Wisconsin is full of beauty, and there are plenty of things one should see if he or she loves the outdoors. So what should definitely be on your list? Start with these 15 natural attractions.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Apostle Islands
This set of islands is known for its gorgeous colors, beautiful rocks, and sea caves. Each has its own distinct personality. Some have wonderful beaches. You can explore them by boat, kayak, or on foot. They are particularly stunning during winter.
2. Cave of the Mounds
This is one of the top caves in the entire Midwest. It has all sorts of colorful rocks, stalagmites and stalagtites. Even the non-spelunker can survive down here--it is well lit and the path is smooth.
3. Big Manitou Falls
This is the largest waterfall in Wisconsin. It comes off the Black River. The water falls some 165 feet. Observation towers allow you to really see these waterfall in all their splendor.
4. Pewits Nest
This is one of the coolest natural attractions in Wisconsin. A large, deep gorge (some 40 feet deep) is surrounded by moss covered rocks. It looks like something out of a fairytale.
5. Timms Hill
This is the highest natural point in Wisconsin. It is 1,951 feet above sea level. Climb up the observation tower and get a 30 mile view of the vast Northwoods.
6. Horicon Marsh
This is the largest freshwater cattail marsh in the United States. It is great for birdwatching, but also for just looking out. There is a nice boardwalk that you can walk out over the water. And there is even a portion to drive your car out over.
7. Ice Age Trail
This is one of 11 national scenic trails. The 1200 miles of trails are actually totally contained within Wisconsin's borders. Lakes, hills, rocks, forests, and prairies are the varied scenery here.
8. Perrot State Park
This gorgeous park is located where the Trempealeau River meets the Mississippi River. You'll see some truly amazing views--the top view being this island. It is simply massive. Walk along trails on the 500 foot bluffs.
9. Wyalusing State Park
This state park is one of the oldest in Wisconsin. Indian burial mounds and tall bluffs are the big features here. Of course, get a wonderful view of the Mississippi River. There are over 14 miles of hiking trails here.
10. Chequamegon-Nicolet National Park
This park is a whopping 1.5 million acres large. There is all sorts of wildlife like black bears, white tailed deer, and moose. Black spruce bogs and cedar swamps are also prevalent.
11. Copper Falls State Park
Everyone comes here for the waterfalls, but you might not know that there are also ancient lava flows. Additionally, there are log cabins (built by the Civilian Conservation Corps) to add to the overall charm.
12. High Cliff State Park
This park is actually part of the Niagara Escarpment, the ridge of rocks that goes to New York (that Niagara Falls). Tall trees grow out of even taller rocks.
13. Peninsula State Park
This state park is nearly 4,000 state park. Walk up to Eagle Tower for a great overlook. It is a 76 foot tower on top of a 180 foot bluff.
14. Devil's Lake State Park
This is the most visited state park in Wisconsin. The crown jewel is the 360 acre lake. It is surrounded by great bluffs--formed some 300 million years ago. There are over 29 miles of trails.
15. Elroy-Sparta Trail
This trail was once used by trains, but it was a successful rails to trails project. The highlight are the three tunnels you bike through. Two of them have large wooden doors, back from the time when doors were needed to keep snow out of the tunnels.