An Outdoor Adventure Guide to Jefferson County

Hailey Rose

October 13, 2023

Photo Credit: Jefferson County

The outdoors is calling and we know just where to go… Jefferson County, Wisconsin! Jefferson County is full of outdoor fun with vast waterways, wooded trails, and winding roads. Whether you enjoy water recreation, biking & hiking, or thrilling motorsports, it’s all here. Keep reading and discover the endless outdoor adventures that await.

Water Recreation

Photo Credit: The Rock River Trail

Let the adventure begin on the wavy waterways of Jefferson County. Home to 6 rivers and 24 area lakes and ponds, Jefferson County is the ultimate hub of water recreation. From paddle sports to pontooning, you can explore at your own pace. Don’t have equipment? Not to worry. Between Pato Loco’s kayaks and canoes and Zastrow’s Watercraft and Sport Rentals pontoons, there’s a rental for you. Once you’ve got your vessel, you’re already on the way to a good time in the great outdoors! 

Take it slow and paddle along Jefferson County’s famous water trails that connect to charming communities and secret hidden gems. One of many to check out is The Rock River Water Trail. It’s a must! Be sure to account for a few pit stops along the way like Goat Island…That’s right, goats on an island! You won’t believe it until you see it. For a longer paddle, keep following the Rock River down to Lake Koshkonong, a peaceful paradise where visitors can float, fish, or find an inviting restaurant ashore. With 10,500 acres of water, it’s a haven of outdoor fun like you’ve never experienced before. 

Lake Koshkonong is not only the perfect place to paddle, but also a pontoon playground. Cruise along the shoreline taking in the scenery and spectacular smells of fresh food ashore. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, beach your boat at Island Bar & Grill for a tasty bite to eat.

Biking & Hiking 

Photo Credit: Jefferson County

Time to explore Jefferson County by land! With an array of extensive trail systems, visitors have the opportunity to ride and walk on a plethora of pristine bike trails and hiking trails that travel through the county’s most scenic landscapes. 

On wheels, hop on some of the state’s finest biking trails that each offer their own picturesque views and various pit stops as you pass through Jefferson County’s quaint communities. To name a few fan-favorites, bike the Glacial Drumlin State Trail, Interurban Trail, and of course, the Glacial River Biking Trail. Listen close for a little inside scoop… The Glacial River Biking Trail leads you directly to Jones Dairy Bar–an irresistible ice cream stop you won’t want to miss.

By foot, trek along Jefferson County’s stunning terrain such as the Kettle Moraine Southern Unit. Embark on the Emma Carlin Trail System, which offers three distinct loops ranging from moderate to hard that all wind through a thick hardwood forest and rolling hills.


Photo Credit: Rob’s Performance Motorsports via Instagram

While the trail systems showcase the rugged terrain, the roadways kick it up to another level! Adrenaline enthusiasts, this one’s for you. Known as the mecca of powersports, Jefferson County is home to three nationally acclaimed dealerships–Rob’s Performance Motorsports, John Hartwig Motor Sports, and Rock River Powersports–each with impressive fleets. 

Whether you’re looking for a motorcycle or spyder, any of these three dealerships will help you find your perfect fit. Now, buckle up, and hit the road. We’ve got lots to see! For scenery lovers, take the Kettle Moraine Scenic Drive and enjoy the fast-paced adventure underneath the foliage. 

We didn’t forget about all you history fans. Head back on the open highway and feel a sense of freedom as you ride to your next destination. Any guesses on where we’re taking you? It’s a National Historic Landmark. It’s home to one of Wisconsin’s most important archeological sites. It’s none other than Aztalan State Park! From having a blast by bike to learning about the state’s beginnings, it can’t get any better than this.

Now are you ready to visit? Jefferson County is waiting and full of outdoor fun! Explore the never-ending waterways, scenic biking and hiking trails, and action-packed roads. You can’t beat the outdoor recreation in Jefferson County. 

Hailey Rose: Writer for Discover Mediaworks. A born & bred Wisconsinite with a love for fishing, hunting, and enjoying the great outdoors.

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