The Best Outdoor Activities in Wisconsin
Discover the best hiking, camping, backpacking, fitness, and more.
Hike the Lake Superior Ice Caves
Wisconsin / Meyers Beach Parking Area
Begin at Meyer's Beach in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore near Cornucopia, WI.
Explore Pewit's Nest State Natural Area
Wisconsin / Pewit's Nest State Natural Area
Starting from the parking lot it only takes 5-10 minutes to arrive at the falls; if you stay right at the fork you come to the bottom of the falls.
Kayak to the Sand Island Sea Caves
Wisconsin / Little Sand Bay Campground
Sand Island is a part of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore near Bayfield, Wisconsin.
Hike Parfrey's Glen
Wisconsin / Ice Age National Scenic Trailhead
Located next to the popular Devil's Lake State Park, Parfrey's Glen holds many of the same geographical features.
Hike to Willow Falls
Wisconsin / Willow Falls
This trip through Willow River State Park shows off beautiful views of Little Falls Lake and Willow River on your way to the falls. In the spring, wildflowers won't disappoint.
Camp at Governor Dodge State Park
Wisconsin / Cox Hollow Campground
You can make campground reservations ahead of time or drive into the park to talk to a ranger, and reserve a hike-in campsite for the a night.
Explore Cascade Falls
Wisconsin / Cascade Falls, Osceola, WI
Cascade Falls is a must-stop if you are passing through Osceola, Wisconsin. The falls can be accessed on Cascade Street (Highway 35) near 1st Avenue in downtown Osceola.
Bouldering at Devil's Lake State Park in Wisconsin
Wisconsin / Devil's Lake State Park
Devil's Lake State Park in Wisconsin offers some of the craziest views in the midwest as well as an abundance of supreme bouldering sites.
Hike the River Loop at Dells of the Eau Claire
Wisconsin / Dells of the Eau Claire River County Park
Begin at the trailhead either north or south of the river, where parking is offered, and hike down to the river. You should be able to hear the falls.
Hike Cave Point County Park
Wisconsin / Cave Point County Park
Cave Point County Park is 19 acres and it located adjacent to the much larger Whitefish Dunes State Park in Door County, WI. It has a small parking lot, restrooms, and an out-and-back trail.
Hike through the Dunes at Kohler-Andrae SP
Wisconsin / Kohler Andrae SP Parking Area
This park is known for its sand dunes, which rise above the blue waters of Lake Michigan.
Hike to Lower Potato Falls
Wisconsin / Lower Potato Falls Trailhead
Coming into the park off Hwy 169 in Gurney, WI, you will turn West onto Falls Rd.
Hike the Lion's Den Gorge Loop
Wisconsin / Lion's Den Gorge Nature Preserve
Lion's Den Gorge is a gorgeous nature preserve featuring a variety of unique nature scenes.
Hike to Big and Little Manitou Falls in Pattison State Park
Wisconsin / Big Manitou Falls Trailhead
Pattison State Park is a Northwoods paradise. Home to Big and Little Manitou Falls, water is a main attraction here.
Hike to Copper Falls
Wisconsin / N Country National Scenic Trailhead
Coming into the park on Hwy 169, you will turn west/northwest into the park entrance.
Kayak the Wisconsin River in the Dells
Wisconsin / Wisconsin River, Wisconsin Dells
Just minutes away from the hullabaloo of downtown Wisconsin Dells is the perfect spot to launch a kayak and paddle the Wisconsin River.
Hike the Island at Amnicon Falls State Park
Wisconsin / Amnicon Falls State Park
Amnicon Falls State Park, as its name suggests, has a waterfall as its central feature.
Hike to the Top of Maiden Rock Bluff
Wisconsin / Maiden Rock Bluff Parking Area
It's easy to spot Maiden Rock Bluff as you drive along Highway 35: the 400-foot-tall limestone cliff extends for nearly a mile. Getting to the top is also easy.
Hike Potholes & CCC Trail Loop
Wisconsin / Devils Lake Group Camping
Park in the South entrance group camping lot to find the trailhead, just a few steps North of the parking lot. A few different paths you can take, but took grotto trail (.3 miles) to Potholes trail (.
Explore Cana Island Lighthouse
Wisconsin / Cana Island Lighthouse
You will arrive at a parking lot that is on the mainland. Once parked, you will need to walk across the land bridge to Cana Island where you will come to a small building to pay an admission fee.
Hike the East Bluff Trail to Devil's Doorway
Wisconsin / Devil's Lake State Park
This hike begins at the east end of the North Shore Visitors' area. The hike starts relatively level before turning to the right and leading you up steps.
Hike the Seven Bridges Trail in Grant Park
Wisconsin / Seven Bridges Trail
Placed along the Lake Michigan lakeshore in Grant Park about 10 minutes south of Downtown Milwaukee, Seven Bridges Trail offers beautiful scenery that seems like something out of a fairy tail.
