This was a difficult hike, but along the way we got to pick wild blueberries so it's all good :) The trail started out through the woods, by babbling brooks and small cascading waterfalls, then proceeded through the fields where we picked said blueberries. But then the hard part started, with rocky outcroppings that we had to scramble over, and the trail marked by poles painted red - pick your own way to get from one to the next. It reminded me of the middle part of hiking Mt St Helen's in that way, but steeper.
There were some pockets of snow as we got closer to the top, so Steve made a snowman, Gunnar, while he waited for me to huff and puff to him. It really is spectacular, though, and worth it. From the top you can see all the lakes and surrounding hills. It now seems obvious that folks from Scandinavia would settle in Wisconsin and the 'land of a thousand lakes' :) There was a cafe at the top which is the only place you can get a pin proving that you made it to the top... but it closes at 4:00 and we got there at 4:30 :( (post script: we talked to the very helpful tourist office about it and they arranged to have 2 brought down for us - so sweet!).
We had debated taking the gondola down (we had hiked up the back way) but the decision was made for us as the last car had already left. So we scrambled down, checking out the downhill bike trails (crazy!) and some parasailers that were floating in the breeze on the way. The knees definitely ached, though!! It was nice to get toward the bottom where there was a bit of mud to cushion the steps! Tough, but definitely worth it :)