6 Of The Best Hiking Trails In Wisconsin

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Hiking in Wisconsin is a rewarding experience that gifts you with beautiful yet challenging sceneries. There’s a promising hiking trail for all ages and beginners, intermediates, and expert hikers. As a frequent hiker, I make a habit of trying something different every time, and Wisconsin always delivers! So, let’s look at hiking in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin’s hiking trails are great for beginners, intermediates, and seasoned hikers alike. They include Lion’s Den Trail, Grass, Forest Lake Loop Trail, and Devil’s Doorway Loop. Landscapes include woodlands, steep rocky inclines and descents, interconnecting footpaths, and flat boardwalks.

Whether you’re looking to test your new hiking boots, or you want to drown out the hustle and bustle of work, Wisconsin’s hiking trails can offer you all that and more! Let’s examine what it’s like hiking here so that you can be ready for your next hike!

Hiking In Wisconsin

Wisconsin has lovely waterfalls that make every trip worthwhile, and there are enough trail variations to satisfy every hiker’s needs. Most trails are canine-friendly and offer ample opportunity for joggers and cyclists to enjoy the scenery, too.

The trails range from very strenuous 0.6-mile hikes to leisurely 20-mile strolls. Some more rocky areas may be challenging for those who use wheelchairs or climbing aids, so do be careful when enjoying the spectacular scenery. You can expect to see squirrels, chipmunks, and other fascinating animals as you venture through the Wisconsin trails.

Beginners and families can enjoy Lion’s Den Trail in Lion’s Den Gorge Nature Preserve. It’s an enjoyable 2.1-mile trail that takes 56 minutes to complete and welcomes your canine companions. Most of the landscape is flat, aside from a few inclines, making this a healthy hike for the whole family.

Thrill-seekers will appreciate Willow Falls And Nelson Farm Trail Loop; it’s a 6-mile, 2- hour and 41-minute hike that promises to put you through your paces! There are landscape changes, interconnecting paths, slippery rocks, and elevation fluctuations. It is guaranteed to provide a memorable and exciting hike for those seeking the challenge.

Master hikers that want the highest possible challenge can enjoy long and short trails that offer a significant challenge. Trails like Balanced Rock Trail in Devil’s Lake State Park may sound straightforward, but don’t let the name or the duration deceive you. This trail boasts slippery rocks, great heights, and steep descents that will test you.

Wisconsin Hiking Trails For The Whole Family

Family trips are always exciting, especially when they happen in nature! Why not add a pleasant hike to your camping itinerary in Wisconsin? You’ll have the promise of beautiful scenery, interesting animals, and healthy exercise that you cannot purchase anywhere else! The whole family will come to love it, and you’ll guarantee to have a memorable time. 

Lion’s Den Trail, Lion’s Den Gorge Nature Preserve

Lion’s Den Route is a 2.1-mile widely frequented circular trail with a lake near Grafton, Wisconsin. The path is best utilized from April to October and is excellent for hiking, walking, and jogging. It is an excellent pick for hikers of all abilities. This route is open to dogs, but they must be on a leash.

This walk has woodland sections and a path that runs alongside a canyon with views of the lake. This path takes 56 minutes to complete. There is access to Lake Michigan, and there are a few picnic tables near the start of the trek.

When traveling clockwise, the boardwalk in the first 0.3 miles is the most accessible part of the path. The trail is mostly level, although there are a few inclines along the way to keep things interesting. As a result, users in wheelchairs and other safety devices may require help.

The beautiful sounds of waves crashing and wind blowing through the trees while the sun hugs your skin will undoubtedly enthrall you!

The landscape is lovely, and the hike does not have any tricky areas. Hearing the surf crashing and the wind flowing through the trees is incredible. One of the finest parts is the stairway down the canyon to Lake Michigan, which is also a tremendous exercise on the way up. Furthermore, carry insect spray with you even if the views are beautiful.

The trails are well-kept but expect to see many people throughout the summer months. The many colorful leaves will undoubtedly amaze you if you come here in the fall. The vista of the lake is breathtaking, as are the remnants of an old structure that is accessible by a bit of dirt walk off the southern lake viewpoint.

Ice Age Trail: Holy Hill Segment, Hartford, Wisconsin

The Holy Hill Segment of the Ice Age Path is a 6.7-mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail in Hartford, Wisconsin, featuring lovely wildflowers and suitable for all ability levels. The route is best utilized from April to October and provides a variety of activities. This route is also ideal for dogs.

The ancient and spectacular Holy Hill, located atop a 1,350-foot kame, is circled by the Ice Age Trail. Over 300,000 people visit Holy Hill each year to see the wholly restored Basilica and take in its spires’ panoramic views. Finding a spot for this trailhead might be challenging because no parking is allowed on Glassgo Drive.

The Holy Hill part of the Ice Age Trail and all of its access sites, trailheads, parking, connecting trails, villages, parks, preserves, and services are all included in this comprehensive itinerary. This trail guide comprises over 30 sites of interest that you can view on the move on your mobile phone while on the path.

The Ice Age Trail is a 1,000-mile pathway highlighting glacial remains from the last ice age, about 12,000 years ago. The Ice Age Trail, a National Scenic Trail, follows the terminal moraine of the last glacier through Wisconsin, giving some of the best glacial structures such as kettles, moraines, and drumlins anywhere in the world.

Overall, this is a lovely section of the path with a good mix of woodlands and open fields. The southern part, which circles Holy Hill, is primarily wooded with high slopes. The north section of the trail might become buried in snow during the winter, so be sure to carry snowshoes.

