Hiking Wisconsin  by Eric Hansen, revised by Kevin Revolinski

Hiking Wisconsin Guide Book

by Eric Hansen, revised by Kevin Revolinski (Falcon Guides)
Hiking Wisconsin  by Eric Hansen, revised by Kevin Revolinski
This Second Edition of Hiking Wisconsin profiles 64 of the best hikes in the state. Detailed maps and directions and a superb selection of day hikes and overnight trips make this book accessible to all hiking enthusiasts, from families out for a summer walk in the woods to outdoor fanatics.

© 2016 Eric Hansen, revised by Kevin Revolinski/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Trails from the "Hiking Wisconsin" Guide Book
Displaying trails 20 of 64.

Displaying trails 1 to 20 of 64.

Rushing water tumbles over a display of geology that shows evidence of ancient earthquakes, volcanic activity, an ocean and its deposits of sand, and the most recent history of the Ice Age. A short walk takes you past a fine collection of waterfalls and cascades on the Amnicon River, and park literature tells the story in the rock.
Superior, WI - Hiking - Trail Length: 0.5
A lovely trek through the federal Rainbow Lake Wilderness, this path crosses the North Country Trail and offers looks at several small lakes along the way. A first-time visitor to the south end of the Rainbow Lake Wilderness may think the script calls for a mere walk in the woods, but the soundtrack tells another story. The haunting tremolo cry of loons echoes across this pocket-size preserve, and a map check reveals why: There are a dozen small lakes scattered around this route. The Anderson Grade, an old railroad grade from the logging era, provides easy access to four of those lakes. Combining that route with a short jaunt on the North Country Trail to Rainbow Lake creates a fine outing, with hardly a mile going by without a new lake to contemplate.
Drummond, WI - Hiking - Trail Length: 8.2
A remote walk along the Wisconsin River at the base of tall bluffs. Berghum Bottoms, a remote stretch of river front land at the base of wooded bluffs, is one of those diamonds in the rough that a guidebook author hesitates to write up. What first caught my eye was the lack of a paved highway along the south side of the river, a rare situation in these parts. Berghum Bottoms, a remote stretch of river front land at the base of wooded bluffs, is one of those diamonds in the rough that a guidebook author hesitates to write up. What first caught my eye was the lack of a paved highway along the south side of the river, a rare situation in these parts. Better yet, the Lower Wisconsin State Riverway owns 5 miles of shoreline here, as well as 1 mile inland, to the top of the bluffs and beyond. The quiet lane you drive in on is the only intrusion. When you get out of your vehicle you sense the isolation of this swath of north slope woodlands and floodplain forest.
Bridgeport, WI - Hiking - Trail Length: 5.4
Kettles formed by glacial deposits during the most recent advance of the Ice Age glaciers have turned to bogs, home to a variety of rare plants and some of the most pristine land in this corner of the state.A woodland trail leads to a boardwalk that puts you right in the center of a primeval bog. Name the least-disturbed natural habitat in this corner of the state and it would have to be bogs. Beulah Bog is a good example of these Ice Age relics; its impressive list of credits includes several rare plants and six carnivorous ones. This wetland also features floating mud flats, a bog lake, and a tamarack forest. Best of all, it has a way to get to the middle, a boardwalk.
East Troy, WI - Hiking - Trail Length: 1
In July 1832, Fox and Sac warriors led by Chief Black Hawk ambushed pursuing soldiers on the north end of this state property. That well-executed maneuver gave 1,200 starving Fox and Sac children, women, and elders enough time to escape across the Wisconsin River. Today, Black Hawk Ridge has a quiet trail system featuring fine views of the Wisconsin River Valley. Often you may be the only person in the park as you hike this system of trails through hardwood forest and a good portion of wildflower-filled prairie as you climb to the top of a bluff with views of the Wisconsin River Valley.
Madison, WI - Hiking - Trail Length: 8.3
This trek along the Blue Hills segment of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail rises and falls through birch and pine forest, crossing Devils Creek a few times, bringing you to a suggested turnaround point at some wetlands. Two creeks mark the beginning and end of this hike. Each is a gurgling gem, temping you to stay a while and contemplate its secrets. Walk north from the trailhead, and a subtle but beautiful scene unfolds. The path follows the crest of a small ridge, 80 feet above Devils Creek, winding among birches and pines before dropping to a bridged crossing.
