A Little Time and a Keyboard: Hiking along the Ice Age National Scenic Trail in the Robert O. Cook Memorial Arboretum in Janesville, Wisconsin

Friday, September 24, 2021

Hiking along the Ice Age National Scenic Trail in the Robert O. Cook Memorial Arboretum in Janesville, Wisconsin

 Hiking along  the Ice Age National Scenic Trail in the Robert O Cook Memorial Arboretum in Janesville, Wisconsin


Morning Hike in the Picturesque Mature Forest of Robert O. Cook Memorial Arboretum

**Disclosure: Thank you to Janesville  Area Convention &Visitors Bureau for hosting and accommodating my visit so I can bring this series to my audience. Opinions are 100% my own.

Robert O. Cook Memorial Arboretum in Janesville, Wisconsin contains approximately 8 miles of trails weaving visitors through a mature forest, prairie, marsh and wetlands. The Arbor Ridge Segment of the Ice Age  National Scenic Trail crosses through the arboretum. This section of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail provided us with such a beautiful nature respite during our Janesville weekend getaway.

A natural trail heads into the lush forest at Robert O Cook Memorial Arboretum
A natural trail heads into the lush forest.

Beginning Our Journey on the Ice Age National Scenic Trail

As we pulled into the preserve, I immediately knew we would love our experience in the forest. Jovial green surrounded us as we embarked onto the trail system. We used a map on our phone to help us navigate the Ice Age Trail as well as visit a log cabin inside the preserve. Within the preserve, the Ice Age National Scenic Trail is very well marked.

At the Robert O Cook Memorial Arboretum, hikers can hike along the Arbor Ridge Segment of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail.
At the Robert O. Cook Memorial Arboretum, hikers can hike along the Arbor Ridge Segment of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail.

The Arbor Ridge Segment trail is natural with slightly rocky areas. This segment of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail traverses an area covered by glacial till left by many glacial advances. We relished a bit of a challenge in spots where we gained elevation. Overall, the elevation gained and lost on this trail is 200 ft. Despite the rolling nature of the trail, it was not very difficult. Throughout the hike, we enjoyed delightful peeks into ravines.

While in Janesville, don't forget to check out the Devil's Staircase section of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail. 

The natural trail curves and folds into the lush forest.
The natural trail curves and folds into the lush forest.

As we hiked along the trail, chipmunks scurried around us grabbing seeds and nuts to store for winter. At so many moments, my husband and I felt totally away from everything while wrapped in nature with nothing but the songs of birds and the rustling of the chipmunks and squirrels. 

Pausing at Beautiful and Gentle Marsh Creek

Marsh Creek crafts a striking scene at Robert O Cook Memorial Arboretum in Janesville, Illinois
Marsh Creek crafts a striking scene!

A gentle creek coursing through the preserve charmed us. Standing upon the banks of Marsh Creek cobbled together one of our favorite moments from the hike. Just stunning! A bridge crossing the creek rewarded us with additional fantastic views. If you hike in this preserve, don't forget to take a pause and just absorb the beauty of Marsh Creek. 

Discovering a Historic Log Cabin

Charming historic cabin at Robert O Cook Memorial Arboretum in Janesville, WI.
Charming historic cabin at Robert O. Cook Memorial Arboretum.

Before leaving the preserve, we also checked out the historic log cabin located within the arboretum. We could tell that this is a favorite photo spot! The cabin is an authentic 1840's cabin that was moved to and reconstructed at this site. A lovely piece of history in a lovely setting!

Our hike at Robert O. Cook Memorial Arboretum gifted us with a peaceful hike enjoying the magnificent creations of nature. We appreciated the time to slow down and observe such a gorgeous setting while delighting in sights and sounds only nature crafts. Hikes at Robert O. Cook Memorial Arboretum offer a splendid opportunity for nature tranquility on any Janesville visit.

More to Know about Robert O. Cook Memorial Arboretum:

  • Informative signs throughout help understand the nature of the preserve.
  • In the winter, trails at the Robert O Cook Memorial Arboretum welcome snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. 
  • The Arbor Ridge Segment of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail does connect to the Devil's Staircase portion at Ice Age Trail Parking Lot.
Hiking along  the Ice Age National Scenic Trail in the Robert O. Cook Memorial Arboretum in Janesville, Wisconsin


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