|Distance||2.5 miles roundtrip|
- Waterfalls and rock overhangs
- Shady forest
I didn't expect much from this hike, probably because it was a short loop on the interior of Wyalusing State Park away from the scenic bluffs. However, it turned out to be excellent, with two waterfalls flowing over the advertised sand caves. It might not be the highlight of the entire park, but it's certainly a cool journey nevertheless.
The hike is a lollipop loop starting with 0.8 miles mostly downhill leading to the spur trail to Big Sand Cave and the beginning of Little Sand Cave Loop Trail. Look for the signs pointing to the Sand Cave Trail when you start hiking -- the Walnut Springs Trail also begins from this parking lot and it is easy to accidentally follow that trail instead. As you descend, the trail mirrors the seasonal creek, fed by water runoff from the top of the bluff, pictured below.
Dogs are allowed on leash. This is a great family-friendly hike due to its multiple scenic destinations, but the hills and distance may make this too challenging for the youngest children. You can hike this trail in any season, including winter when the waterfalls will be frozen. Expect to see other people on the hike unless you go early or late in the day.
Located just outside of Praire du Chien, use the Google Maps link below to navigate through the rural highways required to reach this part of the state.
Google Maps Directions
Parking, Fees, and Facilities
Parking is $8/day or $28/year if you have Wisconsin plates; otherwise, it's $11/day or $38/year. There are no facilities here, so drive further down the road to the campground or picnic area for restrooms and water.