View Full Version : Need help choosing Trail

09-15-2014, 11:53
Every year me and a buddy do a hike. Our recent hikes have been:

* High Country Pathway in Michigan (80 mile loop - 3.5 days)
* Knobstone Trail in Indiana (49 miles - 2.5 days)

This year we are looking to either do the Northern Unit of Kettle Moraine State Forest on the IAT OR Shawnee State Forest in Ohio (40 Mile loop).

Driving distance for us is the same. The Shawnee is a loop (no transportation needed) has water and camps every 5 miles. However there is no pay off. It's a grind hike. A ton of elevation with no sights to see.

Northern Unit sounds beautiful. But it would be an In and Out hike - unless we can find transportation. I'm unclear on water and camping. Any insight? We have about 4 days available and we can do about 20 mile days (depending on terrain).

Any help appreciate. We are looking to hike the week of October 27th.

09-15-2014, 12:35
Hi, can't speak to your Ohio option but gosh, the Northern Unit of the Kettle Moraine is incredible! Especially when you plan to go, the fall colors should be breath-taking (although I imagine it will be a bit nippy at night). On the camping issue, it's a little strange - some of the "lean-to's" require paid in advance reservations. It's not such a great system, because if you don't stick to the exact itinerary you planned on, you'll at least technically be breaking the rules. I'd contact the IAT people for more specific info, though. Also, make sure you're cognizant of what's in season for hunting and when...


09-15-2014, 12:38
The north km is a nice hike. There are 5 shelters along the trail that must be reserved to stay at. Primitive camping is not allowed. There are water pumps along the trail to fill up. Some are great some are terrible. They might also be locked down for the season. There are not a lot of streams to filter from, but there are a couple of small lakes. Also be aware bow season opened 2 days ago. A blaze orange hat though not required, wouldn't be a bad idea as the nkm is a popular hunting area.

09-15-2014, 13:18
Thanks for the information - your definitely selling this hike!

I'll contact the IAT people to see if water will be an issue AND I appreciate the heads up on hunting.

Appreciate your replys!

09-15-2014, 13:45
Good luck! Don't forget to climb the parnell tower for a sweet 360 view.

Odd Man Out
09-15-2014, 15:05
Good luck! Don't forget to climb the parnell tower for a sweet 360 view.

I was curious about this hike too, so I e-mailed the park and got an answer to my question right away. Dispersed camping is not allowed, but you would be able to make a reservation at a shelter and pitch a tent in the area next to the shelter, if you would rather not sleep in the shelter. You would still need the reservation, however.

09-17-2014, 11:07
I will say, you may be a bit disappointed in the length of the hike, if you are just going to to the Northern Kettles, as it's only about 30 miles through the park. I'd highly suggest contacting the IAT (http://www.iceagetrail.org/) they may have some awesome ideas for you.

Here's more info on the northern kettles: http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/parks/name/kmn/pdfs/iatdistances.pdf