Step into the breathtaking beauty of the best hikes in Wisconsin for 2023! These top-rated trails are a nature lover’s dream, offering a mix of scenic wonders to explore. Whether you’re an experienced hiker or a first-timer, these trails promise epic views, captivating surroundings, and unforgettable outdoor experiences. So, tighten your hiking boots, embrace the spirit of adventure, and immerse yourself in the natural wonders that await in the enchanting Badger State.
Best Hikes in Wisconsin
Explore these top-rated hiking trails in Wisconsin! Don’t miss Devil’s Lake via West Bluff Trail, Balanced Rock Trail, and East Bluff and East Bluff Woods Trail Loop, which offer fantastic views, fascinating rock formations, and adventure in the great outdoors.
1. Devil's Lake via West Bluff Trail
Devil's Lake via West Bluff Trail Devil's Lake via West Bluff Trailhead, Visitor Center North Shore, Park Rd, Baraboo, WI 53913, USA
Location: Baraboo Mileage: 4.8-mile loop trail Difficulty: Moderate FYI: Popular hiking area with high foot traffic. Best times to visit: July through November. Leashed dogs welcome.
The most popular hike in the Wisconsin area is
Devil's Lake via West Bluff Trail
. This loop offers incredible views, rocky climbs, and a fantastic beach. Don't miss Balanced Rock for spectacular lake views. Be prepared for a steep and rocky ascent; bring proper footwear and consider trekking poles for added support. Enjoy the hike and recharge amidst the beauty of Devil's Lake.
2. Balanced Rock Trail
Balanced Rock Trail, Balanced Rock Trl, Baraboo, WI 53913, USA
Location: Baraboo Mileage: 0.7-mile out-and-back trail Difficulty: Hard FYI: Popular area for hiking and rock climbing. Best times to visit: April through October. Leashed dogs welcome.
If you're up for a challenge, you should check out
Balanced Rock Trail
near Baraboo, Wisconsin. It's a 0.7-mile out-and-back with some steep stone steps on the south face of the east bluff. The views along the way are breathtaking, especially when you get to Balanced Rock itself. Just make sure you're wearing the proper footwear, and maybe bring along some trekking poles to make the climb easier and safer. And once you get to the top, be sure to take in those spectacular views.
3. East Bluff and East Bluff Woods Trail Loop
East Bluff, Baraboo, WI 53913, USA
Location: Baraboo Mileage: 2.6-mile loop trail Difficulty: Moderate FYI: Popular for birding, hiking, and running. Open year-round, beautiful anytime. Leashed dogs welcome.
You've got to check out the
East Bluff and East Bluff Woods Trail Loop
at Devil's Lake State Park. It's a gorgeous route that takes you along an asphalt path with stone steps, through the woods, and along the bluff edge. You'll see some remarkable views and even come across Elephant Cave and Elephant Rock at the north end. The terrain covered trails are well-maintained, and some rock scramble climbs to keep things fun.
Best Short & Easy Hikes in Wisconsin
Wisconsin has some great choices of short and easy hikes, including Lion’s Den Trail, Tumbled Rock Trail, and Willow Falls Trail to Burkhardt Trail. These scenic routes offer enjoyable walks that are suitable for all skill levels.
4. Lion's Den Trail
Lion's Den Gorge Nature Preserve, 511 High Bluff Dr, Grafton, WI 53024, USA
Location: Grafton Mileage: 2.1-mile loop trail Difficulty: Easy FYI: Popular for hiking, running, and walking. Best times: April - October. Leashed dogs welcome.
Are you in the Grafton area and looking for a great hiking spot? You should definitely check out the
Lion's Den Trail
. It's a 2.1-mile loop known for being easy to follow and well-marked. You'll wander through some beautiful wooded areas and will pass by the gorge overlooking Lake Michigan. Plus, there are plenty of picnic tables and access to the lake if you want to take a break and enjoy the scenery.
5. Tumbled Rock Trail
Tumbled Rocks Trail, Baraboo, WI 53913, USA
Location: Baraboo Mileage: 2.4-mile out-and-back trail Difficulty: Easy FYI: Popular for hiking, running, and walking. Best times: April - October. Leashed dogs welcome.
Tumbled Rock Trail
, a 2.4-mile out-and-back pathway offering beautiful lakeshore scenery. The trail is easy to navigate and is paved for a smooth walking experience. Enjoy the magnificent views as you stroll along the shoreline.
6. Willow Falls Trail to Burkhardt Trail Location: Hudson Mileage: 2.0-mile out-and-back trail Difficulty: Easy FYI: Expect crowds as this hiking spot is highly popular.
