Complete Guide to Belmont Mound State Park
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Belmont Mound State Park is an hour’s drive from both Madison, Wisconsin, and Dubuque, Iowa. Belmont Mound State Park is a pleasant place to visit off Highway 151 in Wisconsin’s southwest corner. It is unique in that it is operated by the Belmont Lions Club, which is a nonprofit organization. Belmont Mound State Park is a day-use-only park, which makes it an excellent destination for a day trip. Stop in for a picnic and explore the hiking trails that provide a truly immersive forest experience.
Offering a range of recreational activities like hiking, biking, snowshoeing, hunting, and trapping experiences means that pretty much any outdoor enthusiast can have fun e here.
Belmont Mound State Park is located a half-mile west of Wisconsin’s First Capitol Historic Site, and visitors often visit both sites during their visit to the area.
The History of Belmont Mound State Park
The word “Belmont” comes from the French word “belle monte,” which means “beautiful mountain.” The hill for which the park is named rises four hundred feet above the surrounding landscape. The top of the mound is fourteen hundred feet above sea level.
Belmont Mound State Park was established in 1961. Eighty acres in the northwest corner of the park were designated as the Belmont Mound Woods State Area in 1981.
The mound in Belmont Mound State Park is one of two mounds in the area. The other mound is four miles east of Platteville. Historically, people have used both mounds as navigational aids which means Wisconsin’s first capitol was placed nearby because the mounds made the location easy to find in Wisconsin’s territorial wilderness.
Geology of Belmont Mound State Park
Belmont Mound State Park is in the Wisconsin Driftless Area. The Driftless Area is an area that was never covered by ice during the ice age. A million years ago, Belmont Mound was once a mountain. Natural erosion has occurred over the last 400 million years, turning the mountain into Belmont Mound. The top layer of Niagara Dolomite rock is what kept the mound from becoming flat.
Visitors like to look at the limestone cliffs, small caves, and unique rock formations found in Belmont Mound State Park.
Three geologic features of the Belmont Mound State Park can be seen from the Belmont Mound Extended Loop Trail. A few feet away from the trail is “The Devil’s Dining Table,” a stacked rock formation. A smaller rock formation is known as “The Devil’s Chair” and can be found nearby. A cave can also be seen in this area. The cave is a narrow path through a large boulder. If you decide to explore this cave, proceed with caution as it is easy to become trapped inside.
Things to do in Belmont Mound State Park
There are many outdoor activities you can do inside this park. Although camping isn’t allowed within the park, visitors can still enjoy a full outdoor experience by hiking and picnicking. The extensive trail system includes twenty-four trails to choose from. Visitors can hike, bike, and snowshoe on the trails all year round. Bring a lunch and enjoy a meal at the picnic shelter after you explore the woods in the park.
Camping at Belmont Mound State Park
Belmont Mound State Park is for day-use only. There are picnic facilities available, but there is no campground. Belmont Mound State Park has two camping options nearby. Both campgrounds are conveniently located less than ten miles from Belmont Mound State Park.
Mound View Park and Campground
Location: Mound View Park, Broadway St., Platteville, WI, 53818. Phone: 608-348-9741. Contact: https://www.platteville.org/recreation/page/mound-view-park-campground
If you want to camp outdoors without being in the woods, head to Mound View Park and Campground. This small campground is connected to the park which has a picnic area and a playground. The Mound View Park and Campground allow access to both natural and paved trails. The trails are open to bike and pedestrian traffic.
The Mound View Park and Campground are located on Platteville’s northeast side on the corner of Madison Street and County B. The Mound View Park and the Mound View Campground each share roughly half of the twenty-six-acre area.
Tents, RVs, and other motor vehicles are allowed to stay at a campsite here. Motor vehicles must park in the paved parking area that is designated for each site.
Mound View Park and the campground are open seasonally. No reservations are accepted. Registration is exclusively on a first-come, first-serve basis. There is no campground attendant available. A dump station, restrooms, showers, garbage collection, and water are all available. Campfires are permitted in the fire rings provided at each campsite.
