Kettle Moraine State Forest Lapham Peak Unit

Delafield, Wisconsin 53018

Kettle Moraine State Forest Lapham Peak Unit

Kettle Moraine State Forest: Lapham Peak Unit Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"Climb a tower at the highest peak in Waukesha County and be prepared to work as you hike the glacial roller coaster around this park that features a kettle moraine. Lapham Peak is named for Increase A. Lapham, a scientist and naturalist who came to
Wisconsin in 1836 and wrote much about the state’s wildlife and geology. Combined, there are 17 miles of loop trails here. The easiest trails are the Purple and Green loops.

The course mapped out here is a loop of the entire park, primarily following the Black Loop, which has some rather strenuous up-and-down climbs. The asphalt Plantation Trail is wheelchair-accessible. Begin from Parking Lot 9. The trailhead is not clearly marked, but look beyond the trail kiosk for a wide stretch of mowed trail—just to the left of the paved trail—with an arrow going away from you. Go straight to the woods. The trail goes up steeply on packed dirt into pine forest."

More Kettle Moraine State Forest: Lapham Peak Unit Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Best Hikes Madison Wisconsin - 2nd Edition (Falcon Guides)
Johnny Molloy
View more trails from this guide book
"Lapham Peak, named for a local scientist and naturalist, is the highest point in Waukesha County. At 1,233 feet, it is a typical hill found in the glacier-formed landscape of southeast Wisconsin. Like the rest of Kettle Moraine State Forest and the surrounding terrain, it also features the shallow depressions and long, low hills that give the forest its name. This hike takes in several color-coded paths that move around the peak and through the surrounding forest, doubling back on the original route and crisscrossing each other several times. On its way back, the path stops by an observation tower atop the hill. As with other trails in the forest, the Ice Age Trail runs through the area. There are plenty of warblers and thrushes along the paths, and spring and fall bring large numbers of hawks on their annual migrations." Read more
"Just as much meadow as it is forest, this trail gives a taste of what you might find at the venerable Lapham Peak Park and shows some signs of Native American culture—the unusually bent marker trees believed to indicate trails or water sources. Lapham Peak is a regular hiking mecca. Trails are color coded and can be mixed and matched. The park signage clearly shows the colors as does the trail map, which even lists step-by-step trail difficulty if you want to avoid the leg burners. The two trails included in this guide tend toward easier hikes, and the Meadow Trail is coded green. From the trailhead enter the meadow and take the trail going right. At 0.2 mile the trail goes slightly uphill out of the open meadow, passing a cutoff trail." Read more
"Hike over glacial terrain amid hardwood forests in this extensive trail system, part of the Kettle Moraine State Forest. Don’t miss the Butterfly Garden at the center of the loop, and the 45-foot observation tower at the center of the park. Lapham Peak is named for Wisconsin’s first great scientist and naturalist, Increase Lapham. The “peak” is a glacial formation known as a kame. Meltwaters flowed straight down a hole in the 1-mile-thick ice sheet, carrying debris and depositing it in a cone shape. The kame terrace was created by a large glacial river flowing past the kame. Within the park’s 1,000 acres is some fascinating and rugged topography—and over 17 miles of trails to explore it. Plus, the Ice Age Trail passes through the park." Read more

Kettle Moraine State Forest: Lapham Peak Unit Reviews

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9/2/2018
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8/18/2018
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7/30/2018
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2/16/2008
Wonderfully groomed and well-marked. Well described in guide. Ski rentals available onsite from Wheel & Sprocket. Night and torchlight skiing available some evenings.
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11/29/2001
At this time the trails are not snow covered they are soggy. If they were snow covered they would be also very good for snow shoeing.
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Trail Information

Delafield
Nearby City
Dog-friendly
Accessibility
6.9
Distance
Loop/Lollipop
Trail Type
Moderate
Skill Level
3 hours
Duration
7 a.m.–9 p.m. (10 p.m. in winter)
Season
1,050 feet
Trailhead Elevation
feet
Top Elevation
Views
Features
Local Contacts
USGS Oconomowoc East; at park office; map boards at trail junctures; dnr.state.wi.us
Local Maps