In St. Croix Falls, Wis., all paths lead to enlightenment.
Hiking on the 1,000-mile Ice Age National Scenic Trail, bicycling the 48-mile Gandy Dancer State Trail or paddling on the 252-mile St. Croix National Scenic Riverway, people follow a path that was cut by a 600-foot-high wall of ice and traversed by woodland nomads, fur traders and railway laborers.
Visitors can soak up lore galore about ancient and natural history. But the real revelation here is St. Croix Falls, the unassuming river village that's at the start of it all.
In Wisconsin, a bunch of rocks sets hearts aflutter.
They enchant geologists, of course, but also scuba divers, rock climbers and botanists. The rest of us, too — hikers, birders, campers, Boy Scouts.
We all go to give Devil's Lake its due.
When the last glacier melted out of Wisconsin, it left a gift to future generations.
It wasn't much at first — boulders, heaps of gravel, water, chunks of ice trapped under rubble.
But over time, the ice seeped away and created kettle lakes for fishermen. The raging meltwater stripped away softer rock, leaving walls of volcanic rock for climbers and scenic river gorges for canoeists.