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Nugget Lake Park has lovely oddities

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Ellsworth, 54011
Ellsworth Wisconsin 126 S. Chestnut St. 54011

PLUM CITY -- Unless they were looking for it, most people probably wouldn't notice the unique geological formation stretching for four miles in eastern Pierce County.

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But it's there -- and it's one of Nugget Lake County Park's most popular features.

The formation is known as the Rock Elm disturbance. Some geologists think the disturbance is an old meteor crater; others suspect either faulting or pressurized gas was the culprit.

Nugget Lake County Park sits on the edge of the disturbance, giving those who visit the park to camp or hike the trails a look at a rare occurrence.

Rocks are folded and slanted at the site inside the park known as Blue Rock, which runs along the Plum Creek.

"It's very unique," said Scott Schoepp, park superintendent. "That doesn't happen in nature. It's kind of a neat little place."

Blue Rock is just one of the features that make this park unusual, Schoepp said.

The 55 campsites are secluded and spaced out, providing campers with privacy. No campsite really looks the same, Schoepp said.

"We provide a recreational experience rather than cramming in as many people as possible," he said.

An outdoor amphitheater on the southern end of the park adds to that experience. Complete with stadium seating -- but no surround sound, Schoepp jokes -- the amphitheater is a popular place for families to catch a nature movie at 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

"It's a pretty neat feature," Schoepp said of the amphitheater.

The park is also home to nature programs for kids at 10 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

While Nugget Lake County Park has unique features, there's plenty of standard park fare to go around. There are two playgrounds, a picnic area with two large shelters, several miles of hiking and cross country skiing trails, and a 116-acre lake.

The lake, however, provides another twist: Only electric trolling motors are allowed, a quality few other lakes in this area have.

Schoepp said the lake is also one of the best when it comes to fishing.

"If you can't catch a fish in Nugget Lake, you don't know what you're doing," he said.

Nugget Lake County Park opened in 1972. Only about one-third of the park's 752 acres are accessible, but there is still plenty of outdoor fun to have on the remaining land, Schoepp said.

"It's a quiet, peaceful, natural area with a plethora of outdoor opportunities and features," he said.

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