There are many interesting and amazing natural springs in Wisconsin just waiting to be discovered and enjoyed. Whether you’re looking for a spring to drink fresh unprocessed mineral water or spring ponds of clear water for fishing, Wisconsin has a natural spring you’re sure to enjoy. Here we’ve listed 21 amazing natural springs in Wisconsin where you can go for a drink, enjoy some fishing, or take in the scenery on a hike as you enjoy the unique beauty of natural springs.
Four Types of Springs
According to the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey, there are 4 main types of natural springs in Wisconsin:
- Stream or pool of water
- Fracture in rock exposure
- In a structure
Many of the natural springs in Wisconsin bubble up from the ground, creating outdoor pools that become ponds, streams, and creeks. A few of the springs on our list can be found in rock fractures and manmade structures. Natural springs that flow from the ground to create ponds and lakes often have beautiful, clear water that is great for fishing.
Natural Springs in Northern Wisconsin
1. Forbes Springs
Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, Oconto County
First on our list of natural springs in Wisconsin is Forbes Springs! Forbes Springs is a natural spring pond that flows into Forbes Creek. Located in a remote area of the forest, you can hike to the springs using a trail. It’s a beautiful area to explore with many trees including black ash, white cedar, sugar maple, and paper birch.
2. Sajdak Springs
Sajdak Springs State Natural Area, Bayfield County
Sajdak Springs has several soft water springs that originate from a moraine and feed a small stream. The stream then feeds the White River and eventually flows into Lake Superior. The spring has marshy banks with lots of beautiful plants and flowers. You can fish for trout in the stream while you enjoy the scenery.
3. Parry Spring
This spring flows into a barrel and out a spigot. Even though it’s a bit off the beaten path it’s a popular spring and you may see a line of cars full of people waiting to fill up bottles of the fresh, clear water. The spring is free and open to the public.
4. Benson Springs
Benson Creek Fishery Area, Sawyer county
Next on our list of natural springs in Wisconsin is Benson Springs! There are several spring ponds in the Benson Creek Fishery Area. Benson Springs is the largest at nearly 2 acres. It’s a shallow lake with a depth of up to 5 feet. It’s good for trout fishing and is an excellent area for bird watching as well.
5. Beaupre Springs
Beaupre Springs is another spring pond about the same size as Benson Springs. It’s about 2 acres with a maximum depth of 5 feet. It’s also a great trout fishing spot. You can take a picnic and enjoy the area while you fish in the clear waters of the pond.
6. Brule Glacial Spillway
Brule River State Forest, Douglas County
The Brule River is fed by cold, clean water from several springs along the river. The river is slow and meandering in some areas and steeper and quicker in others. A number of rare plants and animals can be spotted here. It’s the perfect location to take a canoe or kayak and spend a day seeing the natural springs.
7. Hyatt Springs
Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, Bayfield County
Up next on our list of natural springs in Wisconsin is Hyatt Springs! Hyatt Springs is a small hard water spring that flows into a stream. It supports a small number of minnows and trout. The area is full of diverse trees and other plants and is a beautiful spot to explore, especially in the fall when the leaves are changing.
8. Three Springs Nature Reserve
This area near Lake Michigan has a number of springs and wetlands to enjoy. The nature preserve provides an important habitat for many rare and endangered plants and animals. You can enjoy views of the springs from a scenic lookout.
Natural Springs in Southern Wisconsin
9. Fond Du Lac Artesian Well
Not technically a spring, Fond Du Lac is an artesian well that flows from an aquifer. The water is clear, fresh, and unprocessed and has many of the same benefits as spring water. It’s located in a stand on the side of the road near Mount Calvary in Forest. Visitors are asked to pay 25 cents per gallon on an honor system. There is a locked cash box on the wall to put your quarters in.
10. Prentice Springs
Prentice Park, Ashland
Tenth on our list of natural springs in Wisconsin is Prentice Springs. Prentice Park has a number of springs and artesian wells located throughout the park. The city of Ashland has several other artesian wells around town as well, offering fresh, clear water that flows 24 hours a day. You can find the wells at Maslowski Beach in an ADA-compliant timber structure and Sandbar Restaurant.
