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Photo courtesy of @nifongnature

8 Hikes, 4 Months, 1 Fun-Filled Winter

Got a case of cabin fever? Beat it with some outdoor fun in Brown County. Pile on the layers and hit the hills to break up the boringness of winter this year. Feel the brisk air in your lungs. Hear the crunch of snow under your feet. Enjoy open vistas and less crowded trails. Brown County is awesome in winter white. Enough said!

Want a great way to experience Brown County’s frosty wonderland? Check out the Mysterious Hills Winter Hike Series! 8 hikes over the course of 4 months will have you trekking through the beautiful Brown County State Park ALL winter long. The coolest part? These hikes go off-trail and off-grid, taking you to mysterious places in the park that you’d never see otherwise! Far from ordinary, you’ll discover new sights and sounds, all while getting some fresh air and exercise.

Pick and choose from the lineup or tackle the whole hiking series! Each trek will explore a different spot and varies in distance. You’ll meet up with fellow hikers at a central gathering location before making your way to the trail head. Then, a park naturalist will guide the group to a hidden destination tucked away in the woods. A little bit of history, wildlife, and nature tidbits included!

Read up on all the top-secret hiking that awaits and discover why winter may in fact be THE best season for some outdoor fun in Brown County! The next few months just got a whole lot more mysterious my friends!

December 21 – Hike to Kelp Village

Kick off the hike series with a trek to a small village that once existed within the park. Search for remnants of Kelp Village and imagine what life was like in the hills of Brown County over 100 years ago. This easy hike is only 1.5 miles, so everyone can get in on the action!

January 1 – First Day Hike: The Vista Voyage

Start the new year off right…with a hike in the State Park! Take a relaxing stroll along a scenic vista loop with fun stations set up along the way. During this easy 2.3-mile jaunt, you’ll take in the views from four legendary vistas and see some cool things at the vendor booths!

January 18 – Hike to the Lake That Never Was

Did you know the state park was supposed to have a third lake? Check it out on this exciting hike! On this two-mile, rugged trek you’ll descend into Hidden Valley as you make your way to the Taylor Hollow dam site. Get ready for a good time…and even a few creek crossings!

February 1 – Winter Dog Hike

There’s no need for Fido to miss out on the fun. Bring your four-legged friend along for a day of scavenger hunt shenanigans! Travel to unique locations to collect codes and rack up points for prizes. A day with the doggo and discovering new spots in the park…it’s a win, win!

February 8 – Boulder in the Tree Hike

See one of the most beautiful places in the park…and a really strange mystery! This rugged, two-mile trek will take you off-grid to a hidden site where you’ll encounter a big boulder perched high in the treetop. How did it get there? No one knows!

February 22 – CCC Ruins/Deserter’s Cave

On this hike, you’ll get to see not one, but two hidden gems! An easy roadway stroll will take you to the ruins of an old Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camp area. Then, things will get a bit more tough as you trek off-trail to the cool Deserter’s Cave. Altogether, only two miles in distance!

March 14 – Curious Quarry Hike

Somewhere in the State Park a quarry is hiding. See it on this fun, four-mile walk in the woods! From hiking and horse trails to no trail at all, this adventure will have you chasing after your curiosity. Be ready, it will be a rough and sloppy ride!

March 28 – 10 O’ Clock Line Nature Preserve Hike

Explore the largest nature preserve in the state on this 2.5-mile, moderate trek. A fire trail and horse trail will take you to the 10 O’ Clock Line. This mysterious preserve has quite the unique story to tell, so don’t miss out on the final hike of the series.