Summer Hits: Biking, Swimming, and Canoeing in Western Wisconsin

As the warm weather teases us, Western Wisconsin is transforming into a playground for summer and outdoor enthusiasts. With its beautiful trails, rivers, and lakes, Western Wisconsin offers many activities that promise adventure and relaxation alike. From serene canoe trips to pleasant bike trails and refreshing swimming spots, here are three must-try summer activities in Western Wisconsin.

1. Biking on the Stower Seven Lakes State Trail

  • Location: Runs from Amery to Dresser in Polk County
  • Highlights: This 14-mile trail offers a peaceful ride through a picturesque setting of wetlands, lakes, and prairies. It’s named after the seven lakes near which it winds, providing plenty of scenic vistas and opportunities for wildlife sightings.
  • What to Expect: The trail is relatively flat and well-suited for families and casual bikers. It’s also a great trail for bird watching and enjoying nature.
  • Visitor Info: A state trail pass is required for cyclists aged 16 and older. The trail is also open for walking and in winter, for snowshoeing and skiing.

2. Swimming at Lake Wissota State Park

  • Location: Near Chippewa Falls
  • Highlights: Lake Wissota State Park offers a large, inviting beach perfect for swimming and sunbathing. The park also features picnic areas, hiking trails, and boat rentals, making it a great spot for a day of fun and relaxation. 
  • What to Expect: The sandy beach gradually slopes into the lake, making it a safe and enjoyable swimming spot for families. Lifeguards are not typically on duty, so swimmers should exercise caution.
  • Visitor Info: There is a vehicle admission fee to enter the state park.

3. Canoeing the Namekagon River

  • Location: Begins near Cable, WI, and flows southwest towards the St. Croix River
  • Highlights: The Namekagon River provides one of the best canoeing experiences in Wisconsin, offering clear waters and a rich array of wildlife. As a part of the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway, it ensures a protected and pristine environment, ideal for a relaxing day on the water.
  • What to Expect: The river offers stretches suitable for all skill levels, with mostly gentle currents and some moderate rapids. You'll pass through a varied landscape including northern hardwood forests and wetlands.
  • Visitor Info: Numerous access points and outfitters are available along the river, offering canoe rentals and shuttle services. The river is well-marked for navigation, and camping sites are available for multi-day trips.

Whether you're a local resident or considering a move to the area (we can assist you!), Western Wisconsin provides a backdrop full of excitement and natural beauty. These activities not only offer fun and exercise but also a chance to connect with the stunning landscapes of the region. So pack your gear, gather your friends or family, and head out to explore the great outdoors!


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