Best Places to Get Outside this Winter in Southeastern Wisconsin

Guide on Best Places for Hiking, Cross-Country Skiing, Snowshoeing & Sledding/Tubing  

Enjoying Wisconsin in the winter months can be challenging, with all the gear, snow, cold temperatures, and sometimes ice. If you’re looking to get outside and enjoy the natural beauty this winter season, whether you’re looking for a simple hike or an exhilarating sledding hill, we’ve got you covered.


Photo by Enrico Perini from Pexels


Lapham Peak

Location: W329 N846, County Rd C, Delafield, WI 53018


With multiple hiking trails of varying difficulties and lengths, this park offers an excellent option for everyone to get out and enjoy the outdoors. Although it’s undoubtedly picturesque in the summer months, there’s a certain beauty to the trails covered in a blanket of white.

This site does have a fee to enter and remains open from 7:00 AM to 9:00 PM.


Ice Age Trail

Location: Over the State of Wisconsin


One of Wisconsin’s natural treasures, the Ice Age Trail system, is something that can be enjoyed all year long. They even have a winter tracker that allows you to see trail closures and snow depth before you go. The Ice Age Trail offers an excellent opportunity to see the great state of Wisconsin; just be sure you’re always adequately prepared to hike whatever track you choose-especially in winter.


Retzer Nature Center

Location: S14 W28167 Madison St Waukesha, WI 53188


Retzer Nature Center is a fantastic venue for all your outdoor adventures, offering environmental education, special events, and even a planetarium. They also have multiple hiking and snowshoe trails available for visitors, with snowshoe rentals available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

The grounds are open from sunrise to 10:00 PM all year-round, and there is no entrance fee.


Photo by Sigmund on Unsplash

Cross-Country Skiing/Snow Shoeing

Lapham Peak (Ski/Snowshoe)

Location: W329 N846, County Rd C, Delafield, WI 53018


Besides excellent hiking opportunities, Lapham Peak offers visitors a top-notch cross-country skiing experience with their groomed trails for varying abilities. It is the most visited cross-country ski trail in southern Wisconsin, and for a good reason. All tracks are groomed several times a week for both classic and skate, and they create manufactured snow for trails as well. So whether you’re a novice beginner or a Birkie fanatic, there’s a trail for you.

If you’d like to try but don’t have gear, the Nordic Specialists on-site shop provides equipment rentals on Tuesdays and Fridays from 4:00 – 9:00 PM and Saturdays/Sundays from 4:00 – 10:00 PM.

There are also paved parking lots, restrooms, and drinking water; alongside a heated warming structure at The Evergreen parking lot.

Nashotah Park (Ski/Snowshoe)

Location: W330 N5113, County Rd C, Nashotah, WI 53058


With 10 kilometers of cross-country ski trails, both classic and skate, this park offers easy flat and small hill terrain. It also provides beautiful scenery of lakes, forests, fields, cedar glades, and marsh. There are three trails, from novice to advanced, offering an opportunity for everyone to enjoy the park and is a local favorite.

The park is open from 5:00 AM to 10:00 PM and does have an entrance fee.


Emma Carlin-Kettle Moraine (Snowshoe)

Location: County Highway Z, south of Highway 59, Palmyra


This is a great option for snowshoers, with loops of 2 to 6 miles with varied terrain. As it’s typically used for mountain biking in the warmer months, winter offers the perfect opportunity to enjoy its splendor without sharing the trail with too many bikers; still, be sure to watch out for the fat-tired snow bikes while using the trail.

The trail is open from 6:00 AM to 11:00 PM and does have an entrance fee.



Scuppernong-Kettle Moraine (Snowshoe)

Location: S58-W35820 County Road ZZ, Dousman

For more snowshoeing adventures, check out the Scuppernong. Although previously groomed for cross-country, the trail has since been opened up to hikers, snowshoers, pets, and skiers who want to make their own path. It offers snowshoers a serene forest walk without worrying about the bikes.

The trail is open from 6:00 AM to 11:00 PM and does have an entrance fee.


Nordic Trail-Kettle Moraine (Ski/Some Snowshoe)

Location: East of Whitewater.


This trail features more than 29 kilometers of various groomed trails with an array of terrain and fantastic scenic views. Unlike Lapham Peak, this trail is generally flat or slightly rolling and is a good spot for novices or intermediates in skate and classic disciplines. The trailhead has a heated warming shelter, pit toilets, drinking water, and a paved parking lot.

The trail is open from 6:00 AM to 11:00 PM and does have an entrance fee.


McMiller-Kettle Moraine (Ski)

Location: S103W38754 County Road Nn Eagle, WI 53119


This is an excellent multi-loop trail with varying terrain from flats to a few steep hills and scenic views of prairie and forest. The trails are groomed for classic and skate and would primarily be categorized as intermediate trails. It offers a paved parking area, heated warming area, drinking water, and pit toilets. It also provides a biathlon range that is open for use during daylight hours, seven days a week.

The trail is open from 6:00 AM to 11:00 PM and does have an entrance fee.

Photo by Andres Siimon on Unsplash


Hill in Summit

Location: Genesee Lake Road Park- 37505 Genesee Lake Rd. Summit, WI 53066

This is a very large, long hill, and you’ll have to walk to get to the top; however, there are no trees on the hill—making it a safer ride down. It is also set back a bit from the parking lot, so you’ll certainly get your workout in by the time your fun on the hill is over.

Cost: Free


Fowler Park

Location: 438 N Oakwood Ave, Oconomowoc, WI 53066

If you’re looking for a small hill that’s safer for younger children, then Fowler Park is a good option. It also offers you the opportunity to enjoy downtown Oconomowoc and all its amenities.

Cost: Free


Nashotah Park

Location: W330 N5113 County Hwy C Nashotah, WI 53058

Whether you’re looking to hike, snowshoe or sled, Nashotah Park is an excellent spot to enjoy this winter. The hill is not too large, more of a gentle slope-making it an perfect choice for sledders of all ages. There is parking at picnic area #2.

Cost: Park fees apply


Nature Hill

Location: 850 Lake Drive, Oconomowoc, WI 53066

If you’re searching for a sledding hill that offers a bit more difficulty, then Nature Hill could be the hill for you. This hill does have some nearby trees and can be more challenging to control your descent on. Additionally, the parking lot for the hill is relatively small and it is a bit of a trek to get sledding, but many have enjoyed it past winter seasons.

Cost: Free



Location: 8355 Prospect Dr, Kewaskum, WI 53040


If you’re able, you’ve got to check out the World’s Largest Tubing Hill this winter. Sunburst offers over 40 chutes, a 90-foot drop, and the potential to reach speeds of up to 30 mph on their tubes. Rules state that all riders are at least 42’ tall and ride solo. It is a location that requires waivers to be signed prior to tubing.

Cost: See website as ticket cost varies, as do hours of operation


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