Have to admit I had never heard of Belmont Mound State Park. I knew the first Wisconsin state capitol was in Belmont in southwest Wisconsin near Platteville. When I saw the listing for this part in the Department of Natural Resources visitor guide, I assumed it had something to do with the first capitol. Nope. Only connection is that they’re both in or near Belmont.
As you drive toward the park on County Highway G you’re going thru some nice farm country with rolling hills. Then, straight ahead is the mound. It’s definitely a notable geological feature. According to the DNR brochure, the top of the mound is about 1,400 feet above sea level. That’s not quite as impressive when you realize the elevation for Belmont is about 1,100 feet. But, it is a 300 foot high mound that stands out from the surrounding countryside.
There’s a trail to the top of the mound, which is a nice climb to a nice view of farm country. There’s an observation tower at the top of the mound, but it was closed when I was there on March 31. Not sure if it’s open in the summer.
Besides the trail to the top of the mound, there’s a trail that goes around the base of the mound. Along that trail, there’s a connecting trail that goes to a loop through the woods. The 274 acre park has about 2.5 miles of trails. Basically, it’s a nice afternoon visit.
There’s a nice picnic area with some playground equipment. The local Lion’s Club maintains the park. The trails up and around the mound were in good shape. The connecting trail and loop through the woods were pretty muddy and a bit overgrown. I met a couple UW-Platteville students on that woods section, and they said that part of the trail wasn’t used as much as the rest of the trails at the park. I expect in the summer, it’s a nice, relatively private, stroll through the woods.
So, this was park visit number 9 — only 40 more to go to visit all the state parks in 2019.