Madison Road Trip

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Walking

Salmo Lakewalk Trail

This magical trail starts in an inauspicious parking lot. The first section follows the road, but soon turns off into a gorgeous wooded area. Boardwalks go over and around marshy areas, which team with insects, fish and frogs. The trail… Continue Reading →

Brooklyn Wildlife Area

Part of the Ice Age Trail that runs through much of Wisconsin, this wildlife area is quiet and secluded. With over 2600 acres of land, you’ll find plenty to do and see. Just a short drive from Madison, but very… Continue Reading →

Windmill Island Gardens

The Windmill Island Gardens do not disappoint. It’s an island, there are extensive gardens, and a massive functioning windmill. Like much of Holland, MI, the high-point of the year is during May for their tulip festival. Like other parts of… Continue Reading →

Saugatuck Dunes State Park

The western shores of Michigan are famously beautiful year-round. During summer, their sandy beaches are packed with vacationers. But they’re just as nice, albeit a bit chillier, in Spring or Fall. Saugatuck Dunes State Park has a stretch of open… Continue Reading →

Wyalusing State Park

The best time to visit Wyalusing State Park is actually when the weather is pretty miserable – Jan. through early Spring. While the view is quite dramatic, with it’s steep cliffs overlooking the Mississippi and Wisconsin Rivers, the main draw… Continue Reading →

Houghton Falls Nature Preserve/Echo Dells

Not to be confused with Houghton Falls, MI, this wonderful preserve is an off-the-beaten track gem. Well groomed trails and wooden paths wind through piney woods, past a small waterfall, sandstone overhangs and a winding creek. The path ends on… Continue Reading →

Interstate Falls

Not the most romantic of names, nor the most awe-inspiring of falls. But Interstate Falls are still a good hike with a nice waterfall view. Hat tip to Troy Hess, author of Waterfalls of Wisconsin: The Wild Waters of Intrigue,… Continue Reading →

Isle of Ferns

The Isle of Ferns lives up to its name in every way. It’s an island, it’s covered in ferns. This small island in the Wisconsin River has a series of windy trails the encircle the island. Pleasant and shady, it… Continue Reading →

Monk Botanical Gardens

Billed as “Wausau’s Happy Place”, this 30 acre garden is a lovely new(ish) location to visit. Donated in 2003, the 30-acre gardens are clearly still a work in progress. What is there and growing in is quite attractive. Wander through… Continue Reading →

Chicago Botanic Garden

The Chicago Botanic Garden is amazing! There’s something for every plant lover here – Japanese gardens, English cottage gardens, experimental plants, natives, edible, tropical and even artwork made of plants. With nearly 400 acres, wear comfy shoes and plan to… Continue Reading →

Glacier Hills County Park

Just a few miles north of Monches is a fantastic county park. Glacier Hills is a large, hilly area with something to offer for every season – hiking, sledding, swimming, kayaking, skiing, plus reservable hall and chapel for special events…. Continue Reading →

The Garden Door – Peninsular Research Station

Tucked behind a collection of utilitarian buildings off Highway 42 is a lovely garden maintained by the Door County Master Gardeners. Wander through arches covered with vines, down winding paths, past a busy pond and through waves to sedges. The… Continue Reading →

Newport Beach State Park

Newport Beach offers very little in amenities, and that is its charm. There is one bathroom and it only offers backpack camping. The rest is simply peaceful nature with acres of beach and woods to explore. The park is a… Continue Reading →

Door Bluff Headlands County Park

Door Bluff Headlands is another winner of a county park. With breathtaking views from limestone bluffs, winding trails and fantastic woods, the park also has the added advantage of being off the beaten track. It takes a bit of getting… Continue Reading →

The Ridges Sanctuary

The Ridges Sanctuary is an unique and very special piece of protected land. The woods, ridges and swales are home to a unique population of arboreal conifers, insects, mosses, pitcher plants and orchids. The network of trails is shady and… Continue Reading →

Peninsula State Park

Peninsula is a perennial favorite and one we look forward to returning to again and again. There are plenty of winding, woody trails with magnificent views of the water throughout the park. But the gem we return to in the… Continue Reading →