Land in Wisconsin
A mention of the Dairy State conjures up visions of rustic-but-luxe log cabins and rolling hills dotted with cows and goats.
More than just good cheese
Wisconsin’s undulating terrain and beautiful topography were carved into the soil after the Ice Age 100,000 years ago. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources counts 15,000 lakes in the state, more than “Land of Lakes” Minnesota’s 14,380. It is also home to 17.1 million forested acres. This is a true four-season climate for those seeking Wisconsin land for sale. Snowmobile and ski in winter, be in awe of the state’s green expanse come spring, and fish or hike in summer and fall. Considered part of the Upper Midwest, Wisconsin borders Canada to the North, Minnesota to the West, and Iowa and Illinois to the South. Two of the five Great Lakes (Lake Superior and Lake Michigan) provide fresh-water resources and places to recreate— fishing, boating, kayaking or canoeing. Fringing the state’s Western edge, the Mississippi River is a prime spot for birdwatching and hiking. Buying land in Wisconsin means giving yourself the promise of relaxation, and enough open, wild space to meditate and wander.
Things To Do
What sets Wisconsin apart is its ability to straddle culture and country, attractive to those who buy land for sale in Wisconsin. This includes in the suburbs of Milwaukee, near the state’s largest city with 500,000 residents, and where the Santiago Calatrava-designed Milwaukee Art Museum’s Quadracci Pavilion was named by TIME as its top new design in 2001 and anchors Lake Michigan’s shoreline’s walking and cycling paths.
Dane County’s largest city (Madison) is another cultural hub with a children’s museum, art museum, performing arts centers and arboretum, not to mention four lakes with opportunities to sail or swim. Communities in Door County, the Fox Valley, La Crosse, Eau Claire, Kenosha, and Racine are other examples where nature is nurtured and culture celebrated. Door County is “the Midwest’s Nantucket” while the tiny resort town of Lake Geneva is likened to Newport, Rhode Island.
Going to the beach is a popular pastime, whether it’s the peaceful Schoolhouse Beach on Door County’s Washington Island, a national-championship volleyball game at Milwaukee’s Bradford Beach, or launching a kayak into Lake Superior at the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. At 31,000 miles in area and 1,332 feet at its deepest, this is the world’s largest freshwater lake by area.
Speaking of water, Wisconsin Dells is the waterpark capital of the world, with 20 parks. There are a lot of opportunities to find land for sale. Wisconsin Dells is a popular vacation destination with state parks, restaurants and shopping, adjacent to rural communities.
History of Wisconsin
History of Wisconsin
Native American tribes—particularly the Menominee, Ojibwe (Chippewa) and Potawatomi, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services—settled Wisconsin’s land around 10,000 years ago. When you’re researching Wisconsin land for sale, you may find yourself tongue-tied at certain Wisconsin names but that’s only because of their Indigenous roots. Many locals adopt shortened terms, too, like “Tosa” for Wauwatosa.
Between the 1650s and the 1850s French fur traders were drawn to Wisconsin for access to the beaver, a close cousin of the badger and now Wisconsin’s moniker (the Badger State).
Then, during the mid- to late-1800s beer barons emigrated from Europe, settling mostly in Milwaukee and launching breweries that later became household names, such as Schlitz, Pabst and Miller.
In 1848 Wisconsin was admitted to the union, becoming the 30th state. Earlier than that, in 1836, it was known as the Wisconsin Territoryand encompassed what is now Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and a portion of North and South Dakota east of the Missouri River.
Climate and Weather
Climate and Weather
Don’t be scared about legendary tales regarding Wisconsin’s weather, like the Green Bay Packers’ 1967 NFL Championship Game, dubbed the Ice Bowl when temps plummeted to −15 °F. Yes, wind chill exists but once you invest in proper clothing it’s not horrific. Locals love to immerse themselves in winter weather. Autumn’s colorful foliage is the perfect time to take a spin down winding country roads or visit an apple orchard or pumpkin patch. Summer is what locals live for—when sunshine baths the land in a golden glow and communities’ social calendars spike with festivals, farmers’ markets and other outdoor events.
Wisconsin receives 34 inches of rainfall per year, on average, with June the rainiest and February the driest. Most of the snowfall occurs in January, February and March with higher amounts in the North. According to the National Weather Service, average seasonal snowfalls in Central and Northeast Wisconsin range from 40 to 50 inches while Vilas County receives as much as 100 to 125 inches. Wisconsin’s infamous “Lake Effect Snow” hammers communities along Lake Michigan with increased snowfall but also provides cool breezes to counteract summer’s humidity.
Ninety-seven percent of the state’s land is rural. Buyers looking to get off the grid would be best to look for land for sale in Northern Wisconsin. Wisconsin ranks in the upper half of U.S. states, clocking in at #23 with 65,496 square miles. At 5,852,490 residents, it’s the 21st most populated state, according to the World Population Review, with the densest populations in Southeastern Wisconsin (Milwaukee, Kenosha, and Racine), followed by Dane County (where the capital city of Madison is) and the Fox Valley (at 75,000, Appleton is the largest).
Agriculture crops include cranberries and horseradish. Wisconsin is also a land of cheese. Just under half of the country’s artisan cheese is made here, by 1,200 licensed cheesemakers producing 600 varieties. Since 1995 cheesemakers have brought home more than 6,000 awards from the U.S. Championship Cheese Contest. Many creameries are on their fourth generation and remain family-owned. (Source.)
The bulk of Wisconsin’s economy is split among agriculture, manufacturing and tourism, ranking among the top 25% for manufactured goods and farm income. Wisconsin’s economy grows at a rate of about 2% per year, making it the 21stlargest state economy, especially attractive for those interested in Wisconsin land for sale. (Source.)
Corporations headquartered in Wisconsin span manufacturing (Harley-Davidson, Kohler Co., Briggs & Stratton and Rockwell Automation) and retail (Kohl’s and Lands’ End), attracting employees interested in land for sale in Wisconsin. The University of Wisconsin, healthcare systems, and the state government are also large employers. Papermaking continues to drive the economy in the Fox Valley, where Kimberly-Clark was founded.
Wisconsin is a hiker’s and camper’s utopia with a nationally recognized state-parks system, boasting 68 parks that receive 20 million visitors per year. This includes the Ice Age Trail’s Kettle Moraine—so named for kettle-shaped formations in the land created during the Ice Age—that welcomes cross-country skiers, backpackers and hikers on its 1,200 miles of trail.
The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is Wisconsin’s lone national park but with so many amazing state parks, residents of the state don’t feel they’ve been slighted at all.
Wisconsin Climate Risk
Air pollution risk
Total weather risk
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