West Central WI Hiking

Hiking Willow River

willow river falls

Valentine Road Trip:

This year for Valentines Day I am taking my husband (Shawn) hiking at Willow River Wisconsin State Park. I am not going to buy things to show Shawn; I love him. Instead, I am going to give him time and shared experiences.

I have the desire to do something more than merely taking a road trip. So I booked a hotel room in Osceola WI. Why Osceola?

Osceola Wisconsin is close to a few State Parks we have wanted to visit. Hiking Willow River has been at the top of my list for a while. I have seen pictures of Willow Falls online, and it looks beautiful.

Hiking Willow River

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Hiking Willow River:

Upon arriving at Willow River, we stop at the Ranger Station to get a winter trail map. Looking the map over we choose to hike the Falls Snowshoe Trail. I have a new pair of snowshoes that I have never tried on much less worn on a trail before.

Excited at the prospect of testing out the new pair of snowshoes I quickly strap them on my feet, and we set off. When I get a few feet away from the car, I realize my snowshoes do not fit right. I try to adjust them to no avail. So we turn around and return to the car. Taking off my snowshoes I decide it would be better to hike the trail without them.

The winter trails map shows a caution sign with a steep hill warning. I know I should strap on my Yaktrax, but I don’t want to waste any more time. After a quarter of a mile, we reach the hill.

Now, I wish I would have taken the extra 5 minutes to put on my tracks.

On the hike back we see a couple sliding on their bums down the hill. Perhaps that is what I should have done when descending. However, I probably would have broken myself. The treck back up the cautioned hill was substantially harder on the legs, but easier for traction.

Willow River Trail

We arrived around 9:00 am on Sunday morning. It was 21˚ with intermittent flurries. The parking lot is empty when we got on the trail. After we get back to the car at 11:30 am the parking lot is full, and the path has begun to get crowded.

Willow River

Willow Falls:

Once we arrive at the waterfall, I am thrilled to see that we have the location all to ourselves, at least for now. I take a moment to marvel at the beauty of the falls and then quickly get to work taking pictures.

willow river travel wi sign

Shawn sets up the tripod for me. While I run around like a crazy woman snapping as many pictures as I can before other people start arriving.

willow river bridge

Even though I would not trade any other day for today, I can’t wait until summer. I want to return when it is warm outside, and the sun is shining.

Willow Falls

Hiking Willow River Wisconsin State Park is a great way to spend a day. The snowshoe falls trail is impressive.

Even in the winter, the waterfall is a must see.

External Links:

DNR – Willow River Wisconsin State Park


When spending time outdoors always be respectful of nature, use common sense and please follow any posted rules.

Always give more than you take and leave no trace. 


Thank you for reading!  Have a great day!!

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