Take this .3 mile hike to gain the most amazing view of the surrounding landscape in the middle of Wisconsin. You’ll have a panoramic scene of cranberry bogs, forest, and prairie. It’s simply amazing and worth the intense climb.
Distance: .3 miles
Level: Moderate (all stairs)
Time to Go: Spring-Fall, trail is not maintained during winter months.
Dog Friendly: No dogs allowed on this trail, but dogs are welcome on the other trails in the park and in the campground.
Fees: Daily Park Fee with WI plates is $8, with out of state plates it’s $11.
Location: 1767 Hwy 13, Friendship WI, 53934
Vehicle Access: After you’ve purchased your fee ticket at the ranger station at the park entrance and grabbed your map. It’s time to get your hiking shoes on. The park has a very convenient, one-way road that loops the park. Along the loop you’ll come to a parking area with a kiosk, informational boards, volleyball net and pavilion. Park here for the easiest access to the staircase.
Acorn Trail Access: Acorn Trail loops the whole park as well. This trail is about 3.5 miles in length. The Mound trail branches off on both the west and east side of the park and leads to the staircase that will bring hikers to the mound’s peak.
What is Roche-A-Cri?
Roche-A-Cri is translated as “crevice in the rock.” The mound in which the name comes from is a remanent of old sandstone from a glacial lake. This unique mound can be seen from miles away and only becomes more intimidating the closer one gets.
There are 303 steps in total on this trail. Don’t worry, benches and rest stops are available for a rest. The overlooks all along the way are worth a stop to take in the scenery Wisconsin offers.
The Journey Up
I was so focused on getting up the steps that I was missing the journey up to the top. Slow down and take in the sites along the way. The view at the top can wait, it’s not going anywhere.
Hikers must stay on the path. The rock mound is engulfed with forest, a sensitive area of life that clings to it’s hard surface. Check out the trees that seem to be growing right out of the rock with roots fighting to find soil. There are several types of pine and oak trees towering over the flora scattered about the forest floor. Watch for ferns and flowers. We spotted a lovely lady slipper orchid. I have never seen one in the wild before, very exciting.
Reaching the top brings a great sense of relief for hikers. Vast overlooks encompass this area from atop this platform. Interpretive signs give hikers an understanding of the area they are taking in. Watch for vultures soaring in the area, a pair was gliding over the treetops below. It was curious to see them from above rather than below.
There are a few rules to be followed at this destination.
- Open between 6am-Sunset
- No Dogs Allowed
- No Food
- No Drink (with the exception of water)
- Keep to the stairway
Coming down is a great opportunity to take in the sites that you missed on the way up. No rush, this area was not too populated and hikers tackling the trek aren’t racing. Take time on your descent to appreciate the landscape, read the interpretive signs posted at the landings.