The Best Day Hike You Can Take With Your Dog In Wisconsin

East Bluff/East Bluff Woods Trails
Devil’s Lake State Park • Baraboo

Devil’s Lake State Park is one of the highlights of the Wisconsin cross-stateIce Age Trail but only a portion of this stunning landscape is attributed to the crunching of glaciers. The quartzite bluffs ringing the lake are remnants of the Baraboo Hills that are much older - 1.6 billion years old, when the moun-tains were taller than the Rockies.

This is one of Wisconsin’s most popular parks but one way to shed the crowds is to tackle the East Bluff Trail with Seaman. The paw-friendly route uses natural dirt and rock steps to ascend 500-foot bluffs leading to calendar-worthy observation points of Devil’s Lake. Short loop trails take in rock formations such as Devil’s Doorway and Balanced Rock that you will be certain were sculpted by man, not nature.

The Baraboo Hills are home to one of the largest contiguous deciduous forests in the Midwest and on top o fEast Bluff is one of the most magical. Here the shagbark hickories and white ash trees struggle with nutrient-deficient soils on the super hard quartzite and have only reached 20 feet tall after 125 years of growth. You could wrap Seaman’s collar around the trunks of some of the stunted trees in the pygmy forest.

The East Bluff Woods Trail dials down the excitement and returns your dog away from the cliffs through an airy forest highlighted by a tumbling stream to complete a 3.5-mile loop. Or retrace pawprints along the bluff for even more views in the opposite direction.

HIKING TIME: 2-3 hours

(from the book 300 Day Hikes To Take With Your Dog Before He Tires You Out: Trails where you won’t be able to wipe the wag off your dog’s tail)


National Parks with Hiking

Apostle Islands National Lakeshore
Dogs are allowed on the trails in this park

St. Croix National Scenic Riverway
Dogs are allowed on the trails in this park

Links to National Forests With Hiking

Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest

State Parks With Hiking


Wisconsin State Parks

Several Wisconsin state parks are especially welcoming to dogs:

  • Bong State Recreation Area maintains a dog training area for dogs to be off leash.

  • Chippewa Moraine State recreation Area allows dogs off leash except in the picnic area.

  • Governor Dodge State Park has a pet swim area next to each swimming beach and designated pet picnic areas.

  • Governor Nelson State Park has a pet beach.

  • High Cliff State Park features two pet picnic areas.

  • Kettle Moraine State Forest Northern Unit has designated pet picnic areas and dog training areas.

  • Kohler-Andrae State Park has a dog beach.

  • Lake Kegonsa State Park has a dog beach.

  • Whitefish Dunes State Park allows dogs on the beach.

Dogs are not permitted in Heritage Hill State Park, Copper Culture State Park and portions of Kettle Moraine State Forest and Havenwoods StateForest. Otherwise dogs can not go in picnic areas, on beaches, in buildings, on playgrounds, on marked nature trails or on groomed cross-country skiing trails.

 Amnicon Falls State Park
 Aztalan State Park
 Big Bay State Park
 Black River State Forest
 Blue Mound State Park
 Bong State Recreation Area 
 Browntown-Cadiz Springs State Recreation Area
Brule River State Forest
Buckhorn State Park
 Chippewa Moraine State Recreation Area
 Copper Falls State Park
 Devil's Lake State Park 
 Flambeau River State Forest
 Governor Dodge State Park
 Governor Knowles State Forest
 Governor Nelson State Park
Harrington Beach State Park
 Hartman Creek State Park 
 High Cliff State Park
 Hoffman Hills State Recreation Area
Interstate State Park 
 Kettle Moraine State Forest 
 Kinnickinnic State Park
 Kohler-Andrae State Park 
Lake Kegonsa State Park
 Lake Wissota State Park 
Merrick State Park 
 Mill Bluff State Park
 Mirror Lake State Park
 Natural Bridge State Park
New Glarus Woods State Park
 Newport State Park 
 Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest
 Pattison State Park
 Peninsula State Park 
Perrot State Park
 Pike Lake State Park
Point Beach State Forest
 Potawatomi State Park 
 Rib Mountain State Park
 Roche-A-Cri State Park 
 Rock Island State Park 
Rocky Arbor State Park
 Whitefish Dunes State Park 
 Wildcat Mountain State Park
 Willow River State Park 
 Wyalusing State Park
 Yellowstone Lake State Park


Hiking With Your Dog In Wisconsin