Outdoor Recreation & Trails
Ripon’s a perfect spot for your outdoor adventure. Our trails, parks, nature areas and neighboring lakes and rivers are the perfect backdrop for biking, birding strolling, swimming, boating, fishing, water skiing, snowmobiling, ice skating and sledding! Enjoy a day of golf, lounge on the sands of Hattie Sherwood Park on Green Lake, or hike the Ripon College Ceresco Prairie Conservancy. If Fido is along for the experience, make his tail wag at the Ripon Dog Park!
LOCAL TRAILS & PARKS
With a packed gravel base, this trail is an ideal walking and biking trail. The trail begins at the Public Library and extends 3.5 miles to the west. You can expect to experience lush vegetation and a variety of wildlife along the way. Rabbits, chipmunks and gophers are plentiful. Keep your eyes open for the deer, turkeys, woodchucks and foxes!
South Woods is located off of Union St. South Woods is a well known nature area with several paths and taking walkers through a variety of natural habitats. Adjacent to the South Woods are the Annie Starr Woods that is open to the public. This area created from the glaciers and flood plain proves to be a great site to see. You can also take a walk along the creek. South Woods and Annie Starr Woods are a great place to take a walk or to study nature.
MASCOUTIN VALLEY TRAIL
Formerly the Ripon/Berlin trail it begins on Locust Road about two miles north of Ripon. The rustic trail with a gravel surface winds through rural landscape providing an opportunity to relax and enjoy the wildlife and farm activities of the area. This is a great trail for hikers, bikers, and equestrians alike.
Enjoy this short hike provided by the Kiwanis Trail located off Thomas Street. While short in length the trail offers tree covered streambeds, natural meadows and hills. Kiwanis Trail offers a variety of hiking experiences from the streambed to the open meadow. A challenging hike for all!
CERESCO PRAIRIE CONSERVANCY
The Ceresco Prairie Conservancy is located next to the Ripon College campus in back of The Storzer Athletic Center. The trails wind through wetland areas and connect with South Woods Crystal Creek. Along the trail you enjoy prairie, oak savanna and glacial moraine habitats. Of special interest to educators and families alike is the Kegel Environmental Classroom. A great trail for running, walking, hiking and mountain biking.
RIGGS COUNTY PARK
This 300-acre park is the most recent addition to the Fond du Lac County park system. Purchased in 1998, the park is planned as a largely natural area park with 180 acres of wetlands, 70 acres of native prairie restoration and about 50 acres of active recreation. The park provides a newly developed parking area, shelter, playground and walking trails for users. A master plan prepared for the park in 1998-1999 is guiding development of the property.
Enjoy an 18-hole disc golf course located at the east end of Riggs County Park. The disc golf course starts and ends by the Adams School parking lot. The course is complete with tee signs, a course layout map, brochure, and tree plantings. Find out more!
LAKES & RIVERS
Just seven miles from Ripon, Green Lake is Wisconsin’s deepest inland lake. Boasting excellent fishing and water quality, Green Lake is 237 feet deep with 27.3 miles of shoreline. Boat, fish, paddleboard, swim, water ski, kayak or sail. Find out more!
LITTLE GREEN LAKE
Primarily a fishing lake, Little Green Lake is 466 acres and 28 feet deep. Anglers can expect to catch a variety of fish, from Bluegill and Walleye to largemouth Bass and Tiger Muskie.
RIPON MILL POND
A smaller body of water, the Mill Pond deals good fishing and fun! Drop in your fishing line, play at the park, or picnic at the shelter nearby.
Rush Lake, just seven miles from Ripon, spans 2,729 acres and features a maximum depth of five feet. Visitors have access to the lake from public boat landings, public lands or parks. A beautiful wetland, visitors can take long walks alongside the lake, or opt to drop a fishing line in.
A short 30-minute drive from Ripon is the Mecan River – a great location for canoeing, kayaking and fishing. The Mecan River Fishery Area contains some of the finest trout streams in central Wisconsin. The water is crystal clear.
MASCOUTIN GOLF CLUB
Berlin, Wis. – a 15-minute drive from Ripon
Opened in 1976, this 27-hole golf course offers spectacular golf. Larry Packard designed the Red and White nine-hole courses. The Blue nine-hole course, quite different in its challenges, was designed by Rick Jacobson. With a beautiful setting and overall superb conditions, all 27 holes appeal to men, women and junior golfers and offer equal challenges to the professional or novice. Find out more!
Disc golfing is big in Ripon thanks to several accessible and challenging courses. Check them out!
During the winter months, enjoy a game of hockey or simply lace up a your ice skates for a glide around the Mill Pond at Selfridge Park, or the Village Green rink (9 am – 8pm)! It’s a fun-filled cold-weather activity!
CROSS COUNTRY SKIING
Ski the Northwestern Trail in Ripon, which starts adjacent to Ripon Public Library and spans 2.8 miles. Or, access the Ripon College Ceresco Prairie Conservancy at the back parking lot of the College’s Storzer Athletic Center. For a longer route, access the Mascoutin Valley Trail, which begins on Locust Road near County Road E, just north of Ripon.
Sled for some fun at the “Ripon College Hill,” on the corner of Union and Thorne Streets!
Meandering country roads and gravel trails make for fun, challenging and breathtaking rides. Grab your road bike and access Ripon’s back roads to Green Lake. Then, follow the scenic 25-mile path around Wisconsin’s deepest inland lake.
Click here to view the Ripon Bike Route
Check out more biking information by visiting the Green Lake Green Ways Page