Wisconsin Rocks :: Decorated Rocks Hidden at Parks & On Trails


If you’ve been lucky enough to spot one, you may already be familiar with Wisconsin Rocks.

Wisconsin Rocks and its variations (WI Rocks, New Berlin Rocks, Waukesha County Rocks, etc.) seem to be a movement involved with painting rocks with beautiful pictures or words/phrases and leaving them at parks or other places in nature for others to find. The goal seems to be beautifully simple- to spread joy one rock at a time.

We first noticed these rocks early in 2020.

Thanks to the lockdowns and social distancing of 2020, we spent much more time outdoors than we had in prior years. Ever since, we have been pleasantly surprised by how frequently we find a beautiful Wisconsin Rocks rock- usually about every other outing we’ve gone on.

We have been lucky enough to find several beautifully done rocks at places including (but not limited to) Mitchell Park, Stigler Nature Preserve, and Menomonee Park. Often the designs on the rocks are nature-based, but other rocks say inspirational things like “Be yourself,” “Joy,” and “Happiness.” It brings the whole family a thrill when one of us finds a new rock. Sometimes we move a rock to a new location, but mostly we just admire the rocks we find so they can bring the next person to spot them joy.

After finding so many beautiful rocks, my kids and I decided to create and hide our own rock creations.

The rocks that we’ve decorated and hidden have been found locally. Although, you can actually purchase rocks for painting via Amazon. There appear to be many options for paint as well. We happened to have puffy paint on hand, so our rocks are mostly decorated with colorful globs of paint, sometimes resembling flowers or bugs. The most popular paint options seem to be Acrylic paint and/or Acrylic paint pens.  A sealant spray can be used to protect your rock’s finished design.

We usually decorate several rocks at a time. I put the finished rocks into a Tupperware container and leave it in the car. That way, I have rocks on hand when we visit a park or trail. (I kept forgetting to bring them to the dismay of my children, so keeping them in the car has been a game-changer!)  The kiddos LOVE getting to hide rocks in plain sight as we hike or at our local playgrounds.

The whole Wisconsin Rocks experience has proven to be a great motivator to get my kids outdoors and exploring! Have you seen any Wisconsin Rocks? Have you left any? I’d love to hear your Wisconsin Rocks stories!

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Jaclynn knows a good thing when she sees it, that’s why she and her husband, Dave, decided to raise their son and daughter in Brookfield, the same Milwaukee suburb where they grew up. After earning her English degree from UW-Madison, Jaclynn attended Marquette University Law School and worked for several years at a small Milwaukee firm practicing estate planning and elder law. When her son was born a few year ago, she followed her heart and became a SAHM. She is now the mother of two, having welcomed a daughter last June. When she's not managing her family circus, you can find Jaclynn instructing or taking classes at the Barre Code. Jaclynn would be lost without dessert, family friendly breweries, books, comfy pants, and the moms who have helped her navigate the labyrinth that is ‘momming’.


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