In Your Backyard: Stone Wall at Picnic Point Provides Geology Lesson

Emeritus Professor David Mickelson talks with a young visitor about the stones in the rock wall. Photo by Gisela Kutzbach.

Emeritus Professor David Mickelson talks with a young visitor about the stones in the rock wall. Photo by Gisela Kutzbach.

By Bryn Scriver

Have you ever noticed the impressive stone wall at the entrance to Picnic Point and wondered about the types of stone used to build it and where they came from?

The wall was constructed under the direction of landowner Edward Young, sometime in the late 1920s. Stones for the wall were gathered from around southern Wisconsin. The diversity of rock specimens in the wall—thanks to the glaciers that transported them to the region—provides visitors and students an opportunity to learn about Wisconsin geology.

A Key to the Glacial Erratics in the stone wall can be found on the Friends of the Lakeshore Nature Preserve website. Examples of the types of rocks and rocks with interesting features are circled and labeled. The key also includes a glossary of geological and mineralogical terminology with links to the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey—Minerals of Wisconsin database.  You can also download a pdf of the Key.