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25 Best Hiking Trails in Wisconsin

A selection of the best hiking places in Wisconsin covering North, South and Central Wisconsin

The best hiking trails in Wisconsin are tough to narrow down. But if you’re looking for amazing outdoor activities in Wisconsin, hiking is one of the best options!

There are more than 2,500 miles of official hiking trails (and those are just the official ones!) in Wisconsin. Where do you begin?

Thousands of people drive far and wide to travel Wisconsin, and with good reason.

For a state with such a small population, there’s an overwhelming abundance of trails to hike, bike and ski in every corner of Wisconsin.

Looking to explore the great outdoors in Wisconsin? Check out our list of the best hikes and trails to explore in the Badger State! From picturesque lake shore hikes to winding forest paths, there's something for everyone. Find your next adventure today and start exploring! #WisconsinHiking #LifeInNature #ExploreWI
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Best Hiking Trails in Northern Wisconsin

1. North Country National Scenic Trail – Copper Falls

best trails in wisconsin for waterfalls, aerial view of waterfall at cooper falls
Cooper Falls majestic waterfall
  • Length: 1.7 miles
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Accommodation Options: The best way to enjoy the beauty here is by renting a cabin or a cottage. On VRBO, I found this scenic waterfront Log Home and this cabin rental comes with its own dock.

Now, you’re really heading North, all the way up to Copper Falls State Park. This is where you’ll find some of the wildest and most remote parts of Wisconsin’s share of the North Country National Scenic Trail.

The opportunity to hike some of the North Country Trail (NCT) is one of the biggest appeals of visiting the area.

The Doughboy’s Trail is a simple 1.7-mile walk that allows you to see two of the area’s highlights: Copper Falls and Brownstone Falls. Follow the NCT along Bad River before turning off near Brownstone Falls to finish the loop.

For such a short walk, you’ve hiked an impressive stretch of the NCT and seen two awesome waterfalls too! In fact, Cooper Falls is home to some of the best waterfalls in Northern Wisconsin.

This loop can easily be extended to include many more trails in the area, such as the CCC 692 with plenty of camping options too.

Ashland is the closest community, roughly a half-hour drive north of Copper Falls.

Don’t forget to bring your “Hiking in Wisconsin” guide.

2. Bayview Trail – Madeline Island

cool hiking places in wisconsin, The sea caves of Devils Island in the Apostle Islands of Lake Superior
The sea caves of Devils Island in the Apostle Islands of Lake Superior, near Madeline Island

For the hikers willing to head offshore, Madeleine Island has some lovely walking and makes for a great day out from Bayfield. You can get the ferry across to LaPointe in the morning, walk all of the trails the island offers and still make it back to the mainland on the last ferry!

Once you’re on the island, you’ll be heading towards the Big Bay State Park. The Bayview Trail is a simple out-and-back trail that walks along the shore the whole way.

This trail suits walkers of every ability and the relaxed day out offers stunning views with some bird-watching too. This trail is also a great option for those who consider backpacking Wisconsin.

This can easily be combined with the Bay View and Woods Trail Loop for walkers looking for an extra challenge. It’s an extra 2.9 miles which take in even more of Madeleine Island’s coast. It’s definitely a great Wisconsin vacation idea for those who love the outdoors.

If you have more time, you also need to explore all the cool things to do in Apostle Islands.

Book here your Lake Cabin in Madeline Island

3. Timm’s Hill Trail

good hiking trails in wisconsin, Areal view from rocky ice age hiking trail during sunset hours. Devil's Lake State Park, Baraboo area, Wisconsin, Midwest USA.
View from Timm’s Hill Trail
  • Length: 10 miles
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Accommodation Options: This area is a heaven for outdoor lovers, thus a cabin is the best option. Have a look at this Northwoods cabin or this relaxing “Creature’s Retreat“.

Timm’s Hill Trail, which crosses the North-East border of Taylor County and the South-East border of Price County, takes you to Wisconsin’s highest natural point, Timm Hill itself (1,951 feet above sea level).

