Hiking For Your Health Across Wisconsin

Hailey Rose

July 13, 2022

Enjoy hiking? There are many trails throughout the state of Wisconsin that range from way up north, central, to the southern border and both east along the shores and west to highlight the driftless region of the state! Hiking promotes staying active and staying ahead of the game by taking your own preventative health measures to ensure you can see and do more. Come along and see the state while hiking for your health!

Northern Trails

Photo Credit: Lake Superior Circle Tour

Headed up north? Here are some perfect hiking trails for you that will excite and challenge you! Located near La Pointe on Madeline Island lies the beautiful Bayview Trail. This trail is connected to Big Bay State Park and is rated at an easy level for hikers of all levels to enjoy. It will take you along the rocky cliffs and through the breathtaking sea caves for a round trip of 8.8 miles! Check out the map here of the whole state park and make your hike worthwhile!

Just a hop skip and a jump away is Mellen, Wisconsin, home of the Morgan Falls Trail! If you’re looking for a level-up, this is your trail! This trail is tucked into the Chequamegon National Forest and brings picturesque views of the forest and falls. It is 1.1 miles round trip, rated at a moderate level to challenge you to new heights and sights! For more information and a general map, click here.

Along the northern region of the state in Bayfield County is the town of Cornucopia! Cornucopia offers an amazing moderate hiking trail called the Lost Creek Falls Trail. Featured along the way are two bridges to cross that arch over Lost Creek. From there, you can get up nice and close to the falls and watch the water drop 15 feet! You can even go behind the falls if you’re feeling adventurous. Round trip, this trail is 2 miles total! Learn about this trail and more in Bayfield County here!

Don’t stop there! Just east of Cornucopia, there are more trails to explore, especially Meyer’s Beach Sea Cave Trail! This moderate trail is a part of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, which leads to gorgeous natural scenery. This trail is most widely known for its featured incredible sea caves that you can hike all around. Altogether, it is about a 4.5-mile hike and is definitely worth the trip! Learn more about hiking on the Apostle Islands and keep an eye out on the conditions here.

There are so many more hidden gems of northern Wisconsin to hike and enjoy the natural beauties of life. Hiking provides numerous health benefits and therefore is an amazing activity to partake in! Be sure to take preventative health measures to monitor your health for future hikes ahead.

Central Trails

Photo Credit: Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Looking for a few trails in the central part of the state? We’ve got you covered! In the Stevens Point area, the Green Circle Trail loops through forests, parks, and along rivers in the area such as The Wisconsin and Plover Rivers. This scenic hike totals out at 27 miles but if you’re wanting to do less, the trail has segments within! View the detailed maps here.

Named Wisconsin’s first “cooperative” trail, the Wild Goose State Trail runs between Dodge County and Fond du Lac County. It goes along the edge of a National Wildlife Refuge known as Horicon Marsh. This wildlife refuge is world-renowned for over 250 bird species that migrate across the country. Keep your eyes peeled as you hike for your health! Grab the map here.

Try a new trail with some history! Wiouwash State Trail cuts through Winnebago, Outagamie, Waupaca, and Shawano counties and was built on a former railroad corridor. The trail is split into two segments, a northern and a southern segment. In the northern segment, hike between Birnamwood and Split Rock for 19 total miles! Or, try out the southern segment which is 22 miles running from Hortonville all the way to Oshkosh! Choose your trail and follow the maps here.

Central Wisconsin offers endless opportunities to hike for your own health! Take the preventative health measures necessary to live to your fullest potential and hike to the highest peaks!

Southern Trails

Photo Credit: Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Last but not least, the southern portion of the state has phenomenal hiking trails including the Verona segment of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail! This trail is one of eight of the United States national scenic trails. This specific segment traverses 6 ½ miles through a variety of landscapes like woods, fields, and prairies. The coolest part? It passes by glacial kettle ponds displaying Wisconsin’s rich past! Check out the ultimate hiker’s resource map of the trail here.

Not too far of a trek away is the Military Ridge State Trail just outside of Dodgeville, Wisconsin. This trail actually connects Verona and Dodgeville by an 1855 military route. Showcasing tremendous scenery, this trail hits the southern sections of Governor Dodge State Park and Blue Mound State Park. Click here for the trail map!

Another spectacular trail system in southern Wisconsin is the popular Devil’s Lake State Park Trails! There are a variety of trails scattered throughout ranked from easy, and moderate to difficult routes, which take a daring soul! There are a total of 29 miles of trails to choose from each providing amazing views and vantage points to put you in awe. Choose your adventure here!

Along the Lake Michigan shoreline by Mequon and Port Washington is the home of the Lion’s Den Gorge Nature Preserve! This preserve is known as an “ecological jewel” because of its respectful caution and care for animals and natural formations that make the area beautifully unique. There are several hiking trails here from beaches to boardwalks to wetlands. Keep your head held high and take in the views on any path you choose! Here is the map of the entire park, including the best trails to hike for your health! 

There are far more trail systems located in southern Wisconsin, but these are just a few highlights! Make your health a highlight and stay proactive to keep hiking along your life journey. There are so many more trails to see!

Eastern & Western Trails

Photo Credit: Kickapoo Valley Reserve

Knock on the door of Door County and explore Eagle Trail in Peninsula State Park! This trail is rated as difficult, but the challenge is worth the reward. This trail offers a 2-mile loop with the greatest views of the Niagara Escarpment and beaming cliffs of Eagle Bluff. Fun fact: This bluff got its name from bald eagles nesting from its tallest peaks. At the top of this bluff is Eagle Tower which reaches up to 60 feet high! Take on the challenge and hike to new heights! Choose your route with the Peninsula State Park map here.

On the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan, Kohler-Andrae State Park offers endless hiking opportunities for everyone to enjoy! This state park is actually one of the last natural preserves along Lake Michigan. A must-see highlight within the state park is the sand dunes. They are accessible through several different trails that suit you best. Or, take the shoreline and hike along the sandy beach of Lake Michigan. Be sure to check out all of the different trails offered here.

Head west to experience the unforgettable Driftless Wisconsin area and its numerous hiking trails that are like nothing you’ve seen before! Within the driftless area lies Kickapoo Valley Reserve alone offers three unique trails for hikers to explore with varying lengths and challenges. Additionally, Wildcat Mountain State Park provides over 20 miles of hiking trails, including the short and easy Ice Cave Trail, famous for its rock formation resembling a mouth to a vastly large cave. In the winter, the spring that runs over the edge of the structure freezes and forms into a massive icicle! But that’s not all! Be sure to check all the driftless area of the state has to offer here.

From east to west, these are only a few featured hiking hotspots to check out! Explore more of the state in fun and adventurous ways like hiking to have a blast while simultaneously managing your health!

Hiking is such a healthy activity to partake in and entails a list of benefits such as improving heart health, and stability. It allows you to stay ahead of the game, in terms of preventative health, keeping your body in the best condition it can be. To enjoy more hikes, take preventative health measures like mammograms and colonoscopies to ensure you can see more sights and do more hikes! Learn more about preventative health in this segment of Know Your Wisconsin, ‘Preventative Health Screenings’:

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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