Ledge County Park

Ledge Park is located in the north central part of Dodge County, between Horicon and Mayville, just off of Hwy TW. Ledge Park lies along the Niagara Escarpment, a natural rock ledge which divides the park into upper and lower areas and provides a breathtaking overlook of the famous Horicon Marsh and the surrounding countryside.

April 19, 2018

I came across Ledge Park in Dodge County quite by chance, on my way to Horizon Marsh. I was on Hwy 28 north out of my base in Watertown, came to Horicon Town, and saw a sign to Ledge County Park. The inclusion of the word "ledge" attracted my interest so I headed east on Hwy 33 to CH TW and headed north. Some signs pointed me to a few turns on Raasch Hill Road and Park Road. It was April, incredibly cool and windy weather, but I went into the park anyway. A sign there took me to a scenic overlook. My hiking days are over so the overlook would have to do.

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I took this panorama off Google Earth. It gives you a sense for the ledge amidst a great deal of farmland. I tried to get a decent photo from CH TW but didn't find any view I liked.

As I indicated in the introduction, Ledge Park is part of the Niagara Escarpment.

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The Niagara Escarpment, marked in red, is a landform called a
cuesta. It travels from Niagara Falls, New York in a semi circle westward through eastern Wisconsin. It runs predominantly east/west from New York State, through Ontario, Michigan, Wisconsin and Illinois. The escarpment is most famous as the cliff over which the Niagara River plunges at Niagara Falls, for which it is named.

In Wisconsin, it lies largely east of Lake Winnebago and up through Door Peninsula and County. Door Peninsula separates Green Bay and Lake Michigan. Limestone outcroppings of the Niagara Escarpment are visible on both shores of the peninsula, but are larger and more prominent on the Green Bay. When talking about Green Bay I am talking about the bay of water, not the city.

The Niagara Escarpment consists of a gently-sloping layer of rock forming a ridge. One side of the ridge has a gentle slope, a so-called dip slope that is essentially the surface of the rock layer. The other side is a steep bluff. The photos I took came from the scenic overlook staring down at the steep bluff.

I was only able to take a few photos of the ledge. It was very windy, and I had to stand on the precipice of the ledge to get what I got. Fortunately there was no foliage so what I was able tp photograph shows up well. That said, I am told the very best time to visit is in the fall, when the colors get glorious.

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The Mountain Project has said this about climbing at Ledge Park:

"This limestone area has a lot of bouldering potential for rock climbers. There are a lot of routes, but they are very dirty. Some of the rock is broken up and falling apart. But there are some select spots that have great quality rock." By "dirty," I think they mean the rock is enveloped in moss of falling apart. The park is relatively untouched and undeveloped.

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This photo looks downward, I did not do this, but some hikers like to go down there and look for passages and caves.

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You can walk that short path to the edge if you wish. You want to one steady as she goes. It was very windy up here during my visit, I walked out there, so I will tell you it is a straight drop down if you lose your balance. I've seen a photo of a young girl standing out at the edge holding her arms out stretched like in the movie Titanic. Ah yes, youth!

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This give you a good idea of the challenge of the moss when trying to climb or go downward.

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This is amazing to me. That is a cylindrical rock that simply stands up there one its own. For the hearty, that is worth examining in my book. Also note the incline-decline by looking at the top of the photo.