Wisconsin’s many fine recreational facilities and beautiful scenery are enjoyed by thousands of vacationers and outdoor enthusiasts each year. Numerous state forests and parks exist throughout the state, with lakes for water sports and campgrounds, picnic sites, and nature trails. In addition, there are streams, rivers and the Great Lakes for fishing, as well as numerous state canoe trails. Wisconsin’s abundant wildlife provides hunting enthusiasts with a wide variety of game. Numerous places of historical interest throughout the state are noted by official state markers.
The National Park Service administers two areas in Wisconsin. Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is a recreational area comprising islands and the nearby Bayfield Peninsula on Lake Superior. Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway encompasses 406 km (252 mi) of the Saint Croix and Namekagon rivers.
The two national forests in Wisconsin, both in the northern part of the state, include a number of recreation areas with facilities for riding, hiking, camping, fishing, hunting, and nature study. Chequamegon National Forest is the larger of the two. Nicolet National Forest is named for 17th-century French explorer Jean Nicolet.
Most of Wisconsin’s state forests have facilities for camping, water sports, picnicking, and hunting. The largest, Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest, covers about 89,000 hectares (about 222,000 acres) of natural area in northern Wisconsin. It includes a tract crossed by the Wisconsin River and popular for summer vacationing. Kettle Moraine State Forest, consisting of two separate units, is characterized by glacial features known as kettles, which are depressions caused by the melting of buried blocks of ice in the till deposited by glaciers.
Peninsula State Park, one of the largest of Wisconsin’s state parks and recreation areas, encompasses a forested headland in Green Bay. In the center of Door Peninsula, along Sturgeon Bay, lies Potawatomi State Park. The park’s wooded shoreline rises gradually to high bluffs from which there are beautiful views of the area. There are also magnificent views from Rib Mountain State Park, one of the highest points in the state.
Pattison State Park features Big Manitou Falls, where the Black River makes a steep plunge. Interstate Park lies on the Saint Croix River on the western border of the state. The oldest of Wisconsin’s state parks, it is noted for its river gorge and rocky bluffs. The Baraboo Range of south central Wisconsin is the site of Devils
Kohler-Andrae State Park, south of Sheboygan, includes a wide sandy beach on Lake Michigan with beautiful sand dunes and white pine woods. Point Beach State Forest also lies on Lake Michigan.
There are several state monuments of historic interest in Wisconsin. First Capitol State Park, near Belmont, contains the restored building in which the legislature of the territory of Wisconsin met in 1836. Another point of interest is the schoolhouse in Ripon where the meeting was held in 1854 that launched the Republican Party. Villa Louis, near Prairie du Chien, is a mansion built in 1843 and maintained by the State Historical Society. Aztalan State Park, east of Madison, preserves a prehistoric Native American village that has been partially reconstructed, together with a number of burial mounds. "Wisconsin" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia.
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