Wisconsin’s New Glarus Woods State Park — Spotted Cow Pairs Well With These Easy Trails

I’m kind of embarrassed about how long it took me to write this blog entry. In one month, it will be one year since this trip. Oops! To be fair, this trip was right after the bachelor/bachelorette parties and two weekends before the wedding. We had a lot going on!

Before we got to the hiking and camping portion of our New Glarus excursion, we had to check out a few of the local businesses. New Glarus, Wisconsin is the cutest little town! It calls itself “America’s Little Switzerland” and leans heavily into this brand with the design of the buildings, restaurants, shops, and festivals resembling what you might find in a small Swiss town. We happened to be in the downtown area during music fest. which was a lot of fun.

We started with a wine tasting, checked out the music, bought some meats for the campfire, and went to the brewery.

Check out where we went. All of these businesses are worth your patronage.
Hawk’s Mill WineryRuef’s Meat MarketNew Glarus Brewery

Okay, back to the nature part of this story, New Glarus Woods State Park. We camped and hiked at this park, staying there for two days.

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Big Bay State Park Camping, Wisconsin’s Madeline Island, Site #59, Oh Deer!

To finish up the tale of the mini-moon, we end with the review of the campsite at Big Bay State Park. In case you missed it, we arrived at Madeline Island late in the afternoon and checked into our site for the next two nights. In addition to camping at the park, we also hiked. Check out those recaps and reviews here with PART 1 and PART 2.

Helpful Park Links:
Park Website
Camping Reservations

The park has 60 campsites with some electrical sites, some walk-in sites, and some group camp sites. There are both flush and vault toilets with showers available. The park sells firewood in a shed near the park office. (Bonus, the woodshed had a box of free newspaper for fire starting It was the local island newspaper. Sure, the news was a few months old, but it was interesting to read the happenings of the locals.)

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Wisconsin’s Big Bay State Park — Part II, Lake Superior, Scenic Overlooks and Views Galore

Now on to part II of the Big Bay State Park hiking adventure. If you missed part I, which included Bayfield, getting to the island, the Boardwalk Trail, and the closeup debut of a turtle, check it out here.

Helpful links:
Park website
Trail descriptions
Park map

Let’s jump right into part II. After hiking to the end of the boardwalk and back, we crossed the grassy day-use area to the start of the Bay View Trail. Looking at the map, this is the trail I was most excited for as it hugged the shoreline for its entirety. I love a scenic view of water and this trail seemed to be entirely made of scenic water views.

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Wisconsin’s Big Bay State Park — Madeline Island, Lake Superior, Part I

Waking up well rested to the sight of a sunrise over the bay, we enjoyed some breakfast before checking out and continuing on in our adventure. From Ashland, we drove 30 minutes north to Bayfield, where we planned to hop on the ferry to bring us to Madeline Island.

Knowing the ferry made frequent trips and wanting to watch the US Women’s Soccer Team beat Sweden, we weren’t in any hurry to get to the island. Instead, we walked around Bayfield, did some shopping, and had lunch while we watched the game at the Pier Plaza Restaurant. We also ended up explaining the game of soccer to a few people at the bar. A few beers in, they were receptive and pretty into it by the end. This was a great choice and I highly recommend it if you want to eat some delicious fresh local fish.

Bayfield, WI
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Wisconsin’s Brule River State Forest and Ashland — Hiking, Restaurants, Beer, and a Boutique Hotel

After a much needed night in a hotel (mainly for the shower) we started the drive from Superior to Ashland. Along the way, we passed through the Brule River State Forest.

This area is huge. It encompasses all 44 miles of the Bois Brule River. It’s a forest full of activities which include hiking, biking, fishing, paddling, and camping. This area would take a long time to thoroughly explore, much longer than we had. We decided to make our stop quick and do a short hike.

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Amnicon Falls State Park, Wisconsin, Four Waterfalls and One-stop Sightseeing

Holy macaroni! I feel like I always start my posts like this, but I can’t believe I haven’t posted in 2 months. Actually, that’s a lie. I can believe it. Since my last post, in addition to all the craziness that was the winter holidays, we (myself and 3 other awesome people) bought and moved into a house! Buying and splitting a duplex with your husband and friends (another couple) is really the way to go. Not only do we have amazing friends right next door, we were able to break into the market and tackle the daunting project of home-ownership together!

Somewhere in there with the thousands of other pros to owning a home, never having to haul 5 trips of camping supplies up and down apartment stairs is high on the list.

Let’s continue this honeymoon hike.

From Pattison State Park and the state’s tallest waterfall we drove 17.5 miles to another park full of waterfalls, Amnicon Falls State Park.

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