Weyerhauser, WI - Hiking - Trail Length: 4.6
For centuries humans have sought this passage between two rivers flowing opposite directions, north to Superior and south to the Mississippi. Consider the Native Americans, and the European explorers who followed, as you hike through woods and wetlands to find this historical portage point. French explorer Daniel Greysolon Sieur du Lhut, Duluth’s namesake, was the first to make a record of his passage over this trail in 1680. His story mentions cutting through one hundred beaver dams on the Bois Brule River. He may have been the first to leave a written account, but it seems reasonable to believe that he learned of the route from Native Americans who had used it for some time.
Solon Springs, WI - Hiking - Trail Length: 4
Embedded within the outstanding Jerry Lake segment of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail, this is a shorter option for a day hike and doesn’t require a shuttle.
Medford, WI - Hiking - Trail Length: 9.3
This section of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail even comes with an interpretive center. Learn about the geological features before you pass them. Along the rising and falling terrain, you will pass no fewer than twenty kettle lakes. Any short walk on the Chippewa Moraine’s Circle Trail offers views full of beautiful rounded hills and kettle lakes. Hike the Ice Age Trail east from there and the scenery never lets up, while the trail just keeps getting quieter. Start by walking northeast from the interpretive center, descending on a connector trail.
New Auburn, WI - Hiking - Trail Length: 12.2
A shorter hike through Ice Age Trail country, this loop follows the national scenic trail a short distance before following a loop through kettle lakes and along the back of an esker. Wisconsin has no shortage of glacial scenery and place names bearing the word moraine. The Chippewa Moraine, though, is something special. Here there’s an eye-pleasing symmetry to the pattern of rounded hilltops and reflecting lakes. Unlike southeastern Wisconsin’s Kettle Moraine, where the glaciers’ forward movement formed the moraines, this landscape is a result of glacial ice that stopped moving. After the glacier’s horizontal movement ceased, its surface debris flowed into low spots in the ice.
New Auburn, WI - Hiking - Trail Length: 4.5
Explore an extensive floodplain along the mighty Chippewa River.The trail passes through oak forest and wetlands on its way upriver. Bird species are abundant, and odds are good you’ll see evidence of resident beavers.
Nelson, WI - Hiking - Trail Length: 12.4
One of the largest stands of virgin forest in the upper Midwest and a quiet, non-motorized lake. When hikers stand at the north end of Clark Lake, with its picnic area and boat ramp, they could easily imagine they were at any one of a number of northern lakes. By the time they arrive at the south end of the lake, though, it is obvious they are someplace special, the core of a wilderness area sheltering 17,000 acres of virgin forest. Paul Bunyan’s ax swung hard and wide across our northern forests in the late 1800s, leaving few trees standing. Sylvania is one of the few places that escaped that onslaught, and this hike takes you through notable old growth stands of virgin hemlock, sugar maple, and white pine. Two-hundred-year-old trees are common; a few hardy specimens are 400 years old.
Land O'Lakes, WI - Backpacking,Hiking - Trail Length: 7.6
One of northern Wisconsin’s most beautiful state parks, Copper Falls has two impressive waterfalls where the Bad River meets Tyler Forks River. The North Country Trail passes through the park, and an observation tower gives you a bird’s-eye view of a richly forested terrain with impressive geological sights along the river gorge. It is difficult to maintain a brisk pace on Copper Falls’s Three Bridges Trail; too many distractions line the path’s route. Its well-constructed 1.8 miles off er a constant parade of falling water, charming nooks, and rock canyons. Those canyon walls are part of the rich geological history described in the park’s newspaper. Walk east from the parking lot past the concession building and turn left (north) to cross a sturdy bridge over the Bad River.
Mellen, WI - Hiking - Trail Length: 1.8
