21 Best Dog Friendly Hiking Trails in Wisconsin

Planning a road trip with your four-legged friend? Be sure to check out these hiking trails and destinations. Enjoying the outdoors is a beautiful way to spend time with your dog. I’ve gathered the 21 best dog-friendly hiking trails in Wisconsin for you and your dog to visit. 

Check out the Wisconsin DNR website for more (and updated) information.

Disclaimer: some of the trails have segments or areas where dogs AREN’T allowed. Also, most of these listed options also require dogs to be leashed. Always do your research ahead of time. 

 

Hiking in Southeast Wisconsin

1. Nordic Skiing and Hiking Trails, Walworth County

The Nordic Trail is a system of novice and intermediate trails looped together. It’s great for skiers in the winter, and great for dog-friendly hiking in the warmer months. Each trail differs in length and difficulty. 

2. Ice Age Trail: Blackhawk Segment

This 8 mile stretch is in the southern segment of the Kettle Moraine State Forest and passes by Lake La Grange. This trail is fairly easy and dogs are welcome.

Swimming Husky on Ice Age Trail Shadow Dog Photography

This pup enjoyed a swim in Lake La Grange.

3. Stigler Nature Preserve, New Berlin

The Stigler Nature Preserve is a popular choice for dog owners. There’s a small trail (roughly 1 mile) that loops through the forest. Perfect for dogs! 

4. Ice Age Trail: HWY 67 Trailhead, Waukesha County

The Eagle Segment of the Ice Age Trail is a point-to-point 8.5-mile trail. It’s recommended for all skill levels and dogs are welcome.

5. Scuppernong Trail System, Waukesha County

There are three loops ranging from 2 to 5 miles and with difficulty ranging from intermediate to advanced. You’ll hike through a range of pine plantations and hardwood forest. These trails are popular for dog-friendly hiking. NOTE: be sure to look up “Scuppernong Trail System” or “Scuppernong Trailhead” since there’s also a nature trail that doesn’t allow dogs.

Scuppernong Trail Dousman Wisconsin Shadow Dog Photography

Hiking in Southcentral Wisconsin

6. Ice Age Trail: Robertson Trail Head, Dane County

Hike the trails and walk the prairies on the Eastern Lodi Marsh Segment. It’s moderately difficult, so bring your hiking shoes and plenty of water for you and your dog!

7. Governor Nelson State Park, Dane County

Dogs are welcome in the Governor Nelson State Park during the summer months. It’s a 422-acre park offering lots of different settings, like beaches, play equipment, and picnic areas. 

8. Ice Age Trail: Table Bluff Segment, Dane County

The Table Bluff Segment is an out-and-back trail, roughly 4.5 miles long. Traverse the rolling hills, valleys, and forests with your dog.

Hiking Huskies Shadow Dog Photography

Hiking in Southwest Wisconsin

9. Governor Dodge State Park, Iowa County

With 5,270 acres of nature to explore, Governor Dodge State Park is a great place to visit. The park has two lakes and even a waterfall! Dogs aren’t allowed on the beach, but there is a pet swimming area as well as a pet picnic area.

10. East Bluff Trail, Baraboo

The East Bluff Trail is a 2.6-mile trail in Devil’s Lake State Park. It’s rated to be moderately difficult. It’s one of the more popular trails, and it’s dog-friendly!

 

Hiking in West Central Wisconsin

11. Elroy-Sparta State Trail, Monroe County

This trail is 32.5 miles long that stretches between Elroy and Sparta. It was the first rail-to-trail conversion in the country. It’s a popular destination, and it offers a lot of beautiful sights. Dogs are welcome on leashes that are 8 feet or shorter. 

12. Willow River State Park, St. Croix County 

Willow River State Park is a gorgeous location, stretched out over 2,891 acres. Dogs are welcome on leash. Check out Willow Falls and the Willow River Gorge!

Hiking Dogs in Wisconsin Shadow Dog Photography

Hiking in Central Wisconsin

13. Mascoutin Valley State Park Trail, Rosendale

What used to be a railroad corridor is now the Mascoutin Vallet State Park Trail. Its two sections combined offer 21 miles of walking. If you’re up for a day of exercise for yourself and your dog, check it out!

14. Rib Mountain State Park, Marathon County

Near the city of Wausau sits the Rib Mountain State Park, a lovely 1,528-acre park with 15.1 miles of trails. It boasts a ski resort, amphitheater, picnic areas, and more. The trails are rated as moderate. 

