Description - Southeast Wisconsin is the state's most populated region harboring the capitol city of Madison, a metropolitan area recognized as one of the country's top canoe towns by Paddler Magazine, as well as one of the 10 best biking cities by Bicycling magazine. In addition, the city's community and convention center bears the distinction of a Frank Lloyd Wright design. East of the capitol along the shores of Lake Michigan is the country's leading distillery town, Milwaukee, nicknamed "city of festivals." The lakefront attracts swimmers, rollerbladers, volleyball players and people-watchers all summer long. A third noteworthy city in Southeast Wisconsin is Janesville, home to nearly twenty percent of all Wisconsin buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Nestled among the dense populous are countless outdoor recreation getaways including a dozen state parks, two fabulously wildlife-rich national refuges, vast state forestlands, and hundreds of miles of multi-use trails.
The southeastern area is contained by Lake Michigan on the east and boasts the largest inland lake in the state, Lake Winnebago. The lake covers 137,708 acres sprawling 28 miles by 10.5 miles and running 21 feet deep. Two land regions characterize this highly populated area: Central Plain, and Eastern Ridges / Lowland. Varying in topography the area has rich agricultural plains and massive scenic gorges including the famed region known as the Wisconsin Dells, which was carved by the Wisconsin River.
- Outdoor recreation opportunities in Southeast Wisconsin are limited only by one's imagination. Horicon Marsh is the largest freshwater cattail marsh in the United States. Located in southeast Wisconsin, this vast wetland is only one-hour drive from Milwaukee and Madison. While this marsh in renown for its migrant flocks of Canada geese, it is also home to more than 260 kinds of birds, which have been sighted over the years. Also found in the region is the Kettle Moraine State Forest, referred to as the north's Smoky Mountains due to its craggy, ridged, and deep depression topography. Experience Military Ridge State Trail, a 39.6-mile 19th century historic road stretching across open farmlands and wooded slopes. Fish the temperamental waters of Lake Winnebago from High Cliff State Park where facilities include large marina, picnic grounds, over 100 campsites and a 40-foot observation tower providing extended panoramas into Oshkosh, Neenah, Menasha, Appleton, and Kaukauna. Water sports are second nature along the coast of Lake Michigan. Experience Point Beach State Forest, a protected parcel jutting seven miles into Lake Michigan offering a six-mile beach that occasionally yields pieces of 19th century sunken ships. Looking for a place to escape? Try New Glarus State Park with its drive-in or hike-in campsites. Devil's Lake State Park is another must-do in Southeast Wisconsin. As part of the Ice Age unit , 500-foot bluffs flank a 360-acre lake where swimming, fishing, canoeing, scuba diving, nature study and winter sports reign.
Four Wisconsin Travel Information Centers lie within Southeast Wisconsin; one rests across the state line in Chicago (52 W. Adams Street at Dearborn). Southeast Wisconsin locations include Madison (201 W. Washington Avenue), Beloit (I-90, westbound / north only), Kenosha (I-94, exit 347 at Lakeview Parkway), and Genoa City (Hwy. 12 Rest Area, northbound only). The Genoa center is open April through October, while the other centers including the Chicago center, is open year-round.
Recreation - Recreation opportunities in Southeast Wisconsin include year-round sports from hiking and biking, to skiing and snowmobiling. Multi-use trails are open for horseback riding, biking, and occasionally ATV use. Water sports come naturally to the region as well as hunting and wildlife watching.
Climate - Southeast Wisconsin has four distinct seasons with warm summers and long winters. January's average temperature is above 16 degrees F (-9 degrees C). Average July temperature is 85 degrees F (29 degrees C). During summer, temperatures can climb to above 90 degrees F (32 degrees C). The area's average yearly precipitation ranges from 32-34". Annual snowfalls in the Southeast Region can range from 20 - 50". Dressing in layers is a good way to remain comfortable in Wisconsin.
Southeast Wisconsin shares its boundaries with the state of Illinois, the Great Lake Michigan, areas just south of Green Bay and areas slightly west of Interstates 39 and 90.