Oh, the midwest. The land of kindness, pastures, and flip flops at 50 degrees. As a company based in the heart of the midwest in beautiful Milwaukee, we’d be remiss not to make a compilation of the best places to go around here. We know you’re hungry for adventure since the Cerveza sickness has all of us pleading for a little more outdoors and a little less opening the fridge every time you walk past the kitchen.

Our motto at Veital is “embrace the balance,” which seems an ever-present theme in the midwest. You can’t have the American midwest without the dichotomies of balance, from the cold winter to the cool summer, to the vast land and large metropolises, the midwest is the embodiment of balance.

Where to go? What to see?

As a Veital reader, we understand you’re the type to strap on the snowshoes in the winter and put in your 5 miles at the trail. It’s probably not unheard of for you to pick up the weekend after next to hit the crag or shred the trail on your XC, right? Well, since you and I are in sound harmony here, let us share some of our favorite Midwest spots. Here’s exactly what to see and where to go in the midwest.

Trekking in Hocking Hills, OH

Photo by Tim Swinehart @tim_swine

Let’s start with the scenic route and work our way up the adventure scale. This spot in the perimeter of Columbus is the place you want to get lost. With a map that is. Wear your comfortable boots and hit the interconnected hiking trails. Avoid rush hours for a more pleasurable experience.

Backcountry Camping in Pictured Rocks, MI

Photo by Dennis Buchner @baitman

Are you in the market for an unplugged getaway after a killer week at work? Use the racked up PTO and head over to the UP, destination Pictured Rocks. Whenever practicing backcountry camping, make sure to leave no trace. And let your momma know, will ya?

Kayaking down Current River, MO

There’s nothing quite like the resistance-free gliding of a kayak going with the flow. Immerse yourself in the beauty of one of Missouri’s largest protected areas and the midwest’s most biologically significant river. Don’t forget the sunscreen, though. You’re looking bitchin in the yak, but your sunburn won’t care.

Canoe Camping in Boundary Waters, MN

Photo by Josh Hild @joshhild

In the realm of floating activities, canoeing is yet another bullet point on the list. In Boundary Water, however, it’s the almost transcendental activity becomes the marriage of spirit and nature. Add a tent and a friend to that, and you have yourself a trip of a lifetime. Don’t forget swimming suits; you’ll want to get in.

Mountain Biking and Climbing in Devil’s Lake, WI

Photo by Dave Hoefler @johnwestrock

We are turning up the heat on the adventure scale. Our home state of Wisconsin blesses our Best of the Midwest list with Devil’s Lake State Park. There are so many things to do; we won’t even go into detail. For the Veital connoisseur, however, we recommend hitting the lake with your 29er and at least a full rack for balls to the wall trad climbing—the perfect balance of fast on the trail and mighty at the crag.

Needle Climbing in Mount Rushmore, SD

Photo by Levi Jones @levidjones

“Look at that beautiful profile!” No, we’re not talking about President Washington’s remarkable features. We’re exclaiming, instead, about the magnificent rock formations that accompany the busts. Bring your a-game, leave the fear at home and get sharp in the many multi-pitch routes around the Memorial, then consolidate in the other 800+ climbs.

Ice Climbing in Duluth, MN

Photo by Hansi Johnson

As the adventure meter goes off the charts, the temperature drops to freezing. Fealing daring during the winter months? Head over to Duluth for a session packed with adrenaline. Bring your ice tools and crampons; this one is going to get tricky. Seriously, don’t forget the hand warmers.

Honorable Mentions

Because what’s the point of making a list if you can’t divide it as you please? In no particular order, here are two more destinations genuinely worthy of a Veital trip and a can of beer. Cheers!

Fishing in the Apostle Islands, WI

Photo by Bob Jauch

Whether you are all about casting in your flip flops and a tank top or head to toes on a winter suit, the fishing here is phenomenal. Come up in the summer with your favorite flotation device to catch the views. Try it out in the winter to experience the unassuming shanty and catch of plenty.

Climbing and Cliff Jumping in Jackson Falls, IL

Illinois needed some love on our list, and it was with no hesitation we thought of Jackson Falls. Are you in the Chicago area looking for something different? Drive down to Jackson Falls in early fall for some great rock climbs and a sketchy dive, or two.

 

Feeling lost? Head back to the Trail Book to see more!