The Lapham Peak has area around 1,000 acres and has numerous hiking, mountain bike and groomed cross-country ski trails. In the spring, the white and bur oak savannas teem with native woodland wildflowers like Dutchman’s breeches, toothwort, columbine, Jacob’s ladder and wild geranium. The this Peak area was formed 10,000 years ago by a glacier. Summer grassland flowers include prairie dock, rattlesnake master, cup plant, common evening and pale Indian primrose, lupine and purple coneflower. The restored lowland often offers a haven for a variety of butterflies and is lined with eastern bluebird boxes. Wild turkey and pileated woodpecker live among white oaks more than 100 years old. After entering the Lapham Peak Unit the segment comes to a spur trail that leads down into a kettle with a nice pond where, the Trail arrives at a point of junction of trails (WK9). There are 3 easy trails in Kettle Moraine State Forest Lapham Peak Unit ranging from 1.6 to 7.9 miles and from 954 to 1,233 feet above sea level.
Trails of Lapham Peak:
Hike of The Lapham Peak Segment starts by heading east on the Glacial Drumlin State Trail, a multi-use paved rail-trail that spans 52.0 miles between Cottage Grove to the west and Waukesha to the east. This segment departs from the Glacial Drumlin State Trail after 2.0 miles, crosses (WK10) busy STH-18 making its way northeast near Scuppernong Creek, eventually following the west bank of an ancient glacial meltwater spillway (river) that once carried water from the east side of the Kettle Moraine to the west. Now this segment gets into the Lapham Peak Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest. The unit is named after conservationist and geographer Increase Lapham, who spent his lifetime researching and documenting regional geography, botany, biology, conservation, forestry, geology and archeology. Lapham’s work in meteorology led to the creation of the United States National Weather Service and modern weather forecasts.
The Trail thrashes out at a point where there is a junction of trails (WK9). Paths lead to various directions creating popular loops for walkers and cross-country skiers.
Atop it is a 45-foot observation tower (WK26) that offers 360-degree views. To the north are views of Hartland, Holy Hill and Kettle Moraine ridges.
The Trail intersects (WK30) with another short spur trail that leads to a backcountry campsite with a table and a privy. Continuing on, the segment makes its way east to CTH-C (Kettle Moraine Drive) passing a small pond with an observation deck on the way. In the west of CTH-C the segment passes another pond and begins to weave through the Lapham Peak Unit’s Prairie Path as it heads toward Cushing Park Road. The Trail offers some nice long views of the prairies and surrounding areas. Less than half a mile from the segment’s endpoint a spur trail (WK8) leads to Nemahbin Springs, home to a flourishing frog population and many aquatic plants.
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