A quiet trail through one of the largest stands of virgin forest in the upper Midwest. Loons on wilderness lakes. Sylvania, with its 17,000 acres of virgin forest and thirty-six named lakes, is no stranger to savvy Wisconsin nature lovers. Most of those folks, however, enter the area from the north, paddling canoes. Few of Sylvania’s visitors know of the quiet footpath that enters from Land O’Lakes. The trail quickly takes hikers into one of the most remote corners of the wilderness, the Deer Island Lake area. For ambitious hikers, that is just the beginning. If you continue walking northwest and round Clark Lake on its loop, you create a prime route. For a brief moment, at the north end of Clark Lake, there are some minor signs of civilization. Other than that this hike is a 21-mile-long walking tour of old growth forest and pristine lakes.
Land O'Lakes, WI - Backpacking,Hiking - Trail Length: 21.2
One of the more strenuous hikes, this trail climbs the rocky bluff to offer sweeping views of Devil’s Lake, notable rock formations, and hardwood forest. Spring-fed Devil’s Lake occupies a scenic gap in the South Range of the Baraboo Hills. With three 500-foot bluff s rising from its shores and notable rock formations on the bluff tops, it has attracted visitors for centuries. This route samples the best that Devil’s Lake has to off er, while ascending and descending the spectacular East Bluff twice. These attractive trails are not a secret, and on a fine weekend day you should expect to see many other visitors.
Sauk City, WI - Hiking - Trail Length: 4.6
Combing a state park trail and the Ice Age National Scenic Trail, this thru-hike starts with sweeping bluff-top views at Devil’s Lake and ends with the intimate charms of the scenic gorge of Parfrey’s Glen. Two of the most scenic hikes in south–central Wisconsin, the East Bluff of Devil’s Lake and Parfrey’s Glen, anchor each end of this route. Along the way, it skirts cliff tops and traverses a hardwood forest at the east end of Devil’s Lake State Park. Rolling east, it ascends through old fields and small wood lots to Sauk County’s highest point and long views stretching to Blue Mounds, 30 miles to the southwest.
Sauk City, WI - Hiking - Trail Length: 8.5
This short trek is nice at the end of a hiking day, as it takes you cliffside for a sunset vista. Central to this 155-acre county park is Door Bluff, also referred to as Deathdoor Bluff for its view out toward the strait between the islands and the Door County peninsula’s end, Porte des Morts or Death’s Door. But the vista from the trail looks out at Green Bay to the west, making it a classic place to be at sunset. Better yet, the short walk back to the trailhead makes lingering to the end of the show, and a twilight retreat, reasonable. The park is undeveloped and notable for its rocky cliff s as well as an unusual stand of old white cedars.
Ellison Bay, WI - Hiking - Trail Length: 0.5
Trek above and below Door County’s highest bluff on this fine shoreline ramble with views of Lake Michigan on one side and 150-foot dolomite cliffs rising above you on the other.The final stretch passes along the bluff top through hardwood forest. Peninsula State Park’s Eagle Bluff Trail is a small package with a large impact. In its 2.1-mile length, it loops above and below the cliff s of Door County’s highest bluff and samples the shoreline of Eagle Harbor. For a finale, it strolls through charming grassy glens in a beech–maple forest with birch trees scattered throughout. Start your hike at the signed trailhead at the north end of the Eagle Bluff parking area.
Ephraim, WI - Hiking - Trail Length: 2.1
A system of cross-country ski trails provides a course through part of the Chequamegon- Nicolet National Forest characterized by birch and hardwoods.A quiet and secluded hike, the trail passes a picnic area along a semi-marshy lake. Ed’s Lake Trail is a classic walk in the woods on a cross-country ski trail that works well as a hiking trail. Along the way the route passes picturesque hemlock and birch groves, a small lake, and railroad grades left over from the logging era. Note that these trails have directional signs for guiding ski traffic. The first half of this hike will go with the flow of those directional signs on the Birch Trail, and the second half will go “backward” on the Maple Trail.
Wabeno, WI - Hiking - Trail Length: 4.6
A segment of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail passes through Hartman Creek State Park and offers a fine hike through oak forest and along the clear waters of a trout stream. Hartman Creek State Park, with its quiet lakes, is a popular spot for weekend and vacation camping. This hike takes you away from the well-known areas of the park into its quiet southwest corner and on to the Emmons Creek Fishery and Wildlife Area. It’s a pleasant walk through an oak forest sprinkled with an occasional pine plantation or meadow-like old field to the star of the show, Emmons Creek. That clear-running stream brightened my day. A bench, dedicated to Aldo Leopold, aids contemplation.
Waupaca, WI - Hiking - Trail Length: 6.8