Wildcat Mountain State Park sign

Wildcat Mountain State Park

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.

Starlight Trail

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.

Horseshoe prints

We saw and sidestepped many “apples”.

The Starlight mostly skirts the woods but does dive into them part of the time.

Leaving the horse trail
Trail into the woods

I’m not sure why this “You Are Here” map couldn’t have its own post nearer the trail.

You Are Here map

We didn’t hear many birds, but I did spot a couple of busy bees.

Bee on yellow flower
Bee on purple thistle flower

There’s a spur off the main trail that leads to this Razorback Ridge overlook. Imagine this in the Fall!

Razorback Ridge Overlook

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.

Taylor Valley Overlook sign

There’s an amphitheater, of sorts, along the Starlight.

Amphitheater and Old Settlers sign

This is the view to the west from the amphitheater’s stage.

Overview from amphitheater - wide view
Overview from amphitheater - narrow view

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.


Nearest City

Ontario, Wisconsin (3 miles)

Nearest Emergency Facility

Hillsboro, Wisconsin (13 miles)


6:00 AM to 11:00 PM, year-round


Vehicle admission sticker required

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *