Whether you are looking to hike, picnic, or go horseback riding, you might not find a prettier venue than one of Wisconsin’s state forests. And spoiler alert: you aren’t just going to see a bunch of trees here. Be prepared to see some of the most breathtaking scenery in Wisconsin. So without any further ado.
1. Black River State Forest
Located in Black River Falls, Black River state forest provides 68,000 acres of pine and oak forest. And, of course, two forks of the Black River. Enjoy high sandstone abutments that provide great vantage points. Did you know that you can island hop on a mountain bike? The 300-foot-high glacial mounds are strung out like a seven-mile-long necklace. It makes it seem like islands in a vast ocean of trees. Oh, and did I mention that ELK are back here?
2. Brule River State Forest
Clearly, this photographer caught Brule River State Forest (in Brule) on an ideal day. If you're angling to see the Bois Brule river, never fear, all 44 miles of it are contained inside the park. The Brule River is known for exceptional brown and rainbow trout. Additionally, you can find lake brown and rainbow trout here, along with Coho and Chinook salmon. The river is divided into two parts. The upper river flows through miles of coniferous bogs. When the river crosses the Copper Range, it descends 328 feet into Lake Superior. Flashing cascades are tumbling over rocks and ledges. It's quite a sight.
3. Flambeau River State Forest
In Sawyer County, the Flambeau River State Forest is home to a whopping 92,000 acres of forestland. And, of course, you have the beautiful Flambeau River to take in. There are two branches of the river in the park. Like whitewater canoeing? You have 75 miles of excitement, then. There are camping opportunities as well--some rustic, others at proper campgrounds. There are also plenty of places to take an ATV out or do cross-country skiing.
4. Havenwoods State Forest
Havenwoods State Forest is actually located in Milwaukee. Did you know a big old forest was hiding out over there? Well, there are 237 acres of fields and woods to enjoy, and a short (2 mile) trail. What's really unique about this property is its history. It was used by the Army once as a training facility. The program has since been discontinued. However, you can see the old prison buildings and underground tunnels.
5. Point Beach State Forest
How do you call this a forest? I don't see many trees. Well, this isn't a forest in the traditional sense, at Point Beach State Forest, located in Two Rivers. Instead, enjoy some awesome shots of the Wisconsin dunes. Here, you can enjoy 6 miles of awesome Lake Michigan shoreline. Yes, there are some woods. But people really go here to check out the great shoreline.
6. Peshtigo River State Forest
In Critivz, Peshtigo River State Forest is actually Wisconsin's newest state forest. But just because it's new doesn't mean it isn't great. You have 9,000 acres of recreational opportunities to enjoy. There are ten miles of hiking trails and 25 miles of snowmobiling trails. But the five-mile fly fishing stretch of the Peshtigo River is really the crown jewel.
7. Kettle Moraine State Forest
Kettle Moraine State Forest is so darn huge that it actually is divided into more huge units. It's in southeastern Wisconsin, spanning miles and miles. You'll appreciate the geology, which includes very hilly terrain and more of those glacial landforms. A kettle is actually a landform--it is a shallow body of water formed by retreating glaciers. Wherever you are in this state forest. you can explore portions of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail. There are literally hundreds of miles to walk, bike, and otherwise explore.
These are absolutely beautiful! As always, if you’ve taken some spectacular photos of state forests, or other forests, or anything else across Wisconsin, please share it on the Only in Wisconsin Facebook page.