicago3.5 Hours



Photos


Quincy Bluff - Friendship Wisconsin
Quincy Bluff - Friendship Wisconsin

Quincy Bluff - Friendship Wisconsin
Quincy Bluff - Friendship Wisconsin

Quincy Bluff - Friendship Wisconsin
Quincy Bluff - Friendship Wisconsin







1 comment:

  1. If I am not mistaken, the bluff is covered with trails, but they are all blocked due to a fire. I went to the bluff about 4 or 5 summers ago after I read about it in "Hiking Wisconsin". The book describes trails that go to the top of the bluff, but one can see that there was a fire years ago that toppled branches everywhere making it dangerous to climb around.

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