Pets are permitted in both the campground and the adjacent park.
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Lake Joy Campground
Location: 24192 Lake Joy Ln, Belmont, WI, 53510 Phone: 608-762-5150. Contacts: https://www.lakejoy.com/ or https://www.facebook.com/lakejoycampground
Those who appreciate recreational water activities will find Lake Joy Campground to be a wonderful place to camp and enjoy the outdoors. This is the best campground in the Belmont Mound State Park area.
Lake Joy Campground is located three and a half miles north of Belmont and eight miles south of Mineral Point on Highway 151. It’s only a ten-minute drive from Belmont Mound State Park to Lake Joy Campground.
It’s recommended to make reservations ahead of time for this popular campground by phone or online.
There are numerous water sports activities available at the lake that is connected to the campground. Guests can rent boats, and recreational water toys are available to borrow.
A game room, basketball court, sand volleyball, and three playgrounds offer plenty of entertainment for families with children. The hiking trail and two hundred miles of off-road ATV trails are accessible from Lake Joy Campground.
Lake Joy Campground’s private sixty-acre lake provides guests with unique fishing opportunities. It is not necessary to have a fishing license to fish in the lake.
Lake Joy Campground has two hundred and forty campsites on one hundred and ten acres. This seasonally open campground offers both tent camping and RV camping sites. Amenities include picnic tables, fire rings, laundry facilities, flush restrooms, hot showers, sewer hookups, dump stations, and electrical services.
Lake Joy Campground also has a general store. The general store offers a variety of products to purchase, including firewood, propane, and regular gas. Well-behaved pets are welcome at Lake Joy Campground.
The extensive trail system includes twenty-four trails to choose from. Visitors can hike, bike, and snowshoe on the trails all year round. Bring a lunch and enjoy a meal at the picnic shelter after you explore the woods in the park.
Hiking at Belmont Mound State Park
Belmont Mound State Park has a total of two and a half miles of hiking trails. The trails go around the base of the mound, through the center of the park, and then loop back around.
There are three main trails and a road trail that us not driveable. Many other trail segments don’t show up on the Belmont Mound State Park Map. A map of all the trails is shown on the sign posted at the park.
There are no signs posted along any of the trails to show your location on the trail.
Belmont Mound Extended Loop Trail
The Belmont Mound Extended Loop Trail is a 1.9-mile lightly trafficked loop trail. This is a moderate trail that goes through dense forest with lush outcroppings and fallen trees. Hikers will see cliffs and interesting rock formations amid the surrounding landscape of rolling hills.
The entrance to this trail can be seen from the picnic area.
Shortly after walking on the trail, you will see abandoned lime kilns. It’s believed that the kilns were used to heat limestone into lime to make building materials. The trail then progresses in a rough circle around Belmont Mound.
As you hike along the trail, you can see an abandoned quarry set into large limestone cliffs. The rest of the trail provides additional views of Belmont Mound’s limestone cliffs.
Along the main trail, there are several interesting side trails. These side trails wind their way through the park and offer opportunities for further exploration.
The top of Belmont Mound offers a vista of the hills that surround the area.
Belmont Mound Trail
Belmont Mound Trail is a lightly trafficked out-and-back trail that is a half-mile long. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and nature trips.
It’s best to hike this trail between April and October. This trail provides a quick and easy hike up to the top of Belmont Mound.
Biking at Belmont Mound State Park
Off-road bikes may be used on any of the trails in Belmont Mound State Park. The trails are rugged and can be muddy depending on the season.
The trails can be overgrown with grass and have rocks and branches on them. While the two main trails are not strictly dirt trails, they are wide enough for off-road bike use.
Picnic areas in Belmont Mound State Park
The picnic area is located right next to the parking lot at Belmont Mound State Park. There is a single covered picnic shelter with three picnic tables to sit at. There are restrooms and a water station located in the picnic area. However, the water station is not always turned on.
