Wisconsin December 28, 2017
11 Things You Should Do In Wisconsin Before It’s Completely Covered In Snow
Thus far, most of Wisconsin is still in the “barely there” state of snow cover. We did get a bit more for Christmas, but for the most part, there’s plenty of green peeking through the light snow layer. We know it’s still coming, but in the meantime, there’s a lot you can do and enjoy here in the Dairy State while the roads aren’t dangerous and the snow cover isn’t too thick. Sure, once the snow piles up, there’s cross-country skiing and snow-showing options, but that’s always feasible for everyone. Here are some great Wisconsin winter things to do before the snow really flies:
1. Take a Lambeau Field tour.
Sure, you can do this year-round, but it's not quite the same when everything is covered in the fluffy white stuff. You really want to get the full effect of walking out onto the field level. And since the team isn't exactly the best we've ever had to watch, a tour and trip through the Hall of Fame is a good way to distract yourself from the current state of the team.
2. Visit Cave of the Mounds.
While the Cave is a great option any time, it's a good option in this freezing cold because it's pretty much always 50 degrees underground. Why you want to head here when the ground is still mostly uncovered is the surrounding grounds. Hiking around here will bring you near all kinds of flora and fauna and is a totally underrated facet of a visit to the Cave.
3. Wander through the UW-Madison Arboretum.
Another spot that's awesome year-round, it's just especially awesome this time of year. The lack of foliage makes animal-spotting that much easier and there's just something really relaxing and almost spiritual about strolling through the quiet but beautiful stark landscape.
4. Check out the other ice caves.
Most folks are familiar with the Apostle Islands Sea Caves, but there are a few other frozen spots, including at the Kickapoo Valley Reserve. They do guided hikes into the caves and it's definitely more accessible than the ones up in Bayfield.
3. Go eagle watching.
You probably want to wait until the temperatures climb a bit, but it turns out that quite a few bald eagles spend the winter along the Wisconsin and Mississippi Rivers. Prairie du Chien is a known spot along their migration path, but there's a lot of places to see them in southwestern Wisconsin.
6. Take a horse-drawn winery tour in Door County.
There's a point where freezing cold and blowing snow outweigh the charm of getting to go on a horse-drawn tour of Door County. This is an awesome, unique way to see the area, but it's definitely a lot more fun when the snow is at a minimum.
7. Stroll through Horicon Marsh.
There are tons of events here over the winter talking about migration and hibernation, as well as winter wildlife spotting, birding and even a candlelight hike. With so much happening on the ground here, you want just a light snow cover that helps you see footprints but doesn't obscure it all.
8. Visit a botanical gardens.
Though they're obviously at their most vibrant in spring and summer, spots like Olbrich Botanical Gardens in Madison or even the MItchell Park Domes in Milwaukee have indoor displays that help you fight off the winter doldrums and remember that everything renews and comes alive again soon.
9. Visit Kohler-Andrae State Park.
This is one of the last natural preserves along Lake Michigan's shores. Even in winter you can enjoy the unique sand dunes and wetlands as well as a pine forest when there's only a bit of snow to cover them up. Plus, it's a lot less crowded!
10. Go winter camping.
Most folks think you're nuts when you talk about camping in winter, but it's incredibly serene and relaxing. If you're prepared and geared up, it's a totally unique way to see and experience our great state and you'll have the place completely to yourself. You can camp when there's heavier snow, but it's much easier when the ground isn't totally obscured and frozen solid. Plus, the trails are easier to hike and wander.
11. Stroll the Mariners Trail.
One of the most beautiful lakefront stretches in all of Wisconsin, Mariners Trail is six miles of paved lakeshore trail joining Manitowoc and Two Rivers. Along the way you'll see plenty of quaint, small-town life as well as lighthouses and beaches. It's a stunning walk in winter where you could see fog, sea smoke, ice and more out on the lake.
What other things do you like to do in early winter in Wisconsin before the snow starts to prohibit it? Let us know in the comments!
Looking for more Winter in Wisconsin ideas? Check out You Must Visit These 13 Awesome Places In Wisconsin This Winter.