All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
– J.R.R. Tokien
When most people think about hiking, places like Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, etc don’t really come to mind. Unfortunately, people will lose out to some of the wonders and hidden gems that await you in these locations. Not all hiking needs to happen in or around mountain ranges. Hiking the Midwest can turn out to be wonderful experience.
Here are some of my favorite locations (in no particular order):
- Devil’s Lake State Park – Wisconsin
- Starved Rock State Park – Illinois
- Wyalusing State Park – Wisconsin
- Mirror Lake State Park – Wisconsin
- Glacial Lakes State Park – Minnesota
- Arrowhead State Trail – Minnesota
- Black River State Trail – Wisconsin
They each have a wide range of offerings, from hiking, camping, ATV and Snowmobile use. The trails range from easy to intermediate. Devil’s Lake in particular allows you to climb rock formations from during the Ice Age. With naturally cut rocks and a lake with canoe and kayaking.
There are many more great locations and I highly recommend getting out there and trying some out yourself. Whether you decide to do a day trip or a weekend excursion, hiking is great exercise, a great way to get out and enjoy nature, and if your a photographer or just love taking photos for Instagram or a Blog, hiking can help you snap some amazing photos to share.
A couple things to remember if you decide to take the plunge and go hiking. Although many of these locations may not be as challenging or as risky as some of the larger mountain style hiking trails out west, you should always be prepared and up for the challenge. Don’t for get to pack the occasion. Here is my list of go-to items to always take on a hike.
What to Pack
- Backpack ( I like at least a 21L )
- Water Reservoir ( 2-3L )
- Water Bottle
- Sun Hat
- Snack Bars ( Ones that won’t melt )
- Safety Whistle
- First Aid Kit
- Packable Jacket
- Good Supportive Shoes or Boots
- Maps or GPS ( Not just your phone )
- Pocket Knife
- and if you are going to an area that may have territorial wildlife ( cougars / mountain lions ) a firearm is always advised.
The most important thing is to just get out there and have fun. If you find some good locations, midwest or not, feel free to comment on some of your favorite locations.