What to expect

Wisconsin has 517 trails including medium, easy, and difficult trails. The trail with the highest elevation climb is the Gen Crema Trail and the one with the least climb is the Timms Hill. The longest trail is Ice Age National Scenic Trail at 1780 km. To complete this hike you should budget at least 85 days. For a shorter adventure, you can try the Combined Locks Loop a t 288 m. This could be done in as little as 1 days. Trails with the best offering of hostels include Turkey Vulture and Homestead Loop Trail, Sam Campbell Memorial Trail, Up Nort, Outbound North and Chain Smoker Loop, Stute Springs Loop Trail, and Wiouwash State Recreation Trail.

Guide to hiking in Wisconsin

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FAQs about hiking in Wisconsin

What is the climate like for hiking in Wisconsin?

Wisconsin's climate varies, presenting opportunities for hikers. Summer (June-August) sees warm, humid conditions, ideal for exploring lush forests and river trails. Autumn (September-November) offers cool temperatures, a dramatic color change, and less crowded trails. However, early spring can be muddy due to thawing. Check Wisconsin's Department of Natural Resources for seasonal conditions.
Winter (December-February) brings snow and cold temperatures, transforming trails into winter wonderlands. Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are popular activities during this season. However, proper equipment and precautions are essential due to possible harsh conditions.
Overall, autumn is considered the best hiking season due to its temperate climate, fewer insects, and beautiful fall foliage. Always check local weather before your hike.

Do I need a permit to hike in Wisconsin?

Hiking in Wisconsin generally doesn't require permits, but some state parks and forests need an admission pass. These can be acquired online, at self-registration stations, or from park offices. Check with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for specific information and updates. Website Link

Is wild camping allowed in Wisconsin?

Wild camping in Wisconsin is allowed in state forests and some parks with designated primitive campsites. Strict leave-no-trace rules apply and campfires may be limited. Check local regulations or with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for specific details. Website Link

Are there mountain rescue services in Wisconsin?

In Wisconsin, mountain rescue is coordinated by local law enforcement and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Dialing 911 connects to local services. Also, the Civil Air Patrol aids in search and rescue operations. Be aware of the local services where you're hiking. Wisconsin DNR Contact

Are there dangerous plants in Wisconsin?

Wisconsin trails reveal a diversity of flora including towering trees, such as oaks and maples, and vibrant wildflowers like trilliums and asters. Forests, prairies, and wetlands each harbor their unique plant communities. Familiarize yourself with local species to maximize your hiking experience. Wisconsin DNR Plants

What wildlife should I be aware of when hiking in Wisconsin?

In Wisconsin's diverse habitats, hikers may encounter deer, coyotes, and diverse bird species. However, watch out for mosquitoes in summer and potentially ticks. Black bears inhabit the north. Respecting wildlife and carrying insect repellent enhances your hiking experience. https://dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/wildlifehabitat/Wisconsin_animals