Check out the scenic
Willow Falls Trail to Burkhardt Trail
in Willow River State Park. The trail is well-groomed and paved throughout, with a couple of steeper inclines and stairs. Despite that, it's a great hike, and the majestic falls make it all worthwhile. Don't miss the opportunity to sit by the falls and take in the waterfall views.
Hardest Hikes in Wisconsin
Challenge yourself with the hardest hikes in Wisconsin: Ice Age Trail: Devil’s Lake to Parfrey’s Glen, Ice Age National Scenic Trail: Devil’s Lake Segment, and Marengo River and Porcupine Lake via North Country Trail. These trails offer thrilling adventures for experienced hikers, showcasing the state’s rugged landscapes.
7. Ice Age Trail: Devil's Lake to Parfrey's Glen Location: Baraboo Mileage: 18.1-mile out-and-back trail Difficulty: Hard FYI: Enjoy a popular hiking trail with opportunities for solitude during quieter hours. Open year-round, it offers captivating scenery at any time. Note that dogs are not allowed on this trail.
Take on the challenging
Ice Age Trail from Devil's Lake to Parfrey's Glen
, covering 18.1 miles in approximately eight and a half hours. This out-and-back trail winds through mostly wooded forest, featuring a notable elevation gain from the start. The trail rewards hikers with spectacular views during the last couple of miles.
8. Ice Age National Scenic Trail: Devil's Lake Segment
Ice Age Trail - Devil's Lake Segment, Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Merrimac, WI 53561, USA
Location: Merrimac Mileage: 14.7-mile loop trail Difficulty: Hard FYI: A popular trail perfect for backpacking, cross-country skiing, and hiking. Enjoy moments of solitude during quieter hours. Leashed dogs are welcome to join you on your adventure.
Ice Age National Scenic Trail on the Devil's Lake Segment
is a challenging 14.7-mile loop trail near Merrimac, Wisconsin. The journey takes around six hours to complete. While the long-distance poses a challenge, it offers a rewarding experience with diverse terrains and captivating views. Ideal for those seeking a longer loop hike beyond the lake's perimeter.
9. Marengo River and Porcupine Lake via North Country Trail Location: Marengo Mileage: 19.4-mile point-to-point trail Difficulty: Hard FYI: Experience a popular trail perfect for backpacking, cross-country skiing, and hiking. Enjoy moments of solitude during quieter hours. Leashed dogs are welcome to join you on your adventure.
If you're up for a challenge, the
Marengo River and Porcupine Lake Trail via North Country Trail
are worth checking out. It's a 19.4-mile point-to-point hike near Marengo, Wisconsin, full of scenic overlooks, varied terrains, and different types of trees and forests. If you're a backpacking enthusiast looking for an outdoor adventure, this trail is perfect for you.
Best Waterfront Hikes in Wisconsin
Some of the best waterfront hikes in Wisconsin are Eagle Trail, Meyers Beach Sea Cave Trail, and North Country Scenic and Doughboy’s Loop. These trails take you along the shores of Wisconsin and offer views of the water, sea caves, and picturesque landscapes.
10. Eagle Trail Location: Ephraim Mileage: 2.0-mile loop trail Difficulty: Moderate FYI: Popular for birding, hiking, and running. Expect crowds. Best time: April to October. Leashed dogs welcome.
Are you in the mood for a little adventure? We recommend checking out the
in Peninsula State Park. It's a two-mile loop that offers some seriously stunning views of the encampment from the water's edge. Just a heads up, it's definitely not a walk in the park. The terrain can be rocky and uneven, and there are some tough elevation changes in certain spots. But hey, if you're up for the challenge, it's totally worth it. Just make sure to bring some good hiking shoes and be prepared for any seasonal ice.
11. Meyers Beach Sea Cave Trail Location: Bayfield Mileage: 4.6-mile out-and-back trail Difficulty: Moderate FYI: Popular for birding, hiking, and paddle sports. Crowded at times. Open year-round. Leashed dogs allowed. Parking fee required.
Looking for a pretty hike near Bayfield, Wisconsin, you have to hit the
Meyers Beach Sea Cave Trail
. This 4.6-mile out-and-back trail is perfect for dogs, and there are some awesome overlooks along the trek. The hike is moderate, but there are benches along the route where you can take a break and enjoy the scenery. Just make sure you bring some bug spray on the way back out - it can get buggy.
12. North Country Scenic and Doughboy's Loop
North Country Scenic and Doughboy's Loop trailhead, N Country National Scenic Trail, Mellen, WI 54546, USA
Location: Mellen Mileage: 1.7-mile loop trail Difficulty: Easy FYI: Popular trail for birding, hiking, and mountain biking. Quiet during off-peak times. Best in May-Oct. No dogs allowed.
North Country Scenic and Doughboy's Loop
offer an enjoyable hike with views of multiple waterfalls. The trail is well-marked and takes the form of a loop. However, it is worth noting that the route has some stairs that can be slippery when wet or icy.
