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 volunteer their time to share their favorite places and their knowledge of Wisconsin’s outdoors.

Also, when you sign up for any Wayfarers event with a trip fee, you also receive a membership to the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin! We work to protect Wisconsin’s natural heritage by:

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

Sign up for Wayfarers updates.

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

Happy Hour: Nature Board Games

Tuesday, January 28, 2020
7-10 pm
Bos Meadery
849 E Washington Ave, Madison, WI 53703

Join the Wayfarers as we explore nature-themed tabletop games that make us happy (especially when the weather is not the most conducive to enjoying the outdoors!) Some games may include Wingspan, Photosynthesis, Taekanoko, Morels, Darwin’s Choice and Kodama: The Tree Spirits. A few gamemasters will be on hand teaching and playing along. You are encouraged to bring more copies of these games or others you know and love to teach! Nature themed games encouraged but not required.

RSVP by January 27, 2020 (drop-ins also welcome!)

Blue Mound Candlelight Ski, Hike, and Snowshoe

Saturday, February 1, 2020
5:30-8:30 pm
4350 Mounds Park Rd., Blue Mounds, WI 53517

Join us for one of Wisconsin State Park’s annual February winter candlelight ski, hike and snowshoe event, sponsored by the Friends of Blue Mound State Park. Free hot chocolate, hot cider and marshmallows will be provided. A 1 or 2 mile loop for skiing will be lit with hundreds or glowing luminaries, and a 3/4 mile snowshoe or hike trail. Warm up inside the heated “Friends Shelter” or around the bonfire. Naturalist hikes will be at 6 and 7 p.m. This event is weather and snow conditions permitting. Contact the park at 608-437-5711 for updated event information. We’ll be meeting as a group at 5:30 p.m. – look for the Wayfarers sign in the Friends Shelter!

There is no fee for this event, but a valid park admission sticker is required. Sorry, no pets, hiking or snowshoeing are allowed on groomed ski trails. 

RSVP by Jan 31st (drop-ins also welcome!) 


Happy Hour: Get the Gear (Madison)

March 2020
Date/time TBD
Working Draft Brewery
1129 E. Wilson St., Madison, WI 53703

Happy Hour: Get the Gear (Milwaukee)

March 2020
Date/time/location TBD

Let’s geek out on gear! Learn about some of the latest outdoor gear technology during these two events. Then, you get to 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!

Check back soon for more details and to RSVP!

#OptOutside Volunteer Work Day

Saturday, April 25, 2020
9 AM – 12 PM
Parfrey’s Glen State Natural Area
1377 County Rd DL, Merrimac, WI 53561

Help us keep Parfrey’s Glen in great shape! Remove invasive honeysuckle and garlic mustard with the State Natural Areas Volunteer Program and REI. We’ll end the event with an optional hike into the canyon.

RSVP required to Jared Urban ( 


Event: Millennial Falcons Great Wisconsin Birdathon

Sunday, May 17, 2020
Time/location TBD
Madison, WI

Join us as the Millennial Falcons take flight! This fundraiser event through the Great Wisconsin Birdathon supports the highest priority needs for Wisconsin’s birds. Our goal is to see 100 bird species and raise $1,000. 

To join please contact Caitlin Williamson (  


Boating, Birding, and Breweries along the Milwaukee River

Saturday, June 13, 2020
9 AM – 4 PM
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.

Lake Wingra Paddle & BBQ

Thursday, July 9, 2020
6 – 8 PM
Wingra Boats
824 Kinickerbocker 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 options.

Monarch Butterfly Tagging

Saturday, August 22, 2020
9 – 11 AM
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. Follow their migration and uncover how monarch populations are tracked, what a monarch tag is, and the many challenges faced by Monarchs. Learn how we can help the marvelous monarchs in our own back yard. Participants will take part in a presentation before we go out into the field to find and tag monarchs.

#OptOutside Volunteer Work Day

October 17, 2020
10 AM – 4 PM
Chiwaukee Prairie State Natural Area
Al Kampert Trail, Pleasant Prairie, WI 53158I

Help us collect seeds for restoratin projects at Chiwaukee Prairie! We’ll work with the State Natural Areas Volunteer Program and Chiwaukee Prairie Preservation Fund.

RSVP required to Jared Urban ( 


Biking the Military Ridge Prairie Area

Saturday, September 19, 2020
10 AM – 3 PM
Mt. Horeb Park & Ride
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

Ridgeway Pine Relict Hiking

Saturday, October 3, 2020
10 AM – 1 PM
DNR Parking Lot at the Ridgeway Pine SNA
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 natural origin pines in Wisconsin. Learn about 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. The hike will be off trail and across steep terrain.

#OptOutside Volunteer Work Day

Friday, November 27, 2020
9 AM – 12 PM
Waubesa Wetlands State Natural Area
Oregon, WI 53575

Help us keep Waubesa Wetlands in great shape! Cut and treat invasive brush on a ridge that overlooks the large, 500+ acre, wetland with the State Natural Areas Volunteer Program and REI.

RSVP required to Jared Urban (


Happy Hour: Wisconsin’s Wild Game

November 2020
Date/time TBD

Join our friends from Pheasants Forever and National Wild Turkey Federation to learn more about how you can hunt for food in Wisconsin, and 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!

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.