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FREE VISITORS GUIDE

Visitor Guide
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  • Petrifying Springs Park
  • Carlisle Family Dog Park at Petrifying Springs Park
  • Petrifying Springs Park
  • Petrifying Springs Park in the winter
  • Petrifying Springs Golf Course
  • Petrifying Springs Park
  • Petrifying Springs Park in the winter
  • Petrifying Springs Park
  • Petrifying Springs Park
  • Petrifying Springs Park
  • Petrifying Springs Park
  • Petrifying Springs Park
  • Petrifying Springs Park in the winter
  • Petrifying Springs Park
  • Petrifying Springs Park
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Petrifying Springs Park

Located at Hwy. 31 and Hwy. A, this is a park in the Kenosha County park system. 350 acres. Scenic hiking and biking. Streams and rivers, picnic areas, playgrounds, volleyball courts, softball diamonds, a public golf course, shelter rentals, sledding hill (with lights for night-time sledding), and the Carlisle Family Dog Park (open year-round).

There are two permanent outdoor chess tables here: one by Parking Area 1 by the Well and another by the river in at Parking Area 4. These are permanently installed cement tables with a chess/checkerboard inlaid into them. Bring your own chess pieces or checkers to play.

The park has been home to an artesian well since the 1930s. An artesian aquifer consists of groundwater that overcomes gravity and flows upwards through a well without the need for pumping. The artesian well at Petrifying Springs Park is pure, natural spring water. Local residents and visitors alike bring empty jugs to fill up at the well spigot. The well is located at the north end of Parking Lot 1; there is no cost. Geocache information for the well is here.

Cross country skiing and snowshoeing on all trails; lighted sledding hill at Area 2; lighted cross country skiing track on golf course. The UW-Parkside Community Cross Country Ski Club grooms the cross country ski trail using Kenosha County’s equipment. The night ski trail length is approximately 3,000 feet (0.57 miles).

The grand opening of the Petrifying Springs Biergarten will be held at 4 p.m. on Friday, May 26, 2017. The Petrifying Springs Biergarten is located at Pavilion Shelter #1, located at the southern entrance (at County Highway JR) to the park. It will be operated by a vendor, Petrifying Springs Biergarten LLC, which has already made more than $130,000 in improvements to convert the picnic shelter into a traditional German-style Biergarten. The vendor has a five-year lease agreement with the county to construct a German-style Biergarten, and sell German-style food, premium beer, wine and non-alcoholic beverages, and provide a variety of activities at and around Shelter #1. The addition of the Biergarten will also lead to creating a revenue source that will go toward park improvements. Mirroring successful Biergarten concepts in other communities, the Petrifying Springs Biergarten will offer indoor and outdoor seating, a menu of food and beverage options and weekly activities, including kickball leagues, Movie on the Mound, Poses & Pints yoga classes, and Pups and Pints dog owner networking. Petrifying Springs Biergarten will be open to the public daily from Memorial Day through about October, from Noon to approximately 9 p.m.

Summer 2017 activities in the park include: Yoga in the Park, Tots in the Park (3-5 years old), CrossFit in the Park, and Wildlife Explorers (5-8 years old).

Fun facts: Petrifying Springs Park has owl boxes, wood duck boxes and extensive blue bird trails. Staff feeds the birds and has a squirrel playground where they feed the squirrels for park visitors to enjoy. 

History:  Nature has endowed Kenosha County with one of the most picturesque parks in southeastern Wisconsin. The 350 acre park’s name was derived from a Calcareous formation that appears on the South Ravine. Close observation of the stoney clusters, caused by rain water and chemical action, resembles petrified flora material.

A series of park interpretations correlated with early history, geology, and environmental features, will introduce the visitor to the interesting adventures of this colorful woodland retreat.

In the spring of 1835, pioneer families followed the winding Jambeau Trail from Chicago north into the new Wisconsin Territory. Covered wagon and ox team travel was slow and roads were poor. At times, it was impossible to cover more than 15 to 20 miles per day.

Upon arriving in the now Somers Township and park area, the majestic landscape with prairies, woods, and placid waters of the river revealed many favorable sites for settlement. Some men selected suitable land and staked out their “claim”. Later the land was purchased for $1.25 per acre from the government at the County Land Office in Milwaukee.

An explanation of the spring’s hydrology is given by G.F. Hansen, State geologist, UW-Madison. “The ‘spring’ that furnished drinking water in the park is a drilled artesian well in the Niagara Dolomite, but, the spring on the hillside is not an artesian flow but a contact spring. It is caused by rainwater percolating downward to a relatively impervious later and them emerging as a spring from the hillside”.

The petrified sticks, acorns, etc., that occur at such springs are not petrified in the sense that the organic matter is replaced with mineral matter. It is simply covered with lime. After time, the organic matter may decay and be entirely removed. The deposits or stoney material is described as calcareous turf can be used to describe the deposits. Wallace Mygatt, an early pioneer grain buyer, mentions in his 1850 history of Kenosha County that in Somers Township there are certain springs that have the properties of turning vegetation into stone.

History provided by Phil Sander and the Racine Journal (July 13, 1870), and shared by the Kenosha County Parks Division.

Click here for directions to Petrifying Springs Park.

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Rebels and Redcoats Revolutionary War Reenactment

June 10, 2017 – June 11, 2017

A Revolutionary War reenactment, with shopping, music, surgeons tent, battle re-enactments, tomahawk throwing and more! This is held in Area 3 of the park. Free.

Coureurs de Bois Trail Run & Relay

June 10, 2017

Petrifying Springs Park is the location and provides perhaps the best trails along the Pike River. This is an ideal trail running and walking event for the more adventure-minded runners and walkers. 

2017 Kenosha County Park Summer Trail Running Series

June 14, 2017, June 28, 2017, July 12, 2017, July 26, 2017, August 2, 2017, August 9, 2017

Kenosha County Parks Department and Kenosha Running Company, Inc. are working together to introduce all the great trails for runners and walkers throughout the Park System. 

Movie Night at Petrifying Springs

Fridays, June 16, 2017 – August 18, 2017

Enjoy a free movie at the park!

Rods for a Reason - Make a Wish Car Show

July 9, 2017

This event is in support of the Wisconsin Make A Wish foundation. All proceeds from this event stay local, going to Make A Wish children in the Kenosha/Racine area.

Kenosha County Parks 90th Anniversary Celebration

August 5, 2017

Kenosha County Parks is celebrating its 90th Birthday since the inception of the Kenosha County Park Commission in 1927. To help mark this historic event, we are hosting a party on August 5th, 2017 at Petrifying Springs Park. The Park Division will offer free live music, interactive family activities and fireworks. Also featuring food and beverages.

Kenosha County Fall Wheel Ride

September 30, 2017

The Kenosha County Fall Wheel Ride is presented by Kenosha County Parks and Kenosha County Executive Jim Kreuser. Choose a 5.8 mile starting from Simmons Island or a 2.3 mile bike ride starting from Bose Elementary School. The finish is at Shelter One at Petrifying Springs Park where everyone can enjoy the great food, drinks and other fun activities. Free.

Pike River Trail Run and Walk

September 30, 2017

The Pike River Trail Run & Walk will start like a cross country meet and then you will experience single track, rocks, roots, water and hills! Some running will be on a paved bike path, golf course, groomed trails and single track rugged trails.

Hateya Trail Run

December 9, 2017

The XC Thrillogy Hateya Trail Run (approx. 6.4 miles) and the Hateya Trail Walk (approx. 3.5 miles) will take you on an adventure through the trails in Petrifying Springs Park.