If you’re looking for an exciting summer excursion in Badger State, then you’re in luck! With more than 3,000 hiking trails available, there are plenty of destinations to help you channel your inner sense of adventure. So grab your trusty water bottle and lace up your hiking boots; it’s time for the top five summer hikes in Wisconsin.
Great for pets and little ones: Meyers Beach Sea Cave Trail
Perfect for casual hikers and those looking to cool off this summer, Meyers Beach Sea Cave Trail in Bayfield’s Apostle Islands National Lakeshore has two miles of scenic shoreline views. The pet-friendly path is low in elevation at approximately 300 feet above sea level and, with such a short distance to trek, is perfect for little ones and those looking for a more relaxed stroll during the warmer months. In addition to hiking, the scenic trail is popular for bird watching, swimming and paddle sports. Meyers Beach Sea Cave Trail is open year-round but is best enjoyed in warmer months when the grounds are less icy. Parking is $5 per day. For more information, visit nps.gov.
Waterfall views: Lost Creek Falls Trail
Located near Cornucopia in Bayfield, Lost Creek Falls Trail is a two-mile hike that grants access to stunning waterfall views and a rare opportunity to hike behind the falls. The pet- and beginner-friendly trek takes guests on paved walkways and across two bridges in the woods. Upon arrival at the falls, a footpath will take hikers down to the base of the waters, where they can swim or venture behind the cascade for a unique perspective. Be sure to bring a lunch and stop at one of the many picnic tables for a scenic bite to eat before making the walk back to your car. Lost Creek Falls Trail is open year-round but is best enjoyed in the summer to see the waters roar down and not be frozen in place. For more information, visit lakesuperiorcircletour.info.
Moderately challenging: Devil’s Lake West Bluff Trail
A more challenging summer hike in Wisconsin than others on this list, Devil’s Lake West Bluff Trail is a five-mile loop in Baraboo and takes up to three hours to complete. The trek is rocky and steep, so be sure to wear the proper footwear or opt for trekking poles if you make this excursion. Though the path is moderately challenging, your furry friends are welcome to accompany you and you are likely to see others on the popular route. The trek will take you along photo-worthy views of Devil’s Lake and up to a unique spot with the local’s favorite, Balanced Rock, resting at the top. The West Bluff Trail is open year-round but best enjoyed in the warmer months. During winter, the trail muddies and is typically frozen and slippery. For more information, visit alltrails.com.
Perfect for walking, jogging and cycling: Fox River State Trail
What was once a path for Native Americans to travel between villages, Fox River State Trail is a popular trek that takes its visitors from Downtown Green Bay and extends 25 miles along the former rail corridor. The level and smooth asphalt surface make the destination perfect for walking, jogging and cycling. Fox River State Trail is pet-friendly and open year-round from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. A trail pass must be purchased to use the grounds for $25 a year or $5 per day. For more information, visit dnr.wisconsin.gov.
Super-scenic adventure: Seven Bridges
One of many destinations for summer hikes in Wisconsin, Seven Bridges is a popular hike in Grant Park for its close proximity to Lake Michigan’s shoreline and Milwaukee. The course is unpaved with occasional stone baths, leading you along quiet streams, tiny waterfalls and forested staircases. The trail is popular during warmer months for its wildflower boom and during autumn for foraging. The trek is two miles round-trip and can typically be completed in an hour. This venture is perfect for those looking to get into hiking but aren’t sure where to start or need a new place to take the pups for a walk. The scenic path is known for its appearances on the ‘gram, and we highly recommend you stop for a few photo-ops. Seven Bridges is closed during winter due to ice conditions and unshoveled staircases. For more information, visit county.milwaukee.gov.