South Central WI Hiking

Hiking Ableman’s Gorge

Ableman's Gorge
Hiking Ableman’s Gorge Wisconsin State Natural Area:

Hiking Ableman’s Gorge was going to have to wait until after 2 pm that Sunday.

My day job is a bookkeeper at a grain elevator.  We are just beginning to get busy with harvest, and that means working weekends.  Don’t feel too bad for me, I usually enjoy my job and don’t mind working when it’s busy.  That is not to say I wouldn’t instead be hiking.

When I got out of work we hit the road; I am always excited for a new hiking destination.

Ableman's Gorge

We drove on Hwy 136E past this beautiful quartzite rock wall.  Sometimes I forget how lucky I am to live in such a beautiful place.  Until I drive by something so unique and then I am reminded to be thankful.

We found a spot to park and got our boots on the trail.  After about 10 feet we were faced with a decision to go left or right.  We went right, don’t go right.

trail in Ableman's Gorge

We hadn’t noticed while driving by; the trail was right next to the Hwy.

Not the sort of hiking I had been dreaming of while at work.  At least I was outdoors with my family.

trail in the woods

Then the trail tucked into the woods and the day just got better from there.

Ableman's Gorge bomb shelter

It wasn’t long, and we came to the first exciting find — the remains of an old blast shelter from a former quarrying operation.

inside the bomb shelter

I am impressed with how well it has held up over the years.

It’s amazing the things you can see for the price of a State Park Sticker.

van hise rock
We hiked to the Van Hise Rock:

It makes me sad – the need to write”please do not deface” on this on the tablet.  I am disheartened by the defacement that has happened to the tablet.  You don’t have to hike to see the Van Hise Rock; it is right next to the highway.  Perhaps that is part of the problem.

cliff with cave

On the way back we made sure to take the other path.

I am so glad that we took the other path.

It follows along the sandstone – quartzite – conglomerate bluff that is amazing.

trail side bench

By taking this other trail that is only a few feet away, it was a completely different hike — lots of trees, cliffs, and even a lovely bench.

Ableman's Gorge Cliff

When we came to a clearing, the sun was beginning to set.  It was shining off the side of the quartzite cliff making the colors of the cliff light up.

bomb shelter

Just before the trail joins back up, we found another blast shelter.

We had a great time hiking at Ableman’s Gorge.  I highly recommend this hike, make sure to take the trail closest to the cliffs.

External links:



Map & Directions to Natural Area

When spending time outdoors always be respectful of nature, use common sense and please follow any posted rules.

Always give more than you take and leave no trace. 

Thank you for reading!  Have a great day!!

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