Explore Wisconsin’s wildlife and natural beauty at any fitness level!
Call us biased, but we think Wisconsin has some of the most underrated hiking trails in the country. And there are certainly a lot to choose from! According to Travel Wisconsin, there are nearly 3,000 miles of trails weaving through our state parks alone. So tie up your laces, grab your loved ones, and get outside. We found the perfect Wisconsin trail for hikers at every fitness level.
Parfrey’s Glen Trail – 1 Mile
Located in Wisconsin’s first State Natural Area just outside Merrimac, Parfrey’s Glen is a picturesque trail filled with beautiful trees, mossy cobblestone, and even a waterfall to keep you entertained. This 1.7-mile trail is labeled a “moderate hike” and is estimated to take 42 minutes to complete. If you’re looking for a short, but mildly challenging trail, this is the one for you! Just remember to leave your dogs at home: no pets allowed on this one.
Lion’s Den Trail – 2 Miles
If you want to clear your head, Lion’s Den Trail is a relaxing route along the shores of Lake Michigan. This short, 2.1-mile hike is labeled an “easy route” for beginners. Dogs on leashes are welcome and there are plenty of picnic benches along the route to rest your feet, so Lion’s Den is a great choice for a family excursion. You can even wear your bathing suit for a post-walk jump in the lake!
Ice Age Trail to Lapham Peak – 3 Miles
The Lapham Peak segment of the state’s Ice Age Trail offers a little bit of everything. Hike through meadows full of native flowers, spot some deer through the woodlands of Southern Wisconsin, and catch some amazing views at the summit of Lapham Peak. For Milwaukee locals on the hunt for a scenic trail close to home, this segment of the iconic Ice Age Trail is only half an hour by car.
Meyers Beach Sea Caves Trail – 5 Miles
The Meyers Beach Trail is the perfect combination of forest and lake views. Bordering Lake Superior, this route takes about an hour and a half to walk, but we promise you’ll be entertained the entire time. Within the first mile of the walk, there’s a boardwalk, and by mile two, you’ll catch your first sea cave sighing. And when you’re tired of walking, jump into a kayak and paddle through the water to catch the caves and arches up close. The trail is open year-round and worth a visit in every season. We especially recommend seeing the sea caves covered in icicles!
Timm’s Hill Trail – 10 Miles
Town of Hill
If you’re ready to test your endurance, Timm’s Hill Trail is for you! The first two miles of the route are a great warmup for beginners, but prepare yourself for things to get progressively harder between miles three and eight. Most of the route is through the woods, although a variety of aspen, cedar, and pine trees will keep your eyes fed, especially in the fall! Pets are welcome on this route–including horses!
The Ice Age Trail – Honorable Mention
For any hiker looking for a challenge, Wisconsin’s Ice Age Trail is calling your name. While many choose to hike a segment of the trail at a time, the entire route spans more than 1,200 miles! This is certainly the trail to add to your all-time Wisconsin bucket list.
TELL US: Have you hiked a significant chunk of the Ice Age Trail? Email UpNorthNews Editor Christina Lorey at [email protected] and let us in on where you hiked, what you saw, and any tips you have for others!