Fascinating geological formations, spectacular waterfalls, and interactive nature programs. Wisconsin's State Parks have endless attractions for families. Here are some highlights:
Families can get involved in the packed Nature Program at Peninsula State Park, and take part in activities like guided wildlife hikes along the beach and on the forest trails that ribbon the park. As you hike, your guide will relate local legends and point out wildlife and other points of interest. Children love story time around the campfire, during which you'll hear classic Dr Seuss stories about caring for nature.
Your family will be awed by the gushing waterfalls in Amnicon, which you can see from a charming covered footbridge with nearby river trails. There are plenty of picnic spots for a break along the well marked trails. Check out placards along the way which tell you about the Douglas Fault, the remarkable geological phenomenon responsible for the structure of the waterfalls.
Year-round programs run by the park's Nature Center make this a favourite with families. Come and see exhibits on local ecology, geology, and anthropology. Then take a walk along Lake Michigan and discover the wetlands via the boardwalk, spotting waterfowl as you go. Kids love to play amidst the dunes, and explore the serene beech forest behind the beach.
Native American archaeological sites, gurgling waterfalls, and tranquil lakes. There's plenty to tempt you into long hikes in Wisconsin's state parks:
Rivulets of water and frothing falls wind through this spectacular state park. Lava flows dating back thousands of years, log cabins built in the thirties, and a plethora of sports draw visitors to the sun dappled trails at Copper Falls. Hike, bike, and horseback ride to burbling brooks and rushing falls, and connect up to the North Country National Scenic Trail, which passes through the park.
Native American burial mounds and 400 yd. deep canyons are part of the scenery you'll see on thrilling hikes in this unparalleled state park. At the confluence of the Wisconsin and mighty Mississippi Rivers, Wyalusing also boasts a canoe trail, as well as fishing and hunting opportunities. One of Wisonsin's oldest state parks, Wyalusing is definitely also one of the state's best.
The glassy surface of Mirror Lake reflects a brilliant blue sky. Surrounded by forest and ringed with hiking trails, the lake is a habitat for hundreds of wildlife species. 50 ft. cliffs overlook the lake, providing several lookout points from which to view birdlife. At 2,200 acres, there's plenty of space, and picnic spots dot the trail as you go. Relax on the swimming beach afterwards.
Whizz through the forest on a zip line. Canter along the beach on horseback as the sun glitters on the water. Shimmy your way along rocky ridges for sublime views. Here are the state parks where Wisconsin adventures begin:
There's always something going on at Devil's Lake State Park. Myriad hiking trails join climbing and assault courses, zip lines, and water sports of all kinds to make this one of Wisconsin's top adventure sports parks. Come ATV through verdant wildernesses, spotting wildlife as you go. Discover the park's most remote and picturesque corners on foot, bike, and horseback.
There are few adventure sports you can't find at this 5,350 acre State Park. Undulating landscapes, two glittering lakes, and a waterfall are the setting for hunting, fishing, and off-roading. Hike, bike, and horse ride along the trails. Military Ridge State Trail is one of the most interesting, running from the ridge to the park. Come winter, cross country skiing through the crisp, snow-dusted forest is popular.
One of the final nature reserves on Lake Michigan, Kohler-Andrae is characterized by miles of soft golden sand, sapphire Lake Michigan, and the 'shushing' sound of the wind through the pine leaves. From hiking to cycling, fishing to horseback riding, the opportunities for adventure sports in this scenic destination are endless.