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Top 5 Hikes In Wisconsin

October 13, 2018

Wisconsin is a midwestern US state known for its 2 Great Lakes and fertile land covered in forests and farms. Its largest city, Milwaukee, is home to the largest of their attractions including the Milwaukee Public Museum, international villages, and Harley-Davidson Museum. But, if you look to nature, you’ll find Wisconsin’s most beautiful attractions: long, rich, beautiful trails covering the state from corner to corner. Here are 5 Wisconsin trails you are sure to love.

Best Hiking Trails In Wisconsin

RankTrailLength (miles)
1Devil’s Lake Loop4.8
2Parfrey’s Glen Trail1.7
3Gander Mountain Loop Trail1.0
4Ice Age Trail To Lapham Peak2.8
5Glacial Pothole And Ice Age Trail1.8

1. Devil’s Lake Loop

Location: GPS 43.152691, -89.283013
Mileage: 4.8 miles
Hike Time: 4-5 hours

Devil’s Lake Trail is a 4.8-mile loop trail in Baraboo, Wisconsin. It’s a moderately trafficked moderately difficult trail open from July to November with an overall elevation gain of 813 feet. Here, you may go dog walking, camping, fishing, birding, mountain biking, hiking, on nature trips, trail running, paddling and walking. You’ll see a forest, lake, beach, amazing views, wild flowers, and plenty of wildlife.

Devil’s Lake loop trail starts out on the pavement and looks flat and easy until you follow further along, and before you know it, you’re headed up a steep climb (some may need to use hiking poles or walking poles) until you’re out of breath and looking over Devil’s Lake. Follow the trail and you’ll come across a parking lot with state park buildings, bathrooms, picnic areas, and beach areas. If you continue to the East, you’ll find another long and steep climb with some fantastic lake views and neat rock formations.

There’s something here for everyone. If you want to go swimming or simply want a workout, visit Devil’s Lake Loop.

2. Parfrey’s Glen Trail

Location: GPS 43.419206, -89.641666
Mileage: 1.7 miles
Hike Time: 1-2 hours

Parfrey’s Glen Trail is a 1.7 mile out and back trail in Merrimac, Wisconsin. It’s a moderately trafficked easy trail open year-round with an overall elevation gain of 236 feet. Here, you may go birding, snowshoeing, hiking, on nature trips, trail running, and walking. You’ll see a forest, waterfall, river, and historic sites. The path itself is very muddy and rocky.

Parfrey’s Glen is the first Natural area in the state of Wisconsin and is the most visited natural area in the state. It’s generally open from 6am to 8pm. At the heights of the park, you’ll find a mountain-type stream with a depth of almost 100 feet.

Over the last 20 years, the land has been modified with powerful floods. With that, the glen has undergone closures, repairs, and upgrades with new bridges. Old bridges once traveled in the 80s and 90s no longer exist, and the trail was completely repaired. Those who wish to see the waterfall have to get through the stream and rough stone. Steps to the old viewing area are damaged, and the viewing area has collapsed. Regardless, it’s a place of natural history you shouldn’t miss.

3. Gander Mountain Loop Trail

Location: GPS 42/.493269, -88.198962
Mileage: 1.0 miles
Hike Time: 1-2 hours

Gander Mountain Loop Trail is a 1.0-mile loop trail in Wilmot, Wisconsin. It’s a moderately trafficked difficult trail open year-round with an overall elevation gain of 203 feet. Here, you may go dog walking, cross-country skiing, birding, horseback riding, mountain biking, skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, on nature trips, trail running, and walking. You’ll see a forest, river, wildlife, and plenty of bugs. The path itself is muddy and rocky.

Gander Mountain Lake County is home to a preserved forest of 3.0-5.0 miles of land. It’s most popular for mountain biking and birding. It has some rugged topography and is very scenic. It’s not developed which allows you natural Wisconsin in its finest state. If you’re looking for an immersive wilderness experience, you should try hiking on the Gander Mountain Loop Trail.

4. Ice Age Trail To Lapham Peak

Location: GPS 43.040201, -88.401434
Mileage: 2.8 miles
Hike Time: 1-2 hours

Ice Age Trail to Lapham Peak is a 2.8-mile loop trail in Delafield, Wisconsin. It’s a moderately trafficked moderately difficult trail open year-round with an overall elevation gain of 377 feet. Here, you may go camping, snowshoeing, hiking, on nature trips, trail running and walking as you would in many US national parks. You’ll see a forest and lake.

The Ice Age Trail is one small part of a network of trails covering more than 1,000 miles of land. It’s a National Scenic Trail almost exclusively in Wisconsin. It follows the last continental glacier in the state.

This trail offers you top hiking experience and is revered by hiking enthusiasts who enjoy a scenic and silent hike. It takes you through some of Wisconsin’s most beautiful areas and shares with you the story of the last Ice Age. Along the trail, you may access hundreds of trailheads and access points along with other trails.

5. Glacial Pothole And Ice Age Trail

Location: GPS 43.040524, -88.399351
Mileage: 1.8 miles
Hike Time: 2-3 hours

Glacial Pothole and Ice Age Trail is a 1.8-mile loop trail in St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin. It’s a heavily trafficked easy trail open year-round with an overall elevation gain of 133 feet. Here, you may go birding, hiking, on nature trips, trail running, rock climbing, and walking. You’ll see a river, wild flowers, and very nice views.

In keeping with the Ice Age Trail, this is another part of the trail system with moderate hiking trails and lots of nice rock climbing spots if you bring carabiners. It has some trails connected to it that will take you to the Interstate State park camp ground.

On the trail, you’ll find yourself taking in some amazing views of the St. Croix river from high elevations and overlooks. The trail is well marked with little flat ground. The rock climbing is fantastic with nice bluffs to look over. If you enjoy heights, you’re going to love Glacial Pothole and Ice Age Trail.

For those of you who enjoy natural history and the quiet beauty Wisconsin has to offer, you’re sure to love these five trails. They’re short and sweet with rugged terrain to challenge the most experienced of hikers. Get on your hiking boots and prepare for a hike deep into the Wisconsin outback.

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