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WiscoExplorer and the Wisconsin State Parks

Wisconsin’s state parks really highlight the natural beauty of our state. There are so many options, how do you choose? Here at WiscoExplorer, we are working towards seeing ALL the parks. I have a list below with a brief description of the state park and a link to the post if I’ve written about it already. The ones with completed posts are marked with (*). My family and I have visited almost 3/4 of the parks so far and I have not been disappointed yet!

Which is your favorite park? What park would you like to know more about? Comment below.

*Amnicon Falls*

Amnicon Falls showcases a wide and long series of waterfalls, a covered bridge, and several short hikes. There is a campground as well. You can see some waterfalls within a very short walk from the parking lot.

*Aztalan*

Aztalan-This state park is small but has some very unique history. It is a national historic site and has remnants of an ancient Indian civilization. There are a couple of miles of hiking trails and river access as well.

Belmont Mound

Belmont Mound is a smaller state park in the southwest part of the state. It has a total of 2.5 miles of trails. There is an option for a fairly short trail from the parking lot to the high point either through the woods or on an old paved drive. The mound of the park is surrounded by mostly flat lands allowing for a great view. The observation tower that used to be in this park has been taken down.

Big Bay

Big Bay-The park features stoney beaches with crystal clear water. Plan ahead because you need to take a ferry to get to this park on Madeline Island. It includes hiking trails, a campground, a large swimming beach, and a boardwalk.

Big Foot Beach

Big Foot Beach is on the shores of Lake Geneva. It has hiking, camping, and swimming

Blue Mound

Blue Mound park has a campground, hiking, mountain biking, two observation towers, and a playground. As the highest point in southern Wisconsin, it offers great views.

*Brunet Island*

Brunet Island has some of the best water-access camping I’ve seen. You can paddle right up to many of the campsites. It’s a great park for biking in that most of the trails are for hiking and biking and the shoulders are wide. There is also access to the Old Abe State Trail for longer bike rides. There is a beach and boat launch as well.

Buckhorn

Buckhorn-Hiking, camping, 1,000’s of acres of adjacent state wildlife areas, and plenty of water access.

Copper Culture

Copper Culture has a museum detailing the history of the property. It is the site of a prehistoric cemetery.

*Copper Falls*

Copper Falls state park boasts several magnificent waterfalls. There are 17 miles of trails in the park all of which are available for hiking. Several trails are also shared with biking. They have multiple camping options to suit all needs from electrical hookups to a backcountry site with primitive resources only.

*Council Grounds*

The best thing about Council Grounds is the water access! The Wisconsin River runs along the park and a damn forms a lake where you can boat, fish, kayak, and swim. There are several short hikes along the water and plenty of great views of the lake. A campground is available as well.

Cross Plains

Devil’s Lake

Devils’ Lake is the state’s most popular park this park features hiking, a beach, lake views, steep rocky climbs/rock scrambles, rock climbing with ropes, and more.

Governor Dodge

Governor Dodge-One of the state’s largest parks this place has something for everyone!

Governor Nelson

This beautiful day park has a beach, boat launch, and over 8 miles of hiking trails through the prairie restorations and woodlands.

Governor Thompson

Harrington Beach

*Hartman Creek*

Hartman Creek is a large park that has everything. It has six lakes with multiple places to fish or launch a canoe. There are several swimming areas and there is crystal clear water! They have trails catering to hikers, horse riders, and a variety of bike trails including paved, gravel, and single track. There is a large sandy swimming beach and a campground.

Heritage Hill

*High Cliff*

At High Cliff State Park, it is easy to find something for everyone. A few unique things about the park include Indian Effigy Mounds, the Niagara Escarpment, and a marina where you anchor your boat. There are also plenty of hiking trails, biking trails, horse trails, camping, and camping. Don’t miss the beach or the observation tower. This park features one of the best state park playgrounds we’ve seen!

*Interstate Park*

If you are looking for amazing views and enjoy traversing uneven terrain, look no further! Interstate State Park is also a fantastic place for paddling and boating. This park is especially great for those looking for short, beautiful, and challenging hikes, rock climbers, paddlers, and fishermen.

