Hugh Harper Indoor Camp -Cabins and Area

A favorite area for family reunions is the Hugh Harper Indoor Group Camp. The Hugh Harper Indoor Group Camp has four separate dorm buildings. Each one can accommodate 27 people (108 people total). Bunk beds with mattresses, indoor showers, and flush toilets are included. The buildings are heated. The main lodge houses the kitchen, dining, and meeting facilities. The kitchen is equipped with a gas range, large refrigerator, large freezer, microwave, commercial dishwasher (detergent is provided), coffee percolator, and all cooking, serving and eating utensils. There is a storage room and bathroom with a shower. A large charcoal grill is available just a few steps outside the kitchen. The Hugh Harper Indoor Group Camp is only one of three indoor group camps in Wisconsin State Park System. More>>>>

The Hugh Harper Indoor Group Camp was opened in 1994. It was named for a longtime assemblyman that served the district that included Wyalusing Park. Hugh Harper worked tirelessly for the creation of the camp that was formed to teach youth about conservation.

The purpose of the Indoor Group Camp was for youth conservation education. Throughout the years, many many school groups have met for that very purpose. The camp served as the site of the first Wisconsin Badger Camp in 1966. Badger Camp is a recreational camp for individuals with developmental disabilities. The camp has grown from one week of activities to 12 weeks of camping, learning, and fun.

From 1979 to 1981 the Hugh Harper Indoor Group Camp served as the site of the Youth Conservation Corps. The purpose of the YCC was to put young people to work in forests and parks learning about conservation and working on projects.

In 1980, the Hugh Harper Group Camp served as housing for 170 Cubans who were part of a larger group seeking asylum from Fidel Castro.

Today, school districts from the area as well as southern Wisconsin stay at the group camp for two to three days as part of their outdoor education. The Indoor group camp also is rented for weddings, family reunions, sewing guilds, Scout groups, and large meetings.

To view other photos of the dorms, kitchen, large meeting rooms, cafeteria, and outdoor amphitheater Click here

Please inquire at Wyalusing State Park Office for additional Information. Call 608-996-2261.

Additional Information: Click here

Spook Hill Mound Group

Twenty-one mound sites have been recorded in the park, once totaling more than 130 mounds. In the 1880s, Cyrus Thomas(Photo right) of the Bureau of Ethnology at the Smithsonian Institution investigated several mounds in his search for the identity of the mound builders. In 1909, Charles E. Brown of the State Historical Society, assisted by the Reverend Drexel and Robert Glenn, mapped most of the mounds in the area. Among the groups mapped was the Signal Hill Mound Group or "Procession of the Mounds"--a single line of mounds, including conical, linear, and one effigy, that follows the crest of the bluff....

At least two separate periods of mound building are represented at the park. Thomas investigated several large conical mounds and found burials in stone crypts, one with shell beads, a copper celt, and a stone platform pipe (Photo Left). These characteristics suggest construction during the Middle Woodland stage. Most mounds, however, appear to have been built during the Late Woodland state. They consist of small conical mounds, linear mounds, and several types of effigy mounds, including bears and other animals, several long-tailed water spirits, and compound or chain mounds, which, like the bear effigies, are common in this region of the Mississippi River valley.**

(Spook Hill Mound Group, Below)

Indian peoples have lived in the area we now call Wisconsin for more than 12,000 years. Throughout this time, Indian peoples engaged in a universal practice of humans – the respectful burial of their dead.

During the Woodland period (about 500 BC to 1000 AD), earthwork or “mound” construction (generally associated with burial of the dead) developed.

Mounds are a type of monumental architecture built primarily of earth, although they do occasionally have stone or wood foundations. These structures may or may not contain human burials.

In Late Woodland times, Indian peoples began to build animal-shaped or “effigy” mounds–birds, bears, and panthers are common forms. Because of the especially dense concentration of effigy mounds in the state, Wisconsin is considered to be the center of what is referred to as “effigy mound culture.”

In addition to building mounds, Woodland peoples developed other technological innovations including plant domestication, pottery, and, late in the period, the bow and arrow.

Many burial mounds, as well as other burial sites (both Indian and non-Indian), are in DNR parks, forests, and other properties. The department removes brush and trees from the mounds and promotes the growth of native plants on them. We do not mow the mounds. State law [exit DNR] protects all such burial areas, including those on public and private lands, against unauthorized disturbance.*

***Wyalusing Park Photos : Link ***



Picture Rock Cave

Whether camping in the secluded campsites of Homestead Campground or high atop Wisconsin Ridge Campground at Wyalusing State Park in Bagley, WI, the heat and humidity of July takes its toll on campers. Sooner or later, one has to look for relief.

Pictured Rock Cave, located along Sugar Maple Nature Trail, offers a mosquito, gnat free area with a cool, relaxing spring-fed water fall....

Pictured Rock Cave is a sandstone outcropping. During earlier times, Pictured Rock Cave offered protection from the elements and relief from the heat for Native Americans and early settlers. Picto-glyphs could be found on the walls of the cave. However, over time, and vandalism, the picto-glyphs have disappeared.

There is no better place to spend a hot-summer day. Bring along a chair and a book. Or, just sit and contemplate the conversations of Native Americans and early settlers. Leave only footprints behind.

Parts of the original trail were washed away during a July, 2007, thunderstorm Almost eight inches of rain over night. Sugar Maple Nature Trail is the first trail that was rebuilt by a State of Wisconsin DNR trail crew. The crew modified the trail so that hikers could not only walk to Pictured Rock Cave, but also above the cave.

To reach Pictured Rock Cave, drive to the Homestead Picnic area. Park in the small lot east of Homestead picnic shelter along Cathedral Tree Drive. Walk along Sugar Maple Nature trail. take the wooden bridge crossing a small ravine. Continue down the wooden steps until a Y in the trail is reached. Turn left along a wooden fence. Follow the short trail to Pictured Rock Cave. Dogs are not allowed on Sugar Maple Nature Trail.

Additional Photos.