The Roads to Wellness: Wisconsin Hiking Trails

Wisconsin’s hiking trails can lead you to places of amazing hidden beauty. They can also lead you to new levels of wellness, giving you a physical workout along with the chance to clear your mind and get away from it all. Why kill time on a treadmill when you can get a great workout in the great outdoors? We’ve rounded up some of Wisconsin’s tougher trails, so even if you’re fit as a fiddle, these should be a fun challenge. Put these pins in your hiking map, and you’ll feel better for it:

Apostle Islands, Ashland and Bayfield Counties

The 21 islands and 12 miles of mainland that make up the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore offer over 50 miles of trails, leading to lighthouses, abandoned quarries, logging camps, and more. If you’re up for a challenge, try the Lakeshore Trail, a rugged 4.5-mile path through thick woodlands. Be prepared for stream crossings and steep slopes. Your reward? A cliff-top view of the Bayfield Sea Caves.

  • Travel Green Wisconsin Certified
  • Free admission

Menomonie, Dunn County

Hoffman Hills State Recreation Area in Menomonie offers nine miles of hiking trails through forest, prairies and wetlands. Hike your way over hills and valleys, all the way up to one of the highest points in the county. And don’t stop there! Climb the stairs of the 60-foot Greg Schubert Memorial Tower for an extra workout and a worthwhile view.

  • Travel Green Wisconsin Certified
  • Wisconsin State Trail Pass required ($20 annually, $4 daily)

Eagle River Area, Vilas County

The Anvil National Recreation Trail in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest has its share of challenges in store. Sections of the trail are marked as beginner, intermediate, or expert. This is a designated watchable wildlife area, known for its woodland warblers, so you’ll have plenty of good excuses to stop and take a breather.

  • Parking pass required ($20 annually, $5 daily)

Devil’s Lake, Sauk County

Devil’s Lake State Park, Wisconsin’s largest, is home to over 29 miles of trails. One of the most demanding, “Potholes,” takes you on a steep climb from a woody area, up stone steps, through Red Rocks – a two-foot-wide split in the twenty-foot-tall rock face – and then on to a series of pothole-like depressions. It’s only 0.3 miles, but allow yourself about an hour to tackle this one.

  • Travel Green Wisconsin Certified
  • Vehicle admission sticker required ($25 annually, $7 daily)

Ogema, Price County

Timm’s Hill Trail, in Timm’s Hill County Park, will give you bragging rights. Climb it and you’ll have reached the highest geographical point in all of Wisconsin. You’ll be 1,951.5 feet above sea level…and from there you can gain a bit more altitude by climbing the observation tower’s 88 steps. Give your legs a rest while taking in views of Timm’s Lake, Placid Bass Lake, and the wooded glacial hills.

  • Free admission

And Last, but Never Least: The Ice Age Trail

For a lifetime’s worth of hiking adventures, get to know the Ice Age National Scenic Trail. One of only 11 National Scenic Trails, this Wisconsin trail highlights unique parts of our landscape that were sculpted by a giant glacier over 12,000 years ago. More than a thousand miles of the Ice Age Trail cross Wisconsin from east to west, with hundreds of access points. Learn more about the Ice Age Trail – and all 2,500 miles of Wisconsin’s trails – on

Happy hiking!

This entry was posted in Trails and Hiking and tagged Hiking / Running / Walking, Outdoor Fun, Nature, Discovery