8 Spectacular Wisconsin State Parks
Devil's Lake State Park
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The largest state park in Wisconsin offers gorgeous scenery in every season, and the opportunity to enjoy that scenery with your favorite outdoor activity. In summer, pack your bathing suits and fishing poles and head to one of the sandy beaches. In the fall, grab your bike or strap on your hiking boots for some of the best fall foliage in the state. Devil's Lake also draws climbers from all over the country to its quartzite bluffs. Even winter is a great time to get outside—choose from snowshoeing, ice-skating, cross-country skiing and more. Finally, be sure to check out the robust offering of programs at the nature center.
Mirror Lake State Park
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Just a few miles from Wisconsin Dells, Mirror Lake State Park is a great place for families to visit in the summer. If hunting is your passion, plan your trip in the spring or fall. And for picturesque winter landscapes, strap on your snowshoes or cross-country skis during the cold months.
Kettle Moraine State Forest
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While not a state park, Kettle Moraine is one of the most accessible outdoor destinations in the state—it's just 40 miles outside Milwaukee. More than 22,000 acres of glacial landscape and 160 miles of trails make this a great place to play. Head to Lapham Peak for year-round recreation opportunities including hiking, biking, horseback riding and cross-country skiing.
Copper Falls State Park
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Gorges and waterfalls at Copper Falls State Park are the result of unique glacial activity, and provide some of the most beautiful vistas in the state.
You can explore the park on 17 miles of trails with scenic overlooks. Cross-country skiers will love the 13.7 miles of classical ski trail and 6.5 miles of skate ski trail. Also be sure to check out the North Country National Scenic Trail, America's longest Scenic Trail, that passes through the park.
Potawatomi State Park
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Located on Sturgeon Bay, Potawatomi State Park is a great destination for summer campers. Canoeing, kayaking, fishing and even SCUBA diving are popular activities during the warm months. Several miles of groomed cross-country ski trails, eight miles of snowmobile trails, and plenty of open space for snowshoers draw outdoor lovers in winter, too.
Potawatomi is also home to the eastern trailhead of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail, a 1,000-mile trail that spans the state of Wisconsin.
Interstate State Park
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Wisconsin's oldest state park is known for the Dalles of the St. Croix gorge, and gorgeous views of the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway. Located on the state's western border, this park shares its name with the bordering State Park of Minnesota. It's also where the Ice Age Trail ends.
The St. Croix is also a popular spot for fishing.
Heritage Hill State Historical Park
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For an impressive educational experience, visit Heritage Hill and learn about Wisconsin's rich history. Four different areas of the park represent significant periods in Wisconsin history from the 1600s to the early 1900s. You'll learn everything from how the fur trade and the influx of French goods influenced the area, to the role the Great Lakes region played in the War of 1812.
While the park is open year-round, buildings are closed and rates are reduced in winter.
Amnicon Falls State Park
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Bring your family to Amnicon Falls. Mostly known for its scenic waterfalls along the river, this park is overflowing with evidence of intense geologic activity—look for the dark basalt formed from lava flow at the Upper Falls.
Be sure to walk across the unique Horton Covered Bridge, too.