Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Rock Island State Park, WI : Island Exploration Part 1

Welcome back to Rock Island.
Well, we have arrived and settled at the campsite, now what.  Get out there and explore the island.  After all, you are going to be here for a few days.
The perfect place to start is the building that greeted you upon your arrival...The Boathouse.

The boathouse is a sort of gathering place.  It has information regarding the wealthy inventor and his family that built the beautiful buildings that grace the island. The furniture from their time is also still housed in the boathouse for you to look at. On rainy days, you can find people reading, playing games, or just chit chatting here. 

After you take all of that in, I highly recommend taking the hike around the island on the Thordarson loop Trail.  We always pack a light lunch to eat part way into our hike.  Remember, Rock Island hungry.   As you venture out make sure to take notice of the "bowling ball of the gods" as we have deemed it.

And a quick stop at the shelter.

 Then you can begin your climb past the rangers house.

This is the only building that has electric on the property.   While this hill is steep and seems to be never ending, there is a nice spot for a rest awaiting you at the top.

While you are there, take some time out to add your name to the carving board.
After your mark has been left, continue on your journey to the next stop.  You will come across a "fork" in the road.
As tempted as you maybe to follow it to the lighthouse, take some time and go the left.  Walk down the path and you will find some steps that lead to where an old home stood.

After you have soaked up the scenery from the shore and the remnants of the old house.  Go back to the sign to head towards the lighthouse.

As the little sign notes, this was Wisconsin's first lighthouse.  Every year volunteers take time to live in the lighthouse and give tour's to the visitors.  Not to shabbie of a job if you ask me.  Since they were always so courteous, let me give you a sneak peek inside.

Good thing he brought his binoculars or he would never see the ships coming in.  Close to the lighthouse there will be a set of stairs leading down the beach.  Since this is a lighthouse, you know you are on the high side.  If you feel up to it, go explore the beach area below the lighthouse.

After all those steps, the walk to the lighthouse, and the tour of the lighthouse, it is time for everyone to take moment and grab some trail snacks and rehydrate.  So grab a seat...and we will be back tomorrow for part 2 of the Island Exploration.

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