Sauk County is a scenic and awe-inspiring playground brimming with outdoor activities — from breathtaking trails for hiking and biking to shimmering waters for skiing, tubing, and all the bass fishing your lures can handle.
Located just two and half hours from Chicago and a short drive from Sauk’s Wisconsin Dells and Lake Delton, the area spans nearly 900 square miles and harbors more than 60 lakes and a thousand campsites. So, where does one start? Well, glad you asked. Ahead we’ve gathered the best places to splash, bike, camp, and hike, along with some valuable tips to keep in mind.
Suit up because Sauk County has water activities for days. Playing host to aquatic pursuits for all kinds of adventurers, from pro wave jumpers and seasoned slalomers to rookie paddlers, the area offers a wealth of lakes, rivers, creeks, and streams.
Quick tip: Some lakes do not allow motorized watercraft, so keep that in mind when you plan your trip. Oh, and don’t forget the sunscreen.
For water-soaked thrills that include boating, waterskiing, tubing and Jet-Skiing, you’re going to want to launch your watercraft at one of the following lakes. And, yes, swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding, and canoeing are also permitted, and encouraged.
Sometimes the mood calls for a more serene undertaking on the water. We’re talking about a relaxing day fishing, a quiet morning of kayaking or peddle boating, or just plain lounging on a floaty. If a lake without all the noise is more your speed, hit up one of the following bodies of water.
Meandering through lush landscapes, these creeks and rivers are enchanting arteries that offer their own unique sources of waterside fun. Canoers will appreciate a tranquil journey down the Baraboo, and birdwatchers will enjoy the canopy at Otter Creek.
Cast away worries at one of the following fishing holes: some are large lakes, others are more enchanting ponds, but all are an angler’s paradise. Plentiful fish species include northern pike, blue gill, catfish, and large-mouth bass.
Quick tip: More information about the area’s lakes, rivers, and ponds can be found at dnr.wisconsin.gov.
Navigating the best biking excursions in Sauk County is as easy as 4-0-0. Sauk’s 400 State Trail boasts 22 miles of legendary biking routes. But if off-the-beaten-path trails are more your vibe, we have plenty of those as well. Below, our favorite treks to forge on two wheels.
Quick tip: Some trails are more challenging than others — read: bluffs — so know your trail before saddling up with the whole family.
With more than 1,000 sites in the area, there’s no shortage of camping options around Sauk County. The hardest part is deciding on which size marshmallows to bring: mini or jumbo? Also, most of the grounds are equipped with electric hookups, drinking water, and restrooms. Some of our favorite spots are as follows.
Quick tip: Each campground has its own rules and regulations, so do a little research before you pack up and head out. A prepared camper is a happy camper.
Conquer some of the best hiking trails in the country right here in Wisconsin. From state parks and river loops to hidden gems and nature preserves, every step is a new adventure painted with cascading waterfalls and panoramic vistas. It’s cardio with a view. And the view is epic.
Quick tip: Some of the area’s trails are paved in limestone making for an easier trek, but some feature rougher terrains. So check the park’s trail turf before lacing up your hiking boots.