Blue Loop

The Blue Loop is located south of the campground and winds around Jackson Hole and Whitford Lake. The trail starts at the Whitford Lake parking lot rather than the Mountain Biking Trailhead. The Blue Loop is actually two loops with a common section between the two lakes. There are no technical sections, but several moderate climbs and descents. There are (10) trail markers to guide you, beginning just south of the parking lot (to the right of the toilets). It begins as singletrack skirting the south side of Whitford Lake and along open fields which are planted by the DNR with either soybeans or corn and left standing for waterfowl. In the spring a pair of Sandhill Cranes can often be seen performing their mating dance – a truly fascinating sight.

The trail then passes an old homestead. The foundations to the house, barn and outbuildings, as well as the silo are all that remain of the structures. Red Bud, cherry trees, and flowers planted by the former owners bloom in the early spring. The trail then descends and crosses a small brook. After climbing a short steep hill, the trail forks (2). Stay to the left. The trail follows a ridge above Lawler Lake then makes a descent, a climb, a descent and another climb before crossing a dirt road leading to one of the rental cabins (3). Follow the trail past a hand-pump (you can get a refill on water here) and past one of the rental cabins to marker (4). The trail then descends a steep rooted section to a junction (5).Going left will shortcut between Whitford Lake and Jackson Hole rejoining the trail at the boat launch parking lot (9). This is a cool downhill section that skirts the very edge of both lakes, and is worth checking out after you complete the main loop.

Taking a right at (5), the trail continues with short ups and downs for another half mile. It then crosses a bridge, built by the SWMMBA in 2002. It makes a sharp left (6) turning back on itself to approach the stream again. A moderate climb followed by a steep gravel descent takes you along Jackson Hole on your left. The trail intersects with a two track from the campground (7). It crosses a meadow and another two track to the lake (8). Back into the woods the trail skirts the south edge of the Campground. The trail dumps out onto the gravel access road for the Whitford and Jackson boat launches. Go left on the gravel road to the boat launch parking lot. The shortcut from (5) rejoins (9). Make a right, past the toilets and hop back on singletrack (10). The trail returns you to the Whitford Lake parking lot. This is a great place to picnic, take a swim, fish, or just lay out in the grass and watch the clouds pass overhead.