This hike is unique in that it links the highest natural point in Wisconsin with the spectacular Ice Age Trail. Much of the Ice Age Trail follows a landscape left behind by ancient glaciers in Wisconsin.

The non-motorized trail is constructed on entirely private land, and the hill itself is the showpiece of the 220-acre park by the same name.

Tiny Ogema, in the center of Wisconsin, is the closest settlement to Timm’s Hill Country Park. Expect to see glacial lakes, the “Highway to Heaven”, thick stands of sugar maple, and plenty of interesting rock formations.

The trail is also accessible in winter.

Buy here your hiking gear in REI Outlet and get exclusive discounts

4. 9 Mile Loop, Wisconsin

paulina outdoor blogger hiking
  • Length: 9 miles
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Accommodation Options: Stay right on the river and take in the view with a sunset meal at the Riverside Motel. Nearby Hayward is also home to some of the best luxury cabins in Wisconsin. You can go all out with the Executive lakefront home, which can accommodate up to 18 people and has games, a bar, flat-screen TV and anything else you might desire!

The 9 Mile Loop is a popular trail near Couderay, Wisconsin. It is located just off the Tuscobia State Trail, a 74-mile trail of abandoned railroad.

But do keep in mind it can get nosy when it’s busy. That’s because this is one of the best trails in Wisconsin for ATVs and off-roading.

Nevertheless, if you avoid peak times, like weekends or holidays, this is also one of the most scenic hiking trails in Wisconsin. Especially in fall when the colors really bring it to life.

Book here the best cabins in Northern Wisconsin

5. Ice-Age Trail – Eau Claire Dells Segment

cool places to hike in wisconsin, Autumn at the Dells of the Eau Claire in Wisconsin
Autumn at the Dells of the Eau Claire in Wisconsin

I’ve already spoken about the 1,000-mile Ice Age Trail, and this is just another section of the colossal trek worth mentioning.

But I mention it for a reason: the 3-mile stretch which follows the Eau Claire River is one of the prettiest on the whole trail.

The Dells of Eau Claire is a country park found not too far from Timm’s Hill Country Park. Many people come to visit this short stretch of the Ice Age Trail because of its scenic views.

It’s of course one of the top things to do in Eau Claire, WI, but it’s also one of the best things to do in Central Wisconsin.

Small, trickling waterfalls and rocky riverbeds make for great photo opportunities and a refreshing swim on a hot summer day.

Easily accessible (just 20 minutes) from Wausau.

If you are still wondering where to stay in Northern Wisconsin, have a look at some of the prettiest hotels in Northern Wisconsin.

6. Bearskin State Trail – Minocqua

best day hikes in wisconsin, Rustic wooden trestle across the Bearskin State Trail in Minocqua Wisconsin.
Rustic wooden trestle across the Bearskin State Trail in Minocqua Wisconsin

The Bearskin State Trail begins in the popular lakeside resort of Minocqua, and it is one of the best things to do in Minocqua.

The trail follows Bearskin Creek the whole way and winds through heavily forested areas.

As well as getting to see some of Northern Wisconsin’s woods, you’ll see countless glacial lakes along the way too.

The easy-to-navigate path, which is a former railroad corridor, is flat and compact with level stretches that suit every type of walker.

Day trippers, campers, and vacation-goers can all enjoy the area. But also couples, since the region is home to some of the most romantic cabins in Wisconsin.

For those that don’t want to walk the full length of the trail, there are plenty of attractions and campsites. There are also restaurants, restrooms, and picnic areas for visitors.

After an exhausting day of hiking, consider a stay at The Waters of Minocqua, one of the best spa resorts in Wisconsin.

Alternatively, check out my guide on all the best hotels in Minocqua for every budget and type of traveler.

