It’s time to go hiking in the Badger State, so grab your hiking boots, dependable water bottle, and sense of adventure.
There is nothing better than getting some fresh air, and this is especially true in Wisconsin. Wisconsin residents like a brisk stroll outside in any weather (rain, shine, or snow). But it may come as a surprise that there are some truly amazing walks to be found in a state that is largely known for its flat farmlands and lack of mountains.
Additionally, the state’s more than 3,000 miles of hiking trails offer a variety that will appeal to nature lovers. Trails that lead to stunning waterfalls or along the shorelines of an archipelago that is protected by law can be found in the north. Epic paths may be found in the south as well, winding through the beautiful river valleys of the Driftless Area and climbing up high bluffs.
Here are a few of Wisconsin’s top hiking trails without further ado.
National Scenic Trail of the Ice Age
Devil’s Lake segment, first
Why you ought to go A well-liked section of a national path ascends Devil’s Lake State Park’s cliffs.
closest city: Baraboo
moderate to challenging
Approximately 14.7 miles
Gain in elevation: 1922 feet
One of Wisconsin’s top walks is the Devil’s Lake segment of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail. This strenuous walk not only leads you up and over 500-foot-tall quartzite bluffs, but also affords you a breathtaking view of Devil’s Lake.
Starting outside the park, the walk mostly follows the West Bluff Trail. After passing Devil’s Doorway and Balanced Rock, two of the park’s well-known rock formations, it continues on. Every season is a good time to hike this trail because the scenery varies to match the season.
Coastal State Park
Eagle Trail 2.
Why you ought to go a thrilling hiking route in Door County known for its Lake Michigan beachfront and rocky outcroppings.
Ephraim is the closest city.
moderate to challenging
Dimensions: 2 miles
Gain in elevation: 150 feet
The Eagle Trail winds its way through a dense forest before ascending limestone bluffs, where visitors can admire stunning views of Lake Michigan. The 450-mile-long Niagara Escarpment is made up of fascinating rock formations and caves that may be seen along this cliffside route. The path is not very difficult, but it is rough and uneven, so caution is required.
This well-known Wisconsin trek may be found in Peninsula State Park, one of Door County’s top destinations for outdoor activity. The park offers a sandy beach, about 450 campsites, and a former lighthouse. In the summer and fall, lots of people hike this trail.
State Park at Copper Falls
Third, the North Country Scenic Trail
Why you ought to go a section of the national path that offers views of two of the biggest waterfalls in the state and an outstanding gorge to hikers.
Mellen, the closest city
Seven miles away
Gain in elevation: 785 feet
Discover some unspoiled wilderness along the 4,600-mile North Country Scenic Trail, a national hiking trail that runs from North Dakota to Vermont. This particular trail section is an out-and-back that begins at Mill Road and travels through Copper Falls State Park in northern Wisconsin.
It connects to the well-known Doughboy’s Trail in the park and leads to viewing platforms with views of Copper Falls and Browntown Falls. The park also has a number of camping options, including one backpacking location tucked away on the banks of the Bad River.
Lakeshore National Lake Apostle Islands
4. The Sea Cave Trail at Meyer’s Beach
Why you ought to go A lakefront walk that displays the Apostle Islands’ mainland sea caves’ unmatched magnificence.
closest city is Bayfield
moderate to challenging
It is 4.6 kilometres away.
Gain in elevation: 270 feet
Visit the Meyer’s Beach Sea Cave Trail to see the amazing limestone bluffs that line the shoreline of Lake Superior. On the walk, you can see how deep canyons slit through the forest, giving trekkers a view of the Great Lake’s waters below. There are boardwalks and board-lined sections of the trail that bridge streams.
The sea caverns are transformed into shimmering pieces of art throughout the winter when impossibly gigantic icicles start to grow. Although the Ice Caves are absolutely amazing, getting to them requires hiking across Lake Superior’s ice surface. Therefore, admission to the ice caves is only permitted during safe weather and ice conditions.
