Kayaking

These state parks should have a landing from which you can launch your kayak onto the nearby lake or river.

Lake Wissota State Park

Lake Wissota State Park

If you live in Wisconsin or Minnesota (or possibly anywhere else), you likely realize where the name, Wissota, comes from. Wikipedia claims: “An engineer on the [Lake Wissota Hydroelectric Dam] project [that created the lake], Louis G. Arnold, named the lake by combining the beginning of “Wisconsin” and the ending of “Minnesota”.” And you would …

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Wyalusing State Park

Wyalusing State Park

This article is about our second visit to Wyalusing State Park. Sadly, I don’t have the pictures I took on our first visit. (Or, if I do still have them, I can’t find them.) Those pictures included a shot of the confluence of the Wisconsin and Mississippi rivers. These do not. This second hike was …

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Governor Dodge State Park

Governor Dodge State Park

Governor Dodge State Park is currently the 3rd largest state park in Wisconsin. (Buckhorn and Devil’s Lake are bigger.) As if to emphasize this fact, half of the hiking trails are over 2 miles long each, and almost everything shorter than that is either inaccessible directly or isn’t worth walking on its own. That’s pretty …

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Hartman Creek State Park

Hartman Creek State Park

Hartman Creek State Park may offer the widest variety of activities of any Wisconsin state park. In addition to the frequently-found hiking, boating, camping, and hunting (and related) activities, you can go mountain (fat tire, singletrack) biking, swimming, snowmobiling, and horseback riding. Many miles of trails are specifically designed for horseback riding, for singletrack biking …

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Merrick State Park

Merrick State Park

Merrick State Park feels like a small park, though it’s not among the smallest overall. The DNR site currently says there are just 2 miles of hiking trails in the entire park. That’s not quite true. When we hiked in Merrick (the day after tackling Brady’s Bluff in Perrot State Park), we found several unmapped …

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Perrot State Park

Perrot State Park

There are a pair of Wisconsin state parks along the Mississippi River – Perrot and Merrick – that have an interesting history. They are both connected to a grocer from Winona, Minnesota, named John Latsch. You can read the details on this Merrick page (suggest you read that one first) and this Perrot page at …

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Mirror Lake State Park

Mirror Lake State Park

Mirror Lake State Park contains MIrror Lake. Nothing surprising there. But Mirror Lake, though technically a lake, is one of those bodies of water that’s really just a wider-than-usual section of a river – in this case, a few wider sections. Mirror Lake is not a standalone body of water with no inlet or outlet. …

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Big Foot Beach State Park

Big Foot Beach State Park

Why is it called Big Foot Beach State Park? Good question. Fortunately there’s a fairly short answer. Big Foot (an English translation) was an early leader of the Potawatomi in this area. Geneva Lake (or Lake Geneva) used to be called Big Foot Lake. The park itself is just across the road from a beach …

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Lake Kegonsa State Park

Lake Kegonsa State Park

We didn’t spend a lot of time at Lake Kegonsa State Park on this our first visit. It was our second park of the day, after Governor Nelson State Park, and we were getting tired. What little we did see was interesting though. We hiked the short Oak Knoll Trail loop, and I got to …

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Governor Nelson State Park

Governor Nelson State Park

Our first trip to Governor Nelson State Park came a day after our visit to Cross Plains State Park. To get from one park to the other, you go through Middleton, Wisconsin. In Middleton is the National Mustard Museum (formerly located in Mount Horeb). So we just had to stop in there to see what …

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