Hidden away from the countryside and big cities are some true gems that are so unbelievably awesome, they are almost like they were created in our imagination. They make for incredible pictures, but there’s nothing like seeing them in person.
1. Pewits Nest (Baraboo)
This 40 foot gorge was created by the last glacier that was in Wisconsin. It was relatively unknown for many, many years. At one point, it was home to someone who lived here and actually had a mill set up. Now, it is a place that people swim in.
2. Big Manitou Falls (Douglas County)
If you love waterfalls, you should see the granddaddy of them all: the 165-foot-tall Big Manitou Falls. The source of these impressive falls is the Black River. You can find it in Pattison State Park, which is near Superior. The falls themselves are fairly easily accessibly by a short walking path. It is the fourth tallest waterfall east of the Rocky Mountains.
3. Holy Hill (Erin)
This gorgeous church perched on this hill gets 300,000 visitors annually. This church was built in 1926. The observation tower offers some phenomenal views of the surrounding area. It is nestled in 435 acres of bucolic Wisconsin land.
4. Olbrich Botanical Gardens (Madison)
This garden has the most stunning collection of plants in Wisconsin, things you have never seen before in your life. The Bolz Conservatory has a whopping 750 different varieties of plants. Some of the gardens you can visit are: the rose garden, rock garden, meadow garden, herb garden, Thai garden and sunken garden.
5. Blue Mound State Park (Blue Mounds)
This spectacular park is located in the highest point of southeastern Wisconsin, a place full of caves and other unique geological features. There are 20 miles here for you to hike, as well as places to camp with the family.
6. Trempealeau Mountain (Trempealeau)
Trempealeau Mountain is 425 feet off the ground. Once used for navigation purposes by seafarers, it now is a breathtaking feature of Trempealeau Mountain State Park. The mountain is full of all sorts of human history. You can find Native American burial sites and effigy mounds.
7. Cave of the Mounds (Blue Mounds)
More than a million years ago, these caves began to form. There these caves sat, undiscovered until they were were accidentally uncovered in 1939 by workers who were blowing up the area with dynamite. They were amazed by the cave and it soon became a popular place with visitors. Cave of the Mounds is a National Natural Landmark.
8. Apostle Islands (La Pointe)
The Apostle Islands National Park is an archipelago of 21 wilderness islands. These islands are scattered along Lake Superior. They are responsible for more than a dozen miles of shoreline. You will find some of the most pristine remaining sandscapes in this area. One of the islands (Stockton) has the unique natural phenomena of "howling sand." Accessing these islands can be done by kayak or boat tour. You can see everything from old-growth forests to sea caves.
9. Horicon Marsh (Horicon)
Horicon Marsh is an amazing natural area that is actually the largest cattail marsh in the United States. Located in southeastern Wisconsin, it is the home to almost 290 species of birds. Canada geese especially love this place. Bird watchers love to come here and observe. There are a lot of ways to explore Horicon Marsh, but we recommend doing it by canoe or kayak. If you want to stay on land, however, you can go down a path actually made for your vehicle.
10. Devil's Lake State Park (Baraboo)
Devil's Lake State Park is the most visited state park in Wisconsin. In fact, hundreds of thousands of visitors come here annually. The spring-fed lake is a whopping 360 acres, and it has 500-foot bluffs that overlook it. The park has an impressive 30 miles of trails to explore. The interesting geological features of this park were created 1.6 billion years ago.
11. Chain O' Lakes (Farmington, Dayton, Waupaca Counties)
Chain O' Lakes is a series of 28 interconnected lakes in Wisconsin. The lakes are natural. However, humans connected them for navigability. The lakes cross a couple of counties. They border gorgeous Wisconsin woods.
Have you been to any of these places? Be sure to share pictures on the Only in Wisconsin Facebook page!