In Wisconsin, you’re never too far from woodlands and waterways that provide opportunities for outdoor activities.
Bordered on two sides by Great Lakes, Wisconsin has numerous lakefront recreation areas and parks that offer ways to enjoy the outdoors. But these lakes are just the start: Groups touring the state will find river canyons, wetland marshes and island destinations that all have distinctive outdoor experiences in store.
Whether your group enjoys sightseeing cruises on the water or canopy tours in the surrounding wilderness, these Wisconsin destinations have natural activities to suit your travelers’ appetites.
Bayfield and the Apostle Islands
At the northern tip of Wisconsin, the community of Bayfield serves as the gateway to the Apostle Islands of Lake Superior.
“The Apostle Islands consists of 22 islands in total, and 21 of them are within the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore,” said Erin Johnson, marketing manager for the Bayfield Visitors Bureau. “There are six lighthouses and two light stations among the islands, and the area has incredible scenic beauty.”
Groups have a number of ways to explore the area’s scenery. Among the most popular are sightseeing cruises that focus on a variety of themes. Travel planners can choose between daytime or evening “grand tours” that provide overviews of the islands, or more focused experiences, such as tours that include stops at lighthouses or that highlight shipwrecks that happened in the area.
For a more vigorous experience, several outfitters offer guided kayak excursions for groups. Living Adventure takes travelers to see shipwrecks and sea caves along the shoreline via kayak, and Wilderness Inquiry focuses on trips that are accessible to an array of people.
“They really specialize in group tours,” Johnson said. “They have an all-inclusive philosophy and can help a group of people with different physical limitations.”
Stretched out on a peninsula between Green Bay and Lake Michigan, Door County enjoys a wealth of woodland and waterfront. The abundant natural areas give groups an opportunity to cruise, hike, zipline and more.
“We have five state parks and 19 county parks that offer hiking trails,” said Laura Bradley, marketing and sales manager at the Door County Convention and Visitors Bureau. “We see a lot of groups taking part in walking tours and scenic boat cruises for less challenging activities, but we have quite a few other things for groups that are interested in pushing it a little.”
Among the best places to hike is Peninsula State Park, which sits at the tip of the Door County peninsula. Groups can also arrange to take Segway tours of the park as well as several other scenic spots throughout the area.
An outdoor tour of Door County also includes stops at Cave Point County Park and Ellison Bluff State Park.
“Cave Point State Park is an area on Lake Michigan where underwater caves have been carved out of the sandstone cliffs,” Bradley said. “It has a lookout with spectacular views. If the wind is coming from the right direction, you can see the waves splashing up on the rocky shore. Ellison Bluff has another scenic overlook from some of the highest bluffs in the county.”