Wisconsin State Parks

Wisconsin is home to 99 state parks, trails, forests, and recreation areas, and since they are spread out fairly evenly across the state, you will find it easy to locate one wherever you go. Tons of recreational possibilities await those who visit the Wisconsin state parks, and activities abound even during the cold winter months. Many of the state park hiking trails are converted to cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails in the winter, and plenty of locals and tourists take advantage of them when it's cold outside. Even more outdoor activities are possible at the state parks in Wisconsin during the warmer months.

Whether you're traveling with friends, family, or that special someone, exploring the natural side of Wisconsin will prove to be rewarding. Wisconsin natural attractions include lakes, forested hillsides, marshlands, caves and glacial grooves, and the state parks are some of the best places to enjoy these attractions. The Wisconsin Dells area is one of the best places to observe Wisconsin natural attractions, as it's brimming with towering bluffs, soaring sandstone rock outcroppings, and numerous lakes and rivers. There's little wonder why so many Wisconsin visitors hit the Dells area, and if you're looking to do some hiking and biking in the state parks here, Mirror Lake State Park, Devil's Lake State Park, and Rocky Arbor State Park are all close by. Swimming, canoeing, kayaking, and camping are just some of the things that you can enjoy at these Wisconsin state parks, and it's generally possible to enjoy these activities and then some regardless of the state park that you choose.

Another popular Wisconsin vacation destination is Door County, which can be found on a peninsula that features the Green Bay on one side, and Lake Michigan on the other. There are no less than five state parks in Door County, and they are all good ones. At the Newport State Park in Door County, three miles of beaches hug the Lake Michigan shoreline, and there are eight more miles of lakefront access to enjoy as well. You can camp at a walk-in site at Newport State, and camping is also possible at Potawatomi State Park and Rock Island State Park. Stopping to explore the state's tallest dunes at Whitefish Dunes State Park is a favorite addition to the list of things to do for many, and it too boasts an accessible and sandy beach that is ideal in the summertime. Hiking, biking, horseback riding, and snowmobiling are all possible on the 29-mile Ahnapee State Trail, which winds its way through Sturgeon Bay and a few other Door County communities.

State trails, lakeshores, and scenic areas are a bit different from the Wisconsin state parks, but they are just as accessible and fun to explore. The Ice Age National Scenic Trail is one of the most highly-coveted Wisconsin natural attractions, as it follows a path that glaciers helped to carve out. You can hike along all 1,200 miles of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail, or you can simply access it for a short experience via any number of trailheads that follow its route. Some of the state parks in Wisconsin overlap the Ice Age National Scenic Trail, and they are excellent places to camp for the night if you are in for an extended haul. The Kettle Moraine State Forest - North Unit's segment of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail is without question a privileged stretch. Winding its way through forests, the trail offers a rich natural environment that will both relax your soul and inspire your mind.

The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is another premier destination for viewing unique Wisconsin natural attractions, so you might add it to your agenda as well. Getting back to the state parks in Wisconsin, Yellowstone Lake State Park and Governor Nelson State Park are just two more places that deserve mention. Yellowstone Lake State Park can be found just southwest of Madison, and not too far from the House on the Rock, which is a curious attraction worth visiting. Fishing on the 455-acre Yellowstone Lake is a hit with visitors, and you can also explore more than 4,000 acres of wildlife habitat, which seals the deal for many. As for the Governor Nelson State Park, it can be found just north of Madison, and while it doesn't offer a campground like Yellowstone Lake, it's a perfect day-use facility. A long sandy beach fronts the lake here, and there's a small boat launch as well. Among the popular summertime activities at Governor Nelson State Park is windsurfing, so you might try your hand at that.

The Wisconsin state parks and recreation areas often require small fees for those who want to access them, and these fees help to maintain the areas. You will also have to pay to camp at any of the state park campsites, and the fees are reasonable for that as well. Hunting is possible in some of the state parks and wildlife areas, and whitetail deer and black bear are among the most hunted animal species. Enjoying a picnic, hitting a mountain biking trail, kicking back on the banks of the Mississippi River, and kayaking on a lake are just some of the things that you can do at the various recreation areas and state parks in Wisconsin, so plan your visit to one of them today, and become one of the 14 million people who do so every year.

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