Kinnickinnic

Kohler-Andrae

Lake Kegonsa

*Lake Wissota*

Lake Wissota has a large and wooded campground. Plenty of hiking and biking trails which are both wooded and through meadows filled with wildflowers. It is adjacent to the beautiful Lake Wissota and has a beach, views overlooking the water, a fishing pier, and both a paved boat launch and another paddler-specific boat launch. There are also horse trails.

Lakeshore

Lakeshore-This park is smaller than most but has great city access and a beautiful view of the lake. It is very close to the venue for Summerfest as well as the children’s museum.

Lizard Mounds

Lizard Mounds-The newest state park in Wisconsin.

Lost Dauphin

Merrick

Mill Bluff

Mirror Lake

Mirror Lake is a large park covering over 2,000 acres and less than 15 minutes away from Wisconsin Dells. Many people head to that area for a variety of tourist delights but don’t miss out on this wonderful park! There is a calm lake with picturesque shorelines. The park has something for everyone and features camping, hiking, biking, boating, fishing, and swimming.

Natural Bridge

Natural Bridge is a day-use-only park that features a natural sandstone arch bridge and approximately 4 miles of hiking.

Nelson Dewey

Nelson Dewey Park provides excellent views of the mighty Mississippi. There are over two miles of hiking trails and it seems you have an amazing view wherever you go. There is a campground where you can enjoy the vast views overnight.

*New Glarus Woods*

New Glarus Woods State Park is a smaller park with hiking and an awesome play set. There is also camping and bike trail access to the Sugar River State Trail.

Newport

*Pattison*

Pattison has two main waterfalls. Big Manitou Falls is 165 feet and is an impressive site. Little Manitou Falls is just over 30 feet and you can hike right next to both the top and bottom. There are miles of hiking trails, a campsite, and a beach as well.

Peninsula

As the name implies, Peninsula State Park is in fact on a large peninsula and has a large beach, a lighthouse, two boat launches, and a fishing pier. There are two campgrounds, plenty of hiking trails, and several playgrounds. There are great limestone biking trails, park roads to bike on, and some mountain bike trails as well.

Perrot

Potawatomi

Potawatomi State Park is on the shore of Sturgeon Bay with several miles of shoreline to explore. There are plenty of boating opportunities in addition to a campground, eight miles of off-road bike trails, and almost 10 miles of hiking trails.

*Rib Mountain*

Rib Mountain State Park has a LOT to offer. You can hike or drive to the top to see the beautiful views. There are rocks to climb for the kiddos and the young at heart and an observation tower. There are multiple hikes from short ones around the top to longer challenging ones from the very bottom. Chair lift rides to enjoy the fall colors, or in the winter you can hit the downhill ski slopes.

*Roche-A-Cri*

Roche-A-Cri-It has old cave art that is only a short walk from the car. There is a wonderful stair climb to the top of the rocks which is over 300 stairs to the top! They have numerous hiking trails and a campsite.

Rock Island

*Rocky Arbor*

Rocky Arbor is a small state park with a mile hike around the rocky ledge. There is a playground and a campground. It is very close to the tourist town of Wisconsin Dells.

*Straight Lake*

Straight Lake, where you can find serenity, seclusion, and solitude. This park is a gem for those looking to get away from the crowds and enjoy the beauty of Wisconsin. Enjoy the sounds of nature! There are no motorized vehicles allowed in the park past the parking lots. What a wonderful park to find some peace and quiet.

Tower Hill

Tower Hill features a small campground and plenty of backwater areas to explore by canoe/kayak. Approximately 2 miles of trails guide you around the shot tower and some local views.

Whitefish Dunes

Whitefish Dunes State Park features a 1.5-mile beautiful white sand beach, clear blue water, and rocky water edges. There are nearly 15 miles of hiking trails at this park giving a variety of ways to enjoy the dunes.

Wildcat Mountain

Willow River

Wyalusing

Wyalusing State Park overlooks the Wisconsin and Mississippi Rivers. There are over 14 miles of hiking with some trails leading to caves and other unique features. Two of the hiking trails are bike friendly. There are campgrounds available as well as a boat launch. There are 6 miles of marked canoe trails.

Yellowstone Lake

Yellowstone Lake State Park is along the edge of the lake. There is a beach, a boat launch, and great views of the lake from the road. They have hiking, mountain biking, and a campground.

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