Looking for a spot to hike in the spring? Break out your hiking boots and check out this guide to the top spots for a spring hike in the Stevens Point Area. From birdwatching to scenic trails with incredible views, grab the family or head out on your own and explore these breathtaking trails.Header Photo by Bob Mosier
BUENA VISTA GRASSLANDS
The Buena Vista Grasslands, located in southwestern Portage County, is an 11,300-acre natural area. Offering one of the most extensive grasslands east of the Mississippi River, it is home to the Greater Prairie Chicken. April is an ideal time to get out and explore the natural area, as it is part of the extensive Great Wisconsin Birding & Nature Trail.
- Where to find it: From Stevens Point, go south on I-39, to County W approximately 7.7 miles to the west, to the Historical Kiosk near the intersection of County W and County F.
- Mileage: Here you'll find plenty of room to roam, with no designated trails. It is helpful to bring GPS when exploring large state natural areas.
Want more? Get a one-of-a-kind experience and schedule a chance to watch the booming Prairie Chickens from a blind in their natural habitat.
ERICKSON NATURAL AREA
Tucked along the shores of the McDill Pond, you'll find this hidden gem. The Godfrey and Maybelle Erickson Natural Area is known for extraordinary birding opportunities and has a half-mile woodchip trail that winds along the shore of the McDill Pond.
- Where to find it: On the north side of the McDill Pond, in the city of Stevens Point. Parking is available on the north side of Kozcizkowski Park, off of Minnesota Avenue or Della Street.
- Mileage: Here you'll find a half-mile trail.
Did you know? This is a spring birding hotspot, especially for migratory birds. There have been more than 170 species of birds viewed here, with 33 confirmed nesting.
GREEN CIRCLE TRAIL
The popular 27-mile Green Circle Trail in the Stevens Point Area is well-used throughout the year. In the spring, venture out on the River Pines segment. With views of the Wisconsin River, you'll be surrounded by scenic waters and budding wildflowers throughout the trail.
Where to find it: The River Pines segment extends from the Village of Whiting to the Highway 66 bridge in downtown Stevens Point. Parking is available in a lot on the south side of Sherman Ave. (south), or in public parking lots in downtown Stevens Point.
Mileage: The River Pines segment is 3.7 miles, while there are additional trail segments to explore for additional distance.
MEAD WILDLIFE AREA
Spanning more than three counties in central Wisconsin you'll find the George W. Mead Wildlife Area. As Wisconsin's largest wildlife area, it is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and offers over 33,000 acres of wetlands, forests, and grasslands. In the spring, the changing landscape is perfect for exploring.
- Where to find it: There are many different parking areas depending on where you're exploring, pick the best fit, with the map, noting parking areas.
- Mileage: Up to 80 miles of trails and expansive acreage is available.
The sounds of spring are always loud and clear on the 280-acre Schmeeckle Reserve natural area on the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point campus. Free and open to the public, you'll want to spend some time exploring the five miles of trails. While you are there, climb the treehouse, sit in the giant carved chairs near the visitor center, and hike the Frog Chorus Trail or the 1-mile loop around Lake Joanis.
- Where to find it: On the northside of Stevens Point, as part of the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point campus. Parking is available at the visitors center (off of North Point Drive) and along Maria Drive (on the southern edge, near Lake Joanis).
- Mileage: 5 miles of trails, with connections to the Green Circle Trail to the east and west.
Did you know? The Frog Chorus Trail is named for the symphony of sounds you'll hear in the spring, including spring peepers, wood frogs, and toads.
STEVENS POINT SCULPTURE PARK
Spring is a great time to explore this outdoor sculpture park in central Wisconsin, featuring art along a half-mile recreational trail. Never been to the 20-acre Stevens Point Sculpture Park? Here you'll find more than 30 works of art along a half-mile trail recreational trail. Visit the Elk Centaur, wander past the massive Sand County Bench, and spin the Landscape with Perspective, from regional, national, and international artists.
- Where to find it: The Stevens Point Sculpture Park is on the northside of Stevens Point. Parking is available along Second Street or in the Zenoff Park parking lot.
- Mileage: The trail within the park is roughly a half-mile trail, but connected with the Brickyard Trail it makes for a great 1-mile loop.
Here's a handy tool to help you find all of the best spots to hike in the spring in the Stevens Point Area.
Looking for other spring inspiration in the Stevens Point Area? Check out the sounds (and flavors) of spring or start thinking spring by watching the Wisconsin River Communities segment from Discover Wisconsin. Heading out? Be sure to share your next adventure by including @stevenspointarea on Instagram or use #stevenspointarea!