Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Forest Lake, Mn via Mill Bluff State Park , WS

Aug. 25 driving in my wonderful Honda Element for a trip to Minnesota for a family reunion.  As usual camping in the Element.   I took the gentle country drive on Route 12 by corn fields, cows grazing and typical farm houses.  This is not the quickest but it is the most relaxing and typical Wisconsin rural views.  Then I drove the 90/94 freeway thru Wisconsin to Camp Douglas area...my stop for the night.   

Mill Bluff State Park is fairly close to the freeway but a whole new world of landscape. There are intriguing  unusual, tall bluffs rising abruptly from the flat plain.

Rock pinnacle
Mill Bluff State Park has swimming, camping, and hiking.   Only 21 camp sites nicely shaded and large.   I like the hiking area right by the camp ground.   You just walk across the side road to the trail and it takes you on a wooded path around the bluff for only 1/2 mile. (Lots of mosquitoes) Or take the hundreds of steps to the top of the bluff.  These sandstone bluffs were once islands popping up from a glacial lake during the Ice Age about 12,000 years ago.

A pond with 2.5 acres of clear cool water from underground springs and 250 feet of white sand beach is available for public swimming.  This is my favorite area here.
Mill Bluff beachThe best part was the pond created by a natural spring and is all clean beach sand throughout the pond.    Little minors nibble at your toes which delighted the little kids.   The water was just the right temperature. Close by grass area has tables, benches, shade and a rough changing area.  Mill Bluff camping area also has nice playground and gazebo.    I plan to stop here again when traveling that way.   However may not be for every camper.   Downsize:  no  showers but the clean swimming hole was enough; bring your own water to drinking but a well water pump is available.  Only one site has electricity.  Very quiet except when the trains came thru blowing their whistles across the road.

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