Wildcat Mountain State Park has lots of trails. Most of them are intended for horses; that is, horseback riding. You can hike on them too, but many are long and stray far from the main road.
We kept it simple on our first visit. We hiked the Starlight Trail loop (1.4 miles) that follows the green horseback trail about half the time.
It’s unfortunate that this trail isn’t named “Starlight” anywhere along its length. Not that it was hard to follow, but it just seemed unusual that there were no labels. (Other trails are labeled.)
We hiked the loop counterclockwise, so we were on the horseback trail at first. It was obvious that riders have used this trail a lot.
We saw and sidestepped many “apples”.
The Starlight mostly skirts the woods but does dive into them part of the time.
I’m not sure why this “You Are Here” map couldn’t have its own post nearer the trail.
We didn’t hear many birds, but I did spot a couple of busy bees.
There’s a spur off the main trail that leads to this Razorback Ridge overlook. Imagine this in the Fall!
There was another scenic overlook – the Taylor Valley (or Taylor Hollow, per the official map) – that was a little farther away than we cared to hike this time. It’s on the Old Settler’s Trail that connects to the Starlight.
There’s an amphitheater, of sorts, along the Starlight.
This is the view to the west from the amphitheater’s stage.
Hiking the Starlight Trail was pleasant. It was quiet and easy to navigate the gently rolling path.
If there’s a next time, I’d like to attempt the Hemlock Trail to Mt. Pisgah. It looks a bit more challenging.
Ontario, Wisconsin (3 miles)
Nearest Emergency Facility
Hillsboro, Wisconsin (13 miles)
6:00 AM to 11:00 PM, year-round
Vehicle admission sticker required