Hunting at Belmont Mound State Park
Deer, small game animals, and wild turkeys have been seen in Belmont Mound State Park. Hunting and trapping are regulated by the State of Wisconsin.
Hunting and trapping are permitted in open areas of the park during Wisconsin’s hunting and trapping seasons.
Trapping is not permitted in closed areas of the park or within one hundred yards of a designated use area. Neither hunting nor trapping is allowed in the mowed picnic area. Certain types of traps are only permitted for use throughout the park.
The park hunting map has all the details about the hunting and trapping guidelines.
Winter Activities at Belmont Mound State Park
Snowshoeing and winter hiking are available in the winter as the park is open all year round. Trails are not maintained in the winter, and dangerous trails may be closed. These trails are rugged in the winter and should be used by more experienced snowshoers. The trails are not groomed for skiing, but skiing is allowed.
Belmont Mound State Park and Dogs
Let’s start with the obvious: dogs shouldn’t be left unattended and you should pick up the poop. Waste should be disposed of in dumpsters or trash receptacles. Dogs are allowed in most campgrounds, trails, roads, and outlying areas of the parks. They must be on a leash no longer than 8 feet at all times, if they are not under control at all times, they can be seized and subject to local laws on stray animals.
ID tags are a good idea if your dog isn’t microchipped. If you do lose your pet you can contact the Grant County Humane Society at (608)-723-6366.
Rabies could be a thing as there are wild animals like raccoons your pooch could come in contact with so make sure your pooch has all current vaccinations.
Other animals like deer, chipmunks, squirrels, gray wolves, skunks, fishers, elk, and porcupines can be found there.
Pets are not allowed in the following places:
- Picnic areas and picnic shelters
- No Pets are allowed on the ski trails when they are snow-covered.
Of course, if your dog is a service animal, those rules do not apply.
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Restaurants Near Belmont Mound State Park
There are several restaurants within a fifteen-minute drive of Belmont Mound State Park. These restaurants are in the community of Belmont and the city of Platteville. Here are some of the best places to eat near Belmont Mound State Park for an enjoyable dining experience.
Sportspage Bar and Supper Club
Location: 117 W Commerce St, Belmont, WI 53510, More Information: https://www.facebook.com/sportspagebelmont
Enjoy the fun and friendly atmosphere at this unique local dining spot. Sportspage Bar and Supper Club offers a kid’s menu, a salad bar, and nightly specials. Entrees include steak, poultry, and seafood dishes. There are sandwiches, shrimp baskets, and handmade pizzas to order as well.
Location: 105 US-151 BUS, Platteville, WI 53818, More Information: http://fiestacancunplatteville.com/
Fiesta Cancun is an authentic Mexican restaurant that offers regular meal entrees and daily specials for food and cocktails. This locally owned and operated restaurant has a family-friendly atmosphere and offers a kid’s menu. The restaurant’s menu includes a variety of dishes, ranging from Carne Asada to Steak Americano. With vegetarian options also available, there’s something for everyone here.
Location: 65 US 151, Business, Platteville, WI 53818, More Information: https://countrykitchenrestaurants.com/platteville, Wi/
The Country Kitchen serves all-day breakfasts and other American comfort food meals. This restaurant is known for its excellent service and delicious food. Full breakfast selections are available at The Country Kitchen. These include classic country breakfasts, skillet breakfasts, and waffles with a variety of toppings. There are other standard items available to order, such as hamburgers, sandwiches, chicken, and fish baskets. The menu also includes steak and ribs among its dinner entrees.
Food Truck Downtown BBQ
Location: 52 Means Drive, Suite 103B, Platteville, Wisconsin 53818, More Information: https://www.facebook.com/DowntownBBQPlatteville
The Downtown BBQ food truck is conveniently parked next to Platteville City Park. Diners can eat at one of the nearby picnic tables. This is also a great option for ordering a meal to take to Belmont Mound State Park for a picnic.
Choose from a menu offering beef brisket, pulled pork, smoked brats, and ribs, among other fares.
Hotels near Belmont Mound State Park
Not everyone is a fan of the rustic camping experience—their idea of roughing it is a Holiday Inn or Howard Johnson’s. We have a list of local hotels for your consideration in nearby Belmont and Platteville.
Belmont Quality Inn and Suites (Belmont Route 151)
Location: 103 W Mound View Ave, Belmont, WI 53510, More Information: https://www.choicehotels.com/wisconsin/belmont/quality-inn-hotels/wi293?mc=llgoxxpx
This hotel is located right off Highway 151 near the University of Wisconsin-Platteville.
This affordable hotel offers a full range of amenities. Guests can rent a standard room with free Wi-Fi, a flatscreen, a hot breakfast, and coffee-making facilities. Hotel amenities include an indoor heated pool and a game room. Guests can enjoy a meal at the hotel’s restaurant and bar, “The Hungry Cow Saloon.”
Hotel guests have access to onsite vending machines, a fax and copy machine, and a self-service laundry facility. This hotel is pet-friendly, kid-friendly, and offers complimentary parking.
Hotel guests can visit the nearby Ken Leahy Memorial Park, which offers a picnic area, a playground, and basketball and tennis courts.
Holiday Inn Express & Suites (Platteville)
Location: 55 South Elm Street, Platteville, WI 53818, More Information: https://www.ihg.com/holidayinnexpress/hotels/us/en/platteville/dbqpv/hoteldetail?cm_mmc=GoogleMaps-_-EX-_-US-_-DBQPV
This Holiday Inn Express is a beautiful, modern hotel with a full range of amenities. Guest rooms include Wi-Fi, a refrigerator, a microwave, and a flat-screen TV. The Holiday Inn Express offers its guests a variety of free breakfasts. Breakfast choices range from a full breakfast, a breakfast buffet, and a continental breakfast. Hotel amenities include an indoor pool, a fitness center, and complimentary parking. The Holiday Inn Express does not allow pets.
Hotel guests can play at the nearby golf course or take a tour of Platteville’s historic Main Street.
Country Inn and Suites by Radisson (Platteville, WI)
Location: 630 Water St, Platteville, WI 53818, More Information: https://www.radissonhotelsamericas.com/en-us/hotels/country-inn-platteville-wi/rooms
Country Inn and Suites is a modern hotel with a homey feel. This hotel offers standard rooms with Wi-Fi, microwaves, refrigerators, coffee pots, and flat-screen TVs. Hotel suites include a two-person whirlpool tub. Guests enjoy a complimentary breakfast and parking. This hotel is not pet-friendly.
Located just minutes away from Platteville’s downtown, guests can visit nearby attractions. The most popular are the Mining and Rollo Jamison Museums and the Platteville Community Arboretum.
Places To Stay Nearby
Where is Belmont Mound State Park?
Belmont Mound State Park is located at 18650 County Road G, Platteville, WI 53818.
Driving Directions from Platteville to Belmont Mound State Park:
Platteville is about a fifteen-minute drive from Belmont Mound State Park.
Head east on West Main Street toward South Fourth Street for 3 miles. There will be a slight left onto County Road B/Broadway Street as you drive 4 miles. For 2.5 miles, turn right to stay on County Road B. Continue on North County Road G for 6 miles. Turn left and Belmont Mound State Park will be on your right almost immediately.
Driving Directions from Madison to Belmont Mound State Park:
Belmont Mound State Park is about an hour’s drive from Madison.
Take Campus Drive, North Franklin Avenue, and South Midvale Boulevard to US-151 South/US-18 West for approximately 5 miles. Follow US-151 South to Burr Oak Road in Belmont for 55.3 miles. Follow Burr Oak Road, Cottage Inn Road, and East Mound Road for 3. 9 miles until you arrive at Belmont Mound State Park.