–submitted by Leigh Richardson; photos by Jeff Tews
“Embarking on the back road journey 2 miles north of Cross Plains, members of the Rotary Hiking Fellowship had no idea this pristine gem awaited. Towering forests, chin-high rainbows of prairie flowers, and the grand finale– a shelter perched overlooking the driftless region. A view to rival Blue Mounds State Park.
At the bi-section of the Table Bluff Segment of the Ice Age Trail lies the 460-acre “Swamplovers Nature Preserve.” Even our seasoned hikers were unaware of its existence.
When rounding a wooded curve, we even encountered an alligator in a bikini! It elicited frightened gasps until we realized it was merely a lawn statue planted trailside by the lighthearted Swamplovers’ group.
Thank you, hike coordinator, Andrea Kaminski, for sharing this lovely find!”