But there are overlooks of the valley that do not sneak up as much as overpower your senses. Highway 33 climbs from Ontario up the west face of Wildcat Mountain at such a deliberate pace that you know something special awaits you at the top. And there you are, standing atop Wildcat with the valley sprawled at your feet and the Kickapoo River crawling through the foliage far below like a glistening snake. As a small child on a family picnic, I once lost a football over that overlook. Measuring the drop through the eyes of a seven-year old, I suspect that football is still falling.
Once you’ve recovered your breath, there are plenty of things to see and do at Wildcat Mountain State Park. There’s that family picnic (hold onto your football), 25 miles of hiking trails to explore, 15 miles of horse trails to discover, and campsites for families, groups, and equestrians.
At the south end of the Kickapoo Valley near Wauzeka, another overlook should be marked on your map. Highway 131 rises from Wauzeka before dropping back again into the valley near Steuben. At its peak, the road offers stunning panoramas of the Kickapoo and Wisconsin River valleys. Standing at the wayside at Husher County Park, the landscape falls away like a shaken rug, settling into the rugged ravines and onto the gentle hillsides that give the Kickapoo Valley its character.
So enjoy your time in the Kickapoo Valley, but don’t forget to look it over from the top.
What are your favorite views in and of the Kickapoo Valley? Which would you most like to visit?