Last weekend we visited the Ottawa Lake Recreational Area in Dousman - in the Kettle Moraine Southern Unit. Dad was looking for somewhere new to swim in open water and we were looking to explore. The park seemed pretty quiet, but the parking lot soon got pretty busy with kayakers and fisherman. We played around at the beach while he swam. Then we did a short two mile run along the beach and through the campground. The beach was nice and smaller, with some friendly geese in the water and cranes playing with us at the park. There were two decent playgrounds nearby and dozens of picnic tables. The campgrounds were nice and a good mixture of spots along the waterfront and in the woods. There was a nice ampitheater along the water as well.
After we were done with our run, we drove across the parking lot to the Scuppernong Springs Nature Trail. We saw another family venture out with their stroller. When we pulled out our jogging stroller, I asked a family that just finished their hike if the trail was suitable for strollers. When they told me that it wasn't, we decided to venture out with the toddler on foot and my fanny pack.
It appeared that the trail branched off immediately into a wetland adventure and then through the forest. We took a ten minute hike to through the wetlands until we decided that it was too wet and muddy for the toddler that day. It was beautiful though and we loved the meandering boardwalk.
We then headed through the woods and quickly realized that there were site markers for various points of interest. I looked up the trail's nature guide on my phone. We learned a bit about the area, springs and ruins on our hike. We met two fisherman on the bridge who shared some information about trout fishing and the creek. There were several families, friendly couples and hikers exploring the nature trail on the beautiful afternoon that we visited. The parking lot was full.
We hiked about an hour, before we decided that we needed to head back to the van for some snacks. We could have explored for the entire afternoon otherwise. It looks like there was a lot more to see on this 1.5 mile loop. We can't wait to go back with our older kids sometime. They like having unique sites and historical markers along our hikes. Mosquitoes luckily weren't a problem in early June this year.