Aynes Loop and Hesitation Point

Taking off from the popular Hesitation Point vista leads you downhill in every direction; both the hiker and mountain biker will soon come to appreciate the rugged backcountry of Brown County State Park!   This vista, like many in the park, is managed with a prescribed burn nearly every year. This allows steep hillsides to grow grasses and keep woody vegetation from obscuring the view.  1.92 miles from the beginning of this trail, is a fireplace built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), a still-standing remnant of a trailside shelter built for hikers.

The 3.4 mile Aynes loop is named after the Aynes family, whose home is now used as a conference meeting site.  The winding and gradually descending trail eventually leads past an old sandstone CCC shelter, the Green Valley shelter.  The shelter was built from nearby creek stone.  It became a lunchtime stop for lodge guests who could order a box lunch to be delivered there.

The Hesitation Point Trail is probably the most popular trail in the park.  The view at the top is breathtaking, especially in the fall.  The trail can be ridden as an out-and-back or as a connector, and it features a two-mile climb or descent depending on your direction of travel.  It’s labeled as a black diamond probably more for its length than its difficulty.  The downhill run takes around ten minutes for an experienced rider.  Watch out for oncoming traffic!

The Aynes Loop and the North Tower Loop have always been the foundation for any good, long Brown county ride.  These trails were among the first trails built, and their combination of fairly lengthy climbs and descents and their signature flow are in many ways the essence of the Brown County experience.

There’s a lot to see on the Hesitation Point Trail and the Aynes loop.  (Mileages are from the Hesitation Point parking lot.)

Begins: Hesitation Point parking lot (or pick up the Hesitation Point trail from the other direction, North Tower Connector to North Tower Loop to Aynes to Hesitation Point)
Distance: 8.24 miles
Hiking: Rugged
Hiking Time:  4 hours
Biking: Hesitation Point - Advanced
Biking: Aynes Loop - Intermediate
Elevation Gain: 891 ft