Tag Archives: Hiking

First Hike of the 2015 Season – Aldo Leopold Nature Center in Black Earth

–submitted by Dawn Crim; photography by Karl Gutknecht

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On Saturday the Hiking Fellowship Group enjoyed its first hike of the season organized by Rotarian Karl Gutknecht with Bob Miller,  President and Executive director of the Aldo Leopold Nature Center, and board member and Rotarian Deb Gilpin on hand at the Black Earth location. What a wonderful way for over 25 Rotarians and friends and two dogs to welcome spring! Bob provided background on the 38 acre site in front of the Leopold Lodge that can be rented for camping trips, meetings,etc. An excellent location for our group photo too.

Aldo Leopold 5

The site has wonderful hiking trails. We hiked the first loop, about 1.5 miles consisting of mature woods, and rocky outcroppings. This path had somewhat steep terrain that took us high in the treetops before winding down into the valley. Once at the bottom, Bob shared stories of several scouting troops who rent out the site to test for hiking badges and other camping adventures.  We embarked on the second loop which was about 1 mile. This path was not as steep as the first and had a fire pit and council ring at the top.

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Our hike concluded with a picnic lunch on the wooded deck of the Alexander Studio. The studio has high cathedral ceilings, a center stage and originally served as a rebirthing center in the early 1970’s.

It was a beautiful day and great location to kick off the hiking season. Bob invited us all to visit the Monona Aldo Leopold Nature Center later this summer.

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Hiking the Snowy Trails at New Glarus State Park

–submitted by Andrea Kaminski; photos by Herman Baumann


The Rotary Hiking Fellowship enjoyed the snow at New Glarus Woods State Park on Sunday, November 16. We met near the picnic shelter, where a friendly park ranger made sure we all had daily or annual state park passes on our cars. He was very proud of his park, and he stopped to take a photo of the group before we headed off on the Havenridge Trail.

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Equipped with printed park maps and multiple GPS devices, the consensus of the team was to simply follow the loop. According to Jeff Tews’ Fitbit, we hiked 4.3 miles and climbed the equivalent of 50 flights of stairs. After the trek, six of us went into New Glarus for a warm and tasty lunch at Kristi’s Bistro Cafe.

Autumn Hike at Louis’ Bluff on October 18, 2014

–submitted by Katie Ryan; photos by Herman Baumann, Karl Gutknecht & Susan Hunt

Group Photo

On Saturday, October 18, the Rotary Special Events Fellowship Group, Hiking Fellowship Group and Big Wheels Bicycling Fellowship Group and guests were invited to Frank and Mariana Weinhold’s beautiful 135-acre property, Louis’ Bluff.  The farm was settled in 1847 and is one of the oldest in Juneau County. It includes 7000 feet of shoreline along the Wisconsin River and a spectacular rocky bluff that provides an incredible view.  The October 8 Rotary speaker photojournalist Mike Kienitz went out to the site, which is about an hour and a quarter’s drive from Madison on the north side of the Wisconsin Dells, and captured the panorama with his camera-fitted drone.

At the N overlook  Photo16  Dells

You can watch his October 11, 2014,  at the you tube video “DRONE IN THE DELLS“. Our hike was on the same sort of glorious, sunny fall day.

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We gathered at the Weinhold’s house for a barbecue lunch and social time before heading out on hikes.  There are flat routes past cultivated fields and through the oak and pine woods to the beaches and a steep climb up the rocky limestone bluffs.  Most of the group of thirty headed up to the top.  There’s an overlook to the north that juts out into the Wisconsin River and provides a stunning view of the formations caused by glacial outwash. The entire property is a private conservation area, and although you see some evidence of civilization, you’d never guess you were down the road from the amusements of the Dells. There is a reminder of the tourism history however, a 1954 cedar-log replica of the Fort Winnebago blockhouse from the Fort Dells amusement park relocated at Louis’ Bluff. It was dedicated in a traditional Ho-Chunk ceremony and there are headdresses from the Bear Clan on display inside.

Native Am flute_ N overlookBesides geological interest, the entire area is sacred to the Ho-Chunk nation.  Melanie Tallmadge Sainz (left), a member of the Ho-Chunk nation whose family has a long history at the site, accompanied the hikers.  At the top she explained the Native American significance of the area and played a beautiful melody on a cedar flute.  She is director of the Little Eagle Arts Foundation.   Another special viewing was an active eagle’s nest on the Weinhold’s bluff. The group reconvened at the house for pie and ice cream.  The Weinholds opened their house, ice house, shed, beach-side gazebo and a cemetery for exploration.  It was a spectacular fall day and a great excursion for the Rotary hiking fellowship.

Fonders  Frank  Photo12

Our thanks to Frank and Mariana Weinhold for their gracious hospitality and to Petie Rudy and Leigh Richardson of the Special Events Fellowship Group for organizing this event.

Rotary Hiking Fellowship Outing at Blue Mound State Park

–submitted by Bob Graebner; photos by Ken Yuska

"Bumps on a Log"

“Bumps on a Log”

On Saturday, April 26, members and guests of the Hiking Fellowship summited Blue Mound in perfect climbing conditions.   This was the loftiest altitude ever achieved during a Hiking Fellowship event!  The participants were properly acclimated and conditioned for the ascent.   We were accompanied by Dan Dieck’s beautiful German Shorthair (pictured below), the latter failing to point even a single pheasant. The hike was followed by a high-energy meal at Sjolind’s Chocolate House in Mt. Horeb.

Dan Dieck and Sassy - Version 2  DSC_0392

Dan will be coordinating a summer hike on the Ice Age Trail and Karl Gutknecht  a late summer/early fall event at the Aldo Leopold Headquarters.   Virginia Bartelt will coordinate a Thursday evening hike during the summer.  All of these dates are to be determined by the respective coordinators.   Stay tuned for more information.

Arboretum Hike on November 16

–submitted by Andrea Kaminski; photo by  Rob Stroud


Pictured above from left: Frank Stein, Andrea Kaminski, Janet Piraino, Mary Stroud, Stan Kitson, Bob Graebner, Ginny Yuska, Wendy Wink & Ken Yuska

Eight Rotarians and guests donned foul weather gear for a hiking fellowship trek through the UW Arboretum on November 16. While the weather was iffy, the group was determined to get in a hike before the Badgers game. Armed with trail maps and good conversation, the group walked just under three miles according to one hiker with a mileage app on her cell phone. As we departed the woods before returning to the visitor center, we encountered a gaggle of 13 wild turkeys who seemed blissfully unaware that Thanksgiving was right around the corner.

Rotary Hikers on the Autumn Trails of Indian Lake Park September 28

Indian Lake Sept 2013 2

–article submitted by Becky Steinhoff; photo credit to Stan Kitson

The Rotary Hiking Group met on Saturday morning at Indian Lake Park for a fall hike totaling about 6 miles.  The group of 16 Rotarians and spouses could not have asked for better weather! The sun was shining and a nice breeze was blowing to keep us cool as we hiked.  Our group first hiked the shorter loop around the lake looking at the beautiful fall grasses and prairie.  After reconvening in the parking lot, a few left to tend to other weekend tasks while the rest of us headed up the hill to the German chapel built in 1897.  The views from the top were idyllic Wisconsin landscapes made even more special by the immerging fall colors.  Interested in joining our fellowship group?  Contact the Rotary office about future hikes.