From Wisconsin's southern stateline to the shoreline of Lake Superior, Wisconsin is chock full with trails to hike, forests to explore, and many companies that make adventures along the way much easier. Wisconsin culture is in our blood and we love supporting those who have the same desire to work + play in this great state. Here are a few of our favorite adventure items that are made (or based) in Wisconsin.
Note: If you have a favorite Wisconsin-made item, tell us all about in the comments of this article.
Northern Lites Snowshoes
Winter in the north means tons and tons of snow. There’s no better way to stomp through the forest or down a groomed trail than with a pair of snowshoes. At one half the weight of other brands, Northern Lite Snowshoes are perfect for hitting the trail for an afternoon adventure down a groomed trail. Located in New Richmond, Wisconsin, Northern Lite Snowshoes
When the mercury drops below zero, we’d argue that the most important piece of clothing just might be your socks. Wigwam Socks, made in Sheboygan, Wisconsin are some of the most durable, cozy socks that hold up to the wear and tear of Wisconsin winters. Look inside their deeply rooted Wisconsin history beginning as the Sheboygan Knitting Company. More information on their history here.
An iconic brand for lake life for decades, Lands End began in 1963 in Chicago as a store front before becoming a catalog company. Built on strong values of integrity, satisfaction, and extraordinary service, the now Dodgeville, Wisconsin-based brand has become a piece of heritage to many and will continue to be passed down for generations. From their monogramed canvas totes filled with sand toys and sunscreen in the summer months, to layers of their cozy flannel fabric in the winter, Lands End succeeds at it's mission of helping families live better lives.
st croix rods
Recognized throughout the world for their high performance fishings rods, St. Croix Rods, is in nearby Park Falls, Wisconsin. Family-owned St Croix Rods is known for making advancements in many rod technologies, as well as providing the highest quality rods on the market. They've coined the phrase "Best Rods on Earth" - and most fishermen happen to agree! Make a trip to the Northwoods - stop into their retail store and tour their factory.
Mepps Fishing lures
The world headquarters for Mepps, considered to be the world's #1 lure, is located right in Antigo, Wisconsin. The Mepps spinner was invented by a French engineer in 1938 before being sold by Todd Sheldon in his tackle store. As sales grew, Todd was unable to source enough spinners so he sold his store, opened a manufacturing facility in Antigo - Sheldons' Inc, and has been growing ever since. Fill your tackle box - visit their website or visit for a guided factory tour as they hand-make their lures.
Trek Bikes, founded in Waterloo, Wisconsin in 1976 is the birthplace of Wisconsin's biking culture. In Waterloo, a small city about 25 miles from Madison, employees are encouraged to pedal to work, bike during lunch, and there's even a bike technician who will tune up your ride while you're plugging away at your desk. While a significant portion of Trek's bicycles are now made in other parts of the world, their U.S. headquarters is still located in Wisconsin and controls all manufacturing.
Bending Branches was born in 1982 when two men teamed up to innovate the first composite tipped canoe paddle. Since their creation, the spirit of adventure has continued to drive Osceola, Wisconsin-based Bending Branches to enhance your paddling experience from flat water kayaking to canoeing through the rapids.
Since 1997, Wolfsong Wear has designed and tested performance outdoorwear on the shore of Lake Superior in Bayfield, Wisconsin. Wolfsong Wear takes pride in creating outdoorwear that is the warmest, most comfortable, best looking, and as functional as can be.
A few more Wisconsin companies:
Our Neighbors to the North
Originally a Wisconsin based company in Kaukana and later Milwaukee, Stormy Kormer was purchased and moved to Ironwood, Michigan in 2001 to keep the legend alive. Stormy Kromer is known for their iconic caps with a pull down earband, created in the early 1900's to keep hats snug on the locomotives. Visit Stormy Kromer's facility in Ironwood for a factory tour and retail store.