It’s important to rest—to stop working for a while and to do something different, something enjoyable. In Remembering to Rest, I talked about Wildcat mountain, a favorite place to go in the fall to unwind a bit after a summer of hard work in the garden. Once the work gets to that magic point where it’s possible to take a little break, reflecting on the summer is a good way to get ready for the rigors of winter. This year I went to Wildcat mountain a little later than usual because the weather has been warmer than normal and it takes me a bit longer now to get to that magic resting point.
Of course, my first stop after my picnic lunch is observation point. I went to Wildcat Mountain on a Tuesday, so I more or less had the park to myself. Yes, there were other people, but we all seemed to sense the need to respect each others’ privacy. I did ask one young lady to take my picture at observation point. As you can see, the fall colors are past their peak, but it’s still a beautiful view.
I took my Old Settler’s Trail hike. It’s a 2.5 mile trail that I’m sure some people would consider a bit mundane, but I find it plenty exciting and more than a little exercise. The 1.5 to 2 hour hiking time only counts if you’re in shape and I definitely don’t recommend the trail if you have a fear of heights or any problems whatsoever walking. I finished the trail in one hour and 43 minutes this time—not my best time, but I took extra care because I was alone on the trail. Of course, the first thing you see on this trail are the steps down. I took this picture looking back up the steps once I got to the bottom.
Most of the hike is on uneven ground, but the trail is clearly visible. Staying on the trail is a good idea because you don’t really know what you’ll encounter otherwise. I saw quite a bit of wildlife, including a beautiful buck who refused to allow me to take his picture. One of my favorite places along the trail is the foot bridge over a creek. It’s a nice place to take a few moments to rest and just enjoy the gorgeous scenery.
The trail does provide resting points. You do need to climb up to them. However, they do provide wonderful views of the countryside while you rest.
For me, the highlight of the hike is Taylor Hollow Overlook. The view isn’t quite as amazing as those provided by some other Wisconsin parks, but you really can see quite a distance and when the colors are just right, the patchwork is really quite colorful. By this point in the hike, a lot of people are starting to get a bit tuckered out, so this particular bench doesn’t require any climbing. You can just sit and enjoy the view.
It’s at this point where you might want to turn around if you suffer from any vertigo at all. The trail becomes steep and there are no handholds to speak of. The drop would likely result in broken bones or other injury. The point is that you want to take care to traverse this part of the trail with great care.
It isn’t long after you get past this part of the trail that you loop around and rejoin the trail you originally used to get down the steps shown in the first picture. This time you go up the steps. By the time you’re finished, you’ll likely be a bit out of breath and will definitely know you’ve had a workout. Still, what a place to workout! Let me know if you’ve ever been to Wildcat Mountain at John@JohnMuellerBooks.com.