Have you ever wanted to walk the Geneva Lake Shore Path? Well, this is your chance. Join us for a hike on The Shore Path around Geneva Lake, a 23-mile path that weaves among historic estates, summer cottages, and woods with beautiful views of the lake at each turn. The Shore Path has a rich history, having started as a Native American footpath; it became a trail for workmen from the town of Lake Geneva to get to the summer estates of wealthy Chicago families who moved to the area following the Chicago Fire of 1871. Our journey will start at our hotel in the town of Lake Geneva and people can circumnavigate all or part of the path.
Hiking options will include:
The Planned (Moderate) Option: We will leave the hotel at 10AM Saturday and walk the 8 miles (past historic mansions, boat houses and beautiful views of the lake) to Williams Bay, where we will have lunch. After lunch we will continue 3.5 miles on the western shore of the lake (past camps and cottages) to Fontana, where we will gather for our car ride back to the hotel in the town of Lake Geneva.
On Sunday, those hikers who still have energy and want to finish the hike, will buy picnic lunches in town and head over to Fontana, where we will continue our walk along the southern half of the lake, 11 miles of more rustic terrain that goes past more summer cottages, woods, golf courses, the Geneva Inn, and Big Foot State Park.
The Hard Option: For intrepid hikers, it is possible to do the whole Shore Path in one day, but it is arduous and long, and requires leaving early in the AM (certainly by 8AM) in order to get back before dark. We do not recommend this unless you are sure of your physical fitness and hiking ability, and take responsibility for getting back via Lyft or Uber if you fade. You could either leave Chicago at 6am or so to make it to the hotel before 8am or you might want to get accommodations in town for Friday night and drive up then to be ready for an early start. Also, if you did not pack a lunch, you should do the south side of the lake first so you’re well positioned for buying lunch in either Fontana of Williams bay (your choice).
The Easy Option: For “Smell the Roses” hikers, you can leave from the hotel Saturday anytime, and hike as long as you want, turning around and returning to Lake Geneva for shopping and hanging out. It is also possible on Sunday AM to do the same, leaving the hotel to explore the eastern and southern shore of Geneva Lake, returning when you want.
Accommodations and Dining: We will be staying at The Harbor Shores Hotel at Lake Geneva, which is adjacent to the Shore Path. Meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) are not included in the price. There are reservations for the group at 7:30PM on Saturday at Sprecher’s Restaurant and Pub, Lake Geneva, where hikers can dine together and share their stories.
What to Bring: You will need good sturdy walking shoes or hiking boots, as the path varies from hard surfaces, to hilly and even has some dirt, gravel and rocky sections. The only restrooms and water stops are at restaurants in Williams Bay and Fontana. You will need to bring snacks and plenty of water.
Inclement Weather: We will go rain, shine, sleet or snow. If the weather conditions are not good, people can opt for the “Smell the Roses” hike- taking the opportunity to enjoy the path and lake, as well as the lovely shops in downtown Lake Geneva.
General Information about the Shore Path: Hiking the Shore Path at Lake Geneva. It includes a map of the path and pictures of houses up close.
Mobile Device App which includes Shore Path maps: Visit Lake Geneva
NOTE: The number of registrants for this event is limited to 20. However, we are happy to include any Meet-Up folks who wish to join us on the walk.
Start Date: Saturday, November 2, 2019
Return Date: Sunday November 3, 2019
Registration Closes: October 15, 2019
Member Package Cost: $99 (double occupancy)
Non-Member Package Cost: $134 (double occupancy)
Single Supplement Cost: $99
Payment in Full at Time of Registration
Leader: Dick Osgood