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Wisconsin Backpacking Trails

Milwaukee: Scuppernong Green Loop

This 5-mile loop undulates through glacially tilled terrain under a hardwood canopy of magnificent fall colors in Kettle Moraine State Forest.

Waupaca, WI: Hartman Creek

This 3.9-mile, figure-8 loop meanders along the shores of glacial lakes under a mixed forest of hardwoods and pine-a perfect trail/off-trail adventure for ambitious young hikers.

Minneapolis: North Country Trail Marengo Section

Spot bald eagles from the overlooks along this rarely crowded 5.2-mile stretch of the North Country Trail in northern Wisconsin’s Marengo Semi-Primitive Area. The route also makes a great snowshoe hike.

Appleton, WI: Ice Age Trail

Begin this quiet 8.4-mile, out-and-back at a glacier dug lake, then continue through farm and forest where whitetail deer, turkeys, and coyotes roam.

Chicago: Kishwauketoe Nature Conservancy

Take a leisurely, 3.6-mile stroll to the more remote northern shore of Wisconsin’s Lake Geneva, and discover a quiet, intimate, photogenic retreat.

Milwaukee: John Muir White Loop

Skirt the edges of a boggy cauldron in Kettle Moraine State Forest as you loop 4 miles into terrain tilled by supersize glaciers thousands of years ago.

Minneapolis: Willow Falls Trail

This easy 3-mile loop in Willow River State Park is spiked with cool sights and sounds: rolling bluffs, loud waterfalls, and beautiful lakeshore views.

Minneapolis: Ice Age Circle

Go 4.8 miles past the scuff marks and rocky scraps of an ancient glacier that left its long-lasting signature in western Wisconsin.

Chicago: White River State Trail

Grab your boots or hop on your bike to hit one of the Dairyland’s newer trails on this 11.8-mile out-and-back along an old railroad trestle.

Milwaukee: Emma Carlin Loop

Trek over hardwood ridges and glacial formations on this 4.5-miler once covered in mile-thick sheets of ice. Locals call it one of Milwaukee’s best.

Milwaukee: Nordic Green Loop

Explore the hilly side of southeast Wisconsin on this 4.4-mile loop through the pines and hardwoods of Kettle Moraine State Forest.

Wausau, WI: Pallette Lake

Pass through a tunnel of greens—pine trees, lush marshes, and carpets of moss—on this 4.9-mile hike to a quiet sun-soaked lake.

Madison, WI: Table Bluff via the Ice Age Trail

Climb an ancient ridge for views of a dramatic unglaciated Wisconsin landscape.

Milwaukee, WI: Vern Wolf Lake Loop

Bring binocs on this 3.9-mile loop in the Richard Bong State Recreation Area; open grassland invites long views of Vern Wolf Lake, its shoreline, and flying falcons.

Apostle Islands, WI: Lakeshore Trail

This 10.6-mile out-and-back in Apostle Island National Lakeshore boasts sandy beaches, sandstone cliffs, and bluff-top views of the Mawikwe Bay sea caves.

Ice Age Trail: County Road C to Hi Lo Road

Hike a landscape carved by glaciers more than 10,000 years ago on this 32.3-mile section hike that follows the Ice Age Trail through Kettle Moraine State Park.

Eau Claire, WI: Crane Creek Island

Paddle a novice-friendly route on the state’s third largest lake.

Wisconsin

Milwaukee: Scuppernong Green Loop

This 5-mile loop undulates through glacially tilled terrain under a hardwood canopy of magnificent fall colors in Kettle Moraine State Forest.

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Wisconsin

Waupaca, WI: Hartman Creek

This 3.9-mile, figure-8 loop meanders along the shores of glacial lakes under a mixed forest of hardwoods and pine-a perfect trail/off-trail adventure for ambitious young hikers.

0 Comments
Wisconsin

Appleton, WI: Ice Age Trail

Begin this quiet 8.4-mile, out-and-back at a glacier dug lake, then continue through farm and forest where whitetail deer, turkeys, and coyotes roam.

0 Comments
Wisconsin

Milwaukee: John Muir White Loop

Skirt the edges of a boggy cauldron in Kettle Moraine State Forest as you loop 4 miles into terrain tilled by supersize glaciers thousands of years ago.

0 Comments
Wisconsin

Milwaukee: Emma Carlin Loop

Trek over hardwood ridges and glacial formations on this 4.5-miler once covered in mile-thick sheets of ice. Locals call it one of Milwaukee’s best.

0 Comments
Wisconsin

Milwaukee: Nordic Green Loop

Explore the hilly side of southeast Wisconsin on this 4.4-mile loop through the pines and hardwoods of Kettle Moraine State Forest.

0 Comments
Wisconsin

Wausau, WI: Pallette Lake

Pass through a tunnel of greens—pine trees, lush marshes, and carpets of moss—on this 4.9-mile hike to a quiet sun-soaked lake.

0 Comments
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  • For the first time in five years, the sea caves near the Apostle Islands are accessible on foot via the frozen Lake Superior. [all images: Tricia Miller] Apostle Island Ice Caves

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