5 Magnificent National Parks in Wisconsin

6 mins read
National Parks in Wisconsin
by Evan Wise / unsplash Copyrights 2022

National Parks in Wisconsin take you into the lap of nature and adventure and are the best way to appreciate the region’s natural beauty. These national parks in Wisconsin take you through many historic sites, scenic overlooks, clear flowing water, and open prairies, which is the best evidence of the history of the state.

Some of the national parks in Wisconsin allow hunting which adds to the uniqueness of visiting those parks, and the main landmarks include a forest, riverway trails, and a lakeshore. You go back in time here as you go tripping through the National Parks in Wisconsin and get connected with the abandoned quarries, beaches, distant horizons, and scenic overlooks that will leave you awe-struck with their splendor and charm.


The state of Wisconsin is bordered by Lake Michigan to the east, Minnesota to the west, Lake Superior to the north, and Illinois to the south. Apart from places of interest and landmarks, Wisconsin also has some wonderful national parks for all those who visit the State in search of adventure and excitement.

We can look at some of the most famous National Parks in Wisconsin, which makes it an idyllic spot for holidaymakers and gives exhilaration and excitement to all those who love the outdoors. Photographers will find ample places to click images of extreme beauty that will be visually delightful.

National Parks in Wisconsin

Exploring and experiencing the National Parks in Wisconsin is the best way to enjoy the place if you love national parks, wild and scenic beauty, river valleys, and hiking trails. The historic towns and historic sites of the state come to life while on a trip to one of the National Parks in Wisconsin, and it is also the perfect way to get acquainted with the natural world.

1. Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore consists of 21 islands, and it is home to some wonderful sandstone formations and historic lighthouses. There are sea caves here, and they will leave you amazed with their vaulted chambers, aesthetic arches, and passageways leading to the sandstone cliffs on Swallow Point on Sand Island, the north shore of Devils Point, and the mainland along the western boundary near the Lakeshore.

National Parks in Wisconsin
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Copyrights 2021

The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Ice Caves is a protected site in Wisconsin, and if you are planning a trip to the state, and are on the lookout for National Parks in Wisconsin, then this is one of the national parks you can visit. Explore the park by kayaking on Lake Superior, and it is the ideal spot for camping, boating, and kayaking. Certain activities like holding weddings, hunting, camping, and diving require special permits.

National Parks in Wisconsin
by Aubree Herrick / unsplash
Copyrights 2021

You get to witness the fabulous handiwork of nature that is visually appealing. Many cruises take you to these sea caves, and you get to the mainland ice cave from Meyers Beach. If you enjoy hiking trails, then the Ice Cave Trial is recommended.

2. Ice Age National Scenic Trail

A trip to Wisconsin will be incomplete if you do not visit any one of the National Parks in Wisconsin. The Ice Age National Scenic Trail in Wisconsin is one of the places you can plan on your next visit to the state or if you are there. This is perfect for all adventure enthusiasts and history buffs as it takes you to the glacier’s edge and gives you interesting facts about the last Ice Age, how mammoth creatures, sabre tooth cats, and cave lions roamed around, and the glacier features of Wisconsin.

National Parks in Wisconsin
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Copyrights 2019

Going on the Ice Age Trail is a good way to come into close contact with the wild and scenic beauty of the region, wildlife viewing, and bird watching. Certain parts of the trail are good for snowshoeing, snowmobiling on the rail trail corridor, bicycling, and cross-country skiing.

Camping is allowed on this trail, and the campgrounds and facilities vary. Since the Ice Age National Scenic Trail is long and goes through 31 counties, it has many access points and trailheads.

3. Necedah National Wildlife Refuge

Located near the village of Necedah near Wisconsin, Necedah National Wildlife Refuge is 150 miles northwest of Milwaukee. This region in the state is rich in Native American history; you can view wildlife here at any time of the day. If you are looking for National Parks in Wisconsin and do not know which one to visit, the Necedah National Wildlife Refuge is a good choice.

The Refuge has a variety of plants and animals and was once a part of the Glacial Lake, Wisconsin. The Refuge stretches to more than 43,000 acres and is famous for the endangered Whooping Crane. Hunting, fishing, hiking, blackberry picking, and raspberry picking are some popular activities here at the Necedah National Wildlife Refuge.

