The Friends Shelter is available for rent. Call the park at (608) 437-5711 for availability.
About the Friends Shelter
On Saturday evening January 5, 2013 the newly constructed Friends Shelter at Blue Mound State Park opened its doors to the public. A beautiful winter scene greeted hundreds of skiers and snowshoers enjoying a hike or ski along candlelit trails in the park. The roaring fire outside and food and drink inside made for a perfect night of celebration.
The efforts of hundreds of volunteers and donors and the Friends’ fundraising events such as the Horribly Hilly Hundreds Bike Event and trail runs over the last 10 years have brought the shelter from a dream to reality. Visions of families and friends using the shelter and connecting trails to enjoy outdoor Wisconsin were realized on the shelter’s first day.
The 2,400 square foot building was designed by Jacob Morrison of Morrison Architecture (Madison) and built by Buss Construction (Cross Plains). The project came in on budget and ahead of schedule. It is heated, air conditioned and fully accessible with bathrooms and drinking water. Volunteer John Koffel coordinated the process for the Friends.
The Friends raised about 85% of the $500,000 needed for the structure from events and private donors. The co-operation and assistance provided by the Wisconsin DNR, The Wisconsin Dept of Administration and the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship fund were critical to the success of the project. Still to come are connecting accessible trails and additional landscaping for the grounds. These projects will take additional funds and enthusiasm.
Grants Secured to Support the All-Season Shelter and Learning Center
- Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program: $6,950 matching grant (2009)
- Courtier Foundation: $10,000 (2011)
- Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program: $20,000 matching grant (2011)
- Courtier Foundation: $10,000 (2012)
- Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program: $20,000 matching grant (2012)
- Chris Funk Memorial Fund ($20,000) (2012)