Happy Trails: Take a Wisconsin Nature Walk

Winter in Wisconsin is just around the corner and with it comes a flurry (pun intended) of outdoor winter activities.

Most people think of hiking as a three-season activity, but winter can actually make for both a beautiful and challenging trek. Several trails around the state are actually groomed for winter hiking snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing. You’ll be amazed at the breathtaking views that the season creates along the trails. With fewer leaves, you can see hidden gems you might miss in the warmer months.

Hawthorn Hollow in Kenosha

Private. Non-profit. Picturesque. Perfect. We could go on, but we recommend exploring this nature sanctuary and arboretum for yourself. See three historic buildings and escape to this welcoming and wonderful feast for the senses. Hawthorn Hollow is open for hiking March 1 through December 23, which leaves plenty of time for cool-weather explorers to enjoy the 12 trails through woods, along the Pike River, prairies, gardens, and arboretum.

Governor Dodge State Park in Dodgeville

Pine Cliff Trail in Governor Dodge State Park is a beautifully wooded 2-mile loop, beginning and ending at the Enee Point picnic area. While you hike, learn about the your surroundings by reading signs that interpret the area’s history, wildlife, ecology and vegetation. Bring your camera to snap photos of the views above Cox Hollow Lake. If you’re up for skiing, snowshoeing or snowmobiling, you’ll find all sorts of great trails on the park map.

Peshtigo River State Forest in Crivitz

Strap on your cross-country skis and set off on one of two trail systems. Ski touring is allowed on unmarked trails throughout the forest, so you can take the path less traveled. Whether you’re following the trail or forging your own, be sure to bring this map to be sure you don’t miss any of the scenic spots.

Gordon Bubolz Nature Preserve in Appleton

This trail system pursues the noble cause of providing its community with environmental education, conservation, and outdoor recreation. With more than eight miles of trails groomed for winter hiking, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, you’ll be wandering in wonderment for a while! The Preserve also hosts a number of events throughout the winter, from ski lessons to dog sledding and moonlight hikes.

Kettle Moraine State Forest Greenbush Trails in Campbellsport

In the winter, the Greenbush hiking trails are groomed for cross-country skiing, while the bike trails are excellent for winter hiking and snowshoeing. These are known to be difficult trails with ever-varying landscapes whose views are well worth the effort. If you get too chilly, follow your map to the heated picnic shelter to relax and fire up the grill.

Before tackling the trails, take note of these winter hiking tips:

  • Call the state forest office or preserve prior to your trip to check trail conditions
  • Travel can be slower so be sure to set realistic goals for distance
  • Dress for the weather and avoid cotton that can lose heat when moist
  • Be sure to bring along food and water
  • If you are skiing or hiking alone, advise someone of your route and the time of your return

So skip the mall, treadmill and indoor walking treks and head outdoors. And as always, let us know if you go!

This entry was posted in Things to Do and tagged Outdoor Fun, Exploring, Family Fun, History / Heritage, Nature, Tours & Trails, Travel Wisconsin, Fall, Hiking / Running / Walking