Beautiful Rocky Arbor State Park is the perfect place to visit to get a little downtime when visiting Wisconsin Dells. This small state park is only a couple of miles from the city but feels like a completely different place. Rather than the bright lights and hustle of the tourist town, it is calm and peaceful. Check out what a visit to Rocky Arbor State Park has to offer.
Hiking at Rocky Arbor State Park
There is a one-mile hike at Rocky Arbor. It is a loop trail featuring the beautiful rocky ledges the park gets its name from. There is only a small amount of elevation gain making this a pretty manageable hike for a variety of hikers. If you take the hike counterclockwise you will have a few sets of stairs to go up toward the campground and then it is smooth sailing. This hike is not stroller friendly.
Picnics and Playgrounds
At the entrance of the park, there are several picnic tables but no large grassy area. There is a playground near the entrance and the park office. It is an average size and has a cool rock climbing feature. It is not on the park map but is easy to find when you visit Rocky Arbor.
Camping at Rocky Arbor
Can’t get enough of the park? There are 89 campsites. The campground has flush toilets and showers. There are a limited number of spots (approximately 20) with electricity.
Nearby Nature Tours
Wisconsin Dells is most known for waterparks but it was originally a location chosen as a tourist destination due to its natural beauty. There are lots of places to enjoy nature and the great outdoors.
Wisconsin Dells has great boat tours allowing for spectacular views from the water. We love the Original Wisconsin Duck boat tours. The Ducks drive on land and in the water offering a truly unique experience. The boat drivers have a lot of punny jokes and information about the area. For strictly a boat ride check Dells Boat Tours. The boat tours are the only way to see the beautiful Witches Gulch. From the tour you can also see Stand Rock. If you’d like a little hike close to town, check out the River Walk. It is only about 1/2 mile and gives a view of the river.
Nearby Animal Attractions
Ready for some animals? These are not native to Wisconsin but are a lot of fun! Timbavati Wildlife Park is a wonderful zoo with plenty of beautiful animals. We did the Timbavati VIP tour in the winter, the only way to see the zoo in the off season, and it was amazing! There was a private tour of the giraffe house and we got to hold a baby kangaroo.
Prefer reptiles? Check out Alligator Alley. Be sure to check the hours as they can be limited especially in the off season. During the summer, for a hands on experience, check out the Wisconsin Deer Park.
With Wisconsin Dells so close there are plenty of options for food. For a family friendly sports bar, check out Monks Bar and Grill. If you want a faster option, we like the Dells Pizza Lab where everyone can design their own pizza with tons of topping options. We also like Hot Dog Avenue for delicious burgers, dogs, and sandwiches. For an eclectic mix of decor check out the Grateful Shed. It is a warehouse with a collection of food trucks packed from floor to ceiling with cool memorabilia including a full sized bus hanging from the ceiling that has seating areas. If you want a supper club try The Del Bar.
For kids we love Buffalo Phils. The food is standard pub food but you can get your food delivered by model trail! Plus it is attached to Knuckleheads arcade which has an indoor ropes course, laser tag, and more.
In Wisconsin Dells, you will never run out of activities. Check out their site for more information on the waterparks, mini golf sites, and all the tourist gems to be found in this fun town. If you are looking specifically for more information about the indoor waterparks, check out my post on a winter visit to Wisconsin Dells here.
Nearby State Parks
Do you love Wisconsin State Parks? Mirror Lake is less than 15 minutes south of Rocky Arbor. It is a much larger park with biking, year round camping, nearly 20 miles of hiking, a beach, and beautiful lake views.
Roche-A-Cri is about 40 minutes north. It features a 303 step climb, rocky petroglyphs, a small campsite, and several miles of hiking. Buckhorn is also about 30 minutes North. It features hiking, camping, 1,000’s of acres of adjacent state wildlife areas, and plenty of water access. MillBluff State Park is about 30 minutes northwest and has camping, hiking, swimming and picturesque views.
Wisconsin’s most popular state park, Devils Lake, is about 25 minutes south. There you will find everything you could want in a park from cool rock formations, rock climbing, hiking, camping, and a beach. Natural Bridge State Park is 40 minutes southwest. There are several miles of hikes including one to the namesake of the park.