Check vacation rentals in Minocqua

7. Brady Bluff – Perrot State Park

top hiking trails in wisconsin, Panoramic autumn scenery at Perrot State Park in southwest Wisconsin.
Perrot State Park in southwest Wisconsin
  • Length: 5.7 miles
  • Difficulty: Moderate

Perrot State Park, right on the Minnesota border, shows hikers some pretty breathtaking views. Just upriver from Trempealeau, you’ll find a beautiful park filled with color, wildflower, and rugged trails.

Once you see the view from Brady’s Bluff, don’t expect to shrug it off. These are some of the best hiking trails in Wiscons, it also has one of the best viewing platforms. It will live long in the memory.

You’ve got two options. The Brady’s Bluff Trail East is slightly longer than 7 miles. It’s steep and narrow, but you’ll be able to count more than 100 types of native Wisconsin plants.

The slightly-shorter Trail West is 5 miles and skirts the Mississippi River and follows some impressive rock walls.

This walk is extremely scenic and no wonder that it’s considered one of the best things to do in Northern Wisconsin.

8. Eagle Trail – Peninsula State Park

scenic hiking trails in wisconsin, Eagle Bluff Lighthouse
Eagle Bluff Lighthouse

There are so many great things to do in Door County, and quite literally hundreds of hikes to choose from!

Within Peninsula State Park alone, there are plenty of hiking trails, but none of them offer what Eagle Trail does.

On this short hike, you’ll begin at the bluff before descending a whopping 200 ft. From there, you’ll follow the mesmerizing Niagara Escarpment all the way back to the trailhead.

You’ll see all sorts of land, bluff, and water views as you walk. And, if you’re lucky, you may even spot a nesting bald eagle!

Make sure to stop and visit the Eagle Bluff Lighthouse, one of the best lighthouses in Wisconsin.

The trail also passes through thick cedar forest but do take care; the path is uneven and far from easy-going!

If you can visit in the fall, hiking is one of the best things to do in Door County in October thanks to the cool weather – and you’ll have the trails almost to yourself!

In winter, you can also go snowshoeing here which is one of the top things to do in Door County in winter.

It’s not only one of the top hikes in Door County, but one of the best hiking trails in Wisconsin.

Within Peninsula State Park, you’ll also find some of the best Door County bike trails!

Fish Creek will be your base. I recommend staying at Homestead Suites, one of the best resorts in Door County.

Buy here your hiking gear in REI Outlet and get exclusive discounts

9. Trail of Myths, St Croix Falls

  • Length: 2 miles
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Accommodation Options: Your best option if you want to stay in St Croix Falls is the Holiday Inn Express & Suites, which has all the amenities of home, plus a pool and gym. Or stay in neighboring Taylors Falls at this fully renovated cabin next to a scenic river shore.

Hiking in Northern Wisconsin would be incomplete without a stop in St Croix Falls. Situated on the Minnesota-Wisconsin border, St Croix Falls is home to some of the best hikes Wisconsin has to offer. 

It is also a popular starting point for the 1200 mile Ice Age National Scenic Trail.

Several species of animal can often be spotted along this path, including American red squirrel, porcupine, red fox, and white-tailed deer.

Plus for my fellow bird watchers out there, this is prime real estate, you might see bald eagles, hooded warblers, ruffled grouse, among others.

Trail of Myths might seem somewhat foreboding, but this is a relatively easy hike, and one of the best hiking spots in Wisconsin.

If you have more time to hang out in St Croix Falls, it’s one of the best Wisconsin fall getaways! Specifically, AutumnFest is one of the top fall festivals in Wisconsin.

Book here your accommodation for St Croix Falls

Best Hiking Trails in Central Wisconsin

10. Devil’s Lake Loop – Baraboo

best hiking trails in wisconsin, Areal view on the South shore beach and lake from rocky ice age hiking trail during sunset.
South shore beach and lake from rocky ice age hiking trail during sunset.

I’ll start with one of Northern Wisconsin’s most famous hiking areas: the Devil’s Lake Loop. This is the first of many hikes I’ll discuss which takes in just some of the challenging Ice Age Trail.

This loop takes you into the heart of the popular Devil’s Lake Skate Park. A straightforward circuit makes its way around the length of the shimmering 360-acre lake, and you’ll have the chance to spot some local birds while taking in some of the great views.

