Five surprising facts about the Kettle Moraine

Published: April 7, 2016

The northern unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest is just a few minutes north of West Bend and it’s a fascinating and beautiful place to explore. The forest is home to the Ice Age National Scenic Trail, hiking trails, lakes ankettlemapd equestrian trails. It’s also a place with a few surprises:

 

25-foot view

Climb the 60-foot Parnell Observation Tower on a clear day, and you can enjoy a panoramic view that stretches all the way to Lake Michigan. The tower is located near the intersection of County Highway A and Kettle View Road on County U.

Camp in a Teepee

At Mauthe Lake you can camp in a canvas reproduction of a Native American plains teepee. The teepee holds up to six people and can be reserved online.

Fish for free

Anglers of all ages may check out basic fishing gear for free through a Tackle Loaner Program. The gear is available through Mauthe Lake and Long Lake recreation areas. Fishing licenses can be purchased from West Bend’s retailers.

Eye of the tiger

On Little Mud Lake, part of a state Habitat Preservation Area, you can find some creatures that many people rarely encounter: tiger salamanders, spotted salamanders, red-spotted salamanders and blue-spotted salamanders.

Take to the hills

The hilly land that makes up the Kettle Moraine State forest was sculpted by retreating glaciers and the forest is filled with striking glacial features. A good example is the “Dundee Kame,” which rises 250 feet from the land below. It was created by glacial till left behind 10,000 years ago by a glacial stream.