Sure, dropping temps, ice, and snow can totally justify sitting inside and sipping hot cocoa. But let me tell you something: hot cocoa sure tastes better after being outdoors. You know all that awesome Wisconsin nature around us everyday? Turns out that it doesn’t disappear when it snows. So head out to these 12 Wisconsin spots this winter.
1. Kettle Moraine
Kettle Moraine might be the most awesome during the winter, totally based on the cross country skiing opportunities it affords. Whoa, you will be blown away by the scenery as you burn those calories. In this shot, there was actually a candlelit ski adventure, which might be the coolest thing I've heard of.
2. Apostle Islands
Somehow snow and ice makes these awesome rock formations totally AMAZING. What's wonderful is when the water freezes over and you can walk to explore them. The contrasting colors and sheer magnitude will have you wanting to come back in summer to canoe through it.
3. Devils Lake State Park
Wisconsin's most visited state park can be ignored come winter. But guys--the lake doesn't go away! As you can see from this picture, the absence of leaves from the trees really allows you to see how vast this space truly is.
4. Blue Mound State Park
Blue Mound is just located in an awesome part of Wisconsin that is full of caves, stone structures, and a really big hill. Blue Mound is right in the mix of all that--and, again, everything is just sort of heightened under a fresh blanket of snow.
5. Big Manitou Falls
Frozen and semi-frozen waterfalls are spectacular. I think it's incredible to see something as powerful as this water in frozen form. So if you really want to be amazed, head to the largest waterfall in Wisconsin: Big Manitou Falls.
6. Peninsula State Park
We might have to add all of Door County to this list, as it is incredibly romantic-looking when it is covered in snow. But certainly hit up Peninsula State Park. Doesn't this shoreline look spectacular?
7. Vilas Park
Vilas Park has to be one of my favorite parks in Wisconsin, with its beautiful paths and bridge. On a snow-covered day, you will not be the only person out there just seeing how beautiful it all is.
8. Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest
Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest might be the most gorgeous of the forests in Wisconsin, and during winter, you can explore it by snowshoeing. And then, after burning all those calories, go stuff your face at the Delta Diner. Yes, there is a diner in the middle of a national forest. Only in Wisconsin.
9. Horicon National Wildlife Refuge
Different wildlife appears here during different times of the year, so do not be fooled into thinking during winter, no one lives here! For those of us who might not want to get out of our warm cars, Horicon National Wildlife Refuge actually has what they call a "TernPike," which is three miles of a driving route.
10. Willow River State Park
Willow River and Willow Falls are the centerpieces of this great park. Don't be surprised if you see people on dogsleds (yes, really) on some of the trails.
11. Governor Dodge State Park
The sandstone cliffs at Governor Dodge are stunning during any time of year, but covered in snow and bereft of foliage, you can really appreciate how large they are. Snowmobile trails make exploring this park even more epic.
12. Wyalusing State Park
At the confluence of the Mississippi and Wisconsin rivers, Wyalusing is lush and full of trees. But its allure is not diminished when the leaves are all gone. You will love snowshoeing here and, if you're really into it, camping.
So lace up those snow boots and let’s go exploring! And hey, if you take some awesome photos on your adventures, be a dear and share them on the Only in Wisconsin Facebook page!