The Suitcase Lady


September 18, 2018, 10:03 pm

This blog is about getting high. It has nothing to do with drugs. I am simply a lover of heights and envious of birds’ flight abilities. It follows that I love flying in planes. And, when traveling, I ask hotel receptionists for a room on the highest available floor.

However, since planes and hotels come with hefty price tags, I also seek out free ways of getting elevated. In this regard, I’m lucky. Within an hour or less of our home, we have four observation towers. Wisconsin is not a mountainous state, we can’t trek up a mountain trail to get spectacular views, but we make up this deficiency by building wooden towers and stairs….lots of stairs.

The tower closest to our home is also the newest and tallest in the state. The Sheboygan Marsh Park Tower is a daunting 80 feet tall, but the risers are close together making the climb easier than it appears.Views of a huge marsh and its abundant wildlife are well worth the climb to the top. I might add that the upper deck is so large, we had a picnic up there a few weeks ago,

Marsh Park Tower

The Ledge View Nature Center Tower is in the Niagara Escarpment. (See Escarpment in my archives.) Its 96 steps go 60 feet up and seem easy after the Marsh Park climb. The nature center also has trails that go down to the bottom of an old quarry, thus providing hikers both highs and lows all within an hour.

A short distance from Ledge View, High Cliff State Park’s Tower is on the Escarpment as well. It’s a shrimp, only 40 feet and 64 steps. But that is a bit deceiving as visitors drive up to the edge of the high cliff for which the park is named to reach the tower. The panoramic view of the northern shores of Lake Winnebago, its edge dotted with cities, provides a spectacular sight. Winnebago is a glacial lake, dug out by the glaciers and filled with melting water when the glaciers retreated. At its widest and longest points, it’s a whopping 10 miles across and 30 miles long.

Our last tower, the Parnell Tower, is in the heart of the Kettle Moraine Forest and is the most challenging. When parking in the lot, no tower is visible. A hiking trail of stairs carved out of the side of a steep glacial hill leads up to the structure. There are exactly 266 steps to climb to reach the tower and then 96 more steps to the top deck. The view is a geology lesson on kames, kettles, moraines and other landforms deposited or dug out during the Ice Age.

The fall colors are spreading rapidly. If you want to get a bird’s eye view of the show, join us for a climb….unless, of course, you are acrophobic.

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