Fun Field Trips

Over forty years ago, I stood next to the man who later became my husband at an Upham Woods campfire. After hearing his mellow baritone during the group’s singing of Kumbaya in that romantic outdoor setting, I was a goner. Since then, we’ve often celebrated our anniversary by enjoying the outdoors and I know right where to look for ideas.

The Wisconsin’s Natural Resources 2024 Field Trip Guidebook is sure to inspire you too. The digital version is at Registration begins April 4th and trips fill up quickly.

The description of #261, “Owls under the Stars,” sounds like the perfect anniversary adventure. My husband and I could explore the night sky with telescopes and learn how birds navigate using stars. Romantic and fascinating!

As lovely as “Owls under the Stars” sounds, it reminds me of another anniversary when I arranged for a night walk at Durwood’s Glen with naturalist Marion Moran. She was a favorite of mine and I was enjoying our moonlit rest from hiking by immersing myself in the audio she was playing of wolves howling when I turned to my husband. Frank was frowning and angrily swatting at mosquitoes. On second thought, maybe I should pick something that fits his interests better, like fishing.

We could go to Ashland for a rare opportunity to interact with sturgeons, fish that can live over 50 years and grow up to 9 feet long.

The group gets to lift nets, handle, and hold these ancient species that the guidebook says “swam while dinosaurs roamed the earth.” (#68)

Frank is also interested in the history and the future of Baraboo’s former Badger Army Ammunition Plant. We could join a bus tour and hear the story of the land that the Ho-Chunk Nation call Maa Wákąčąk (pronounced Mah WAH-kun-chunk), or “the Sacred Earth.” (#43)

Frank might indulge my love of turtles and accompany me on the “Wood Turtles & Wildflowers” tour. We could see them laying their eggs during the June excursion or catch sight of the hatchlings during the August trip. (#86)

I’d love to learn more about Wisconsin’s largest and busiest state park, Devil’s Lake, (#78 and #80), or join fellow nature lovers and choose one of the many scenic hikes on the Ice Age Trail. 

On one anniversary trip, Frank and I rented a B&B along the Sparta Elroy bike trail and had a great weekend viewing the scenic countryside and biking through the long tunnels using flashlights. The guidebook offers several biking field trips, including one along the scenic Chippewa and Eau Claire rivers (#16) where we’d explore new green spaces.

Frank and I also like to kayak and several field trips involve paddling. Exploring the lower Wisconsin wetlands (#39) or the Maunesha River (#56) are just two of many. I highlighted #89, the chance for us to enjoy a romantic sunset kayak exploration of Horicon Marsh.

One entry, (#19), includes birding at Horicon Marsh. It’s been too long since I’ve spent time at this nationally recognized utopia for over 300 species of birds. The May 5th field trip should be an ideal time to catch the migratory peak.

Entry #231, the chance to ride on an antique open-air train into one of the most remote areas of the Tiffany Wildlife Area, sounds like a winner. We’d get to enjoy stops, take short hikes into various landscapes, and be awed by the flocks of migrating birds.

I’m tempted to talk up one of the guided nature immersion experiences to reawaken our senses, but I’m not sure my mosquito slapper is the right partner for forest bathing. I might have to find someone else to join me for those. (#33 and #62)

We could go bog stomping on an undisturbed bog lake in Kettle Moraine State Forest (# 74) and recall the fun we had taking a class with Harriet Irwin in which she took us out on a bog where we bounced on sphagnum moss and studied how the sundew and pitcher plants can trap insects and frogs.

Or we could sign up for a trip to Upham Woods, (#102), where we’ll paddle along Blackhawk Island and gaze up at the towering sandstone cliffs. Maybe there will even be a chance to cozy up to a bonfire where my beloved can sing to me. “Kumbaya, my Lord. Kumbaya.”

4 Replies to “Fun Field Trips”

Sweeeeeet! Smiled from beginning to end!

Hi Gayle,
I’m so glad I brought a smile to your face. Fun times ahead!

Jane Govoni

What fun! These are some of the same things we have loved doing

Thanks for reading, Jane, I appreciate your support.

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