15. Rib Mountain State Park

15. Rib Mountain State Park

The trail system at Rib Mountain State Park deserves some sort of an award. Maybe it has already gotten one. Anyway, when I visited the park just outside of Wausau as the first stop on a five-park tour on July 16-19, I was really impressed with the condition of the trails. They were exceptionally well maintained, with good signage and maps often enough so even I would have had a hard time getting lost.

Rib Mountain rocks
According to the plaque on the rock, the summit of the rock is the highest known point in Wisconsin at 1,940 feet above sea level.

Rib Mountain is sort of a mid-sized park at 1,627 acres. It has 14.5 miles of hiking trails, some of which offer good elevation changes (hills – not really mountains, since this is Wisconsin). I hiked the yellow trail, along with some of the red and gray trails. That started with a nice downhill, followed by a good uphill and then some wandering around on the top of the hill and a leisurely walk back to the van.

There is no campground at Rib Mountain, but it seemed to me that the park must be pretty popular with Wausau area residents. It wasn’t crowded, but there was a good number of folks out getting some exercise on a fairly warm summer morning.

The views from the top of the hill are quite nice. Overall, it’s a very attractive park. And, much of the park centers on rocks. It has some very old (like 1.7 billion years old) and pretty granite. The photo at the top is some of the pink granite I found along one of the trails.

There’s more information about the geology of this park in a post under the Wisconsin places heading. Here’s a hint — Wisconsin had volcanoes!