Hiking in Wisconsin
At the start of a hike, you may think you know what lies in front of you: a healthy walk, spectacular views here and there and meaningful conversations with loved ones. You may be right, but our trails have a few surprises of their own.
Around every pine tree and rock formation is something beautiful and unexpected. You may encounter a deer grazing or a towering lighthouse on a hike. Maybe the trail leads you to a roaring waterfall or a quiet cave.
Hiking in Wisconsin is one of the most rewarding ways to explore our lush national and state parks and forests. There are nearly 3,000 miles of hiking trails weaving through our state parks alone — so tie up your laces and grab your loved ones for a memorable journey.
Towering Lighthouses & Sandy Beaches
Sometimes it’s about the journey and the destination. Both our nature and urban hiking trails are proof of that.
The more than 50 miles of pristine hiking trails at the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore lead to sandy beaches, campsites and historic lighthouses. Hike on the mainland or the islands surrounded by Lake Superior most any time of the year. You may come across sea caves, which freeze in the winter. Some trails are less than a half-mile-long, while others go on for more than six.
The Fern Ridge Trail is short but rugged, perfect for intermediate-level hikers who find themselves in Vilas County. The trail consists of two loops that total 1.4-miles and features a bog boardwalk. To see Wisconsin wildlife up-close, hike the Hemlock Creek portion of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail. Along the way, you’ll come across a pond that’s home to an osprey nest and a great blue heron rookery.
If you and your family prefer a city hike, try the Seven Bridges Trail in Grant Park in Milwaukee. An oasis in the city, the trail features two miles of stone paths, footbridges and tucked-away creek beds right on the shores of Lake Michigan.
Trails for Nearly Every Outdoor Activity
Trails here aren’t reserved solely for hiking. Many are multi-use trails, perfect for all sorts of outdoor recreational activities. The Cheese Country Trail in Lafayette County, for instance, is open to horseback riders, cyclists, hikers and ATV motorists.
Whichever trails you choose and how you explore them is up to you and your family. Some memories you’ll share with friends as soon as you get back in range. Others you will keep between your and your loved ones because you just had to be there to understand.
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