Sand Cave Trail - First Section Open

Sand Cave Trail - Reconstruction

A new trail is opened at Wyalusing State Park. A new trail that, for decades, has not been touched by most park goers. The new trail is designed to replace Sand Cave trail. Sand Cave trail has been closed for the last two years, due to massive destruction caused by a deluge of rain July, 2007. In contrast, this year's unusual lack of rainfall during the latter part of this Summer has helped the State of Wisconsin Trail Crew speed along in the development of the new trail. (Photo left: Entrance to New Sand Cave Trail unmarked)

The first trail segment follows the contours of a bluff overlooking the Wisconsin River. At this time, the newly opened section is a one way trail about 0.75 miles in length. This section leads to Black Thunder Point, then back to the trail head at Walnut Springs trail Walnut Springs trail is just south of the old Park Office. When completed, the entire trail will be a 2.5 mile loop which will begin and end along the Walnut Springs trail. (Photo right: Typical Trail bed along this segment.)

The new trail features a pathway three to four feet wide. The bed of the trail is clear of roots and stones and almost horizontal. The bluff side of the trail is gently sloped into the hillside. The downhill side is also sloped. The design will allow for slow water drain-off, easy maintenance and easy walking. There are no steps in the trail. Only one short, steep section, near the beginning of the trail exists.

The trail does feature a second steep section, with a water crossing. However, the trail crew, along with the park manager, designed a ramp which will circumvent both of these obstacles.

The new Sand Cave trail passes over Big Sand Cave. It offers the hiker a wonderful view into the mouth of the cave. As of this writing, no trail leads to Big Sand Cave. However, a spur trail, will be developed that will lead the hiker to Big Sand Cave safely.(Photo Left: Looking down into Big Sand Cave.)

From the top of Big Sand Cave, the hiker continues walking on a generally northern route along the contour of the bluff. Few people have set foot along this section of Wyalusing State Park for decades. The trail descends gradually towards Black Thunder point. Panoramic views of the Wisconsin River valley during late Fall, Winter and early Spring will be prime times for this section of trail. Spring flowers will be abundant along the plateau of Black Thunder Point. Time will reveal if Black Thunder Point becomes prime birding viewing.

The first new segment to Black Thunder Point is just the beginning for the new trail. The new trail will take the hiker around Little Sand Cave as well as Ginger Valley. These sections will be described as they are opened. (Photo left: Black Thunder Point)

Weather conditions will somewhat govern the opening and closing of the new trail while it is being completed. Work continues on the trail bed. Contact the park office for trail conditions.

Additional Photos here....