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Woodland trail at Pike Lake State Park

Photo Essay: Hiking Pike Lake State Park in Autumnal Glory!

4:46 pm  |  Topics: Places


By Eddee Daniel

It seemed a bit on the gloomy side when I arrived at Pike Lake that morning. I like an overcast day to bring out the saturated colors in the foliage, but this was perhaps too much of a good thing. But, as it turned out…, well you be the judge. I think the photos that did turn out look pretty good.

An overcast day does bring out the saturated colors–and there were plenty!

I was invited to join The Waukesha Hiking Friends, a group that has been hiking and biking together for about ten years, I was told. Twenty-seven people (and three dogs) showed up for this one. Someone said it was the largest group since before the pandemic. We divided into three groups: Five-milers, three-milers, and a slower group.

We all started out together at first and I tried to keep up with the five-milers as long as I could, which was until we got to the Powder Hill Tower. After that, they went on ahead and I stuck with the three-miler group the rest of the way. We completed the three-mile loop in a little under two hours, which kept me on my toes. I didn’t dawdle as much as I’m used to when taking photos!

The five-miler group sets a steady pace from the start
The five-miler group sets a steady pace from the start
The view from the Powder Hill Tower looking out towards Pike Lake.
The view from the Powder Hill Tower looking out towards Pike Lake.
The view from the tower looking down at a maple tree in mid-transition to autumn colors.
The view from the tower looking down at a maple tree in mid-transition to autumn colors.
A mammoth tree supporting a stick fort along the trail.
A mammoth tree supporting a stick fort along the trail.
Hiker Mike takes a stab at climbing.
Hiker Mike takes a stab at climbing.
A rock cairn seen along the trail.
A rock cairn seen along the trail.
Looking down from a switchback on the trail below.
Looking down from a switchback on the trail below.
Finding a kettle in the Kettle Moraine State Forest!
Finding a kettle in the Kettle Moraine State Forest!
A great blue heron hunting along the shore of Pike Lake.
A great blue heron hunting along the shore of Pike Lake.

The Pike Lake Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest where this photo essay takes place is just one of over 130 parks and preserves throughout Southeastern Wisconsin that you can find on A Wealth of Nature’s Find-a-Park map.

Eddee Daniel is a board member of Preserve Our Parks and leads hikes of his own as Project Director of A Wealth of Nature. Check it out on the Hike With Us page of the website.