Explore Wisconsin Point
Wisconsin / Wisconsin Point
If you’re in the Twin Ports area, (Duluth, MN and Superior, WI) be sure to check out Wisconsin Point.
Hike to Moses Creek in Schmeeckle Reserve
Wisconsin / Schmeeckle Reserve
280-acre Schmeeckle Reserve is maintained by the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point College of Natural Resources. Everything about it is in pristine condition.
Camp on Stockton Island
Wisconsin / Stockton Island, La Pointe WI
To get out to the Apostle Islands you have to travel by boat. Many people choose to sea kayak, but with small kids we opted to take the ferry/taxi through the Apostle Islands concierge (apostleisland.
Camp at Devils Lake State Park
Wisconsin / Quartzite Campground
Devil's Lake State Park has 29 miles of trail that vary in difficulty. The most popular trails are the East and West Bluff trails that circle Devil's Lake and offer some of the best views in the park.
Camp at Buckhorn State Park
Wisconsin / Buckhorn State Park Campground
Buckhorn State Park is located just off of Interstate 94, halfway between Milwaukee and Minneapolis.
Experience a Sunrise at Sheridan Park
Wisconsin / Sheridan Park
Sheridan Park is home to one of the most beautiful, stunning and scenic sunrises in Wisconsin.
Explore Siskiwit Falls
Wisconsin / Siskiwit Falls
Siskiwit Falls is located on the Siskiwit River in Cornucopia. There are a few different drops and slides along the river that can be easily explored.
Hike through Indian Lake Park
Wisconsin / Indian lake
442 acre park just outside of Madison is a perfect spot to escape for awhile. About a 20 minute drive from Madison makes it easily accessible even on a tight schedule.
Hike the Balanced Rock Trail at Devil's Lake
Wisconsin / Devil's Lake Balance Rock Trail
Devil's Lake is one of Wisconsin's most visited and most beautiful state parks, offering many trails, activities, gorgeous scenery and more.
Explore the Abandoned Solvay Coke & Gas Complex
Wisconsin / Solvay Coke & Gas Co.
To access the complex, head south from downtown Milwaukee along 1st St. Once you reach Greenfield Ave., turn left heading East.
Hike to Morgan Falls
Wisconsin / Morgan Falls Trailhead, WI
It's a easy hike to the waterfall being only 1.2 mile round trip, but traveling to the waterfall might take time as it's fairly remote. There is a $5 daily park fee.
Hike through the Wetlands of the Horicon Marsh
Wisconsin / Horicon Marsh
Horicon Marsh is located about an hour north of Milwaukee. The wildlife refuge features several trails ranging from a quarter mile up to nearly 3 miles long.
Photograph the Lighthouse at Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal Pierhead
Wisconsin / Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal Pierhead
Driving on Highway 42 from Sturgeon Bay, cross the bridge over the canal heading north. Take the first right after crossing the bridge on Utah Street.
Hike the Point Trail at Big Bay State Park
Wisconsin / Point Trailhead
Located at the tip of Wisconsin on Madeline Island, Big Bay State Park is a must see for any Wisconsinite. To get to Madeline Island, you'll need to purchase a round trip ferry ride in Bayfield.
Bike or Run the Glacial Drumlin Trail (Waukesha to Wales Segment)
Wisconsin / Glacial Drumlin Trail
Your journey begins at the Fox River Sanctuary and E.B. Shurts Environmental Education Center at 810 College Avenue in Waukesha, Wisconsin.
Hike the Kettle View Trail at Lapham Peak
Wisconsin / Lapham Peak Unit, Kettle Moraine Forest
Head 30 minutes west from Milwaukee along I-94 and you'll find yourself in the quaint town of Delafield, WI. Head south down Genesee St.
Climb Eagle Tower in Peninsula State Park
Wisconsin / Eagle Tower, Peninsula State Park
From Highway 42 in Door County, WI, there are two entrances into Peninsula State Park, on the south and north ends of the park.
Hike to Loew Lake
Wisconsin / Kettle Moraine State Forest Parking Area
Starting from county rd K you turn in on Emerald Drive . at the start of Emerald drive is an old and tiny cemetery.
Catch A Sunset from Powder Hill
Wisconsin / Pike Lake Parking Lot
At 1350 feet, Powder Hill is the second highest point in southeastern Wisconsin. You can start the hike to Powder Hill from the Nature Trail parking lot (0.
Kayak around Madeline Island
Wisconsin / Madeline Island Ferry Line
Unless you're kayaking directly to Madeline Island, you can pick up the ferry in Bayfield and rent kayaks in La Pointe.
Hike the South Kettle Moraine Loop
Wisconsin / Kettle Moraine Parking Lot
Park in the parking lot ($7) off of Moraine Scenic Drive. Follow the well-marked green trail and enjoy the shady hike through the Kettle Moraine Forest! Photos: Ann Althouse, Ron M, Ryan Dickey
Hike the Lake Geneva Trail
Wisconsin / Geneva Lake Parking Lot
Park in the parking lot off of Fontana Road. The trail borders Lake Geneva, head out in either direction for this 20-mile loop. Accessible from March to September.
