WISCONSIN

Wisconsin has a number of trails with minimal obstacles.  Some are very easy and others are wheelchair accessible.  Here are just a few of them.
These links were found through Internet search.  I would love to have some first-hand recommendations.  With your help, we can share our knowledge with disabled people everywhere and also increase awareness of the need for more accessibility. Please e-mail me with your suggestions using the form to the right.

Federal
State
Local
Private
Miscellaneous

Federal

  • Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest   Phone 715-362-1300   Links to Maps
    Franklin Nature Trail 1 mile, easy, mostly flat dirt path with “occasional” rocks and roots.
    Trail Guide    Trail Map  “…northern hardwood, pine, and hemlock forests where some trees are over 400 years old. You can stop off to wade in Butternut Lake or contemplate a beautiful lake vista from a bench under huge hemlock trees. The boardwalk across the bog offers a chance to see many varieties of bog plants up close.”
    Wheelchair AccessibleMorgan Falls Trail 1.2 miles round trip This trail was reconstructed in 2002 to make it accessible, but it is currently closed due to storm damage.
    ? Drummond Woods Trail 0.75 mile.  “The trail is relatively flat and easy to hike. The trail traverses through a northern hardwood forest and is a wonderful short hike for those who wish to see fall colors but don’t want to go a long distance.”
    ? Luna-White Deer Trail  To go around both lakes is a 4 mile loop. “Hike along the shorelines of both Luna and White Deer Lakes on this tranquil trail adjacent to Luna-White Deer Campground. …. you’ll likely catch sight of loons on one of these lakes.”  The trail is rated “easy”, but I don’t know what you might meet in the way of rocks and roots.  Try calling the Eagle River-Florence Ranger District at 715-479-2827 for more information,.

  • Horicon National Wildlife Refuge  Phone  920-387-2658  Hiking Trails    Map & Brochure
    Horicon Habitat Hike “This trail is … marked with interpretive signs to introduce visitors to a variety of habitats and common wildlife of the area. A total of 26 signs introduce visitors to woodland, wetland and grassland habitats and their management. This trail offers easy walking and is surfaced with wood chips, mowed grass and gravel.”
    Wheelchair AccessibleBoardwalk is 0.25 miles and accessible.
    There are several other short loop hikes which appear to be easy.  Call to find out.

  • Trempealeau National Wildlife Refuge  Phone  608-539-2311   Map  Self-Guided Driving Tour
    “6,220-acre refuge on the Mississippi River with nature trails and four mile driving tour.”
    ? There are two short interpretive hiking trails.  Call first to be sure they are suitable for your abilities.

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State

  • Amnicon Falls State Park  Map  Phone  715-398-3000   Trail Descriptions   Facebook Page
    Thimbleberry Nature Trail  0.8 mile  “…the place to observe a variety of trees, flowers, non-flowering plants, birds and animals. A side spur leads to a pond, which once was a brownstone quarry. A booklet keyed to numbered signposts tells more about the things you’ll see.”

  • Bearskin State Trail  Phone 715-539-2035   715-536-8773  Map
    Wheelchair Accessible18.4 mile rail-trail   “…a wonderful, shaded ride through a beautiful northwoods forest of pine, spruce, oak, maple, elm, and birch. This scenic trail features: lakes, creeks, natural springs, several spruce/tamarack bogs, and plenty of wildlife. Development along the trail is limited. The grade is mostly flat with one small hill climb. This is a fun, scenic ride suitable for families and folks of all ages.”  Wisconsin Trail Guide

  • Big Bay State Park  Phone  715-747-6425   Map  Trail Descriptions
    Travel Wisconsin.com says the park has “adaptive equipment available for people with mobility impairment including beach wheelchair.”
    Wheelchair AccessibleBoardwalk 0.5 mile “….flat, well-marked, accessible boardwalk with wooden benches at several points, interpretive signs and views of Lake Superior. The trail goes through a northern forest of red and white pines on the Big Bay Sand Spit.”
    Bay View trail 1.3 mile, Lagoon Ridges trail 2.6 mile and Point trail, a 1.7 mile loop all sound as if they are pretty easy walking.   Call ahead to be sure.

