Description - Wisconsin is recognized as America's Dairyland, a state that exudes natural beauty thus attracting millions of vacationers every year. It features five land regions that include Lake Superior Lowland, Northern Highland, Central Plain, Western Upland, and Eastern Ridges and Lowlands. The shoreline of Wisconsin spans nearly 300 miles along Lake Superior and nearly 400 miles along Lake Michigan; each featuring rugged bluffs and sand beaches. Interior lakes total 15,000 with the largest being Lake Winnebago spanning an impressive 215 miles. Green Lake is the deepest with depths reaching 237 feet. An east-west divide runs across the northern tier of the state where rivers Bad, Montreal, and Nemadji flow northward into Lake Superior while longer rivers such as the Flambeau and St. Croix flow southward. Wisconsin also features a north-south divide running down the eastern third of the state where rivers such as the Black, Chippewa and St. Croix flow west into the Mississippi while rivers that include Fox, Menominee, Milwaukee, and Oconto flow east into Lake Michigan directly or via Green Bay. Scenery abounds amid the state's hundreds of scenic waterfalls and dense forestlands that cover nearly half of Wisconsin. Before 1830, 3.1 million Wisconsin acres were grassland. Today, 13,000 grassland acres remain.
Copyright: National Park Service
Apostle Island National Lakeshore
- Long known for its lush green countryside, sparkling lakes, and quiet valleys, the state of Wisconsin is an impressive recreation destination. The state features the recently combined national forest of Chequamegon-Nicolet, boasting over 430 lakes and 44,000 acres of Wilderness Areas. In addition, Wisconsin has nearly 50 award-winning state parks, 10 state forests, and 24 state trails, each providing four-season enjoyment.
With nearly 15,000 interior lakes and borders along two Great Lakes and the Mississippi River, a myriad of water-oriented activities wait. From power boating, to paddling, to a leisurely float, Wisconsin highlights them all. Game fish in the state include smallmouth bass, muskellunge, pickerel, pike, sturgeon, and trout.
Hunters pursue both large and small game in addition to a lengthy list of game birds comprising ducks, geese, jacksnipes, partridges, pheasants, ruffed grouse, and woodcocks. A plethora of songbirds such as warblers and wren attract bird watchers. With more than half the state covered in forestland, black bear, fox, white-tailed deer, and coyote find residence. Additional furbearers include beavers, muskrats, badgers, gophers, prairie mice, raccoons and more.
Wildflower enthusiasts anxiously greet each spring in search of pink trailing arbutus spilling over rocks and along the forest floor. The warmer season closes with colorful palettes of asters, fireweeds, and goldenrod along with a bounty of edible blueberries, huckleberries, Juneberries, and wild black currants. Nature photographers are prized for their captures of Wisconsin's fiery autumn displays emitted from aspen, elm, maple and birch, and oak.
Mountain biking is permitted on marked trails. Look for green bike symbol markers.
Picnic area has oversized grills, picnic tables , horseshoe courts, electric service at the east end and plenty of open space which is popular for kit flying and field games especially for family reunions.
Wisconsin has nine year-round tourist information facilities; seven located within the state and one in Chicago, one in the Twin Cities, Minnesota. Additionally, four seasonal tourist information centers are open April through October.
Recreation - Numerous state and national parks and forests afford hiking, biking, camping, fishing, boating, hunting, nature photography, and winter sport opportunities.
Climate - Wisconsin experiences four distinct seasons with winter the predominate and longest. Snowfall can be expected from October through April. Annual average accumulation of snow ranges from 20 to 55 inches. Temperatures remain below freezing for extended periods during the winter months, so warm clothing is a must for comfort, especially outdoors.
Spring is short and easily slides into the brief summer season. Temperatures are mild during the hottest month, July, with average daytime highs 70 to 85 degrees F (21 to 29 degrees C). Nights can be cool in this northern state. Dressing in layers is a good way to remain comfortable through a camping trip to northern Wisconsin. Fall is also brief with preparation for impending snows on every locals mind. Foliage color displays can be brilliant and come relatively early in mid-September. Layers with hats, gloves and rain gear are appropriate for this season.
Wisconsin is a Midwestern state bordered by Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois and Michigan with portions of shoreline that include the Great Lakes Superior and Michigan. The Mississippi River forms the western border of southern Wisconsin.