Wisconsin-Explorer.blogspot.com is a journal of travel in Wisconsin and the Upper Midwest. It is the personal weblog of Kenneth Casper who shares first-person stories, curated information, research, photography, and media describing Wisconsin's incredible places.

Wisconsin is a state in the heartland of the USA bounded by two Great Lakes and the Mississippi River. Described as the Big Woods by some, and as a land of rolling hills and hidden valleys by others, its geographical diversity offers rich experiences for active travelers with unquenchable curiosity ... for those who would be Wisconsin Explorers.

The regions of Wisconsin have vague boundaries but definite characteristics. These regions are home to wide-ranging cultural influences, but one thing is shared by Wisconsinites, our personalities are shaped by the land we inhabit and the wealth of natural resources we are surrounded by.

Places define us. Our stories are told, remembered, and told again through the places we make and the natural places we protect. As you read the articles presented on Wisconsin-Explorer you will find more than just factual descriptions of geography, you will learn about purpose and context, the personal connections of place to people and people to place.


Wisconsin-Explorer endeavors to expertly inform about local destinations, sites, tourism, and leisure opportunities found in Wisconsin, in a way that only a lifelong Wisconsinite can. Some of the places described on this site are well-known attractions, but many are off-the-beaten-path, hyper-local locations known about only through word of mouth. Physical descriptions of these places are verified and backed up by series of photographs, video documentation, and GPS recorded maps. And, where links are available to other authoritative websites they are included.

Wisconsin-Explorer is more than a user review site. It presents first-person accounts alongside researched material and curated media, and is presented in what aspires to be an artful manner.

  • Promote (to the public) information about shared public places and resources.
  • Provide carefully considered first-person accounts of places and leisure opportunities.
  • Provide cultural and historical context to descriptions when applicable.
  • Provide detailed maps and location information to make it easy for readers to find and visit the places profiled on this site.
  • Provide readers with links to other authoritative sources as a way for them to verify information presented on this site.
  • Provide humor, levity, and artfully written descriptions of places that are entertaining to read.


I've grown up and thrived thanks to the many resources offered in Wisconsin. I grew up a few blocks from the Ozaukee Interurban Bike Trail, a trail I used as a highway for expanding my world, riding it further and further to hidden fishing streams, abandoned quarries, and unmarked forest paths. My neighborhood friends joined me in exploring forests and field. We dared each other to scale stone ledges, and to leap from cliffs and rope swings into deep quarry ponds. We built networks of shelters connected between the branches of walnut trees far above the forest floor.

I credit much of my knowledge and love for the outdoors to the many experiences I gained with the Boy Scouts of America. Monthly outings took me through the tunnels of the Elroy Sparta trail, canoe camping down the Wisconsin River, backpacking in the Northern Kettle Moraine.

Public education has a long reputation of excellence in Wisconsin, and I made use of this resource by attending the Univeristy of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Madison College, and UW-Madison. An assignment for a digital literacy class I took at UW Madison introduced me to Blogger and blogging.

Shortly after graduating, I left the state for two years of work in Connecticut. The idea of sharing my experiences as I explored new territory had been seeded by that UW class. It was in Connecticut where I first began to fall in love with the sport of hiking and began to blog about explorations of my new home state. Connecticut is crisscrossed by a vast network of interconnected hiking trails (The Blue Blazed Trail Network) that climb the traprock ridges of New England. I established a website called Connecticut Explorer

On returning to Wisconsin, I established Wisconsin-Explorer to continue posting a digital logbook of my travels and hikes around the state.

Thank you for taking the time to read and browse the photos I have taken along this journey. I hope you will be inspired to find new places to explore in my home, the great State of Wisconsin.