This walk begins on the northern shore of the lake, which is easily reached from Baraboo. The East Bluff and West Bluff sections of Devil’s Lake, some of the best beaches in Wisconsin.

After the hike, you might consider spending some time hiking at the famous Wisconsin Dells which makes for a fitting reward. – Check cabins in Wisconsin Dells here

Devil’s Lake is one of the top cool weekend trips in Wisconsin for outdoor enthusiasts, but also makes a great romantic getaway or a family vacation.

Don’t forget to get your Wisconsin hiking map in advance.

Book here accommodation in Baraboo

11. Ice Age Trail – Devil’s Lake

hiking in northern wisconsin, wonderful winter hike at Devil's Lake in Wisconsin
Winter hike at Devil’s Lake in Wisconsin

As I’ve already mentioned, part of the infamous 1,000-mile long Ice Age Trail crosses several paths with Devil’s Lake.

While this trail won’t get you anywhere close to completing the 1,000-mile stretch, it allows you to take in some of the most impressive scenery on the whole Ice Age Trail. In fact, the scenery on this walk is some of the finest in all of Wisconsin.

And if you’re visiting Wisconsin Dells in winter, you’ll get some stunning wintery landscape views over the lake.

This trail, also accessible from tourist-friendly Baraboo, begins in the North-East area of Devil’s Lake State Park, one of the best State Parks in Wisconsin.

You’ll hike along with the rocky ranges on the Western and Southern sides of the lake before heading back into the forest.

Expect some amazing rock formations around the lake itself, beautiful Baraboo range forest and plenty of wildlife. It’s one of the best hiking trails in Wisconsin and considered a great spot for hiking near Wisconsin Dells.

Notably, this hike also includes some incline for walkers looking for that uphill challenge. It’s definitely one of the best things to do in Northern Wisconsin.

Book here accommodation in Baraboo

12. Hiking Gibraltar Rock, Lodi

Hiking Gibraltar Rock, Lodi, wisconsin

Just outside of Devil’s Lake State Park is an absolute hidden gem: The Gibraltar Rock National Park. And here is one of the best Wisconsin hiking trails with a view! 

The hike up to the cliffs is fairly easy and straightforward, but the view will take you by surprise. Overlooking the surrounding areas, you won’t find anywhere else like this in Wisconsin. For a moment, it’s easy to feel like you’ve been transported somewhere else.

The Gibraltar Rock National Park is part of the Ice Age Trail, but can be accessed separately just off of Highways 113 and 60 in Lodi. From the parking lot, the hike to the top is just over 1 mile.

Gibraltar Rock is easily one of my favorite hiking spots in Wisconsin, and it’s rarely busy, in my experience. Pack a lunch and do it as a day trip form Madison or enjoy a watch the sunset during a romantic getaway in Wisconsin Dells.

Book the best AirBnBs in Wisconsin Dells

13. Willow Falls in Willow River State Park

best hiking places in wisconsin, Fall in Tomahawk, Wisconsin. Colorful trees reflected in the lake.
Some hiking spots in Wisconsin look like a dreamscape

So many of the best hiking trails in Wisconsin are in the middle of the state. Another favorite is the gorgeous Willow Falls Trail.

This trail is much more Central, and Willow River State Park is just 10 miles northeast of Hudson. This easy-to-follow loop shows off the best views of Willow River and Little Falls Lake. Oh, and let’s not forget the dazzling, cascading waterfalls at the end!

Willow Falls are 100 ft wide, multi-layered and up to 45 ft high. Spending some time taking in the views and splashing in the water is well worth the hike alone.

Make sure to bring your Wisconsin hiking guidebook in order to explore the best trails in the area. – Check rates here

That being said, if you’re walking in spring, you’ll be blown away by the colors of the local fauna on the way there and back. It’s hence a perfect place to vacation in Wisconsin.

