Passionate, outdoorsy conservationists exploring Wisconsin.
Join the Wayfarers—the young professionals (20- and 30-somethings) of the Natural Resources Foundation—as we paddle, hike, climb, bike, and otherwise explore our amazing state.
BTW: We’ll be guided by some of the best scientists, ecologists, and naturalists in Wisconsin.
Upcoming Wayfarer Events
Hike the Other Side of the Dells
Sunday, May 20th
9:30 AM – 2:30 PM
Location: Dells of the Wisconsin River State Natural Area
Leave behind the crowds, noise, water parks and T-shirt shops of the Wisconsin Dells to learn about the “other” Dells and the spectacular natural features that first put this beautiful place on the map 150 years ago. Make a strenuous, 4-mile, off-trail trek through a scenic gorge of the Wisconsin River. Lined with sculpted sandstone formations, mossy glens, and old-growth conifer forests, this magical place is not usually open to the general public. Thanks to our guides Thomas Meyer and Pam Forster Felt with the DNR’s Natural Heritage Conservation program, we will get exclusive access for the day. Hear about the fascinating cultural and natural history of this nature preserve at stops along the way. We’ll also learn the basics of how to navigate through wild terrain the “old-fashioned” way, using a map and compass. Bring your own picnic lunch to enjoy atop a high, rocky cliff with sweeping views of the river valley.
Sunday, June 3rd
9:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Location: DNR Service Center, Fitchburg
Enjoy a 20-mile roundtrip bike ride from Fitchburg to Sugar River State Natural Area led by Alex Wenthe, a conservation biologist, cyclist, and wine connoisseur with DNR’s Natural Heritage Conservation program. Explore and learn about native wetlands along the way and how their unique characteristics can be compared to different wines (bogs, like dry Rieslings, have high acidity). End the trip at Barriques with a well-earned wine tasting.
Tuesday, June 26th
5:00 – 7:00 PM
Location: Nomad Pub (418 East Wilson Street, Madison)
Focus: Wisconsin’s elk reintroduction
Grab a beer and some grub as we hear from a Department of Natural Resources expert who has helped lead the elk reintroduction in Wisconsin. We’ll be in the back room at the Nomad learning and enjoying great happy hour specials. Join us!
Saturday, August 18th
6:00 – 9:30 PM
Location: UW Memorial Union, Madison
Enjoy a 6-mile (roundtrip) paddle led by Joseph Webb of Outdoor UW from Memorial Union to Picnic Point and back again. Stop at Picnic Point for a bonfire complete with s’mores, and a special talk on the history and significance of the Lakeshore Nature Preserve. On the way back to Memorial Union, light up lanterns and paddle leisurely back to the docks as Terrace onlookers delight in the meandering glow of our flotilla.
Sunday, September 30th
2:30 – 7:00 PM
Location: Devil’s Lake State Park, Baraboo
Join Mike Mossman, a forest community biologist with DNR, and his wife Lisa Hartman as they introduce us to the community of turkey vultures at Devil’s Lake. We’ll meet a charming (seriously!) turkey vulture up close, learn about his rehabilitation and the species’ natural history. Then we’ll hike the bluffs of Devil’s Lake State Park to marvel at up to 300 migrating turkey vultures gathering in their night roosts. Hike back down the bluff with the setting sun.