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Ascent of Gander Mountain on 2014-10-20

Climber: Greg Slayden

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Monday, October 20, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Gander Mountain
    Location:USA-Illinois
    Elevation:957 ft / 291 m

Ascent Trip Report

It is always nice to come upon a county highpoint in the Midwest where the local government has preserved the land as a park—no issues with access or private property, and one can often take a nice short hike, too.

The parking area for Gander Mountain is very tiny, located on busy Wilmont Road just south of the IL-WI state line (Fox River Rd or Highway W in WI). They ask you not to block the gate, so there is room for only one car, plus maybe a couple more on the nearby shoulder. From the parking area a pleasant and easy trail climbs to a “false summit”, then steeply down and then up to the summit of Gander Mountain. On my visit the summit area featured six-foot high tallgrass, a reminder of how much of Illinois looked 200 years ago. The benchmark is visible at a three-way trail junction. Very pleasant overall.

Just to the south is the large Wilmont ski area in Wisconsin, and the lift towers are visible on the Gander hike. Also just across the state line is a huge “American Girl” doll warehouse.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:129 ft / 39 m
    Extra Gain:50 ft / 15 m
    Distance:0.7 mi / 1.1 km
    Route:West Tr
    Trailhead:County Park TH  928 ft / 282 m
    Quality:2 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Weather:Pleasant, Windy, Partly Cloudy



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