Book here the top AirBnBs in Wisconsin

14. Lion’s Den Trail – Lion’s Den Gorge

best hikes wisconsin has to offer, wisconsin river bank, a riverbank along the wisconsin River
Lake Michigan at sunset
  • Length: 1.8 miles
  • Difficulty: Easy

This trail’s all about the stunning views of Lake Michigan, one of the best lakes in Wisconsin. And again, it’s not a long walk. In less than 2 miles, you’ll catch some amazing panoramas of the Lake, check out 100-foot bluffs and interact with the local wildlife (that includes the colorful butterflies!).

One of the biggest appeals of Lion’s Den Gorge Nature Reserve is that it’s just a half-hour drive north of Milwaukee.

This makes it one of the best day trips from Milwaukee.

Unlike much of the coast, this section is undeveloped and natural.

However, that doesn’t mean it’s tough-going: the path features wooden segments and a solid path throughout.

Begin in Grafton to make the most of the sand dunes, bluffs, lake views and trails.

15. Ice Age Trail – Kettle Moraine State Forest

best day hikes in wisconsin, Beautiful hillside of the Kettle Moraine State Forest in Wisconsin.
Kettle Moraine State Forest in Wisconsin
  • Length: 33-45 miles (optional)
  • Difficulty: Difficult
  • Accommodation Options: A cabin getaway is the best way to enjoy the natural beauty here. You’ll love the McJugger’s Loft close to trails and the lake. The Lillibridge Lake Home is just steps from the water on quaint Tittle Lake, nestled in the Kettle Moraine State Forest.

The Ice Age Trail really is huge, isn’t it? I discussed parts of it all the way up on the Northern Wisconsin shore.

Now, I’m talking about sections much closer to Milwaukee, which has some of the best hiking in Wisconsin.

A stunning 30-mile stretch of this famous trail cuts all the way through Kettle Moraine State Forest, taking you along the spectacular, towering moraine (glacial ridge).

If that (and the 3.300 ft ascent!) sounds like a lot though, you can actually break that down into many smaller, more manageable sections and enjoy them in isolation.

Take your time with the trail, and you’ll be able to explore every aspect of the fascinating glacial landscape left behind.

Expect kettles (water-filled depressions), lakes, a colossal moraine, and of course, bluff viewpoints.

And all of it just 37 miles from Milwaukee.

Don’t forget to bring your “Hiking in Wisconsin” guide book. – Check prices on

16. Grass and Forest Loop Trail – Nashotah Park

best hiking spots in wisconsin, White-tailed deer crossing a road in Wausau, Wisconsin
Watch out for the wildlife while you hike!
  • Length: 5.6 miles
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Accommodation Options: The best way to enjoy this beautiful area is by renting a cozy cottage. This Summer Lake Cottage is perfect if you want to have the best scenery and this lake home is a fabulous mid-range option.

Nashotah Park, again close to Milwaukee, covers a huge 444 acres. This area of natural beauty was also created by the last glacial retreat.

Between the woodlands, wetlands, forests, and hills, you’ll find two cute and captivating lakes: Grass Lake and Forest Lake.

And as it so happens, this easy trail takes you on a loop around both of them! A combination of the purple, yellow, green/blue and pink loops makes for a great day out. It’s impossible to get lost and you’ll find plenty of natural wonder along the way.

This is one of the best hiking trails in Wisconsin because it suits every type of walker. And with so many different natural formations to take in, it’s a rewarding day out.

Buy here your hiking gear in REI Outlet and get exclusive discounts

17. Quincy Bluff and Wetlands State Natural Area – Wisconsin Dells

top places to hike in wisconsin, Rocky cliffs and vegetation in the Wisconsin Dells.
Rocky cliffs and vegetation in the Wisconsin Dells.

If you are looking for fun outdoor things to do in Wisconsin Dells, head to wetlands to find some of the best hiking places in Wisconsin.

You’ll find the Quincy Bluff and Wetlands State Natural Area around 20 miles north of the famous Wisconsin Dells. There’s a good range of hiking trails in the area and many of them focus on the obvious highlight that is Lone Rock.

