Saturday, April 4, 2015

PARK REVIEW: Council Grounds State Park

There's a line across the top of Wisconsin, described mostly by the course of Highway 29. I call this the "Dragon Line" because it's really kindof the edge of major civilization in Wisconsin. It runs through Green Bay, Wausau and Eau Claire.  Once you get above that line, population seems to get less dense than below it, and most of the major cities are south of you. I call it the Dragon Line because above there, is where they'd write 'here there be dragons' on an old timey map. Maybe put a little sea serpent up in Lake Superior. Council Grounds is just a little ways up the highway, and a short jaunt west from Wausau, making it one of the first parks you're likely to reach above this line.

Council Grounds wasn't as wild as all that though, it was fairly typical of what I've come to expect from State Park campgrounds in Wisconsin. Which, don't get me wrong, that's a good thing. I think we've got some excellent state parks. Like most, there were bathroom and toilet facilities, and there's a system of trails onsite. When I went, the group I was with didn't take much advantage of them other than to walk down to the beach area for a swim, which was located on the reservoir side of a local dam. The water wasn't the clearest or cleanest to swim in, had something of a brown tint to it, but it was nice to take a dip and get out in the sun for awhile. 

The most memorable part of the trip I took there, was that our bow saw's blade broke in two while we were there and we tried to send part of our party into town for a replacement. Rather than stop at the hardware store we passed in nearby Merrill, our friends went all the way back down to Wausau for a replacement. Unable to find a new blade, they brought back a tiny bow saw about a quarter of the size of the saw we had been using. This limited our wood choices to trees roughly the size of my forearm. To our good fortune, there were a TON of fallen pines about that size. Those of you who've burned pine before probably know how ashy that made our campsite. Those who havent, well, we looked over at the cars and it looked like it had been snowing after a night of burning those pines. Very fragrant though.

It's not as conveniently situated relative to Appleton as Hartmann Creek, though it's not as far as say, Willow River, Yellowstone Lake, or Firefly Lake. It's a fine campground, but there really hasn't been anything to attract the group I camped there with back again. I'd go there again, but only as something of a secondary choice. I'd be a lot more likely to head for one of the other aforementioned parks.

Campsite photo(Care of Lindsey Biese):

Me, on our group's amble down to the playground so the kids could play (Lindsey's Photo, again):

The Swimming Area (Photo Still Thanks to Lindsey):

More Swimming:

Of Course My Image Has Been Recorded!:

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