The impact of the Wisconsin Glaciation is mind-boggling, a life's pursuit to even grasp. Wisconsin hosted the most recent series of glacial advances and retreats in North America, and the glacial landscape is wonderful, from wherever viewed. That is most certainly true over at Timm's Hill in Price County, Wisconsin's highest point. Not only is there a lot to learn, a lot to see, but the area around Timm's Hill is fun.
March 21, 2006, updated August 1, 2007
Editor's note: During my first visit in the late winter of 2005, I just drove around, took photos, and basked in the sun of a beautiful winter day. In September 2006, I took my wife and mother-in-law to stay at High Point Village, which is located on the shore of Bass Lake and a stone's throw from Timm's Hill. We stayed in the "Northern Sky" lodge, which has a terrific view of Bass Lake and Timm's Hill. With the fall scenery, it was breathtaking, so breath-taking that I updated my story on High Point Village with the fall photography. I am going to do the same here. I will simply plug in a few September 2006 photos up-front to show the contrast, and then at the end of this report, add the fall photography we took just walking around the perimeter of Bass Lake. (092806)
We visited again in July 2007, and have added some sumer shots of the area.
In some quarters in Wausau, you might hear boastful chit-chat that says Marathon County's Rib Mountain is Wisconsin's highest. Wrong. Rib Mountain, once known as Rib Hill, rises to 1924 ft. above sea level. Timm's Hill in Price County to the northwest is the highest at 1952 ft. (1951.5 to be exact).
Rib Mountain outside Wausau, Wisconsin, a neat skiing opportunity
In fairness to those who boast about Rib Mountain, which is a wonderful place, it stands out to the eye at a distance far better than does Timm's Hill. That is because of the local landscape, or local relief. Rib Mountain stands 670 ft. above the surrounding terrain, making it very visible at some distance. Rib Mountain, then, stands higher above the surrounding terrain than any other hill in Wisconsin. So there is something for the Marathoners to brag about!
In the gee whiz category, Pearson Hill, about 0.5 miles from Timm's Hill, is only 0.7 feet lower than Timm's Hill.
Timm's Hill from High Point Village, on Rustic Road #62, with Bass Lake in the foreground: winter, fall and summer.
Timm's Hill is in some high country, kind of buried in Wisconsin's northern forests, one of the neat features of Price County. It is within the Timm's Hill County Park. That is unusual. It is the only highest point of any state that is not in a state park. Geologically, it is not made of rock. The University of Wisconsin at Green Bay describes it this way:
"It's an inconspicuous high bump on a moraine."
What's a moraine? It is a mass of rocks and sediment carried down and deposited by a glacier. The National Park Service has written:
"A mere 15,000 years ago, during the Ice Age, most of northern North America lay under the grip of colossal ice sheets. The effects of the advancing and retreating glaciers can be seen in the headlands of Cape Cod, the Finger Lakes of New York, and the hills of Michigan, but nowhere is the glacier's mark upon the land more impressive than in Wisconsin. Indeed, the State has lent its name to the most recent series of glacial advances and retreats, the Wisconsin Glaciation lasting from about 100,000 to 10,000 years ago.
"The moraines vary greatly across the state ... Across the northern counties the moraines form a broad band of hills and hollows--a poorly drained rocky landscape dotted with lakes, marshes, and bogs."
This is a contour map of the area. You can see that the elevations are high: 1900, 1806, 1840 are a few that we see quickly. The red arrow points to Rustic Road #62 and also reflects the rough angle from which we took the photo of Timm's Hill. Ours was a late winter shot, so Bass Lake is frozen in the foreground. We took the photo from the front porch of the Bear's Den cabin of High Point Village.
Before introducing you to High Point Village, we want to alert you to the Timm's Hill Trail, which, at its southern terminus in the Rusch Preserve, shoots off the Ice Age Trail.
This is a nice map of Timm's Hill Trail. You canna see Timm's Hill is the northern terminus, while the Ice Age Trail is the southern, with lots to see in between. It's about a ten mile trail. The National Trails System has a very useful presentation of the trail at each mile. We commend its web site to you.
The following are photos we took along the Rustic Road #62 (RR62). We made the trip in mid-March 2006.
RR62 on the southern side of Bass Lake
Ring School Road on the northern side of Bass Lake, and the way to Timm's Hill Park and Tower
A look from RR62 down the ridge to Pearson Lake.
Another look up RR62. If you look closely, on the right you will an American flag close to RR62. That marks the front of High Point Village. On the left, the white surface is that of a frozen and snow-covered Bass Lake.
This latter photo brings us to High Point Village, owned, built and operated by Lyle and Kathy Blomberg.
This the main building to High Point Village, a hotel, lodge, and a location for retreats, reunions, banquets, and weddings. It is open year round, and sits facing Bass Lake and Timm's Hill. The left side of this building hosts the reception and gathering areas, while the right side hosts the "Catch a Dream Inn," to wit, lodging. There are other buildings up the ridge to the rear, behind this building and to the left and right. Here are a few.
Bass Lake, across RR62, great for starting on a ski trail, or skating, snowshoeing, ice fishing in the winter, and boating and swimming in the summer.
During our stay at High Point Village in late September 2006, we took a walk around the entire perimeter of Bass Lake. As you can see, the scenery is marvelous. It is a nature lover's paradise. We wish we had paid closer attention in school.
During our stay at High Point Village in July 2007, we walked around, mainly in the area of Little Bass Lake, which is behind High Point Village. So here are some summer shots of the scenery.
We thought that to be a Loon coming our way.
Little Bass Lake
Our pal, a Red Tail Hawk, we named him "Timm"