Best Backpacking In Wisconsin

Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Wisconsin.
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Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Wisconsin.

Ice Age National Scenic Trail

Mammoths walked in this region. Mile-thick sheets of ice slid over it before that. Now, you can hike it. The legacy of hairy elephants and glaciers remains along this 600-mile trail, with another 400 miles proposed. Drumlins, eskers, erratics, kettles, kames, potholes, and moraines are all that's left of the most recent ice capade 13,000 years ago. Some of the wilder sections lead through Chequamegon National Forest, up Timms Hill (Wisconsin's highest point at 1,951 feet), and through Kettle Moraine State Forest.

Contact: Ice Age Park and Trail Foundation, (800) 227-0046; www.iceagetrail.org.

Kettle Moraine State Forest

Erratics, kettles, eskers, the Stone Elephant. No, this isn't some science fiction world, it's the glacially carved landscape of the North and South Units of Kettle Moraine State Forest. When combined, they contain nearly 200 miles of trail, including good, long sections of the Ice Age Trail.

Contact: North Unit, (262) 626-2116, or South Unit, (262) 594-6200, Kettle Moraine State Forest; www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/land/forestry/stateforests.

Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

Twenty-two islands drift in the sky blue waters of Lake Superior off Wisconsin's north shore. Twenty-one of them are part of Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, where you can explore sea caves by kayak, watch storms from lighthouse towers, and hike more than 100 miles of trail. The new Lakeshore Trail is currently under construction.

Contact: Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, (715) 779-3397; www.nps.gov/apis.