Looking for outdoor activities near Lake Winnebago in the Fond du Lac and Waupun area? I've got you covered. There is SO much to explore in the area. While on my trip, I visited four different parks and/or natural areas. Each was beautiful in it's own way, but all were well-maintained, picturesque, and made for adventure.
Lakeside Park is located in Fond du Lac. Nestled along the shores of Lake Winnebago, the park offers stunning waterfront views and a tranquil atmosphere. Adventure-seekers can take advantage of the various outdoor activities available, including fishing, boating, and kayaking on the expansive lake. It is also a great place to wander and relax while walking the paved trail throughout the park. The trail links up to The Loop – a 16- mile bike and pedestrian pathway that winds through Fond du Lac.
The park is filled with charming rides for children such as a miniature train and splash pad. I was able to enjoy the beautiful lighthouse as well as visit with the deer in the petting zoo. Lakeside Park truly has so much to offer. Definitely something for everyone!
High Cliff State Park is a breathtaking natural wonder that offers a truly immersive outdoor experience. Situated on the east side of Lake Winnebago, the park showcases stunning limestone cliffs that rise dramatically above the water, creating a mesmerizing view. The park features the effigy mounds, constructed by Native Americans over a thousand years ago.
Kona and I explored two trails: Red Bird Trail and Lime Kiln Trail. The Red Bird was my favorite as it treks right along the cliff - such beautiful scenery! There are fairly defined paths within the park, but Kona and I love to explore so we were off the beaten path quite often.
The park is home to an abundance of deer, foxes, and various bird species, making it a haven for wildlife enthusiasts and birdwatchers. We saw several bird watchers in different areas of the park. The park also has space for camping as well as a beach. I feel like there was so much that I didn't see while we were there, and I would love to come back for camping sometime.
Hobbs Woods was a delightful surprise. I will be honest, as we were driving there, I felt like we were in the middle of nowhere. But the middle of nowhere always ends up being the best, right? Hobbs Woods is a Nature Area located in south Fond du Lac. The park is a total of 60 acres including approximately 3 miles of trails. We explored the main trail which was marked well and easy to navigate. There is a creek that runs through the middle the middle of the park making it very picturesque.
There is an abundance of trees providing so much shade which made the hot weather feel a lot cooler. We arrived in the late morning and had the area to ourselves for a bit. By the time we left, the parking lot was filled with families ready to begin their own adventures. Hobbs Woods is definitely worth the visit.
Horicon Marsh is located in Horicon, Wisconsin. It is at the south end of the Lake Winnebago Region, but absolutely worth the drive no matter where you are located. The marshland spans across over 33,000 acres making it one of the largest freshwater marshes in the United States. It runs through several communities in the area including Waupun, which is known for its fantastic shopping options and dining venues.
The marsh is home to over 300 different species of birds, a haven for any birdwatching enthusiasts. In addition to the birds, there are several other species of wildlife in the area including muskrats, beavers, deer, and more. We saw a few herons, baby geese, a tiny turtle, and even a beaver while exploring. This was honestly one of the most beautiful places I have been, and I regret not checking it out sooner.
There are a handful of trails to choose from, but Kona and I chose the 2.4-mile loop that surrounds the water, and it was perfect. The Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center provides a beautiful view of the marsh, activities for children to learn, as well as a gift shop. Inside of the Visitors Center is also the "Explorium," is a series of interactive displays showing the progression of Horicon Marsh and different milestones it has achieved. Because I had Kona, I decided not to go into the Explorium this time... but I will be back!