Wayfarers trips postponed

All Wayfarers in-person trips and events through June have been canceled (except for our upcoming virtual “Flappy Hour” on June 4, see below!) but we hope to reschedule them for later in the season. You can still sign up for upcoming events – refunds will be available if an event is canceled due to COVID-19 precautions.

Join the Wayfarers!

We are the young professionals (20- and 30-somethings) of the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin. Join us as we paddle, hike, climb, bike, and explore our amazing state. Our trips and events are led by some of the best scientists, ecologists, and naturalists in Wisconsin who generously share their favorite places and knowledge of Wisconsin’s outdoors.

When you sign up for any Wayfarers event with a trip fee, you’ll receive a free membership to the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin! NRF works to protect Wisconsin’s natural heritage by:

  • Supporting critical conservation work through our grant programs.
  • Offering opportunities for people of all ages to experience Wisconsin’s outdoors through Field Trips.
  • Providing a means for people to help protect Wisconsin’s lands, waters, and wildlife that they cherish most, through our diverse ways to give.

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Stay in the loop! Sign up for the Wayfarers email list to get updates on upcoming trips, happy hours, volunteer workdays, and other WisConservation news.

 2020 Wayfarers Events

Flappy Hour – a virtual Wayfarers event

Thursday, June 4
4:30 pm-6:30 pm

Password: birds

What are the best birdwatching apps? What are some tips and tricks for ID’ing Wisconsin birds? Do you have any favorite birding hotspots? Get answers to these questions and more in our first-ever virtual bird-themed “flappy” hour! We’ll kick off with a brief intro to birding and Wisconsin birds, followed by some bird nerd trivia and a chance for you to ask any burning questions.

Lake Wingra Paddle & BBQ

Thursday, July 9, 2020
6-8 p.m.
Wingra Boats
824 Knickerbocker St, Madison, WI 53711
$45 | Limit 20 participants

Kick off the summer with a twilight paddle in Lake Wingra! The Friends of Lake Wingra will take you on a guided paddle around parts of the lake to see the beautiful sights and wildlife this secluded urban lake provides. Perhaps we’ll even be able to hear and identify a frog or two. Bring your appetite because Wingra Boats will provide us with some dinner option!

Monarch Butterfly Tagging

Saturday, August 22, 2020
9-11 a.m.
Wehr Nature Center
9701 W College Ave, Franklin, WI 53132
$18.50 | Limit 20 participants

From metamorphosis to migration, we will discover the amazing life journey of the monarch butterfly, from Wisconsin to Mexico! Learn about their migration and uncover how monarch populations are tracked, getting out in the field to tag monarchs as part of an important citizen science effort. Monarchs have declined by 90% in just the last decade – learn about the many challenges faced by monarchs and what you can do to help on this hands-on trip.

Millennial Falcons Great Wisconsin Birdathon

IN-PERSON EVENT: Late Summer/Early Fall (date TBD, Madison, WI)
Cost: Free!

Join us as the Millennial Falcons take flight! The Great Wisconsin Birdathon is a fundraising event for Wisconsin bird conservation. Our Millennial Falcons team goal is to see 100 bird species and raise $1,234 – and this year due to COVID-19, we’re doing 2 Birdathons! One virtually, and one in-person later this year. Join us for a couple of fun days as we visit great birding spots, get together for a virtual “flappy hour”, and make a big difference for Wisconsin’s birds!

Help us reach our goal by making a donation to the Millennial Falcons Team online, or join us on our day of birding! To join the team, please contact Caitlin Williamson (Caitlin.Williamson@WisConservation.org)  

Boating, Birding, and Breweries along the Milwaukee River

9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Waubedonia County Park
W1155 Fredonia Ave, Fredonia, WI 53021
$60 single kayak; $70 tandem kayak | Limit 12 participants

Enjoy paddling the scenic Milwaukee River from Waubedonia to the Town of Grafton. Stop at parks along the way to spy birds and learn about restoration of terrestrial, riparian, and aquatic habitat within Ozaukee County. End at a local brew-pub for a beer (optional).  Note: Experienced paddlers only.

