Photo essay: New Year’s Day at Lapham Peak
January 2, 2020 | Topics: Events
By Eddee Daniel
If anyone were to question how important local parks are to the people in our area I would invite them to head out to Lapham Peak on New Year’s Day. The first clue was the most apparent one: the line of cars waiting to enter the park—which requires the purchase of either a day pass or a new 2020 annual sticker—stretched for about a mile in each direction down Highway C from the entrance. I waited in that line for over 20 minutes—and I had purchased my sticker in advance! Silly me, thinking I’d be able to skip the line for purchases. I’ve never seen a line longer than four or five cars.
Many of them, like me, were there for a special event: The First Day Hike sponsored by the Waukesha/Milwaukee Chapter of the Ice Age Trail Alliance (IATA). The National Ice Age Scenic Trail, of course, runs right through Lapham Peak. Volunteers with the IATA were on hand to lead guided tours along portions of the Trail, as well as other trails in the park. I’m told that 228 people officially signed in for hikes, which doesn’t count the many who skipped the sign up and simply went for a hike.
What I didn’t know beforehand was that there was another event going on concurrently in a whole different section of the park: Family Ski Day. This event was organized by the Friends of Lapham Peak Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest. After hiking the Ice Age Trail wore me out I stopped at the Evergreen parking lot near the park entrance. There I was able to get a glimpse of the additional hundreds of people cross country skiing.
It didn’t hurt that Mother Nature had blessed us with the perfect weather for New Year’s Day, including the first fresh snow since November! But the numbers who attended these events at Lapham testify to the importance of close personal contact with nature by people of all ages.
Here is a selection of the photos from the day.
Welcome to 2020!
Eddee Daniel is a board member of Preserve Our Parks and Project Director of A Wealth of Nature.