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Deep Time Hike – Geology of the Driftless Area

An overlook at Wildcat Mountain State Park with lush greenery below. Katie Godding/Wisconsin DNR


Let’s take a walk back through time and think about the earth more than half a billion years ago as we stroll along the Ice Cave Trail in Wildcat Mountain State Park. We will discuss how the Driftless Area has changed through time as recorded in the exposed sandstone cliffs common to Wildcat Mountain and the Kickapoo Valley. During our walk, we will classify the surroundings into distinct geologic ages and highlight the importance of deep time on what we see today.

Chris and Laura Zahm are local geologists that have spent decades studying geology around the globe. Both are graduates of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and hold degrees from the University of Texas at Austin and Colorado School of Mines. Their passion for the geologic sciences has led them to many corners of the earth and they hope to share their understanding with you.