CHANGE OF START TIME TO 8:30 AM, which is an hour earlier than previously planned.
Indian Lake County Park is a beautiful, well maintained Dane County Park that you'll want to return to seasonally. The park features a small lake too walk around and hills to climb and a Chapel partially hidden along a ridge.
We’ll hike the Indian Lake segment of the IATA, a walk of perhaps 2.9 miles. There isa 1/2 mile side trip to St. Mary's Chapel. Meet at the paved main lot on the east end of the lake, off of Sate Highway 19 at 9:30 AM.
There are a number of excellent restaurants in Waunakee. We will choose one for the post walk lunch.
Highlights of the Walk
Indian Lake fills a shallow depression formed by a melting ice block in a broad east-west oriented valley walled by bedrock hills. As the Green Bay Lobe melted, a large river of melt water spread across this valley on its way to the Wisconsin River. The Ho-Chunk people frequented the lake for hunting and fishing before European Americans arrived in the area.
Indian Lake County Park is a popular destination for outdoor activities. Eight miles of cross-country ski and hiking trails lace through the 450-acre park. While the IATA segment overlaps some of the park's ski trails, the ice age trail is clearly marked and not difficult to follow.
From the parking area, a side trail leads about 1/2 mile uphill to St. Mary of the Oaks Chapel (look for signage behind and to the right of the main parking area restrooms). The small stone chapel was built in 1857 by a German immigrant, John Enders, to thank God for sparing his family from a deadly epidemic. An overlook near the chapel offers beautiful views of Indian Lake and the surrounding valley.
Back on the main trail, hikers will enter and travel through an oak and maple woods as the segment climbs up and down steep hills and then briefly follows along the south side of Indian Lake. Leaving the woods, the segment crosses meadows, passes by a marsh and skirts around a dog exercise area before returning to the parking lot above a marsh.
Restaurant: There are a number of restaurants in Waunakee, 10 miles east of Indian Lake on Hwy. 19. We will choose one that can handle a group our size.
Indian Lake County Park, east lot 8183 Hwy 19
Cross Plains, WI 53528 United States + Google Map