Essentially an island of woods nestled into a large prairie, Nerstrand Big Woods State Park is a site to see! There are about 11 miles of hiking trails here to explore. According to the DNR website, Nerstrand Big Woods State Park is comprised of two, nearly horizontal, layers: a layer of glacial drift about 150 feet thick overlying a layer of Platteville Limestone. The limestone is visible only where the drift has been eroded away at Hidden Falls and along Prairie Creek. The limestone cliffs at Hidden Falls are really neat!
From the parking area, head down the Hidden Falls trail. This is one of the best parts of the park so I would head there first! The water below the falls is pretty shallow so you could always take your shoes off and go for a dip! If you want to just do a short loop, the Hidden Falls trail is about a one mile loop back to the parking lot.
We went from the Hidden Falls trail, along part of the Beaver trail to pick up the White Oak trail which looped us back to the parking area. This park is great for hiking because every trail loops you back to another trail or to the parking area. Next time I go, I want to go all 11 miles!
Keep an eye out for pretty wildflowers!
You may even see some art happening!
Tell me more, tell me more!
Difficulty? I would rank the difficulty as easy. There aren’t many inclines or tough parts of this hike. You can add on several loops to make the hike longer if you want more of a challenge!
Trail? This is a packed dirt trail so it can get muddy after a rain. Since it’s a state park, it is well maintained. A lot of the trail is wooded so this would be great on a hot day! Shade + waterfall = stay cool!
Map? Here is a link to a map of the trails!
Let me know what other information you might find helpful on these hiking posts so I can add it in next time. Hope you enjoy!