Biking the Military Ridge Prairie Area

Saturday, September 19, 2020
10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Military Ridge State Trail
2631 County Hwy E., Mount Horeb, WI 53572
$15 | Limit 20 participants

Bike through the scenic Military Ridge area and learn about conservation efforts! The Military Ridge Prairie Heritage area south of Mount Horeb contains more than 60 native prairie remnants and critical bird habitat. We’ll bike from Mount Horeb out to Barneveld, visiting prairies protected by The Nature Conservancy and The Prairie Enthusiasts and enjoying a picnic lunch along the way. Optional stop at Brix Cider in Mount Horeb at the end of the ride. Round-trip biking distance: 22 miles

Fall Colors at Ridgeway Pine Relict

Saturday, October 3, 2020
10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Ridgeway Pine Relict State Natural Area
Ridgevue Rd, Ridgeway, WI 53582
$15 | Limit 20 participants

Join the Wayfarers as we hike through Ridgeway Pine Relict SNA to see Driftless Area cliffs, fall colors, and the southernmost old growth pines in Wisconsin. Our guide from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will explain the pre-European settlement fire history for the site based on recent research, and see how fire is being re-introduced to restore the property. This hike is off trail and across steep terrain.

#OptOutside Volunteer Work Day

Saturday, October 17, 2020
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Chiwaukee Prairie State Natural Area
Al Kampert Trail, Pleasant Prairie, WI 53158
Cost: Free!

Help us collect seeds for restoration projects at Chiwaukee Prairie, a wetland of international significance on the Lake Michigan coast south of Milwaukee! We’ll work with our partners at the State Natural Areas Volunteer Program, REI, and the Chiwaukee Prairie Preservation Fund.

RSVP required to Jared Urban (Jared.Urban@wisconsin.gov) 

#OptOutside Volunteer Work Day

Friday, November 27, 2020
9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Waubesa Wetlands State Natural Area
Oregon, WI 53575
Cost: Free!

Join us as we #OptOutside and #OptToAct on Black Friday! We’ll help keep Waubesa Wetlands SNA in great shape by cutting and treating invasive brush on a ridge that overlooks the large, 500+ acre, wetland in partnership with our friends at the State Natural Areas Volunteer Program and REI.

RSVP required to Jared Urban (Jared.Urban@wisconsin.gov)

Happy Hour: Wisconsin’s Wild Game

November 2020
Date/Time TBD
Madison, WI
Cost: Free!

Curious about hunting? Join our friends from Pheasants Forever and National Wild Turkey Federation to learn how you can hunt for food in Wisconsin, the important role that hunting and fishing plays in funding conservation work, and of course, try delicious samples of wild game meat!

Stay tuned for more details and to register!

Solstice Swag Making Workshop

December 2020
Date/Time TBD

Stay tuned for more details and to register!

Postponed events – stay tuned for new dates!

Happy Hour: Get the Gear (Milwaukee)

MobCraft Beer Brewery and Taproom
505 S. 5th St., Milwaukee, WI
Cost: Free!

Let’s geek out on gear with our friends from REI Brookfield! Learn about the latest outdoor gear technology and ask your most burning gear questions – want to know the best way to re-waterproof your tent? Choosing between bug repellents? Looking to upgrade your sleeping bag? Come ready to ask!

Happy Hour: Get the Gear (Madison)

Working Draft Brewery
1129 E. Wilson St., Madison, WI
Cost: Free!

Let’s geek out on gear with our friends from REI Madison! Learn about the latest outdoor gear technology and ask your most burning gear questions – want to know the best way to re-waterproof your tent? Choosing between bug repellents? Looking to upgrade your sleeping bag? Come ready to ask!

Earth Day #OptOutside Volunteer Work Day

Parfrey’s Glen State Natural Area
1377 County Rd DL, Merrimac, WI 53561
Cost: Free!

Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day by helping us keep Parfrey’s Glen in great shape! Remove invasive honeysuckle and garlic mustard with the State Natural Areas Volunteer Program, Wisconsin State Parks, and REI. We’ll end the event with an optional hike into the canyon.

RSVP required to Jared Urban (Jared.Urban@wisconsin.gov) 

In addition to our scheduled trips, we host happy hours and pop-up adventures. Sign up for our email list using the form below, and join our Facebook group to stay informed of the latest events.

Stay in the loop! Sign up for Wayfarers updates

Join other 20- and 30-somethings across Wisconsin for updates on Wayfarers events, trips, and more.

Caitlin Williamson

Caitlin Williamson

Director of Conservation Programs

(608) 409-3109

Cait oversees the Foundation’s grant programs and initiatives for conservation and environmental education, ensuring that our investments are science-based, strategic, and impactful. Cait’s work encompasses conservation science and planning, partnership development and capacity building.