Best Winter Hikes in Wisconsin
These trails offer enchanting winter scenery, from frozen waterfalls to snow-covered terrain. Strap on your snowshoes and explore the serene beauty of Wisconsin’s winter wonderland on these exhilarating hiking adventures.
13. Willow River Falls Snowshoe from Camp 200 Location: Hudson Mileage: 2.0-mile out-and-back trail Difficulty: Easy FYI: Popular snowshoeing trail, offers solitude during quieter hours. Willow River Falls Snowshoe from Camp 200
is a diverse trail open for hiking in the summer. It offers picturesque views of falls and plains, with varied terrain for a great snowshoeing and hiking experience.
14. Deer Run and Wilderness Trails Loop
Deer Run Road & Wilderness Trail, Deer Run Rd & Wilderness Trail, Quincy, WI 53934, USA
Location: Appleton Mileage: 3.1-mile loop trail Difficulty: Easy FYI: Ideal for birding, hiking, and running; rarely crowded. Best to visit from April to November. No dogs allowed on the trail. Deer Run and Wilderness Trails Loop
is a 3.1-mile loop near Appleton, Wisconsin. Deer Run is open year-round, while the Wilderness Trail is closed in summer due to swampy conditions but available for cross country skiing in winter. Prepare for mosquitoes during the summer hike.
15. Birkebeiner Trail
Birkie Trail, Hayward, WI 54843, USA
Location: Hayward Mileage: 29.3-mile point-to-point trail Difficulty: Moderate FYI: Popular for birding, hiking, and mountain biking. Solitude possible during off-peak hours. Best time to visit: May to October. Birkebeiner Trail
is a 29.3-mile point-to-point trail near Hayward, Wisconsin. Generally considered moderately challenging, the trail offers beautiful and well-maintained paths with some challenging inclines. Perfect for wintertime activities.
Best Hikes near Madison
Madison is a hiker’s paradise, offering a variety of trails to explore. Some of the best hikes near Madison include Picnic Point Marsh Loop Trail, UW Arboretum, and Lake Monona Bike Loop. Each trail offers its own unique scenery and challenges, making them perfect for hikers of all skill levels.
16. Picnic Point Marsh Loop Trail Location: Madison Mileage: 2.0-mile loop trail Difficulty: Easy FYI: Popular for birding, hiking, and running. Best time to visit: May to November. Leashed dogs allowed.
Picnic Point Marsh Loop Trail
in Madison, Wisconsin, offers a delightful hiking experience with its serene marsh views and easy terrain. Despite being a popular spot, there is ample space on the route for everyone to enjoy. The trail is perfect for families with kids, providing a great opportunity to introduce them to the wonders of the outdoors while taking in the scenic surroundings.
17. UW Arboretum
University of Wisconsin–Madison Arboretum, 1207 Seminole Hwy, Madison, WI 53711, USA
Location: Madison Mileage: 5.3-mile loop trail Difficulty: Easy FYI: Popular for birding, cross-country skiing, and hiking. Open year-round, no dogs allowed.
in Madison, Wisconsin, offers a 5.3-mile loop trail that is generally considered easy, making it a pleasant hike taking just under two hours to complete. The area boasts beautiful landscapes, with well-marked trails providing an easy and enjoyable wandering experience. Visitors can explore diverse environments, from picturesque prairies to tranquil woods, making it a nature lover's dream.
18. Lake Monona Bike Loop
Lake Monona, Madison, WI, USA
Location: Madison Mileage: 12.6-mile loop trail Difficulty: Easy FYI: Best times: March-October. Dogs allowed, leashed.
Lake Monona Bike Loop
is a 12.6-mile paved trail that winds through charming Madison neighborhoods. The route offers views of the lake and passes by several parks along the way, providing ideal spots for picnics and relaxation. There are ice cream and sandwich places conveniently located along the route, making it a perfect outing for both cyclists and leisurely strollers alike.
Have you had the chance to explore any of these Wisconsin hiking trails? If so, do you think any stand out as the best for Wisconsin hiking? We’re excited to hear your thoughts on the best hiking trails in Wisconsin!
Whether you’re looking for a challenging trek with miles of trails and access to campsites in a national park or an easy trail with scenic views full of wetlands and wildflowers, this hub has everything you’ll need , and be sure to Try AllTrails+ For Free!
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More to Explore
The Best Hikes In Wisconsin
Does Wisconsin have good hiking trails?
Wisconsin's best hiking trails include:
What are the best months to hike in Wisconsin?
Wisconsin offers fantastic hiking opportunities that can be enjoyed throughout the year. In spring and early summer, the trails come alive with vibrant wildflowers, while autumn brings a breathtaking display of fall colors, making each season unique and captivating for hikers to explore.