10 Wisconsin Hiking Trails for Wildflowers

Posted: Thu-May-2020

Wisconsin Hiking Trails with Wildflowers

For Earth Day in April, we wrote a series of blogs about the importance of pollinators, how to attract them into your yard, and how our Innkeepers do their part to attract pollinators.  While we love the idea of creating gardens filled with a beautiful range of flowers, especially those specifically for pollinators, we also love getting outside and seeing Mother Nature's gardens.  There are a number of wonderful Wisconsin hiking trails that lead to wildflowers, and late this spring and early this summer will be the best time to see them. 

The bloom season for Wisconsin wildflowers is variable, with the wildflowers in the southern part of the state appearing before those in the north. With more than 100 Wisconsin State Parks open again as of May 1, there are a number of wonderful places in which you can get outside and see the best of nature, all while keeping those important social distancing practices in mind.

We might not be able to share this wildflower season with you directly, but we can still offer our guidance just as we would if you were our guest.  As our Inns begin to reopen over the coming months, they will be happy to provide you a respite from the chaos of the world around you.  Road trips and staycations will be integral to our health and well-being this summer, much like getting out in nature. When it comes time for a little "you" time, our Wisconsin Bed and Breakfasts will be waiting.  Start planning your summer getaways today!

Wisconsin Hiking Trails Lead the Way to Wildflowers

Wisconsin is home to a wonderful variety of wildflowers, and they can be seen on a variety of Wisconsin hiking trails. In the southern part of Wisconsin, wildflowers start to pop up as early as April, and well into May and even June.  In the central and northern parts of the state, mid-may and early June are your best bets for seeing these blooming beauties. 

Wisconsin Hiking Trails with Wildflowers

Enjoy some time with Mother Nature this spring, while still maintaining proper social distancing. These Wisconsin hiking trails offer the best chance to see Wisconsin wildflowers up close and personal. 

  1. Dells of the Eau Claire near Wausau not only features some of the state’s most fascinating geology but wildflowers aplenty as well.  Popular species to find here include, trout-lily, hepatica, and a healthy variety of common wildflowers.

  2. Head to the Kettle Moraine State Forest—Northern Unit, where you’ll find some of the most beautiful Wisconsin hiking trails.  This is a stunning area to hike in the fall, but it’s also full of wildflowers in the spring and summer. Flower species include hepatica, snakeroot, large-flowered trillium, red trillium, May-apple, and bellwort. 

  3. Not too far away from the Kettle Moraine State Forest-Northern Unit is Waupun Park Maple Forest.  Here, there are areas where trout-lily practically covers the forest floor. Beyond that, the forest is also home to plenty of beautiful wildflowers, including wood anemone, bloodroot, Jack-in-the-pulpit, meadow-rue, and spring-beauty. As the season progresses and the weather continues to warm, blooms of large-flowered trillium and wild geranium show their pretty faces. 

  4. There’s a loop of Wisconsin hiking trails near Logan Creek State Natural Area in Door County. Head here in mid-late May, and you’ll be treated to copious blooms of spring-beauty. A few of the most common wildflowers growing on this part of Door County include Dutchman’s-breeches, toothwort, large-flowered trillium, and trout lily.  Look down at your feet, and you're bound to see one of the 6+ varieties of wild violets that practically cover the forest floor during this time of year. 

  5. While you’re in Door County, don’t miss your chance to explore The Ridges Sanctuary in Baileys Harbor. More than 25 species of orchids grow here, blooming usually in early - mid-June. There are also plenty of other rare plant species found in this area.  Midwest Weekends wrote an excellent article about spring wildflowers in Door County. 

  6. Sauk County is home to an abundance of state parks and natural areas to explore.  Among our favorites is McGilvra Woods near Baraboo. Here, you’ll find beautiful wildflowers, including woodland phlox, nodding trillium, Jack-in-the-pulpit, hairy Solomon’s-seal, and red baneberry. You may even be able to spot some of the rarer species that thrive here, including the cuckoo-flower and putty-root orchid.

  7. In the Driftless Region of Wisconsin, which is found primarily in southwestern Wisconsin, you’ll find some great Wisconsin hiking trails, including those in Wildcat Mountain State Park. Wildflowers blooming here include wild-ginger, showy orchids, declined trillium, and Virginia bluebells, which are usually best seen in mid-late May. 

  8. Another great place to go in the Driftless Area is Brady's Bluff in Perrot State Park. This park, located along the Mississippi River, is carpeted with jeweled shooting stars, along with a stunning range of other blooming wildflowers. 

  9. If you love columbines, then don’t miss your chance to see them this spring at Interstate State Park or Wyalusing State Park.  Both have extensive tracts of columbine, along with large-flowered trillium and wild geranium.

  10. If you want to see prairies of wildflowers, head to Pheasant Branch Nature Conservancy in Madison.  Not only will you enjoy panoramic views of Madison’s capitol building and the city’s skyline, but you’ll be able to walk through beautiful prairies of wildflowers.  Some have even called this one of the most beautiful hikes in the state.

Wisconsin Hiking Trails with Wildflowers

R&R at a Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast

Innkeepers across the state of Wisconsin have greatly missed welcoming guests into their homes, sharing delicious breakfasts with them, and treating them to the finest hospitality one could ask for.  Our Innkeepers are eagerly awaiting the day when it’s safe to reopen their doors and welcome guests again, and sharing their knowledge--like the best Wisconsin hiking trails with wildflowers--again!

We know it’s been important to be closed for the time being, but we are ready to put this all behind us.  Consider visiting one (or more) of our incredible Wisconsin Bed and Breakfasts this summer. Not only will you enjoy some valuable R&R and much-needed “you” time, but you’ll find that our Inns are clean and safe alternatives to bigger and more crowded hotel chains. Treat yourself this summer, and experience the difference at one of our unique Wisconsin Bed and Breakfasts. Browse our properties, then book your vacation today!

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