Hike the Levis Trow Mounds Loop
Wisconsin / Levis/Trow Mounds Trailhead
Park in the parking lot off of Highway 95. This trail is a 12-mile loop that you will be sharing with mountain bikers. Photos: Bjorn, k.steudel
Camp on Madeline Island
Wisconsin / Big Bay Town Park
The largest of Wisconsin's Apostle Islands, Madeline Island is about the size of Manhattan, but extremely sparsely populated and a great place to explore a north woods ecosystem.
Explore Twin Falls, WI
Wisconsin / Twin Falls Park
It’s located on Highway 13 on the outskirts of Port Wing, WI. If you are coming from the west, you’ll see a sign on your right for the park. This will be before you get to the town of Port Wing.
Explore Crex Meadows
Wisconsin / Crex Meadows Wildlife Area
The Crex Meadows Wildlife Area is part of Wisconsin’s scenic Indianhead Country - located just north of Grantsburg. It’s 30,000 acres make it one of the largest wildlife areas in the state.
Kayak from Schauer Park to Cave Point County Park
Wisconsin / Schauer Park
From the intersection of Schauer Road and N. Cave Point Drive in Jacksonport, WI, take Schauer Road towards the lake.
Photograph Jones' Island
Wisconsin / Jones' Island Parking
Urban explorers, meet your new favorite spot.
Hike to Lost Creek Falls
Wisconsin / Lost Creek Falls
From the town of Cornucopia drive west on Hwy 13. You will turn left onto Klemik Road (Dirt Road). Go down about a mile and you will look for a yellow gate/trail on your left.
Bike the Osaugie Trail
Wisconsin / Osaugie Trail
Biking along Superior Bay, you can experience the beautiful foliage during all of northern Minnesota and Wisconsin's seasons.
Backpack the Milwaukee River and Butler Lake Segments of the Ice Age Trail
Wisconsin / Milwaukee River Trailhead
The Milwaukee River Trailhead for the Ice Age Trail (IAT) is located on WI-28, east of the Kettle Moraine Scenic Drive.
Camp at Big Bay State Park
Wisconsin / Big Bay Campsite
Make a reservation (fees here) to secure a campsite. Find your campsite by entering GPS coordinates 46° 47' 18" N, 90° 40' 25" W or by using this map.
Walk the Stations of the Cross At Holy Hill
Wisconsin / Holy Hill National Shrine
Holy Hill National Shrine is a landmark within the Wisconsin area, both as a tourist spot and a great location for fall colors.
Visit the Parnell Observation Tower
Wisconsin / Parnell Tower Trail
Located southwest of Plymouth, WI, the Parnell Observation Tower is located just west of the intersection of Cty Road A and Cty Road U.
Hike the Hank Aaron and Oak Leaf Trails in Lakeshore SP
Wisconsin / Lakeshore State Park Parking
Lakeshore State Park is kind of considered a hidden gem.
Hike the Hemlock Trail
Wisconsin / Hemlock Trailhead
Take the unnamed road that turns off of Highway 33 (see map). At the end of this road is a parking lot and the trailhead. The trail will take you along the Kickapoo River in a 2.
Hike to Castle Mound Lookout at Black River State Forest
Wisconsin / Castle Mound Campgrounds
This trail is found at the Castle Mounds Campground within the Black River State Forest.
Camp at North Fork Campground
Wisconsin / North Fork Campground
North Fork campground isn't the most sought after campground, but it is a diamond in the rough and a great alternative if Brooklyn Lake Campground and Sugarloaf Campground are full.
Take a Stroll around the Lagoon at Wilson Park
Wisconsin / Wilson Park Parking Lot
Whether your looking to relax or are going for a run, Wilson Park is a perfect place for whatever recreation you desire.
Catch a Sunset at Hokneson Fishery
Wisconsin / Little Sand Bay Campground
Begin at the campground visitor center. Follow the marked paved trail right roughly .08 of a mile. The paved trail ends onto a sandy beach and the abandoned Hokenson Fishery.
Hike Bay View Trail, Big Bay State Park
Wisconsin / Big Bay SP Parking
Starting at the parking lot, you will walk into an open field with a couple picnic tables. On the right side of the field, the trail enters into a forest and walks along Lake Superior.
Snowshoe the Lime Kiln Trail at High Cliff
Wisconsin / Lime Kiln Trailhead
Inside of High Cliff State Park, Lime Kiln Trail is a unique spot right off the shores of Lake Winnebago. The trail extends 1.7 miles, but has a early cutoff to shorten the hike if desired.
Hike the Plover River Segment of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail
Wisconsin / Ice Age Trail, Plover River Segment, Sportsman Dr. Parking
Parking is available at the southern terminus on Sportsman Drive and at the northern terminus on County Hwy HH.