Instead of circling the 200 ft rock formation, this trail takes you into some of the most remote parts of the area. It’s a gentler alternative to the Lone Rock trail and a wonderful opportunity to explore wild, desolate terrain.

Wisconsin Dells’ hiking trails will make you fall in love with the distinctive nature. This is definitely one of the best hiking trails in Wisconsin for the unique views.

Unlike the other hikes I’ve mentioned, you won’t find campsites, restrooms or restaurants here.

Instead, you’re much more likely to come across rare wildlife like wolves, while making your way between atmospheric oak and white pine forests.

Check wood cabins in Wisconsin Dells here

18. Quarry Trail, Hixon Forest, La Crosse

best trails in wisconsin, Pile of firewood and shovel alongside birch tree in forest located in the north woods of Wisconsin
Hixon Forest
  • Length: 1.9 miles
  • Difficulty: Easy

Hixon Forest is next on the list, and it’s a paradise for those looking for bike trails in Wisconsin.

But that’s not to say that there aren’t great hiking trails too! You’ll find the majority of the hiking in Lower Hixon, while Upper Hixon hosts the majority of the mountain biking.

The Forest is just a few kilometers from the popular La Crosse area, and definitely one of the top things to do in La Crosse, WI.

The beginning of the trail takes you very gently uphill and you’ll be walking along the ridge before you know it.

The incredible views of the Mississippi River may catch you by surprise. Especially if you’re visiting in autumn as it’s one of the best places for fall colors in Wisconsin.

If you’re up for a challenge, you can also extend this trail to include some impressive bluff viewpoints where you’ll find plenty of pretty Wisconsin fauna too.

Book here wood cabins in La Crosse

19. Hiking Kohler, Wisconsin

Best Beaches in Wisconsin, beach view of Kohler-Andrae State Park, Sheboygan
  • Length: 1.2 – 4.3 miles
  • Difficulty: Easy

There are several hiking trails in the Kohler-Andrae State Park, which allow you to explore the area, and are one of the best things to do in Sheboygan.

However, my favorite is the Woodland Dunes Natural Trail, while the Dunes Cordwork is the most popular.

If you are looking for cool hiking places in Wisconsin, Kohler-Andrae State Park should be top of your list.

Parts of the park are open year-round for hiking or dog walking.

The trails at Kohler-Andrae State Park are all low difficulty, so are the perfect best day hikes in Wisconsin for the whole family.

The park is also an excellent spot to try out some bird watching while you’re in Wisconsin.

If you hope to stay a few extra days to explore more, there are lots of great hotels in Sheboygan to relax in after a hard day of hiking.

Best Hiking Trails in Southern Wisconsin

20. Hank Aaron State Trail – Milwaukee

best hiking in southern wisconsin, A picture of Milwaukee Wisconsin lakefront and beach from hill
Milwaukee, Wisconsin lakefront
  • Length: 14 miles
  • Difficulty: Moderate

The Hank Aaron State Trail is a little different from the rest of the trails we’ve discussed, mostly because it’s an urban trail.

For instance, the trail is entirely paved, so you won’t need to worry about muddy, flooded terrain like you would on other trails.

It’s also a popular spot for bike rides in Wisconsin, one of the best outdoor activities in Milwaukee.

This 14-mile city trail takes you from the border of Milwaukee and Waukesha counties all the way to the shores of Lake Michigan.

But just because it’s an urban trail, it doesn’t mean that it’s starved of nature.

Not only is this some of the best hiking southeast Wisconsin has to offer, but some of the most scenic hiking trails in Wisconsin, too! This makes it a great day trip from Milwaukee.

Rivers, forests and prairies all make up parts of the trail. This trail gives you the best of both worlds by combining calming nature with stops at parks and museums.Milwaukee County Zoo.

Both the hike and the zoo are some of the best things to do in Milwaukee with kids! This is also one of the top Milwaukee bike trails.

