Can You Complete All 22 State Park Challenges?

There’s a new Wisconsin State Park challenge. Here’s how to get started.

Time to step up and prove yourself, outdoorsmen. The Friends of Wisconsin State Parks has issued a challenge to separate the true state park champions from the amateurs.

The Wisconsin Friends Explore Challenge is made up of 22 challenges spanning several outdoors activities like hiking, camping, and biking.

“What are these challenges?” you ask. “I will conquer them all.”

Good for you, pal. Some aren’t too difficult, like “take a selfie from 10 scenic overlooks.” But they all require some serious legwork around our state’s parks system. “Hike 50 miles total on WSPS properties,” “Camp six nights total in the WSPS,” “Visit and photograph 5 different waterfalls on WSPS properties.”

There’s some real effort involved here – see the full list of challenges at the end of this article. They’ll send you across several state parks in search of waterfalls, bike trails and you’ll even need to strap on the cross-country skies.



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Completing at least one challenge per “family unit” will earn you a completion certificate.

“I’ll just lie,” Dave, the scoundrel says. “I’ll say that I did these challenges when I really didn’t.”

You’re the worst, Dave. You’ll have to lie boldly because to register for completion, you either fill out and sign a logbook verifying the challenges you completed, or you enter them through the online logbook. Does your signature mean nothing to you, Dave? Where’s your honor? You scum.  

Whenever you complete a challenge and enter it, your family unit (or individual if you want to conquer these lone-wolf style) is entered into a final drawing for prizes.

What are the prizes? I don’t know. FWSP hasn’t said yet. But they’ll probably be cool.

The challenge starts on March 20 and runs through Sept. 22.

And here’s that full list of challenges promised above:


  • Hike 50 miles total on WSPS properties.
  • Hike every trail on one WSPS property


  • Camp six nights total in the WSPS
  • Camp overnight while backpacking at least once

Water Activities

  • Fish at three different WSPS properties
  • Paddle five different bodies of water on WSPS properties
  • Visit and photograph 5 different waterfalls on WSPS properties
  • Build and photograph sand sculptures on 5 different WSPS beaches


  • Bike 50 miles on state trails or WSPS properties


  • Take a selfie from 10 scenic overlooks
  • Take 10 photos of historic buildings, which includes lighthouses, located on WSPS properties
  • Photograph examples of Indigenous Cultures on 10 WSPS properties


  • Visit a WSPS property in each of the six districts
  • Visit the same WSPS property once a month, March through September

Flora and Fauna

  • Identify and list 25 plants seen on WSPS properties-take photos of at least three
  • Identify and list 25 different birds seen on WSPS properties-take photos of at least three
  • Identify and list 25 insects seen on WSPS properties-take photos of at least three


  • Find 15 geocaches on WSPS properties

Service Projects

  • Join a Friend’s group
  • Clean up litter for 2-3 hours total at two or more WSPS properties
  • Pick garlic mustard for 2-3 hours at a WSPS property

Winter Activities

  • Cross-country ski 50 miles at a minimum of 2 properties



Archer is the managing editor at Milwaukee Magazine. Some say he is a great warrior and prophet, a man of boundless sight in a world gone blind, a denizen of truth and goodness, a beacon of hope shining bright in this dark world. Others say he smells like cheese.