Hiking in Wisconsin

Hiking in Wisconsin
Wisconsin is a popular vacation spot for outdoor lovers because of its unique and assorted landscapes. The cold, snowy winters transform the trails into a whole new hiking route. Wisconsin has plenty of trails for the beginner and experienced hiker alike.

Size

There are 99 state parks, forests and recreation areas in Wisconsin that provide 2,730 miles of trails. The Ice Age National Scenic Trail in Wisconsin is a 1,000-mile long national trail. The Ice Age National Trail is one of only 8 national scenic trails in the United States.

Geography

If you happen to spot a cougar, gray wolf, lynx, marten or moose while hiking in Wisconsin, you will be considered fortunate to have observed one of these rare mammals. Conservation efforts are in effect to protect these endangered mammals. To help in the conservation efforts, report any sightings to state parks by filling out the Rare Mammal Observation Reporting Form (see Resources below).

Types

The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest has close to 30 trails for hiking. The National Forest has easy, medium and expert trails. Many of the trails also allow mountain biking, cross country skiing and horseback riding.

Wisconsin has 37 state trails that go on for 1,607 miles, offering a variety of terrains for different activities, including hiking, bicycling, cross country skiing, snowmobiling and snow shoeing. For camping, there are 4,600 campsites that can be rented for a small fee. Campsites are located in walking distance of state trails.

The 1,000-mile Ice Age National Scenic Trail runs through 30 counties and highlights Wisconsin's unique glacial features. It takes you through vast changes of scenery. Following the trail, you will walk through towns and farms, hike through valleys, forests and wetlands.

Considerations

Wisconsin State Parks charge a vehicle parking fee. It might be worth buying an annual pass if you are going to use trails in the Wisconsin State Parks often. The annual pass is only $25 for Wisconsin residents and $35 a year for non-residents of the state.

Warning

Dress appropriately for weather conditions when hiking in Wisconsin. Winters get very cold, and snowstorms are common. Check the local weather guide before setting out on a hiking trip so that you can anticipate weather conditions on your trip. The summer months can get very hot, so bring plenty of water. In the summer months, mosquitoes can be prolific, so don't forget to bring repellant.

Article Written By Rose Kivi

Rose is an outdoor enthusiast who has respect for the environment. She volunteers her spare time working to rehabilitate wildlife and their habitats. She also teaches survival skills and leads groups on nature explorations.

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