21. Wisconsin Arboretum – Madison

hiking in southern wisconsin, Arboretum in Madison, University Of Wisconsin.
Arboretum in Madison, University Of Wisconsin
  • Length: 17 miles (total)
  • Difficulty: Easy

You can’t miss the hiking in Madison, WI, and this is some of the best hiking Madison has to offer!

There are more than 17 miles of hiking trails at the incredible University of Wisconsin – Madison Arboretum.

Since you’ll find some of the best hikes in southern Wisconsin, you’re bound to find a new favorite!

The Arboretum offers hikers a platform to explore a range of terrains, and their trails take walkers through restored wetlands, prairies, woodland, and even savannas.

The Arboretum has been designed and constructed to help protect the local wildlife and natural landscape. Great care was taken to design footpaths, fire lanes, and boardwalks which don’t interrupt the local ecosystem.

Unwind and enjoy some easy-going hikes through the intriguing terrains. This expertly constructed outdoor area guarantees that you won’t be disappointed.

If hiking doesn’t unwind you enough, Madison also offers several of the best yoga retreats in Wisconsin.

22. Green Tree Loop at the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center – Milwaukee

top hiking trails in wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - skyline at sunset
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA – skyline at sunset
  • Length: 0.26 miles
  • Difficulty: Very Easy

At the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center, just a little north of Milwaukee on the shores of Lake Michigan, you’ll find a smart collection of hiking trails, biking trails and more.

Situated within 185 acres of protected natural land, you’ll also find an incredible local bird population. Birding hikes are popular, as are the equally tempting Solitude Hikes and Lake Michigan Hikes.

Each of these trails promises unparalleled views and the chance to interact with nature.

The Green Tree Accessible Trail is fully wheelchair accessible and eventually leads to the gorgeous Mystery Lake boardwalk.

This trail is great for a romantic day out, after all a fun hike is one of the best date ideas in Milwaukee.

The trail also pairs perfectly with a relaxing night at one of the best romantic hotels in Milwaukee.

23. Seven Bridges Trail – Milwaukee

best hiking southeast wisconsin, seven bridges trail milwaukee, hiking in wisconsin
The best hiking spots in Wisconsin lets you just be in nature
  • Length: 0.5 miles
  • Difficulty: Very Easy

The Seven Bridges Trail is perhaps the best hike in Wisconsin for Milwaukee residents, or anyone interested in hiking in Milwaukee.

This mesmerizing walk begins and ends in Grant Park, the county’s second-largest park. Its fall foliage is gorgeous and this makes it one of the best fall activities in Wisconsin.

Here, you’ll discover the perfect way to unwind with nothing but the sound of nature, the smell of woodland, and beautiful trail views.

As you enter the Seven Bridges Trail, you’ll see the famous sign: “Enter this wild wood and view the haunts of nature.

It’s a peaceful and relaxing walk that includes, as you guessed, Seven Bridges, all leading walkers to a delightful Lake Michigan beach.

Surely a contender for one of the best state parks, and best metro trails, in all of Wisconsin.

Seven Bridges is a great pet-friendly trail, and if you are visiting there are lots of great pet-friendly hotels in Milwaukee to choose from.

24. Holy Wisdom Nature Trail – Madison

places to hike in southern wisconsin, Tenney Park bridge on a fall morning, Madison, Wisconsin
Tenney Park bridge, Madison
  • Length: 2 miles (North Prairie Trail)
  • Difficulty: Very Easy

The Holy Wisdom Monastery, you might be surprised to learn, offers some fantastic hiking in the Madison area.

The monastery and its grounds are open to the public so that everybody can enjoy the nature trails they offer.

As well as taking in huge sections of Lake Mendota, you’ll enjoy seeing the city of Madison from a different perspective.

While you look over the lake towards the urban center, don’t be surprised to see a pheasant, fox, or even a deer nestling nearby. It’s one of the best Wisconsin trails.

Four straightforward trails will help you make the most of your time in the area. Nevertheless, it’s so beautiful you will wish you had more time to explore the best hikes in southern Wisconsin.

