By Amy Bayer
Here are some refreshing Wisconsin destinations complete with waterfalls, rapids, gorges and dells to explore and play in. Bring your swimsuit; it’s going to get wet!
Amnicon Falls State Park, east of Superior, is home to a series of waterfalls and rapids called Upper, Lower and Snakepit Falls.
While there are no beaches along the river, there are pools beneath many of the cascades that are refreshing swimming holes. Depending on the height of the river, you can wade behind the falls or swim around them. This pleasant watering hole is the perfect natural water park.
In addition, the river has a historic covered bridge that spans over the Lower Falls and offers a different vantage point of this beautiful destination.
The Lost Creek Falls consist of an 8-foot plunge with a few feet of cascades above and below. The best part about this small gorge is that you can walk behind the falls, which is not common for this area.
Located in the woods southwest of Cornucopia, the hike to Lost Creek Falls can be a little remote. You’ll have to park at the entrance to the ATV Trail and then hike a mile through the scenic terrain and over a few bridges. But once you’re there, it should be fairly isolated and a great place to dip your toes in the water.
Located in a county park just east of Wausau, the Dells of the Eau Claire are a fascinating geologic feature in central Wisconsin. The Eau Claire River splashes and swirls around naturally carved potholes and divots, creating a wet playground for kids of all ages.
Visitors can picnic on the large flat rocks or jump into the mini-pools and waterfalls. Climbing among the rocks and cooling off in one of the many swimming holes is irresistible on a hot summer’s day. In addition to the watering holes, there are campsites and hiking trails in the area, as well as a beautiful stone bridge.
Dave’s Falls County Park is home to the Upper and Lower Dave’s Falls on the Pike River in Marinette County, the self-proclaimed Waterfall Capital of Wisconsin. The Lower Falls has a larger volume of water thundering through a narrow chute and is by far the more scenic of the two.
There are no barriers so people often clamber on the rocks around the narrow gorge to get a closer view. On the other hand, the Upper Falls have a much wider cascade that flows into a large open pool, offering a refreshing reprieve to wade in the water.