The weather has finally warmed up and its rained enough to make sure everything is green and growing, so it’s time to get outside! Go searching for wildfllowers, enjoying the budding trees, look for baby animals, and generally celebrate the renewal of life after a very long, very cold, very snowy, and very hard winter. Here are 13 trails that will get you into the forest to check out amazing sights:
1. Lime-Kiln Trail at High Cliff State Park — Sherwood
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If you can handle the hills, you really can't beat the Lime-Kiln trail. The short loop is just 0.9 miles and you get to head into the forest to see the escarpment formations as well as walk along the edge of the lake. The Butterfly Pond and Forest Management Trails feature a lot less elevation change.
Located at N7630 State Park Rd., Sherwood, WI 54169
2. Powder Hill Trail at Kettle Moraine Pike Lake Unit — Hartford
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Powder Hill is 0.5 miles from the Nature Trail parking lot or 1.1 miles from the beach/picnic area parking lot. There's an observation tower that is worth the climb as you can see for miles in all directions. Located at 3544 Kettle Moraine Rd., Hartford, WI 53027.
3. Trail Tramper's Delight Trail at Peninsula State Park — Fish Creek
This trail is about 100 years old and connects Nicolet Bay and the Eagle Bluff Lighthouses. The 0.7-mile Minnehaha Trail along the lakeshore is also nice and easy. Located at 9462 Shore Rd., Fish Creek, WI 54212.
4. Bison Nature Trail at New Glarus Woods — New Glarus
This park has several trails that are less than a mile, making it a good beginner stop. It's also an easy little side trip when you're spending a weekend in quaint New Glarus. This path is all about the prairie. Located at W5508 CTH NN, New Glarus, WI 53574.
5. Hemlock Nature Trail, Wildcat Mountain State Park — Ontario
This 1.3-mile trail starts down by the Kickapoo River and heads up Mount Pisgah for some spectacular views. Located at E13660 State Hwy. 33, Ontario, WI 54651
6. Lake Geneva Path — Lake Geneva
There is a paved path that fully circles the lake. According to Visit Lake Geneva, "The path has been preserved by early settlers who said that the '20 feet leading to the shoreline be preserved as public domain.' Property owners were responsible then and still are today to maintain the path through each of their properties, which makes the trail very unique. Each property owner puts their own spin on their part of the shore path, some have placed benches to rest, some have artwork and some even have water stations." The path is 26 miles and can be accessed in a number of public places like the library and Big Food Beach State Park.
7. Riverview Trail at Perrot State Park — Trempealeau
If you can handle the climb, definitely check out any of the Brady's Bluff trails. But since we're talking easy hike here, we'll focus on the Riverview Trail that traverses 2.5 miles along the Mississippi and Trempealeau Rivers. Located at 26247 Sullivan Rd., Trempealeau, WI 54661.
8. Dells of the Eau Claire Loop, Dells of the Eau Claire Park — Aniwa
This is a peaceful stroll along the river that goes near the public beach and includes picnicking spots. It's a great little introduction to this beautiful area. Located at 2150 County Rd. Y, Aniwa, WI 54408.
9. Willow Springs Trail at Blue Mound State Park — Blue Mounds
There are a handful of short trails in Blue Mounds, but this two-mile trail goes through the forest, past a stand of willows, and to a natural spring that flows year round and provided water for the first settlers to the area. Located at 4350 Mounds Park Rd., Blue Mounds, WI 53517.
10. Ski Trails at Powers Bluff Maple Woods — Aripin
There are three different half-mile cross-country ski trails that make for great hiking in warmer months. The star here is a 1.6-million-year-old quartzite bluff. Located at 6990 Bluff Dr., Arpin, WI 54410.
11. Haskell Noyes Memorial Woods, Campbellsport — Fond du Lac
A part of the Northern Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest, there aren't really marked paths here, you just head out into the woods and explore. Located at W476 County Rd. SS, Campbellsport, WI 53010.
12. Fox Maple Woods — Florence
Head into the forest and look for wildflowers in this 41-acre northern forest surrounded on three sides by the Whisker Lake Wilderness Area. The very best part is it is this area is walk-in camping only; no motorized or mechanized vehicles are allowed. It is a place of true natural solitude. Located on State Hwy. 70, Florence, WI 54121.
13. Guided Tour, Ridges Sanctuary — Bailey's Harbor
You can head off on your own, but the guided tour is a relaxed, two-hour walk where you get to see and learn a ton. Entrance here is $5. Located at 8166 WI-57, Baileys Harbor, WI 54202.
These are just a few of the great places you can see and explore this spring. What are some of the other spots you like to go for those first few breaths of fresh air in months? Let us know in the comments!