11. Scuppernong Springs
Kettle Moraine State Forest, Dousman
The Scuppernong Springs Nature Trail is an easy hike where you can see several springs. The trail is about one and a half miles and includes a number of small bridges that cross crystal clear streams fed by the natural springs. You can see numerous springs bubbling up from the sandy surface around the southwest section of the trail. All of these springs are easy to spot and access from the trail.
12. Bathtub Spring
This might be the most unique of the natural springs in Wisconsin on our list! This unusual spot features a spring that comes out of a rock into an old porcelain bathtub. A pipe has been fashioned into the rock where the water flows freely year-round. The water is cold and clear and is said to have a mineral taste. The government advises against drinking from this particular spring, but many people still drink from it regularly. You can find the spring on the side of the road between Soldier’s Grove and Viroqua.
13. Karcher Springs
Karcher Springs State Natural Area, Burlington
Several natural springs feed a clear, fast-flowing stream in the Karcher Springs State Natural Area. The stream has many interesting plants growing along its boggy banks. You can access the springs from a parking area off of Karcher Road.
14. Muehl Springs
Muehl Springs has several high-quality soft water springs that emerge from the ground and flow into streams that feed surrounding wetlands and the Sheboygan River. The sedge meadow is a peaceful area where you can relax to the sounds of nature including birds chirping and grasses softly swishing in the wind.
15. Frederick Springs
Pheasant Branch Conservatory, Dane County
Number 15 on our list of natural springs in Wisconsin is Frederick Springs! Frederick Springs is a sand boil, an area of continuously bubbling water over sandy ground. Groundwater comes up through cracks in the rocks and sand and bubbles as it reaches the surface. It looks like the water is boiling, which is why it’s called a sand boil.
16. Capital Springs State Park
Only minutes away from downtown Madison, Capital Springs State Park is a great place to enjoy some natural springs without getting too far away from the city. There are a number of springs located throughout the park that you can see bubbling up from the ground. You can spend a morning or afternoon walking around discovering the many springs around the park.
17. Silurian Spring
The first postmaster of Waukesha, David Jackson, built a cabin near Silurian Spring and used the water. Later water from the spring was bottled and shipped nationwide from 1874-1930. A stone structure was built in 1926 to house the springs. The structure is still there today and has been restored many times. You can find the spring in a public park behind the Waukesha post office.
18. Paradise Springs
Kettle Moraine Forest, Eagle
Paradise Springs is a spring pond surrounded by the ruins of what used to be a resort in the 1930s and 1940s. You can see the spring inside the ruins of the former spring house. Take the .7 mile loop trail to view the springs. You can add on some of the side trails to extend your hike and enjoy the area longer.
19. Blue Spring Lake
Located near the town of Palmyra, Blue Springs Lake is a spring-fed lake with a rich history. In the late 1800s-early 1900s, Palmyra was a popular place for people seeking natural mineral springs for therapeutic treatments. Later in the 1900s, the demand for treatments from the mineral springs declined, and a dam was made to create Blue Springs Lake.
20. Whitewater Spring
Whitewater Spring is an artesian well that was hand-dug in 1895. Clear water flows continuously from the spigot. There are some covered benches nearby the spring where you can sit down and enjoy drinking the fresh, cold water.
21. Hygeia Spring
Last but not least on our list of natural springs in Wisconsin, Hygeia Spring flows out of two separate spigots that have been set up on a small piece of land. The land is privately owned but the spring is free and open to the public. Donations are accepted and are used to help maintain the site. The springwater comes from a source 2,200 feet below the surface and tastes fresh and clean. The spring dates back to at least 1893, when locals collected the water and sold it by the glass at the Chicago World’s Fair.
Time to Visit Natural Springs in Wisconsin
Whether you want to go fishing for trout, drink some fresh spring water, or just enjoy a hike, visiting natural springs in Wisconsin is a great way to get out and enjoy all the beauty this state has to offer! If you’re planning on drinking spring water, stick to well-known springs that have been tested and are known to be safe, or have the water tested yourself before drinking.
Ready to set off on more Wisconsin adventures? Check out our favorites below!