We also have some other wonderful county parks that are amazing. Duck Egg [I have no idea how it got that name!], Esofea Park, and Sidie Hollow.
Jersey Valley has a really nice trail that can be demanding for those who are not used to our hilly terrain. Dogs are welcome on the hiking trail but you are supposed to have them on leash.
Well supposed to is the key word.
But the main trail is wide and fairly easy to negotiate. Part of it is a snowmobile trail so it is well maintained.
The small footpath that hugs the shoreline is a bit more demanding, but isn't hard if you are used to hiking in less than perfect conditions.
You can choose the small foot path or the larger wider trail. If you have small kids, I'd take the wider trail.
This nifty little foot bridge is on the small trail just past the boat landing a ways. The main trail had bridges and crossings that were washed out in recent flash floods.
The county maintenance has rerouted the trail so that you aren't crossing over the washouts. It was well marked when I hiked it.
There is quite the variety of plants I found along the trail. Ginger, Blood Root, and some Trillium. I found Ginger cuddling up to some poison ivy so stay on the trail and know your plants!
You can get glimpses of the lake from the wide trail but if you want to get up close and personal with the lake, you would have to choose the small footpath.
I was able to get these shots from the 'wide' trail on the north side of the lake.
Turtles on a log!
Open spot between trees.
I hiked above far above the lake on the south side and was able to look down through the trees towards the lake.
I always save the best for last. The view from the dam is always nice. It is a great place to watch the sun come up in the fall with mist rising from the lake.
It is also a good place to set up for a long exposure of the trees and the lake.
I would like to visit this park in the winter also. I think they shut the road access with a gate in the winter as this is a steep road.
This lake is actually man made by the dam and is created by the waters of the West Kickapoo River.
I hope to go back next week and catch a wonderful fall sunrise.