Gratitude Reflection Journal

Practicing gratitude is one way that we can improve our mental and emotional health.

Download the reflection journal here.

Pandemic Grief Guide

The Harvard Business Review published an article called That Discomfort you're Feeling Is Grief.

After reading and processing this article with several people, we decided to put together a resource designed to identify specific grief we might be experiencing during this time.  We hope you find this helpful for self-reflection. If you need to talk to someone further, please email at for ongoing support.

Download the Grief Guide here.

Loving God Reflection

There are many ways to give and receive love from God.  This spiritual formation reflection is one way to help identify how you are experiencing God's love and new ways you'd like to explore.

Close to Madison Hikes

Residents of Madison are centrally located to a lot of hiking options in every direction. While some of those sites are closed there are plenty of options within or just outside of Dane county. Not only are these sites scenic and don’t experience super high use, some (especially the SNAs and Prairie Enthusiast sites) are great examples of Wisconsin’s native plant communities.

Note: These sites are currently open, but due to the evolving situation with COVID-19 may close at any time if use is high, so we recommend  that you check their websites first.

Sites with trails:

Use the links to find directions. Even though these sites are usually not very crowded, they are not designed for large groups of people. Due to Covid-19, parking lots may fill up quickly, so if you have a choice it’s more likely there will be fewer people in the morning, late in the day, or on a weekday. 

SNA= State Natural Area

Pleasant Valley Conservancy SNA (Black Earth)- restored oak savanna and nice prairie with beautiful trees and big views, multiple trails with a map AND Black Earth Rettenmund SNA(Black Earth)- high quality remnant prairie with good views and lots of flowers.

Lodi Marsh Wildlife Area (Lodi)- Ice Age Trail runs through the site. Hills and good mixture of woods and restored prairie views.

Muralt Bluff Prairie SNA (Albany)- sizeable remnant prairie with native flowers and sweeping views. Section owned by the Prairie Enthusiasts is larger and has a up and back trail. If you follow directions on the access tab on the link provided you will be at the larger site.

Olson Oak Woods SNA (Verona)- decent trail system through open mature oak woodland, some hills

Brooklyn Wildlife Area (Belleville)- large wood and wetland complex. Ice Age Trail goes through the property

Table Bluff Section Ice Age Trail (Cross Plains)- scenic bluff on end closest to Cross Plains with remnant prairie and woods hike

Dane county parks- all Dane county parks are open at this time but we would not be surprised if they see a spike in users and have to close. They are designed for more people, and many offer lots of trails. Highlights are Donald Park (Verona), Indian Lake Park (Middleton), Walking Iron Park (Mazomanie)

Ice Age Trail- all sections of the Ice Age trail outside of closed areas are still open.

Grady Tract (UW- Arboretum- Madison)- restored oak woodland and savanna on the south side of the beltline. Small lot at junction of Seminole and beltline.

Bike Trails- most bike trails are still open. There are many that go through and exit Madison

Sites with few or no trails:

These sites vary from having walking paths with/without maps to no trails at all. There should be fewer people.

The Prairie Enthusiasts (volunteer driven non-profit)- has many sites in Dane county and the surrounding area, most without designated trails. Properties are well managed and good examples of native prairie and oak savanna

Rocky Run Oak Savanna SNA (Poynette)- large site good option for those wanting longer hike with great oak savanna and hill prairies, also a small box canyon. Contact Jared for more details on how to find this.

Westport Drumlin SNA (Waunakee)- mixture of farm fields and cool drumlins of remnant prairie very close to Madison.

Hauser Road Prairie SNA (Waunakee)- hill with views in 360 degrees including of the capitol. Remnant prairie with flowers.

Find your own adventure via an SNA like Ridgeway Pine Relict SNA.