Hitz-Rhodehamel Nature Preserve

The loop trail at Hitz-Rhodehamel is a great way to enjoy the fall colors without the crowds

The loop trail at Hitz-Rhodehamel is a great way to enjoy the fall colors without the crowds

In 2012 the HHC collaborated with The Nature Conservancy to build a three-mile trail that loops around the 484-acre Hitz-Rhodehamel Nature Preserve.  This property is a mature oak forest in Brown County with high ridges and steep ravines, blanketed in spring with wildflowers and full of color in the fall.

Hitz-Rhodehamel Fungus

Fungus grows on a branch at Hitz-Rhodehamel.

The dark shade of some of the moist, fern-covered hillsides offers respite during even the warmest of summer days.  Hitz-Rhodehamel is a little known secret, an off-the-beaten-path gem that offers all the benefits of Brown County hiking without all the crowds.

Ascent on the Hitz-Rhodehamel Trail

Ascent on the Hitz-Rhodehamel Trail

While only three miles long, the trail can be challenging due to the steep terrain, and the fact that most hikes here end in an ascent back to the parking along Freeman Ridge Road.  The three-mile loop hike consists of two long, 200-foot hills, tempered with switchbacks, and a few smaller inclines for good measure.  Be sure to take a map and compass, and watch the trail markers closely, as the path is criss-crossed by a variety of other trails which used to exist on the property.

Attached is a map created by HHC as we built the trail:   HHC Map of Hitz-Rhodehamel Loop Trail

Here also are the GPS coordinates of the Hitz-Rhodehamel Trail, in standard gpx format: Right-click here  and select “Save As”.

If your browser tries to save the file as xml, add “.gpx” to the end of the filename.

For more information on history, flora, fauna, and the location of Hitz-Rhodehamel Nature Preserve, visit TNC’s website.  Their site also provides good directions to the parking lot for the preserve.


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