  • Big Foot Beach State Park  Phone  262-248-2528  Map  Trail Descriptions
    Yellow Trail 1.2 mile through “…the park’s mixed hardwood landscape and the woodland birds and animals who call it home.”   Four of the seven trails at this park are described as “easy walking for most visitors.”  Most of the trail surfaces are mowed grass or natural soil.

  • Blue Mound State Park  Phone  608-437-5711   Map  Trail Descriptions 
    The park has a pool “…equipped with an ADA lift chair for those in need of assistance.”
    John Minix trail 1.0 mile loop “offers a gentle meandering jaunt through a dense hardwood forest.”

  • Crex Meadows Wildlife Area  Phone  715-463-2896    Brochure and Map
    “Crex Meadows Wildlife Area is a 30,000-acre property of wetlands, brush prairies, and forests scattered across a gently rolling landscape.”   Some trail descriptions by Rob Bignell
    Wheelchair Accessible“Handicapped accessible hiking trails include a 540 foot circular trail through Abel Prairie and a 780 foot paved trail from the Education and Visitors Center to a bridge over Dragonfly Pond. Crex also features two handicapped accessible hunting trails.”   This is quoted from Wilderness Inquiry’s Accessible Places page.

  • Devil’s Lake State Park  Phone  608-356-8301  Map  Trail Descriptions
    Grottos Trail 0.7 mile  “A level gravel trail running along the south face of the East Bluff.”

  • Harrington Beach State Park  Phone  262-285-3015 Map    Trail Descriptions
    Wheelchair AccessibleQuarry Lake Hiking Trail  0.75  circles Quarry Lake  “The deep, serene waters of the 26-acre lake are surrounded by limestone ledges lined with white cedar trees.”

  • High Cliff State Park  Phone  920-989-1106  Map   Trail Descriptions
    Wheelchair AccessibleButterfly Pond Trail  0.4 mile loop and 0.7 mile loop.  “…paved for accessibility and features wetland, prairie and forest ecosystems.”

  • Kettle Moraine State Forest – Northern Unit  Map  Phones:  Mauthe Lake Recreation Area 262-626-4305,  Long Lake Recreation Area 920-533-8612      Trail Descriptions
    Moraine Nature Trail  0.75  Best to check at the Ice Age Visitor Center 920-533-8322 to be sure this self-guided trail is easy enough for you.  Brochure
    Spruce lake Bog Trail   0.25 mile  “easy boardwalk trail … through a unique open-lake bog community to Spruce Lake. … one can expect to see sundews, pitcher plants and other rare plant species.”

  • Kettle Moraine State Forest – Pike Lake Unit    Phone   262-670-3400  Map   Trail Descriptions
    Wheelchair AccessibleBoardwalk Trail 0.5 miles along the lakeshore near the north picnic area.

  • Kettle Moraine State Forest – Southern Unit   Phone  262-594-6200  Map  Trail Descriptions
    Wheelchair AccessibleThe Paradise Springs Nature Trail, 0.5 miles long.  Brochure

    Rice Lake Nature Trail 0.5 mile.  Trail Guide  “Walk along the edge of a small pond, hear frogs in the spring, visit the wildlife blind.”  This one sounds easy, but better call ahead to be sure.

  • Kohler-Andrae State Park  Phone  920-451-4080  Map    Trail Descriptions
    Wheelchair AccessibleBlack River Marsh Boardwalk  0.25 mile  “…features wetland plants and waterfowl. Signs explain the importance of wetlands.”
    Wheelchair AccessibleWoodland Dunes Nature Trail  1.0 mile  “Signs describe the trees of this forested dune area.”

  • Lake Kegonsa State Park  Phone  608-873-9695  Map   Trail Descriptions
    Wheelchair AccessiblePrairie Trail 1.3 miles  “The prairie plants are spectacular in the summer. This trail is wonderful for prairie enthusiasts and birders.”
    White Oak Nature Trail 1.2 miles  “….with it’s stately oaks and diverse habitats, gently winds through the 80-acre white oak woods. … It features 14 stops, each containing interesting information about the woods and the surrounding areas.”

  • Mill Bluff State Park  Phone  608-427-6692 (summer)  608-337-4775 (off-season)   Map   Trail Descriptions
    Wheelchair AccessibleNature Trail 0.4 mile  “Hikers will learn about wildlife, trees, wildflowers and geology. Part of this trail is accessible for people with disabilities.”

  • Mirror Lake State Park  Phone  608-254-2333   Map   Trail Descriptions
    Wheelchair AccessibleEcho Rock Trail  0.6 mile  paved

  • Northern Highland American Legion State Forest  Phone  715-356-3668  or 715-542-3923  Map   Trail  Descriptions
    Wheelchair AccessibleTom Roberts Nature Trail  0.55 mile   This paved “….loop ambles through a mixed coniferous-deciduous forest of balsam, red pine, white pine, sugar maple, white birch and large-toothed and trembling aspen. The overlooks offer beautiful views of Muskellunge Lake. It’s an ideal spot to look for spring flowers and birds. Also keep an eye out for deer, ruffed grouse, coyote tracks and fisher tracks.”
    ? North Trout Nature Trail 1 mile.   “…one of our easiest nature trails to hike. This trail is a 1-mile loop trail that meanders around a mature black spruce-tamarack bog. The trail also winds its way along the Trout Lake shoreline, offering a beautiful view of the lake. This is a wonderful trail to hike in spring because of the abundance of wildflowers. Watch for the moccasin flower, trailing arbutus, Canadian mayflower, start flower, blueberry and barren strawberry.”   Call ahead to be sure it is easy enough for you.

  • Peninsula State Park  Phone  920-868-3258   Map   Trail Descriptions
    Wheelchair AccessibleSunset Bike Route  9.6 miles.  “The trail traverses Weborg Marsh, cedar and maple trees and cliff communities.”
    Wheelchair AccessibleSentinel Trail 2.0 miles loop  “Trail signs interpret forest ecology. A .6-mile portion of the trail is graveled to facilitate mobility.”

  • Red Cedar State Trail   Phone  715-232-1242   Map
    Wheelchair Accessible 14.5 miles   “shadows the steep walls of the Red Cedar Valley from Menomonie to its connection with the Chippewa River State Trail. ….. The trail passes by prairies, marshland bottoms, forests and farmlands, including sandstone bluffs and other unique rock formations.”  Calvin Kunkle writes that “The Red Cedar Trail is wheelchair accessible and there are ramps or on grade approaches from all the trail parking areas. There may be times when the trail is soft and wet that would make it difficult to use a wheelchair though. Many of our state trails are paved or covered in limestone screenings that make a hardened surface for wheel chair use.”

  • Rib Mountain State Park    Phone  715-842-2522   Map  Trail Descriptions  
    Wheelchair Accessible“There are more than 13 miles of hiking trails at Rib Mountain, with over eight miles accessible to people with disabilities.”    That is all the information given, so call ahead to learn more.

  • Roche-A-Cri State Park  Phone  608-339-6881 (summer)  608-565-2789 (off-season)   Map   Trail Descriptions
    Wheelchair AccessibleChickadee Rock trail 0.3 mile “…follows a game path through oaks and jack pines. There are six interpretive signs along the trail. Blueberry and huckleberry bushes and various ferns grow along the trail.”

  • Schmeeckle Reserve   Phone   715-346-4992    Trail Map   Trail Descriptions
    “Nearly 5 miles of trails meander through Schmeeckle Reserve. Most trails are surfaced with soft woodchips, creating a quiet and peaceful walk. Extensive boardwalks have been constructed over wetland areas. Rustic benches are scattered throughout the trail system.”  Some of these trails sound like easy walking, but check with the Visitor Center first.
    Wheelchair AccessibleTrail of Reflections 0.5 mile loop starts and ends at the Visitor Center

  • Wildcat Mountain State Park  Phone  608-337-4775    Map   Trail Descriptions
    Prairie Trail  925 feet “…winds…through a patch of re-established prairie. While in the prairie, surrounded by big bluestem grass and wildflowers, visitors can view the breathtaking Kickapoo Valley.”

  • Willow River State Park   Phone  715-386-5931  Map   Trail Descriptions
    Hidden Ponds Nature Trail 0.5 mile  “…goes through oak forest and wetlands. Located behind the Nature Center, this is an excellent trail to observe white-tail deer and birds. Trail guides are available at the beginning of the trail…”

  • Wisconsin State Trails  There are 41 state trails, most of which are rail/trails.  See the post below under Miscellaneous for the link to descriptions of these trails.

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Local

  • Calumet County   Disability Guide

  • City of Kaukauna
    1000 Islands Environmental Center   Phone  920-766-4733   Trails   Map
    Wheelchair AccessibleBlack Top Loop Trail  0.75 mile

  • Outagamie County    Parks Phone 920-832-4791 
    Mosquito Hill Nature Center  Phone   920-779-6433     Brochure   Trail System
    Wheelchair AccessibleAll People’s Trail  0.6 mile one-way  “…winds along forest edge, past Frog Pond, through a 12-acre prairie planting and ends at Oxbow Pond. ”
    Wheelchair Accessible   Landscaping for Wildlife Trail  0.14 mile “…leads around the main parking lot through the nature center’s Landscaping for Wildlife Demonstration Area.”

    Wheelchair AccessibleStone Bridge Trail   Map   from AllTrails.com  a 3.9 mile loop.          “…paved trail winds through a wooded area and connects to a network of trails in the Town of Grand Chute.”  I am finding contradictory information about this trail.  Better call Outagamie Parks for help: 920-832-4791.

  • Sheboygan County
    Maywood     Phone  920-459-3906  Trail Map
    Wheelchair AccessibleAccessible Trail 0.5  “There is a 1/2 mile, limestone chipped loop through the maple forest that is wheel chair accessible.”

  • Waukesha County
    Retzer Nature Center   Phone   262-896-8700   Trails   Map
    Wheelchair Accessible   800 feet  “The award winning Adventure Trail provides the opportunity to use one’s sense of sight, sound, smell, and touch in discovering the wonders of nature. Native Wisconsin plants, birds, and animals are highlighted …… Raised bumps on the handrail encircling the trail mark the location of 30 interpreting Braille and raised letter signs. Printed guides and audio cassettes available at the nature center desk also explain the 30 special features.”

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Private

  • Brillion Nature Center  Phone 920-756-3591    Trail Map
    An electric golf cart is available to transport participants with low mobility when using the trails(please call ahead to reserve the cart). The facility is popular with group home residents with a variety of cognitive impairments. The facility also caters to the elderly and has programming specific to senior citizens from an assisted living environment.”
    Wheelchair AccessibleCottonwood Trail  0.6 miles
    Wheelchair AccessibleMarsh Platform Trail Length not given, but it looks on map as if a little over 1/2 mile.
    There is a trail that meanders through a wooded area and field (for those with visual impairments, it is recommended they be assisted to avoid potential tripping).”

  • Wheelchair AccessibleThe 425 acre Carpenter St. Croix Valley Nature Center has accessible trails, but I don’t find any details.  In Explore Minnesota it is described as “accessible to the disabled.”  The nature center has two campuses:  Minnesota Campus Trail Map   Wisconsin Campus Trail Map

  • North Lakeland Discovery Center  Phone  877-543-2085      Trail Map
    The Center has a number of short trails, including the 0.5+ Interpretive trail and the 0.4 Bog Boardwalk.  Emily Anna, Naturalist/Program Volunteer Coordinator, writes that, “Our trails are relatively flat, however I would not say that they are totally wheelchair accessible.  They are hard-packed dirt.  The Interpretive trail is the most flat, but it is quite narrow in some spaces, so it would be challenging for a wheelchair to make it through.  For someone walking, the Interpretive Trail is gentle and flat with very minimal tree roots and rocks.  I don’t think there would be any issues for an elderly person without a wheelchair.”

  • Riveredge Nature Center   Brochure & Map     Phone   262-375-2715
    “From spring ephemerals to beautiful fall colors, photography opportunities abound. Deer, squirrels, and woodpeckers are often spotted throughout this loop…”

  • Schlitz Audubon Nature Center    Phone  414-352-2880    Trail Map
    Wheelchair AccessibleGreen Tree Accessible Loop  0.26 mile
    There are six other short trails at the center, but difficulty is not given.  Give them a call to learn more about these trails.

  • Woodland Dunes Nature Center & Preserve   Trail Descriptions   Phone  920-793-4007
    Wheelchair AccessibleYellow Birch Trail 0.3 mile  “…boardwalk takes visitors through woods and wetland where many unusual birds, amphibians and plants can be seen.”

    Cattail Trail  0.3 mile  “…The whole family will enjoy this boardwalk that meanders through a shrub swamp, a sedge meadow and a cattail marsh where birds and wetland animals live or visit.”  You might want to call ahead to be sure this is easy enough for your abilities.

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Miscellaneous

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