Blue Mound State Park in Wisconsin was one of the places I added to my itinerary when I was in the Midwest this summer. It’s not accessible via public transit, but I had rented a car to go to Cave of the Mounds – a popular tourist attraction – earlier in the day. Since I had the car for several hours, I decided to maximize my time by driving to some other places.
Someone I met while I was in the Midwest had spoken highly of Blue Mound, and as a fan of parks, I made the drive there.
It was the middle of the day at the time so it was kind of hot and humid, but I drove around and got off at a couple of places.
To be entirely honest, I wasn’t particularly wowed with the place after the first several minutes and was sad to feel that way since I typically instantly love most parks I visit. The amphitheater was full of wooden benches – some of which had spider webs between them, and they all looked like they hadn’t been maintained too well and had endured the wear and tear that comes with being exposed to different types of weather; the views from the 60-foot-tall observation decks weren’t anything special; there didn’t appear to be anything exciting going on, and if there were, it wasn’t advertised well; and even the nature center was filled with faded displays.
Later on, I realized the person who mentioned the park was referring to Blue Mounds State Park in Minnesota, but I had already arrived at the one in Wisconsin. And since I was already there, I made the effort to make the most out of it, a mindset that I think is useful to adopt in every situation in life. Plus, I had already paid the $11 entrance fee. (But that’s okay because it’s going toward state parks! Also, the fee is $8 if you have a Wisconsin license plate. My rental had an out-of-state [North Carolina] plate so it was $11.)
Although Blue Mound wasn’t popping, I took what I could out of everything:
- Being at the worn down amphitheater was intriguing because it’s not always something I see. The area had kind of eccentric, abandoned feel to it, which isn’t always common, so I appreciated the out-of-the-ordinary vibe
- Despite the somewhat lackluster view at the top of the observation deck, climbing up those 60 feet was an opportunity for me to yet again face my fear of heights
- While the abundant green grass and open space was empty and lonely, I appreciated that I was able to spend quality, undivided time with myself for a period of time
- Yes, the nature center was evidently old and didn’t appear to be updated. However, there was an entertaining button that made noise if you picked the wrong answer in a series of True/False questions
In the end, the visit wasn’t a complete bust 🙂 and I did my best to take the park in for what it was in the few hours I spent there.
I wouldn’t necessarily go out of my way to go back to Blue Mound State Park again – it was on okay experience – but I think it would be more fun to go to with friends and/or family. I wouldn’t say it’s a place for solo travelers to make the effort to go to. But everyone experiences things differently, so I wouldn’t want my time there to deter anyone interested in checking it out from going 🙂
More information on Blue Mound State Park can be found here.