Blue Mound State Park
|Blue Mound State Park|
The East Observation Tower on the Blue Mound
|Location||Iowa and Dane, Wisconsin, United States|
|Area||1,153 acres (4.67 km2)|
|Governing body||Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources|
|Website||Blue Mound State Park|
Blue Mound State Park is a state park of Wisconsin, USA, located atop the largest hill in the southern half of the state, near the village of Blue Mounds. The 1,153-acre (467 ha) park features a pair of observation towers affording views of the Wisconsin River valley and Baraboo Range to the north, the mounds, buttes, and rolling forests of the Driftless Area to the south and west, and the young glacial plains and city of Madison to the east.
West Blue Mound (elev. 1,716 ft (523 m)), the park's namesake, rises approximately 450 feet (140 m) above the Military Ridge. However, when viewed from several miles to the north or south, the apparent local relief becomes more like 600 to 950 feet (180 to 290 m). The mountain, as most of the other large mounds of the Driftless Area, is an outlier of Niagara dolomitic limestone. It is a monadnock, having been created through centuries of erosion, with the harder dolomite being more weather-resistant than the other surrounding rock of the region.
Activities and amenities
The park contains a large open field, a swimming pool (the only one in a Wisconsin state park), shelters, campsites, and many miles of trails for hiking, biking, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. There is a nature center by the picnic area with natural history exhibits. Naturalists offer programs in the summer. The Military Ridge State Trail, which follows the natural east-west contour of the ridgeline from Fitchburg to Dodgeville, abuts on the southern edge of the park.
The park is used as the finish line for the Horribly Hilly Hundreds bicycle challenge ride. In Chicago's bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics, the park would have contained the finish line for the road cycling race.
Friends of Blue Mounds State Park
A volunteer group, the Friends of Blue Mounds State Park, is a group of volunteers working to benefit the park by enhancing and preserving its natural resources, while offering activities and projects that improve the park guests' visits. The Friends play a key role in many special events, including the annual Candlelight Ski, annual campout, trail construction and interpretive presentations.
Landmarks/places of interest at Blue Mounds
- East viewing tower
- West viewing tower
- Pleasure Valley
- Picnic area (at the top of the Hill and the top of several hiking trails)
- Pool and splash pad (summer only)
- Indian Tree Marker
- "Blue Mound State Park: Activities and recreation". Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. July 19, 2013. Retrieved September 2, 2013.
- Horribly Hilly Hundreds
- "Chicago 2016 bid features 'Horribly Hilly' cycling". Associated Press. 2009-06-25. Retrieved 2016-08-08.
- Blue Mound State Park Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources