Editor's note: The following sponsored content was provided by the Wisconsin Department of Tourism.
For the adventurous spirit, nothing beats a trip to one of Wisconsin’s roaring, rushing, rippling waterfalls. These five scenic sights offer the best of the great outdoors: excitement, beauty, wonder and fun, plus plenty of photo ops along the way.
Be sure to wear your hiking shoes and pack a picnic, as making your way to the state’s most spectacular waterfalls can be a full day’s adventure.
Amnicon Falls State Park, South Range
Amnicon Falls State Park features a series of waterfalls and rapids along the Amnicon River. You can view them from a picturesque covered foot bridge, trails along the river or – if you're sure-footed – from the rocky shore of the river. Embrace your inner geologist and look for dark basalt at the Upper falls, the result of lava that flowed through the region a billion years ago. In the Lower falls, you can spot sandstone from streams that flowed millions of years ago.
Copper Falls State Park, Mellen
Copper Falls State Park, on the celebrated North Country National Scenic Trail, is home to stunning waterfalls, cascades and deep gorges. The Copper Falls drop a total of 40 feet into the Bad River, and at the park’s scenic overlook, you won’t miss a view of the 80-foot-deep gorge. If you’re in the mood for more outdoor recreation, Copper Falls State Park also offers three terrific mountain bike trails. Bridges built in the 1920s by returning WWI veterans and log buildings constructed in the 1930s add to the charm of this unique park.
Iron County features a dozen gorgeous waterfalls, including five of the state’s 10 tallest falls. The county is known as a winter playground, but the area turns into a waterfall-lover’s paradise when the snow melts come spring. The Upper and Lower Potato River Falls in Hurley are particularly noteworthy. They drop a total of 90 feet into the Potato River, and waterfall fans consider them some of the most beautiful in the Midwest.
Marinette County, also known as Wisconsin’s Waterfall Capital, offers a self-guided Waterfalls Tour that takes visitors to 14 waterfalls offering short and long hikes in serene natural settings. Give yourself two or three days to take in all of the falls – or choose one of the mini-tours for a good sampling. Don’t miss the Long Slide Falls in Morgan Park, which cascade down 50 feet of stunning rock formations.
Pattison State Park, Superior
The granddaddy of them all, Wisconsin’s largest waterfall, can be found at Pattison State Park. Big Manitou Falls rumbles 165 feet into the Black River and the park offers several spectacular scenic overlooks. The park is also home to Little Manitou Falls, twin waterfalls that drop 30 feet. Don’t be surprised if you come across wildlife during your journey – nearly 200 species of birds, 54 species of mammals and many reptiles and amphibians dwell within the park, which also offers more than nine miles of hiking trails.
To learn more about Wisconsin’s awe-inspiring waterfalls and plan your next outdoor adventure, visit www.travelwisconsin.com.