Wisconsin Hiking Trails For The Intermediate Hiker

If you consider yourself a regular Indiana Jones, your adventurous spirit will undoubtedly enjoy what Wisconsin offers. Its vast selection of challenging inclines, interconnecting courses, and varying landscapes will ensure that you stay on your toes and give it yours throughout every trail.

Willow Falls And Nelson Farm Trail Loop

Willow Falls and Nelson Farm Path Circular is a 6-mile moderately trafficked loop trail situated in Hudson, Wisconsin. It has a lake. The route is open annually and provides a variety of activities. Canine companions are welcome to join us as long as they are on a leash.

This trail should take around 2 hours and 41 minutes to complete. This path is strenuous in places with some exceedingly high slopes. It runs from near the waterfalls on the north side of Willow River to the Bridge on the park’s west side. A well-kept graveled track with a considerable width.

The track is easy to follow and has well-maintained, well-placed, easy-to-read signs. The trail’s “moderate” classification comes from the three or four steep climbs. If you ride counter-clockwise, you may avoid most of the hills, leaving only the one ascent on the paved route leading to the stunning falls. Nonetheless, it’s a beautiful and fun trek.

There’s a lot to see, hear, and feel on this hiking walk. The voyage itself is challenging and exhausting, but it is worthwhile. Furthermore, numerous chipmunks and squirrels frequent this route, providing delightful small surprises as you progress through your journey.

If you trek clockwise, you’ll arrive at the falls at the finish, giving you something to look forward to for the majority of your trip. If you go clockwise, the falls exist around 4.5 miles. On the button, the entire loop is 6 miles long!

Grass And Forest Lake Loop Trail, Nashotah Park

The Grass and Forest Lake Circular Route is a moderately-trafficked 4.7-mile loop trail in Nashotah, Wisconsin. It has a lake. The route is available annually and provides a variety of activities. If your canine hiking companions are on a leash, they are welcome to join you. This trail is achievable in 2 hours and 3 minutes.

This circle mostly follows the Nashotah Park Trails’ perimeter, with a detour around Grass and Forest Lakes thrown in for good measure. The route is primarily forested, about 10 inches wide, and covered with mulch and grass.

Because some of these paths are maintained, they are ideal for cross-country skiing or snowshoeing in the winter. There are also other connecting paths in the park that you cannot find in this circle.

Furthermore, all of the paths are attractive and well-kept. The toilets and picnic tables along the route are ideal for a quick bite to eat or a brief break.

The route is not as popular as other trails, and you may expect to see many chipmunks and sandhill cranes roaming around. Some hikers say they are charming, even walking into the parking lot to meet them when they arrive!

Furthermore, the varied terrain is unusual in that you will encounter shaded and unshaded areas, mulch and grass, as well as beautiful lakes and marsh vistas. They also ensure good exercise because of the height variations!

Wisconsin Hiking Trails For The Born Mountaineer

If you’re a seasoned hiker that always seeks a challenge, you’ll be happy to know that Wisconsin has what you need. There are numerous trails littered with inclines, hill and rocky areas, overgrown areas, and endurance-testing locations that will guarantee a satisfying workout.

Balanced Rock Trail, Devil’s Lake State Park

Balanced Rock Route is a 0.6-mile out-and-back trail near Baraboo, Wisconsin, classified as strenuous and allows watching animals. The path is best utilized from April to October and is excellent for hiking, rock climbing, and wildlife visits. This route is also accessible to dogs, although they must be on a leash.

It just takes 34 minutes to finish, but don’t be fooled by the pleasant name or the short time! It’s a challenging, steep route with stone stairs on the east bluff’s south face. With Balanced Rock along the way, the trail offers fantastic vistas.

It might become a little crowded on weekdays, so if you want a little more immersion and seclusion, go on the weekend. The route climbs relatively high, so people with acrophobia may find it difficult, or they might overcome their anxieties and triumph!

Coming up this route is more straightforward than going down, so pack shoes with good traction and other gear to help you stay balanced.

Devil’s Doorway Loop, Devil’s Lake State Park

Devil’s Doorway Loop is a 1.9-mile, regularly used loop path with a lake in Baraboo, Wisconsin. It rates as a very strenuous and demanding trail that will prove to be a challenge. The course is annually accessible and is an excellent pick for hiking and nature visits. This route is also available to dogs, but they must be on a leash.

It takes 1 hour and 5 minutes to finish the path. This one is tough due to a multitude of potholes and steep inclines. However, the spectacular vistas more than compensate for the problematic efforts, and several unique trails are winding into rocky crevices.

Some hikers have compared this route to a fairyland! It has lovely woodlands and stunning vistas, making it ideal for photography. The crimson and purple rocks are one-of-a-kinds, as is the geologic history. However, owing to the slick rocks and lack of handrails, many hikers suffer ankle injuries on this path, so be extra cautious!

Depending on how quickly you go, it can be rather tricky, but it will still get your heart pounding and ensure that your hike is one to remember.

Many people hike up and down this heavily used route during the summer weekends. Don’t let this stop you; it’s a must-see, especially if you’re into climbing; there are plenty of areas to set up camp along the way!

The hiking paths are well-kept, while the lower pathways at the foot of the climbing routes might be challenging to maneuver due to the pebbles.


Families can enjoy hikes like Lion’s Den Trail in Lion’s Den Gorge Nature Preserve, focusing on leisure time rather than strenuous activity. Intermediates can enjoy Willow Falls And Nelson Farm Trail Loop and Balanced Rock Trail in Devil’s Lake State Park, which is more physically and mentally demanding, yet the scenery is more rewarding!