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Blue Mound State Park

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General Information

Description - Located 25 miles west of Madison in the driftless area, and towering 1,716 feet above sea level, Blue Mound State Park is a premier outdoor destination geared for families.

As a result of its appearance from a far, the Winnebago Indians called the scenic mound "Weehaukaja" meaning place with a wonderful view. What does the park have in common with Niagara Falls? The chert cap hidden beneath tree cover at the top of Blue Mound is the same age as the rock over which Niagara Falls plummets some 700 miles away. Both are part of an extensive bed of rock that developed over 400 million years ago under Silurian seas. Native Americans throughout the Midwest and parts of the South as far away as Virginia used chert. The sharp-edged stone had a two-fold purpose: tools and fire starter. Settlers referred to the rock as flintlock. Chert boulders are still visible in the park today. Noticeable in the chert are small veins of quartz crystals that were a result of the silica-rich water moving over rock dolomite. Another geologic presence at Blue Mound is the tannish-gray clays formed by deteriorating shale layers that rest just below the soil. These clays are most evident below bridges where erosion has occurred. Rocks in the park tell of an iron oxide and magnesium oxide presence evidenced by bands of red, orange, yellow, brown and black veins.

Natural areas of the park are preserved for an array of wildlife. Developed areas include modern overnight and day use facilities, easy trail access, observation towers, nature center and park office. Blue Mound State Park opened in 1959.

Attractions - Blue Mound State Park is known for its great biking, nature programs, scenic views, large swimming pool, great picnic facilities, variety of hiking trails, and enjoyable campground.

The state park features 78 mostly shaded campsites with modern bathhouse facilities, electric hookups, basketball court and children's playground equipment. The campground is open all year affording enjoyment for the winter sport enthusiast. Handicapped sites are available. Camping reservations are available online or by calling a toll-free reservation number. Contact information is listed below. There is also a rustic cabin designed for people with disabilities. Two 40-foot observation towers provide spectacular views from Southern Wisconsin's highest peak. The park's nature center displays wildlife and geologic wonders of the park while offering informative nature programs. A visitor station is the place to acquaint oneself of the park offerings. The large heated swimming facility is just a short walk from the campground entrance offering swimming areas for all ages and abilities. The amphitheater is also within walking distance from the campground. Picnic facilities rest atop the flat mound and are geared to large families. Modern restrooms, over-sized grills, and plenty day sports are present including immediate access to a network of trails. Bicyclists will find several mountain bike trails and plenty of smooth park roadways great for family outings.

Trails range from moderate to difficult. Most trailheads are located atop the flat mound day use area.
Flintlock Nature Trail - An estimated 16 interpretive stops identifying geologic features.
East Tower Trail - Steep descent from observation tower to swimming pool.
Pleasure Valley Trail - Gentle walk through mixed hardwoods beginning at pool parking area.
Military Ridge State Trail - (See Wildernet's State Trail Description) - A 39.6-mile state rail-trail passing through the park's southern boundary. The trail is for hikers, bicyclists, snowmobilers and cross-country skiers.

Minutes away from Blue Mound State Park are interesting destinations including: Mt. Horeb, an arts, crafts, and antiquity locale; Cave of the Mounds, one of the Midwest's most significant cave sites with guided cave tours available mid-March thru mid-November; Song of Norway, an outdoor performance at the Cave of the Mounds; Little Norway, 1850s Norwegian immigrant village open May thru October; and Wisconsin Folk Museum, exhibits of regional folk art.

Recreation - Family-oriented outdoor activities prevail at Blue Mound State Park. A large 78-site campground with modern facilities and plenty of playground equipped is offered. A large day use area attracts family reunions that enjoy grilling and playing field sports. Trails spiral off the day use area affording bountiful sights and sounds. Several observation towers and a nature center educate the public about their natural surroundings. Mountain bikers enjoy several trails while snowshoers and cross-country skiers ply the winter ground. Winter camping is available. Lastly, a summertime heated pool and amphitheater are only 0.4-mile from the campground entrance.

Climate - Southwest Wisconsin has four distinct seasons with warm summers and long winters. January's average temperature is above 16 degrees F (-9 degrees C). Average July temperature is 85 degrees F (29 degrees C). During summer, temperatures can climb to above 90 degrees F (32 degrees C). The area's average yearly precipitation ranges from 32-34". Annual snowfalls in the Southwest Region can range from 20 - 40". Dressing in layers is a good way to remain comfortable in Wisconsin.

Location - Blue Mound State Park is located in western Dane County in Southwest Wisconsin just north of U.S. Highway 18-151. From the village of Blue Mounds take Mounds Park Road north to the state park entrance.

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More Information

Contact Information:
Blue Mound State Park, 4350 Mounds Park Road, Box 98 , Blue Mounds, WI, 53517-0098, Phone: 608-437-5711

Additional Information:
Southwest Wisconsin - Southwestern Wisconsin is well known for the Norwegian descendants that farm the region and maintain many Scandinavian traditions.
Wisconsin State Parks, Forests, Recreation Areas & Trails - Wisconsin showcases 86 state park system properties offering visitors an opportunity to hike, camp, swim, fish, and simply relax.

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources - Official agency website.


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