About Women Hiking Wisconsin
There are few things I value more in life than a hike on one of Wisconsin’s scenic trails, but when my mom isn’t available to come with me, I’m often left without a companion to share my favorite outdoor experience with. Solo travel can still be fun, but making memories with friends and family on the trails is hard to beat. When I heard about Women Hiking Wisconsin, an online hiking community for Wisconsinites who identify as female, I was beyond excited.
The organization, which has accrued a strong following on both Facebook and Instagram, was founded by five women who wanted to create a united community of female explorers across Wisconsin. The second hike I attended with this group took place at Richard Bong State Recreation Area in Kenosha County and was the perfect way to spend a warm Saturday in January!
About Richard Bong State Recreation Area
You can only imagine how excited I was to wake up to sun and 40 degree weather on the day of my second group hike with Women Hiking Wisconsin at the Richard Bong State Recreation Area in Kansasville. Having giggled at the freeway marker for this site many times while driving south on I-94, I was pumped to actually see how this area would measure up in person.
I have had the pleasure of visiting Wisconsin’s southernmost counties a few times recently and it was great to spend some time exploring the western part of Kenosha County. The Richard Bong State Recreation Area is surprisingly diverse, and contains stretches of prairie as well as forested areas and a few ponds. There are nine major trails around the park at varying lengths, and we opted for the Blue Trail, which is a 4.2 mile loop. Wear blaze orange if visiting during hunting season, as pheasant hunting is allowed on the grounds.
About 25 women showed up for this event, coming from as far north as Cedarburg and as far south as Rockford, Illinois! It is always fun to hike with so many women, each of whom has a different story about how they got into hiking and how spending time outside has changed their life. I’ve had so many amazing conversations on the trails! Personally, I find that hiking reminds me to focus on moving forward in life, but not so quickly that I don’t forget to stop and smell the flowers (or snap a few pictures for the blog).
Fees & Parking
There is an admission cost of $8 per car per day. This can be paid in cash at the fee station after entering the park. You will receive a parking pass to place inside the front window of your vehicle that is good for the entirety of the day. Annual state parks passes cost $28 per year with Wisconsin license plates and can be purchased online or at a state park fee station.
When to Visit
Richard Bong State Recreation area is open year-round from 6:00 AM to 11:00 PM. While I enjoyed my visit in January, I would love to come back during the spring or summer! There are so many trees and prairies that would look breathtaking in full bloom.