Fall Adventures in Wisconsin from Zipline to ATV

The Classic Fall Walk is a wonderful way to see Wisconsin’s changing leaves.

But if you’re looking to get your blood flowing a little more and enjoy the crisp fall air before winter arrives, here are some fall adventure ideas to take your leaf to the next level.

Zipped lining

Climb the colorful canopy on a zipline tour.

Some of Wisconsin’s densest woods are found in the northern part of the state, and Northwoods Zip Line Adventures, south of Minocqua, takes you through them on one of the Midwest’s largest zipline tours. The four-hour Full Adventure Tour includes 13 ziplines, 14 overhead obstacles, and four adventure bridges. The tour is offered at 10:30 a.m. and noon daily and costs $ 159. Participants must be 7 years of age or older, but the outfitter also offers a tour for children ages 3 and up that includes three zip lines and two adventure bridges. The tour, which costs $ 30, is offered at 9 a.m. daily. See northwoodszipline.com.

Closer to Milwaukee, Lake Geneva Ziplines & Adventures offers a 2.5-hour zipline tour that includes nine ziplines, five sky bridges, and four spiral staircases. The tour is offered multiple times per day and starts at $ 99.99. Participants must be at least 4 feet tall and weigh between 70 and 250 pounds. The adventure center also has a tree climbing course, a climbing wall, and hiking and biking trails. Reservations are recommended at lacgenevaadventures.com.

Mountain bike

The CAMBA Trails traverse the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest region of northwest Wisconsin, offering six groups of mountain biking trails that total 300 miles.

Wisconsin doesn’t have any mountains, but there are enough hills for off-road fun, and some of the state’s best trails, the CAMBA trails, cut through some of the best fall colors in the world. State in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest around Cable.

The 300-mile network of trails and gravel roads has been named a Bronze Level Hiking Center by the International Mountain Bicycling Association – a prestigious designation that “recognizes the pinnacle of mountain biking communities.”

New Moon Ski & Bike Shop in Hayward offers rentals (including children’s bikes), and there are plenty of routes for beginners, including the Hospital Gateway Trails behind the Hayward Area Memorial Hospital. Find information on trailheads, routes and bike rentals at cambatrails.org. The trails are free to ride.

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In Southeastern Wisconsin, the popular John Muir Trails also offer beautiful fall colors in the southern unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest near La Grange. The system has a handful of loops for all skill levels, including a loop for kids and a skills course. A connecting trail connects the system to the smaller Emma Carlin trail network, which has three loops. Cyclists 16 and over need a pass ($ 5 / day, $ 25 / year).

A mountain biker rides the John Muir Trails in the southern unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest south of Palmyra.

In Milwaukee County, Franklin’s 4-mile Kegel Alpha Mountain Bike Trail in Whitnall Park is getting a facelift this year thanks to Metro Mountain Bikers. The system gets about 1 mile of new trail, with other trails being rerouted to make them more sustainable. Find the trailhead across from the golf course on 92nd Street. The trails are free to ride.

Note that mountain bike trails are closed if conditions are too wet; driving on muddy trails can permanently damage them. Check an organization’s website for current conditions before you go.

Canoeing and kayaking

There is still time to take a paddling excursion before the temperatures drop too much, and Wisconsin’s calmer inland lakes and rivers offer plenty of places to do so.

The 90-mile stretch of the Wisconsin River from Prairie du Sac to the confluence of the river with the Mississippi at Wyalusing State Park is a good option with relatively shallow water and a slow current. The section is protected as part of the Lower Wisconsin State Riverway and offers fall-colored views of a wooded and largely undeveloped bluff-fringed shoreline.

The 25-mile stretch from Prairie du Sac to Spring Green is a popular overnight trip, with free, first-come, first-served camping on sandbanks that appear in the river when the water level is low enough. . Further west, Wisconsin River Outings offers rentals and shuttles for day or night trips from Boscobel until the end of September (canoe-camping.com).

Camping is free on the sandbanks along the Lower Wisconsin River.

In Milwaukee, members of the Urban Ecology Center can borrow a canoe or kayak until mid-October to paddle the lagoon at the nonprofit’s Washington Park location on the Milwaukee River in the Riverside location, or to move to another location (equipment is available to borrow for up to three days). Reservations are currently required and are available on the UEC website (urbanecologiecenter.org) or by calling one of the branches (414-626-8527 for Riverside, 414-626-8278 for Washington Park). Memberships are $ 50 for an individual or $ 60 for a family.


Climbers scale the cliffs of Devil's Lake State Park on a trip with Devils Lake climbing guides.

The 500-foot quartzite cliffs of Devil’s Lake State Park are popular not only with hikers in the fall, but also climbers who climb over 1,600 routes in the park.

Some outfitters – Devils Lake Climbing Guides (devilslakeclimbingguides.com), Apex Adventure Alliance (apexadventurealliance.com) and vertical adventure guides (verticaladventure.org) – offers guided rock climbing tours, providing all equipment and instruction so even a novice can climb the cliffs. Tours are offered until November, before the rocks get too cold to climb.

If you want to keep your feet on the ground, hiking the Balanced Rock Trail is a difficult climb of the eastern cliff that rewards hikers with views of the lake and the surrounding Baraboo Hills, which turn into a kaleidoscope of color in the sky. ‘fall.

The Ice Age Trail runs the length of the southern unit of Kettle Moraine State Forest.

In honor of the 41st anniversary of the Ice Age Trail, the Ice Age Trail Alliance challenges people to hike, run or backpack 41 miles of the 1,200 mile trail and visit three official trail communities in October. Those who register and complete the challenge will receive a commemorative patch and certificate. Participants can register as individuals, families or teams, with cumulative mileage counted for groups. IATA has suggested hikes and more information about the challenge on their website (iceagetrail.org).

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Field trips with the Natural Resources Foundation

Popular NRF field trips are usually booked when reservations open in the spring, but this year the nonprofit has added more fall outings and has open spaces in others, which it says. nicknamed “Lucky Day Field Trips”.

One of the new trips is the Geological History of the Baraboo Hills, a visit to several stops of geological sites in the Baraboo area including Van Hise Rock, Abelman’s Gorge, Parfrey’s Glen and Devil’s Lake. The trip is 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on September 25 and costs $ 35 for adults and $ 25 for children.

Another new trip is Fall Colors of the Blue Hills Felsenmeer, a challenging 4 mile hike to view the Blue Hills felsenmeer (German for “sea of ​​boulders”), an area of ​​scree slopes in County Rusk. The guided hike runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on October 8 and costs $ 23 for adults and $ 13 for children.

Another trip that still has some openings is the Sack Lake Old-Growth Forest Hike, another challenging 4 mile hike through yellow birch and hemlock around Sack Lake in Iron County that should be ablaze with fall colors during the trip, which is 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Oct. 1 and costs $ 28 for adults and $ 18 for children.

Travel is only open to members of the NRF; memberships are $ 25. For more information and to register, visit wisconservation.org.

RELATED:When fall colors could peak in Wisconsin in 2021

Contact Chelsey Lewis at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at @chelseylew and @TravelMJS and Facebook at Sentinel Travel Journal.

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