This is one of the best things to do in Madison, Wisconsin if you love outdoor activities!

25. Lower Yahara River Trail

  • Length: 2.5 miles
  • Difficulty: Easy

Unlike most of the other cool places to hike in Wisconsin on this list, the Lower Yahara River Trail isn’t a forest trail, it is a paved boardwalk trail that crossed the top of Lake Waubesa in Madison.

The trail connects the city of Madison and the village of McFarland.

It might not sound like it, but it is incredibly scenic and one of the top hiking trails in Wisconsin. The view over the lake is stunning, and the trail even follows the train tracks for a time.

Hiking, biking, and any form of non-motorized transport is welcome on the trail. The Lower Yahara River Trail is the longest inland boardwalk bridge constructed solely for non-motorized transportation in North America!

It’s ALSO some of the best hiking in southern Wisconsin!

What is the best time for hiking in Wisconsin?

great hiking trails in wisconsin, sunset over lake in wisconsin
Always take time to enjoy the sunset!

Depending on your attitude and equipment, there’s no bad time for hiking in Wisconsin!

Many of the trails are open during the winter season, but you’ll need snowmobiles or ski equipment to navigate them.

Luckily, this region has some of the best snowmobile trails in Wisconsin that make any rental costs absolutely worth it!

Otherwise, there are certainly less demanding seasons for hiking in Wisconsin. I highly recommend spring, when the flowers begin to blossom and the temperatures are mild.

In fact, hiking is a popular activity during spring break in Wisconsin for this very reason.

During summertime, some trails will become crowded and in fall, mosquitoes and ticks are at their worst.

No matter when you visit, there are plenty of good hiking trails in Wisconsin to choose from!

Don’t forget to get your Wisconsin hiking map in advance!

Why Wisconsin is GREAT for hiking!

Everybody visits for a different reason. Some people visit for the famous Ice Age Trail, while others want to check out the natural glacial landscapes. Some just want to see some places depicted in their favorite movies set in Wisconsin.

Others may choose to visit for the bluffs, the outstanding scenery, gorgeous views, and lakeside fun. Whatever you’re looking for on your Wisconsin hiking trails, you’re guaranteed to find it.

Time it right and you could have them all to yourself. Indeed, winter in Wisconsin is a great time of the year to visit the Dairy State. And there are many fall activities in Wisconsin to get excited about too.

There are trails for long-distance hikers, tourists backpacking in Wisconsin, and even for locals who don’t know the treasures on their doorstep. These trails suit every type of walker on every possible terrain.

As well as talking you through the best hiking places in Wisconsin, I’ll tell you how to get there and what to expect from your trail of choice too.

Plus I’ve included how long each hike is and the best places to stay whether you want a romantic getaway, a luxury vacation, or need a pet-friendly cabin in Wisconsin.

Best Hiking Trails in Wisconsin: The Video

FAQ: Best Hiking in Wisconsin

1. What are the best hiking trails in Wisconsin with waterfalls?

Copper Falls, Eau Claire Dells Segment of the Ice Age Trails and Willow Falls are great hiking trails in Wisconsin if you love waterfalls.

2. What are the best hiking trails in the Northeast USA?

If you are focusing on hiking in Northeastern Wisconsin, there are plenty of options. But I recommend Eagle Trail inside Peninsula State Park and the Bearskin State Trail in Minocqua, which are some of the best hiking trails in Wisconsin.

3. Which State Parks are between Madison and Milwaukee?

There are plenty of green areas between Madison and Milwaukee, but Kettle Moraine State Forest is one of the best places to hike in Southern Wisconsin.

Before You Go: Top Tips for your Trip 

To make the most of your trip, I recommend Wisconsin Hiking Guides by And for a quick overview, have a look at my “Hiking in Wisconsin” web story here.


Wednesday 29th of July 2020

Perot state park is on the Minnesota border not Michigan border


Wednesday 29th of July 2020

Hey dear, many thanks for the heads up! Clearly my mistake and it's amended :)