 

Hiking in East Central Wisconsin

15. Kettle Moraine State Forest: Northern Unit, Fond du Lac County

The Northern Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest has over 125 miles of trails. It covers about 30,000 acres, which is plenty to have fun with your dog!

16. Greenbush Trails, Sheboygan County

Greenbush Trails is a great place for hiking as well as mountain biking. 5 hiking trails are woven into 4 challenging mountain biking loops, creating one epic outdoor experience. Remember to keep off these trails when snow is present, as they become designated ski trails!

Hiking Dachshund in Wisconsin Shadow Dog Photography

Hiking in Northwest Wisconsin

17. Pattison State Park, Douglas County

Ready to visit the highest waterfall in Wisconsin? Go see Pattison State Park! There are 1,436 acres of land in the park, ready to be explored. Pets are allowed on leash, and there are pet picnic areas there as well. 

 

Hiking in Northcentral Wisconsin

18. Ice Age Trail: Lake Eleven Segment, Taylor County

Ice Age Trail Lake Eleven Segment is a 15.5-mile point-to-point hike. It’s a pretty intense hike, and it’s common to see backpackers there. Dogs are able to use the trail, but be careful if you plan to be there for a while. 

19. Copper Falls State Park, Ashland County

If you’re looking for spectacular views and some fun hikes, check this one out! Copper Falls has an intriguing history and a gorgeous landscape. Visit the waterfalls and have a fun day at the park!

 

Hiking in Northeast Wisconsin

20. Rock Island State Park, Door County

Right off the tip of the Door Peninsula, Rock Island State Park is a great place to go with your dog. It’s accessible by ferry and you can explore the island’s wonders, like the old stone buildings. 

21. Cave Point County Park, Door County

Go visit Cave Point County Park and have the time of your life! The scenery is one of a kind. There are underwater caves, cliffs, and hiking trails you can walk with your dog. 

Hiking Dog Shadow Dog Photography

So there you have it, 21 dog-friendly hiking trails in Wisconsin. I hope you found some places you’d like to visit. I’ve been to a few of these myself, and they’re truly amazing. Now’s the time to make new memories with your dog. What better place to do that than on dog-friendly hiking trails in Wisconsin?

If’ you found this information helpful, check out my article on how to Hike Safely with Your Dog.

This post is part of a blog circle with other fabulous photographers around the globe. Up next is Angela Schneider and Bella of Big White Dog Photography in Spokane, WA, giving tips and tricks from their first camping trip of the year. Keep clicking at the bottom of each post until you end up right back here in the Shadow Dog pack. Enjoy!

 

Hi, I'm Jan

I help dog parents celebrate their best friends with adventurous portrait sessions and extraordinary artwork for their home. Tail wags and smiles guaranteed! Based in Whitewater, WI.

13 Comments

  1. Darlene

    Amazing list of hiking trails to share, Jan! Wow! So much to offer where you are. It’s one of the few states I haven’t traveled to, but it’s on my list.
    Those huskies – beautiful!!!

    Reply
    • Jan Bezzo

      If you’re ever out this way, let me know. A great hike is waiting!

      Reply
  2. Tracy Allard

    Great post, every local dog owner should bookmark and when they find themselves saying “there’s nothing to do this weekend”, they can pull this up and head out with their dog!

    Reply
    • Jan Bezzo

      Truly! There’s always somewhere beautiful to explore.

      Reply
    • Kelly Wilson

      Great information. Would love to see Seno K/RLT Conservancy added to the list.

      Reply
  3. Angela Schneider

    Wow! I never thought of Wisconsin as a hiking destination. I know better now.

    Reply
    • Jan Bezzo

      So many beautiful spots!

      Reply
  4. Holly

    Well, now I want to come to Wisconsin! What a great list!

    Reply
    • Jan Bezzo

      You should! We can go hiking together. 🙂

      Reply
  5. Nicole

    Wow, you have a lot of amazing trails!!! What a great list!

    Reply
    • Jan Bezzo

      For sure, and many I still have to explore.

      Reply
  6. Elaine

    Wow! Tons of trails! I love exploring trail systems. It sound like Wisconsin has a number of great hikes for adventure days!

    Reply
    • Jan Bezzo

      Yes! So many amazing trails to explore.

      Reply

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