Hiking the Ice Age Trail Pike Lake Segment



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Ice Age Trail Pike Lake Segment in Hartford WI
Ice Age Trail Pike Lake Segment in Hartford WI

The Pike Lake trail is a is a 2.3 mile segment of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail. It crosses through the extents of the Pike Lake Unit of the Northern Kettle Moraine State Forest. This "unit" (formerly called a state park) is a recreational area with camping, a beach, fishing piers, picnic areas, and lawns for picnic games. The Pike Lake Unit features a few hiking trails in addition to the IAT and a popular trail up Powder Hill to an observation tower.





Ice Age Trail Pike Lake Segment in Hartford WI
Ice Age Trail Pike Lake Segment in Hartford WI


At 1350 feet above mean sea level, Powder Hill, with its lush forest of maples and beach trees pushes out of an agricultural and suburban landscape. The wood decked observation tower on the hill beckons to hikers and outdoorsmen as a challenge to be conquered. On its highest platform wide views of the Kettle Moraine are unimpeded. Views extend to Lowe Lake, The Cedar Lakes, and Holy Hill. The green belt of the Kettle Moraine State Forest is an encouraging sight for long distance hikers marching north into the Kettle Moraine.

I have always seen Pike Lake as a gateway to the Northern Kettle Moraine; However, the title might properly belong to Lowe Lake. Dundee is the heart of the Northern Kettle Moraine, and Pike Lake is connected to Dundee via a line of preserved and managed forests that is visible on satellite  maps.

At ground level the changes in the Ice Age Trail are noticeable at Pike Lake. What begins on the south end as a wide two track mowed pathway gradually becomes more enclosed and diminishes to a single track footpath after crossing Powder Hill Road. At Pike Lake we are also starting to encounter plant life such as trilliums that are more indicative of northern WI.

Pike Lake is a popular state park in the region. It draws a steady stream of visitors and families throughout the year. In early spring the lots are full and the trails are abuzz with the sound of families introducing their children to the great outdoors. It is an easy to access retreat in the greater Milwaukee area - not far from Interstates 41 and 45.

The area between Powder Hill Road and County CC is perhaps the only section of trail where things begin to quiet down. It is in this section that three backpacking campsites are sited. Between them is a small outhouse. Each site includes a picnic table and fire ring. Running water is available nearby at the family campground.



Ice Age Trail Pike Lake Segment in Hartford WI
Ice Age Trail Pike Lake Segment in Hartford WI


Ice Age National Scenic Trail - Segment


COUNTY: Washington
COMMUNITIES: Hartford, Slinger

TOTAL MILES: 2.3 miles linear
DIFFICULTY: Moderate

NEXT IAT SEGMENT EASTBOUND: Slinger Segment
NEXT IAT SEGMENT WESTBOUND: Holy Hill Segment

CAMPING: 3 hikers campsites on trail. Drive in camping located in park along connecting trails.




Directions and Trail Map



If viewing on a mobile device, open the trail map above to load into Google Maps App by touching the expand rectangle in the upper right corner.

Address for your GPS: 3544 Kettle Moraine Rd, Hartford, WI 53027
| coordinates: 43.308173, -88.321916 |

From Milwaukee.5 Hours
From Madison1.5 minutes
From Green Bay1.5 Hours
From Wausau2.5 Hours
From Minneapolis5 Hours
From Chicago2 Hours


Photos



Ice Age Trail Pike Lake Segment in Hartford WI
Ice Age Trail Pike Lake Segment in Hartford WI


Ice Age Trail Pike Lake Segment in Hartford WI
Ice Age Trail Pike Lake Segment in Hartford WI

Backpackers Campsite on the Ice Age Trail Pike Lake Segment in Hartford WI
Backpackers Campsite A on the Ice Age Trail Pike Lake Segment in Hartford WI

Backpackers Campsite on the Ice Age Trail Pike Lake Segment in Hartford WI
Backpackers Campsite  C on the Ice Age Trail Pike Lake Segment in Hartford WI

Backpackers Campsite on the Ice Age Trail Pike Lake Segment in Hartford WI
Backpackers Campsite B on the Ice Age Trail Pike Lake Segment in Hartford WI

Ice Age Trail Pike Lake Segment in Hartford WI
Ice Age Trail Pike Lake Segment in Hartford WI

Ice Age Trail Pike Lake Segment in Hartford WI
Trillium on the Ice Age Trail Pike Lake Segment in Hartford WI

Ice Age Trail Pike Lake Segment in Hartford WI
Powder Hill Tower Ice Age Trail Pike Lake Segment in Hartford WI




Northern Kettle Moraine State Forest

Pike Lake Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest