Preserving the Past — Planning for the Future
The Wood County Park and Forestry Department would like to announce the start of a fundraising capital campaign entitled:
Powers Bluff Development Project – Preserving the Past, Planning for the Future.
First, we would like you to know where the money will be going and how it will be used. As the campaign progresses, we
will keep everyone posted on Facebook and our website as to the status of the dollar amount collected and where we are at
with our goal.
The Capital Campaign will run until 2019, if necessary. Funding sources being pursued include: personal donations, local
business donations, private and public foundations, and WI DNR grants. All donations will go directly to Wood County and
will be placed into a dedicated account until funds are needed to begin the development. All donors contributing $100 or
more will be recognized via social media. Donors giving $1,000 or more will be included on the donor wall at the Multi-Use
shelter building. Donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. Tax receipts will be issued. Questions regarding
contributions should be referred to your tax advisor.
Where is the money going? How will it be used?
|Funded With Grants/Donations
|Entrance Road/Parking Lot
|Multi-use Shelter Construction
|Ski/Tube Hill Lights
|Funded By Wood County
|Ice Skating Rink
|Three (3) Acre Fishing Pond
Note: This page depicts the park once all of the development projects are
In 2003, the Wood County Park & Forestry
Department began developing a Long Range Master
Plan for Powers Bluff County Park. The plan’s Mission
Statement is as follows: Powers Bluff County Park is a
unique natural, cultural, and recreational resource.
The long-term vision is to protect it for future
generations of Wood County residents so they may
enjoy the park for years to come.
The following groups assisted in the development of
the master plan: Friends of Powers Bluff, Ho-Chunk
Nation, Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation, Wood
County Parks and Forestry Committee, and several
interested individuals from the public.
The plan was finalized and approved by the Wood
County Board of Supervisors in 2005. The main
recommendation from the plan was for Wood County
to acquire adjoining property north of the existing 160
acre park. The purpose was to separate the different
user groups in order to protect the cultural and
environmentally sensitive areas of the park, while still
having the ability to develop the outdoor recreation
opportunities the area provides.
In 2012, Wood County acquired 223 acres of property
north of the existing park. In 2016 the Highway,
Infrastructure and Recreation Committee instructed
the Park and Forestry Department to begin soliciting
donations and applying for grants for the preservation
and development of the park.
Environmental Resource Preservation
At 1,472’ above sea level,
Powers Bluff is the tallest point in
Wood County and sits on top of a
300’ high monadnock – an
isolated remnant hill made of
erosion resistant quartzite. Its
unique flora, fauna and geologic
features have been studied,
recorded and are appreciated by
The southeastern 70 acres of the park make up the
Powers Bluff Maple Woods State Natural Area. A 1.5
mile nature trail loops through the wooded area and
provides breathtaking scenery throughout the year. A
nature guide booklet is available to assist in identifying
the unique plant species. The Environmental Education
learning room, located in the multi-use shelter building,
serves as a remote learning center for many area
Cultural Resource Preservation
Powers Bluff/Skunk Hill (Tah-qua-kik) was the home of a
unique settlement of landless Prairie Band Potawatomi,
Ho Chunk, Ojibway and Menominee from 1905 to 1930.
Its worth as a cultural resource in Wood County was
memorialized in 2002 when the National Park Service
placed the southern 80 acres on the National Register of
Historic Places. The 1.5 mile interpretive trail helps tell
the story of this time in history. The stone shelter
building, on top of the bluff, is also used occasionally as
a cultural learning center.
Powers Bluff is the destination for many outdoor
recreation enthusiasts. Year-round opportunities
include: 7 miles of single track bike/snowshoe trail, 5
miles of hiking/cross country ski trail, snow tubing, downhill
skiing/snowboarding, ice skating, sledding, and fishing
in a 3 acre recreation pond.
Multi-use Shelter Building
This year-round shelter building is the main attraction for
many events that occur in the park. The shelter is made
up of 4 different areas: the atrium, events room/winter
warming area, meeting room/environmental education
learning room, and the lower level.
This is an open air shelter area and is available to all park
users, unless reserved, throughout the year. This area
has tables for picnics, restrooms, drinking fountain, access
to concessions, and a gas firepit to enjoy during
colder temperatures. This area can also be reserved for
many different types of events and can seat approximately
This large hall is used as a warming/eating area during
open times of the winter sports season. Outside of this
time, the hall is available to groups that reserve it. The
hall has access to concessions, a kitchen designed for
catered events, and restrooms. The hall also has a small
stage and portable bar. This room seats up to 300 people
and is great for weddings, family reunions, outdoor
sporting events and class reunions.
Meeting room/Environmental Education learning room
This room is designed as a classroom and is ideal for environmental
learning due to the close proximity to the
State Natural Area. This room can also be reserved for
other events throughout the year, including during the
winter sports season. The room can seat 70 people.
The lower level is only open
during the winter sports season.
There is an equipment rental
area (downhill and cross country
skis, snowboards, sleds,
snowshoes, ice skates), lockers,
first aid room, and a restroom.