Sugar Maple Nature Trail
ElevationAscent: 281' 86 m
Descent: -369' -112 m
High: 1,117' 341 m
Low: 756' 231 m
GradeAvg Grade: 8% (5°)
Max Grade: 20% (11°)
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“One of the best trails in Wyalusing for those seeking a technical challenge or some "nature nerd" information.”— Kenny Slocum
From the top (Cathedral Drive/Homestead), the trail starts on gentle pine duff with a few twists and turns. At roughly the quarter mile mark, the trail splits. Going right takes users on the north side of the loop. Staying left, on the south side of the loop, the trail is wide and steep with loose rocks in a few places. The downhill grade gets steeper towards the bottom, becoming a decent quad-burner for the last tenth of a mile or so.
Just a few hundred feet from the valley floor, the north side meets up again with the south side of the loop. Turning right takes users up a gentler grade, though on much more narrow singletrack.
Towards the top of the north side, runners are treated to a large cave/rock shelter, which (depending on recent precipitation) also has a stunning waterfall and pool. The shelter was extensively used by Native Americans prior to settlement, as evidenced by an abundance of rock art adorning the walls. Unfortunately almost all of this art is now lost to vandalism, replaced with so many initials, plus signs, and initials surrounded by a heart. Wyalusing has been a beloved fixture of the area for thousands of years; please respect those who came before us by leaving any mounds, artifacts, or art exactly as you found it.
A few wooden steps and bridges may may slow you down as the trail reconnects with the south side, but these structures do wonders to control erosion on the steep and well-traveled hillside.
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Land Manager: Wisconsin DNR - Wyalusing State Park