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Buckhorn State Park

Four miles of trail start from the south picnic area. The trails course through wetlands, oak woods, jack pine thickets, shoreline and a small prairie. Look for signs of wildlife as you hike the park's trails. The Oak Barrens nature trail in the center of the park is 1.5 miles and has an eco box, colored interpretive signs, an observation tower and the Ranger Rick geocache trail.

Check out the 0.4-mile Turtle trail across from the park entrance to reach the kid’s fishing pond and continue your hike on 2.86 miles of trails past a large sand blow, through oak and pine forests or pick up the trails from a parking lot on 30th Street.

Visitors can stop at the park office to check out a handheld GPS unit that is preloaded with geocaches at both Buckhorn and Roche-A-Cri state parks. Also, there are packets to check out with local caches.

An outdoor wheelchair is available to rent through reservations by calling 608-565-2789. Reservations are managed by the Friends of Buckhorn State Park.

Trail Descriptions

Barrens Nature trail (1.5 miles)

Large, full-color nature signs along this 1.5-mile paved trail explain what barrens are, what oak wilt is, what plants and animals are found in barrens and how the area is being restored. A 20-foot high observation tower is also on this trail located in the middle of the park. Check out the eco box on the way to the observation tower; turn the handle to listen to messages about the park and surrounding area. Bring your own GPS or check one out at the office to complete the Ranger Rick geocache trail.

Buckhorn Campground trail (.53 miles)

A crushed rock trail for walking or biking leads from the campground toward the day-use area.

Central Sands Nature Trail (1.4 miles)

This trail begins near the parking lot next to the park amphitheater. This 1.4-mile loop trail connects the Turkey Hollow and Partridge trails.

Glacial Lake trail (1 mile)

Winds through oak and pine forest with views of a large sand blow and connects the Turtle Trail to 30th Street.

Partridge trail (1.2 miles)

This trail connects to the Turkey Hollow and Central Sands Nature trail in the lower part of the park.

Turkey Hollow trail (1.5 miles)

This trail goes to the west side of the peninsula in the southern part of the park, providing access to backpack campsites.

Pond trail (0.5 miles)

This trail connects to the Barrens Nature trail at the parking lot. Relax on one of the benches around the pond and observe wildlife. A 100-by-100-foot deer exclosure was built along the Pond trail. Deer cannot get into the fenced area, which will allow the park to monitor plants inside the fence to show the difference between where deer can and cannot browse.

Timber trail (1.3 miles)

Parking off 30th Street. Follows old logging routes through pines and oak forests.

Turtle trail (0.4 miles)

The 0.4-mile Turtle Trail, across from the park entrance goes to a pond stocked with fish for kids to catch.

Whispering Pines trail (0.6 miles)

Short loop through pines from the Glacial Lake Trail.