You can only imagine how excited I was to wake up to sun and 40 degree weather on the day of my second group hike with Women Hiking Wisconsin at the Richard Bong State Recreation Area in Kansasville. Having giggled at the freeway marker for this site many times while driving south on I-94, I was pumped to actually see whether I would feel high on life… or maybe get baked from the sun… okay, okay, I was pumped to see how this area would measure up in person.
I’ve had the pleasure of visiting Wisconsin’s southernmost counties a few times recently, and it was great to spend some time exploring the western part of Kenosha County. The Richard Bong State Recreation Area is surprisingly diverse, and contains stretches of prairie as well as forested areas and a few ponds. There are nine major trails around the park at varying lengths, and we opted for the Blue Trail, which is a 4.2 mile loop. We learned that this area is sometimes open to hunters – pheasant hunting was allowed on the day we visited – so be sure to wear blaze orange or other bright colors if you plan to visit during hunting season (I don’t own anything bright, but thankfully a few of my fellow hikers did).
About 25 women showed up for this event, coming from as far north as Cedarburg and as far south as Rockford, Illinois! It is always fun to hike with so many women, each of whom has a different story about how they got into hiking and how spending time outside has changed their life. I’ve had so many amazing conversations on the trails! Personally, I find that hiking reminds me to focus on moving forward in life, but not so quickly that I don’t forget to stop and smell the flowers (or snap a few pictures for Instagram). Basically, it helps provide a literal translation of all those philosophical nature metaphors we know and love.
I snapped a bunch of pictures along the trail; be sure to keep scrolling to see my attempts to capture the beauty of this Wisconsin gem! What park in Kenosha County should I visit next? Let me know in the comments below!