• Wis Outdoor Explorer

Rib Mountain Review

Rib Mountain Looking Towards Wausau

One of my favorite things to do in the state is to visit state parks. I think Wisconsin has a lot of great state parks and we are very fortunate to be able to see different parts of the state and what each them have to offer. Because we have so many parks a lot of them are easily accessible to many of us in just a short drive and I am one of those lucky ones that lives within 10 minutes of a State Park. I'm very close to Rib Mountain State park and it's one that I visit numerous times throughout the year when possible. Recently my 3 girls and I decided to take a trip up on top of Rib Mountain.

As many of you know I enjoy hiking. I like getting out, walking around and taking a lot of pictures. A lot of our state parks really do offer some great trails but one of my favorites, not because it's close to me, is Rib Mountain State park. The views on top of the mountain are just spectacular, it doesn't matter what time of year you go. It's really one of those one of those great places you can just sit relax and enjoy a day.

One of the really great things about this state park is the number of trails that they have throughout the park. It's not just the number of trails it's where the trails all go. If you've been other state parks you know how the trails always usually take you to a certain land feature or point of interest. Rib mountain is the same way there are points of interest but in a surprising way they're kind of hidden where you need to take these trails to go see them. The only way you're going to see these features is by walking the trails and our adventure started on the last weekend in October.

Color for late fall was still pretty amazing.

I decided it was a good day to just take a quick hiking trip up to Rib and it was what I felt was probably going to be the last nice day of fall. The color was pretty much gone off all the trees and I was OK with that I still wanted to get up there because it was just such a nice day. You didn't have to bundle up a whole lot and you could still get out there and enjoy hiking.

I printed up the map and gave it to the girls and ask them to pick out a trail. We decided that one of the things that we wanted to see once we got up there was the quarry. Driving up there, you can see that the colors were already off the trees and it wasn't going spectacular colors. But when we got in there we were really surprised the fall foliage underneath the trees was still as brilliant as ever and it was just really a beautiful sight and really something to behold. It was completely unexpected and it was a real surprise for us for our hiking trip to see all this beautiful fall color under the trees.

There are numerous trails along the top of the mountain and there's short trails that go around the observation tower and if you've never been to Rib Mountain State Park you have to go up in the observation deck, the view is just incredible you can see miles upon miles. It's just a spectacular view and if you get the chance you have to go up there and you have to go up and check it out.

We knew we wanted to go see the quarry so we took the red trail and that weaves down around the side of the mountain and hooks up with another trail that hooks up with another trail. When it was all said and done we ended up taking 5 different trails around the quarry area and it was really kind of fun to do because it really kept the kids interested and it kept us looking for markers.

Looking down into the quarry at Rib Mountain State Park.

I want to say this about Rib Mountain State park, For all the different trails that we've been on in state parks, Rib Mountain has some very well marked trails. They're all color coded so you really know where you are you and where you're heading. The map was easy to read and it was a very good experience if you're new to hiking and you're new to getting out.

We worked our way back to the quarry and we were really surprised It’s really a cool little area it's just exactly what you would think a quarry is. It's a big dugout space in the mountain. We walked along the top of the quarry and took some pictures. We saw a few people on the bottom of the quarry and people were using some of the rocks to make messages that you could see from the top. My girls thought that was cool.

We decided to keep walking along side the quarry and found the spot where we could walking in it and see some of the messages up close. We continued around the Turkey vulture trail and this is where we made our first mistake we decided to take a shortcut trail that was called the dynamite trail. I thought that the short cut was going to be a really good idea, we wanted to save a little time and energy before heading back up the mountain. But you know they say hindsight is 2020 and it really wasn’t that great of an idea for us. Here's why. All the trails were really marked well except for this one. This trail goes through a very wooded area and this time of year all the leaves had fallen off the trees and have covered the trail and throughout most of the other trails there was enough people there packing it down and making sure you can still see where the trail is. Because of the small amount of traffic on it, the trail was very hard to see. We got in about halfway in realized we weren't on the trail anymore. We had seen maybe 1 or 2 markers and then didn't find anymore. We realized that we were in the middle of the woods, off the trail and not really sure where we were going. Luckily it was short enough and the area is open enough you could see people walking on a different trail so we just made a beeline to that. we did run into a small streams but we made it across. Like I told my girls that's part of the adventures of hiking sometimes.

We continued to work our way back to the top of the hill and when all was said and done, we had probably walked a good three or four miles.

The last colors of fall were in full effect.

It was a lot of fun and I'm glad we went. It was a great day to get out there and it's a great day too to explore something new that we haven't seen yet. This goes along with my point of never being afraid to go back to the same place a few different times. You're always going to find something just a little bit different every time you go and this was an example. Don’t be afraid to go back to places you've been to before. Take a different trail and really enjoy every little piece that these state parks have to offer.

If you ever venture to Rib Mountain State park I highly recommend you go and see the quarry, take a little time and just make the hike. It was really easy and they do a really good job of making sure there's not a lot of steep up and downs like you get at some state parks. Rib Mountain State park is one of my favorites. There's a lot of variety and opportunities to do many different things throughout the year. They do snowshoe candlelight walks in the winter time, concerts in the clouds in the summer and if you're into skiing you’ve got granite peak right there. I highly recommend you check out Rib Mountain State park as you head out to be one of Wisconsin’s outdoor explorers.

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