Camping in Peninsula State Park, Door County Shore Report photo by Dan Plutchak

WISCONSIN — This summer, the Friends of Wisconsin State Parks have launched a fun program to explore Wisconsin state parks in new and fun ways while increasing healthy habits and connecting with family and friends.

The Wisconsin Friends Explore Challenge 2021 runs from March 20, 2021 through Sept. 22, 2021.


Families and friends are challenged to complete at least one challenge per group to earn a social networking badge, though any number of challenges can be completed within the challenge time.

Each time a challenge is completed and documented in either a downloadable logbook or the online logbook, the household name is entered into a final drawing for prizes.

All challenges must take place on a Wisconsin State Park System property—which includes State Parks, Forests, Trails, Recreation Areas, etc. There is no fee to enter the challenge but a state park vehicle admission sticker and/or trail pass is required.

The challenges are:

(WSPS=Wisconsin State Park System)


  • 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. (View 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. (Find a friend’s group near you)
  • Clean up litter for 2-3 hours total at two or more WSPS properties
  • Pick garlic mustard for 2-3 hours and properly dispose of it at a WSPS property

Winter Activities:

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

You are encouraged to use the online challenge signup and registration for each challenge completed, but you may also download a logbook PDF if you choose not to do the online registration.

If you decide to take on the challenge, make sure to take photos of your successful challenges and post them on social media with hashtag #wfechallenge.

By Carly Rengeutte - Door County Shore Report

Digital and Social Media producer