Historic Trail


A few days before we went away for the week, my husband and I had a lot of errands to run. One of them being, going to the hair salon so he could get a hair cut. And we got to talking to the amazing woman who cuts our hair, and we told her what we were up to. And she mentioned that there is a historic trail that goes all the way around Lake Geneva, and that we should walk part of it, and then call an Uber to come and pick us up. That way we could walk all the way around the lake in segments, and see all there was to see. We told her we would definitely check that out because we both like hiking and nature.

I checked the weather, and saw that it was supposed to be 70* and sunny on Tuesday. So that was the day we decided to do that. Except, instead of calling an Uber when we got tired, my husband and I had the great idea to just walk all the way in one trip.  I looked online, and found out that it should take 8-10 hours to do it. We had all day with nothing planned. So that was the plan.

Before we Started

We each packed a bottle of water, and sandwich fixings, so we could snack on the way. Spoiler: we were grossly unprepared. But we survived, and didn’t cheat, so 

 And then we stopped at a coffee shop to grab some coffee for the first park of our walk. We told the baristas what we were up to, and they wished us luck. They were both super nice, and made really yummy coffee for us.

The Hike

We drove back to the park where we photographed sunrise, and that’s where our day started. We left Williams Bay around 8:30, and it was still a little chilly out. But the sun was shining and we were both feeling pretty good. We sipped our delicious coffee and walked and talked along this historic trail. 

The fall color along the historic trail on Lake Geneva.

Around 10 am, we made it to Fortuna, which was the next town. We stopped at a park to eat lunch and use the bathroom. It was going to be the last chance really for both for a long time. It was starting to warm up, and we were content to soak up some vitamin D.

Once lunch was over, we got back to it.  We still had a long way to go. We didn’t stop again until around 12:30 or so, when we found a port-a-potty and my husband used it while we had the chance. I was going to use it too, but he told me it was less than stellar so if I didn’t have to go, I was better off waiting. So I waited. We were a few hours away from the State Park where we planned on stopping for a break anyway.

The walk between this stop and the State Park was starting to get rough. We were both getting hot and thirsty, and we were running low on water. The goal was to make it to the state park to refill our water bottles and then use the bathroom. When we finally got there, around 4, we stopped on the outskirts for another quick lunch. While we ate, I checked Google maps, and saw that we could either walk through most of the park and hope the bathrooms were open, or we could continue for half an hour longer and get to the town of Lake Geneva. 

We opted for the latter option. Once we finished our sandwiches, we took off again. We had a town to get to, and we gained our second wind. Once we arrived at Lake Geneva, we agreed that we would stop at Kilwins for ice cream. I needed some sugar to help me get through the last five miles of our hike.

Lake Geneva

Before we stopped for ice cream, we stopped at the Riviera to use the bathroom and get some water. And water never tasted so good. Once we had those needs covered, we walked a few blocks out of the way, to get our ice cream. I hoped that it would last longer than it did; I finished mine before we left town. But it was still delicious and worth every extra step we had to take.

When we left Lake Geneva, we only had five miles to go. I wish I could give you a time estimate, but Google maps kept trying to get us to walk on the road, because it was a shorter route. Our estimated time of getting to the car kept growing later and later, even though we would only stop for a minute or so to stretch.

Those Last Five Miles Were Brutal

About an hour after we left Lake Geneva, the wind started to pick up, and the clouds on the horizon looked like rain. I texted both our mothers to give them a heads up on what we were doing, just in case something happened. Not that either one of them could really do anything to help us if we needed it. Thankfully, the rain never came that night. However, the sun did set, and we spent a good amount of our hike walking in the dark. We had to use our flashlights on our phones so we could see the path.

We were both a little nervous walking along the historic trail after dark, because the homeowners didn’t want us to be out after dark, but we were at the point where the wasn’t really anything we could do about it. Thankfully, no one came out and yelled at us.

Finally, at 7:30 pm, we made it on the other end of the park where we started. We had walked 22 miles around the lake. I was looking online, and the trail is anywhere from 21 to 26 miles long.

What Got Us Through

We were both in good enough spirits throughout the whole hike that we didn’t argue even once. And we both had plenty of reasons to argue. We were tired, hungry, thirsty, too hot, too cold, too fill in the blank. And I know for myself, that if I am slightly inconvenienced I start to get grumpy and irritable. So being able to hold it together was how we made it all the way around.

We also knew that we had a hot shower and a comfy sofa waiting for us when we got done walking around the historic trail.

For Next Time

Honestly, we both had a good time doing this. Yeah it was rough at times, but most of that was our own fault for being unprepared. But now that we’ve done it once, we know what to expect so the next time we can prepare better.

We decided to do this four days before we actually did it. Next time we decide to walk this historic trail, I want to get used to walking a lot more. We also know that we need to bring more water and maybe have our sandwiches already made so we don’t have to find a place to stop. Finally, I think we would need to start earlier in the day than we did. 

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