If you like scenery, go on one of their trails or scenic overlooks, and enjoy nature to the fullest. It will be one memorable holiday

4. North Country National Scenic Trail

If you are on a visit to Wisconsin and want to visit Wisconsin National Parks, the North Country National Scenic Trail is one of the places to visit, especially if you love the outdoors. Hiking and historic towns on the way, the gently rolling hills and valleys, the lakes and streams from glaciers, and the adventure that takes you through eight states, from Lake Sakakawea State Park in North Dakota Mi to the Appalachian Trail in Vermont.

Camping options are available on this North Country National Scenic Trail in the areas that traverse through the Chequamegon Nicolet National Forest. Campsites vary, and options are available depending on what you are looking for while on this trail. If you like backpacking, horseback riding, and other adventurous activities, this is one of the National Parks in Wisconsin you will enjoy visiting.

The beauty of the northern woodlands can be experienced best here as you go camping and hiking.

5. Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway

Visiting any of the Wisconsin National Parks, head towards St. Croix and Namekagon rivers that jointly form the Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway, and enjoy the place’s scenic beauty. These two rivers together are a haven for all those who love water adventures like kayaking, canoeing, sailing, and boating. 

The other ways to explore the beauty of the Croix River and its surroundings without getting into the water will be by camping, biking, and going on hiking trails. The Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway boasts activities every season, and it stretches across the states of Wisconsin and Minnesota. Visit the visitor center to learn details of how to experience this national park, and the area’s natural resources.

National Parks in Wisconsin
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Copyrights 2016

There are hiking trails here, and safety hunting is allowed here at the Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway. If you are looking for National Parks in Wisconsin while visiting the State, you can visit this one. The advantage is that it is open year-round, and the hunting opportunities are good.

State Parks in Wisconsin

Apart from the National Parks in Wisconsin, there are also State Parks that are as wonderful as the Wisconsin National Parks and offer the same kind of recreation as the National Parks in Wisconsin.

1. Devil’s Lake State Park

Devil’s Lake State Park is the largest in Wisconsin and one of the most popular state parks in the region. The park activities include hiking, biking, swimming, fishing, bouldering, rock climbing, kayaking, and birdwatching. There are miles and miles of open and wooden areas in the campground, making it a hotspot for camping.

National Parks in Wisconsin
by Evan Wise / unsplash
Copyrights 2022

This state park is located along the Ice Age National Scenic Trail and gives stunning views from the 500-foot quartzite bluffs overlooking the lake. There are 30 hiking trails for adventure lovers, and the park is open year-round.

2. Interstate Park

The Interstate Park is a combination of two State Parks on the Wisconsin-Minnesota border. Interstate Park is the oldest state park in Wisconsin and was established in 1900. Since it is located on the Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway, the views are magnificent, and it gives breathtaking views of the gorge, Dalles of the Saint Croix.

The Interpretive Center here gives good information about the glacial history of Wisconsin. It is a good park for group outings as they have picnic areas, grills, fireplaces, and restrooms. Reserve a picnic shelter online if your plans are confirmed, and enjoy the scenic beauty of the Wisconsin region.

National Parks in Wisconsin
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Copyrights 2020

3. Mirror Lake State Park

National Parks in Wisconsin has always attracted travelers, not only for their history but also for the adventures it offers to discerning travelers. The Mirror Lake State Park is one such attraction. Stretching 2,200 acres, the park boasts many wooded campsites and cabins for people who have disabilities. Camping rates will vary, and you require hunting and fishing licenses in case you want to do them. Details will be available from the National Park Service or the visitor center.

The rocks that form the gorges in Mirror Lake State Park are all sandstone, and geologists call it the Late Cambrian. A long time ago the state was covered by a huge glacier, and it is believed the Late Cambrian formed some 500 million years ago.

National Parks in Wisconsin
by Daniel Sessler / unsplash
Copyrights 2018

The Mirror Lake, Pine Oak Forest in the northwest part of the park, is said to be a state natural area, and if you like wildlife viewing and bird watching, then this is one of the state parks in Wisconsin to visit.

In The End

If you are visiting Wisconsin and looking for outdoor adventure on your weekend getaway or a family vacation, the National Parks in Wisconsin are good places to visit. Enjoy your break amid history and nature, and revel in the rocky shoreline, forested landscape, and the state’s natural resources.

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mamta madhavan

Mamta Madhavan’s body of work includes web content writing, book reviews, interviews, articles, and poetry, mainly free verse. Her works have been published in various reputable journals and magazines worldwide. Living in creatively inspiring India, Mamta incorporates vivid imagery into her writings, influenced by nature, mysticism, and spirituality. Her poetry collection is titled connecting the dots.

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