Park State of Perrot
5. From Brady’s Bluff to Perrot Ridge
Why you ought to go a hike that offers challenging ascents and expansive vistas of the Mississippi River Valley.
the closest city is Trempealeau
33. 3 miles away
Gain in elevation: 810 feet
A great introduction to Wisconsin’s Driftless Area, which was unaffected by the last moving glacier, is the Perrot Ridge to Brady’s Bluff walk. The geography that was left behind was distinct from any other in the state and was defined by its rolling hills and numerous cold water streams.
Brady’s Bluff and Perrot Ridge, two of the park’s most well-known attractions, are passed by this trail. Brady’s Bluff is renowned for its prairie wildflowers and picturesque vistas and rises 460 feet above the river. Hikers can view the confluence of the Trempealeau and Mississippi Rivers from Perrot Ridge’s rocky, winding trail.
Park Kohler-Andrae State
6. The Boardwalk-Cordwalk Trail
Why you ought to go between Green Bay and Milwaukee, a relaxing boardwalk stroll crosses sand dunes.
Sheboygan is the closest city.
a 3 mile distance
Gain in elevation: 88 feet
Simply because of how immensely distinctive the surrounding terrain is, the Cordwalk-Boardwalk Trail is among the top hiking paths in Wisconsin. This journey gives you the impression that you are someplace along the East Coast thanks to its twisting boardwalks, wide sand dunes, and Lake Michigan’s lapping waters.
Families will love this simple walk, but pets are regrettably not allowed. Kohler-Andrae State Park is a great place to swim or enjoy the beauty of the local wetlands after you’ve completed strolling the trail.
Park at Rib Mountain State
7. Yellow Trail on Rib Mountain
Why you ought to go One of Wisconsin’s tallest hills can be reached at the top through a woodland trail that has numerous inclines.
Town closest to: Wausau
Location: 4.4 miles
Gain in elevation: 836 feet
Your heart will surely race as you wander along the Rib Mountain Yellow Trail. It provides the park’s hardest climbs, guaranteeing a challenging exercise. You’re also treated to sweeping views of Wausau and the surrounding forests from the top.
Every fall, thousands of tourists flock to Rib Mountain eager to ride the cable car to see the fall leaves up close. Sugar maples cover the entire mountain. The wide track becomes a well-liked location for snowshoeing in the winter.
Segment about St. Croix Falls 8.
Why you ought to go A hiking path that passes through Interstate State Park and the Dalles of the St. Croix River is close to the Minnesota border.
Closest city: Dresser
Approximately 9 miles
Gain in elevation: 1597 feet
Enjoy a stroll along the Ice Age Trail: St Croix Falls Segment to take in the splendour of Wisconsin’s oldest state park and the lush St. Croix River Valley. The St. Croix River is beautifully visible from this section of the national path, which also has a significant total elevation gain (by Wisconsin standards).
The trail’s western terminus, where you can see more than 200 potholes etched into the ancient basalt bedrock of the area, may, nevertheless, be its most stunning section. The route includes sections that parallel roads and a few tiny stream crossings.
9. Trail in Witches Gulch
Why you should go: The Wisconsin Dells has an intriguing boardwalk that winds down a narrow canyon.
The closest city is Wisconsin Dells.
Dimensions: 2 miles
Gain in elevation: 130 feet
The Witches Gulch Trail weaves through a moss-covered slot canyon on the site of a glacial lake as it follows the Wisconsin River. Erosion over a long period of time produced the canyon.
The tiny sections and undulating sandstone canyon walls that rise feet above you on this wonderfully spectacular trail. Only a personal Upper Dells Boat Tour will provide you access to this seasonal trail. Those who are adventurous enough can go ghost hunting on a nocturnal boat tour of the canyon because it is also rumoured that the area is haunted.
10. The Holy Hill Section
Why you should go: A point-to-point scenic track that passes by Wisconsin’s renowned Holy Hill.
Hartford is the closest city.
6.75 miles away.
Gain in elevation: 603 feet
A great walk through the lovely Kettle Moraine Forest is the Ice Age Trail: Holy Hill Segment. As you hike, you may see Holy Hill, where the National Shrine of Mary and its mediaeval Basilica look out over the surrounding countryside.
There is a clearly designated detour trail that leads to the summit of the 1,350-foot-tall glacier ridge for people who want to ascend Holy Hill. You can also go to the church’s observation tower, which is very well-liked in the autumn because of its expansive views of the woodland.