Traveling Ted is a blog that takes readers along on my adventures hiking, canoeing, skiing, and international backpacking. Many blogs focus on one aspect of backpacking, but I tackle both the outdoor adventure side and international exploration as well.

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Devil's Lake State Park Wisconsin

Looking down on one of the Devil’s Lake State Park beaches

Here are six places to escape the summer heat wave with a refreshing swim at a Wisconsin State Park. The sweltering heat, which has gripped the Midwest for the past three days is expected to intensify over the next couple of days.

Wednesday and Thursday will be the worst days, and the heat wave will linger through the weekend. The weather forecast for Madison, Wisconsin for tomorrow is a high of 98 degrees, which will break the previous record of 94 degrees set in 1977.

Only two methods are known to man to evade the heat wave. Air-conditioning and a cool dip in a Wisconsin State Park lake.

1. Devil’s Lake State Park

Located near Baraboo, Wisconsin, this lake has two beaches were summer revelers can take a dip and temporarily feel refreshed. Take a gorgeous hike on top of the plateau and see the balancing rock, a talus field, and the lake from high above. Then come back down and take a swim and whisk away the sweat. Reserveamerica reserved this campground as number 1 on their list of top family campgrounds last year.

Lake Kegonsa State Park

View from the pier at the beach – Lake Kegonsa State Park

2. Lake Kegonsa State Park

Located just south of Madison, Wisconsin near Stoughton, this lake has a nice beach and even a beach for pets.  This park is not the most beautiful of Wisconsin State Parks, but it does have a few trails, a small campsite, and of course the beach.

3. Big Foot Beach State Park

Located on the southern shore of Lake Geneva this state park is perfectly situated in between Milwaukee and Chicago, so it is a popular spot to spend time when the temperatures exceed 90. The park boasts about 6 miles of trails and a tent an RV campground for those who want to stay a couple of days.

Lake Geneva Wisconsin

View of Lake Geneva from Big Foot Beach State Park

4. Kettle Moraine State Forest

Both the northern and southern units have lakes where one can swim and have some hot fun in the summertime. Long Lake has a beach in the northern unit, which also has a campground and in the southern unit there is Ottawa Lake and Whitewater Lake.

5. Richard Bong Recreation Area

Some people have said that one of the grossest things in the world is bongwater. This is not true of Bong’s Wolfe Lake. A nice refreshing swim can be had at this scenic lake in between Milwaukee and Chicago near Burlington.

Richard Bong Recreation Area - Wisconsin

Vern Wolf lakes proves bongwater is not always disgusting

6. Mirror Lake State Park

The author has only visited this state park during the winter for cross-country skiing. I have also driven over it on the interstate and the water looks refreshing. With this outbreak of knee wobbling heat it makes me long for cross-country skiing and cooler temperatures.

Mirror Lake State Park

Mirror Lake State Park – Ahhh. . . . Only a few more months till cross-country skiing

For information on fees for Wisconsin State Parks check out this article.


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