With 49 state parks – plus many more local, county and national parks and trails – opportunities to hike are in every corner of Wisconsin. Here’s to a beautiful fall hike on the trails.
Explore the Driftless area in the Kickapoo Valley Reserve (Vernon County)
The gorgeous Kickapoo Valley Reserve sits between the villages of La Farge and Ontario. Recognized as a National Natural Landmark, the reserve features towering sandstone cliffs, forested bluffs and the meandering Kickapoo River. And an extensive network of trails takes you through it all!
You can hike the Kickapoo Valley Reserve year-round. There are also mountain biking and equestrian trails open through November 15, weather permitting. With over 50 miles of trails across the 8,600-acre reserve, consider camping overnight. The campgrounds range from remote locations you need a kayak or canoe to access to larger sites that’ll fit a camper.
Once you’ve worked up a hunger, head into Ontario for lunch or dinner at the Wildcat Bar and Grill. Find a large menu loaded with appetizers, sandwiches and wraps, and steaks. The restaurant is also known for its selection of specialty burgers like the Frito Crunch Burger topped with Swiss cheese, chili, diced onions and chili cheese Fritos.
Travel to Boulder Junction for a loop around the lake (Vilas County)
A little way outside Boulder Junction, the Escanaba-Pallette Lake Trail is a classic Northwoods hiking destination. The trail network winds past gorgeous lakes, over hills and through forests for a challenging yet enjoyable hike. And with loops ranging from 2 miles to more than 8 miles long, you can choose how adventurous you want to get. When the snow falls, return to the trail network for cross-country skiing!
After your hike, settle in at the Boulder Bear Motor Lodge right in Boulder Junction. There are 20 spacious rooms available, an indoor hot tub to soak in, a cozy communal fireplace lounge and a large outdoor patio for relaxing.
For dinner, you’ll find extensive seafood options at Headwaters Restaurant and Tavern. This rustic tavern serves up walleye, salmon, grouper Florentine and much more. Or you can savor the house special – an open-face ribeye sandwich!
Catch lakeshore views at Calumet County Park (Calumet County)
Visit the 230-acre Calumet County Park on the eastern shore of Lake Winnebago for all sorts of fun! The 2.2-mile Sun Run trail cuts through the woods and is perfect for hiking, biking and running. Along the trail, take in history and heritage as the path passes several effigy mounds.
The county park has dozens of campsites to pitch a tent or tow a camper. Many of those sites are right on the lakeshore, too! You’ll find playgrounds, picnic areas and quiet spots to enjoy the wilderness. When you visit in October, you might even see campsites decorated for Halloween.
The Calumet County region is known as the Supper Club Capital of the Midwest®, so you of course have to check out one of the many options!
To the south of the park, there’s Jim and Linda’s Lakeview Supper Club. As the name implies, this classic Wisconsin supper club is nestled right on Lake Winnebago and offers picture-worthy views of the setting sun over the lake. Some of the highlights from their menu include the garlic and herb mussels, balsamic and bleu burger, and pesto-crusted salmon.
Start your fall getaway at TravelWisconsin.com.