Hello! Today's post is for all my travel blogger readers. In THIS POST back in December, I announced that I quit my job and stated I won't be taking any big vacations for awhile, but that we'd be taking more day trips instead, what I'd like to call 'DayCations'. Well February, was our very first day trip. It was a gorgeous, though overcast, 34 degree day (which is considered really warm for a winter temperature here in Wisconsin), so we decided to go hiking at a nearby State Park. Now I had never been hiking in the winter before so I was slightly concerned. My primary concern was will I be warm enough, and my second concern was getting lost in the woods when the trail was covered in snow. The park ranger assured us that although the trails were covered in snow and ice, we wouldn't get lost because there were plenty of above ground signs. I personally didn't find that to be true, there were only signs at the beginning of the trail and maybe two more on the trail itself. What kept us from getting lost were the footprints of the hikers before us, not the signs. As far as warmth, my down filled coat and insulated Kamik Boots kept me plenty warm. With the exception of my face getting hit with a cold breeze when we were off the cliff and walking near the water, I was never cold once on the entire hike.
Perrot State Park is located only about an hour from our house, but we had never been there before. We've lived in this area for seventeen years, and yet have never been to a gorgeous State Park that is only an hour away from our home! However, I think that's typical of most people. When we have a free weekend or a vacation, we tend to drive miles away or jump on a plane, to seek out an exotic, new location instead of enjoying the sites and activities in our own backyards.
The park borders both the Mississippi and Trempealeau Rivers and offers breath-taking views from 500 foot bluffs. Visitors can camp, picnic, hike, cross country ski, boat, canoe, kayak, fish, hunt and trap in the park. It only costs $7.00 for a day pass to the park. There are 12.5 miles of hiking trails in the park. We chose the hiking trail with the steepest climb because my husband wanted to go up to the highest peak. It was only about a mile walk up to the top, but it is quite steep, and we were out of breath several times and had to stop on a bench and rest. It was quite the quad and glutes work-out!
By now we needed a rest stop and sat briefly on a bench to enjoy the view and snap a few photos. Of course I had to get a picture of our snow covered boots!
Hungry Point Bar and Grill. It's actually a house located right on the river that was turned into a bar and restaurant. The prices were unbelievably low, and the atmosphere was your typical run-down diner look, but we loved it. It felt cozy and warm when we stepped inside. By now the sun was starting to come out and it filled the room because there were many windows with views of the river. The walls were covered in wood paneling which really warmed the space up, and there was even a gas fireplace. We ordered burgers and fries, and it was very, very, greasy…made the old fashioned way, but it was delicious. We did chuckle however that when my husband asked for a soda, the waitress just brought him a can and I ordered hot chocolate and it was just dry mix with water. It was a 'Dorothy, your not in Kansas anymore!' moment. However, I would still recommend this restaurant for it's cozy, down-home atmosphere, great prices, old-fashioned food the way mom use to make it, and the spectacular views and outdoor seating.
So what about you? Have you taken any Staycations or DayCations recently? Have you ever gone hiking in winter before? I'd love to hear from you!
Have a great day! Amy