Lush greenery buzzing with wildlife and an array of resident and migratory bird species, to groomed winter trails which are perfect for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing - that’s what you can expect when you visit any of Wisconsin’s parks.
The state has 66 parks and recreation areas, comprising over 60,570 acres of lands. Some of the activities that visitors can partake in include hiking, swimming, boating, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, scuba diving, hunting, camping and picnicking.
1. Amnicon Falls State Park
Amnicon Falls State Park can be found in South Range, Wisconsin. It is an 825-acre natural space that is popular with visitors of all ages. One of the park’s most iconic features is a historic covered bridge, which contributed to the park being recognized as an IUCN category III natural monument or feature. While standing on the covered bridge, you’ll be able to see a series of waterfalls off the Amnicon River flowing around a small island and under the bridge; it’s one of the most beautiful views you’ll come across at the park. Swimming is allowed in both the Upper and Lower Falls areas; you can also spend your time walking the trails, snowshoeing during the winter, or enjoying the outdoors from one of their 36 campsites.
Address: 4279 County Rd U, South Range, WI 54874, Phone: 715-398-3000
2. Apostle Islands National Lakeshore
Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is an IUCN category V protected landscape/ seascape that can be found on the northern tip of Wisconsin. It’s stunning Lake Superior shoreline as well as the array of natural animal habitats and old-growth remnants forests make it one of the most beautiful outdoor spaces to explore in the state. You’re sure to come across one of the many historic lighthouses or sandstone sea caves as well; Apostle Islands National Lakeshore has more lighthouses than any other National Park Service area. Some of the recreational activities you can participate in include hiking, kayaking, boating, fishing, scuba diving, camping, and limited hunting. More things to do in Wisconsin
Address: 415 Washington Ave, Bayfield, WI 54814, Phone: 715-779-3397
3. Wisconsin Parks: Aztalan State Park
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Established in 1952, Aztalan State Park wasn’t identified as a National Historic Landmark until 1964; it would be two more years after that before it was added to the National Register of Historic Places. The gorgeous 172-acre park can be found in Jefferson County along the Crawfish River. Its most popular aspect is the remnants of an ancient Mississippian culture settlement which flourished there between the 10th and 13th centuries. You’ll still be able to see and walk the steps on the eastern face of the largest platform mound which remains; the earthwork mounds were initially created for political and religious purposes by the indigenous people. You can spend your time there exploring the archeological marvel, hiking, picnicking, hunting, trapping, cross-country skiing, or fishing, boating, canoeing, or kayaking on Crawfish River.
Address: N6200 County Rd Q, Jefferson, WI 53549, Phone: 920-648-8774
4. Blue Mound State Park, Wisconsin
Due to its locations atop the highest point in Southern Wisconsin, visitors at Blue Mound State Park will be able to take in spectacular views of the area’s geological surroundings. There are tons of features and facilities for visitors to enjoy. For example, during the summer you can cool off in the park’s large swimming pool or go on a scenic hike on their 20+ miles of trails. The trails can also be used for off-road biking as well as cross-country skiing in the winter. Camping is another popular activity at the park; there are several campsites scattered throughout the surroundings and a rustic cabin is also available to rent so that people with disabilities can enjoy camping at Blue Mound as well.
Address: 4350 Mounds Park Rd, Blue Mounds, WI 53517
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5. Wisconsin Parks: Copper Falls State Park
Spectacular waterfalls, deep gorges, and ancient lava flows make Copper Falls one of Wisconsin’s most scenic parks. The entire outdoor space is filled with beauty and charm, only made more so wonderful by the log buildings which were built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps and still stand today. There is so much for you to see and do while you’re there such as hiking or biking through their array of trails; the North Country National Scenic Trail passes through the state park. You, along with your friends and family, can also spend the day picnicking, swimming, and fishing, on the refreshingly cool waters which flow through the park.
Address: 36664 Copper Falls Rd, Mellen, WI 54546
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6. Devil's Lake State Park, Wisconsin
Devil’s Lake State Park holds many titles such as being the largest park in Wisconsin, the most visited, and the third oldest state park since it was founded in 1911. Open to the public all year long, you’ll be able to take in the park’s beauty and indulge in all there is to see and do no matter when you decide to pay a visit. You can go hiking on their nearly 30 miles of trails, relax with a good book while enjoying a lakeshore picnic, cool off on of the sandy swimming beaches, or be amazed by the views of the 300-acre namesake lake from atop 500-foot quartzite bluffs.
Address: S5975 Park Rd, Baraboo, WI 53913
7. Wisconsin Parks: Governor Dodge State Park
One of the largest outdoor spaces in Wisconsin, Governor Dodge State Park is 5,350 acres of deep valleys, shimmering lakes, steep hills, bluffs, and a beautiful waterfall. There are nearly 40 miles of trails which are perfect for hiking throughout the year, allowing you to explore and enjoy the surrounding lands of the park during the spring, summer, fall, or winter. There are an additional eight miles of off-road bicycle trails which will challenge cyclers of all skill levels. Some of the trails are closed off in the winter for cross-country skiing and other snow-related activities. Other recreational opportunities offered at the park are horseback riding, camping, picnicking, and swimming, fishing, boating, canoeing, or kayaking on Twin Valley Lakes of Cox Hollow.
Address: 4175 State Highway 23, Dodgeville, WI 53533, Phone: 608-935-2315
8. Harrington Beach State Park
Harrington Beach State Park is a 715-acre park that is filled with wetland ponds, old field grasslands, hardwood and white cedar swamp areas, and a scenic limestone quarry lake. The park has several designated picnicking sites with stunning views you can enjoy. Other activities you can enjoy while there are sunbathing, hiking, bird watching, camping, and fishing. The state park is also the perfect place to enjoy stargazing; there’s an on-site observatory that is open monthly for public viewings. As you walk through the 7 miles of hiking trails or the 1 mile of Lake Michigan shoreline, you’ll be able to see many stunning views including the remains of a 700-foot pier which was used for shipping limestone in the early 1900s.
Address: 531 Co Rd D, Belgium, WI 53004
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9. Wisconsin Parks: Hartman Creek State Park
Hiking, biking, camping, swimming - no matter what outdoor activity you prefer, you can partake at Hartman Creek State Park. There are ten miles of varied, equally-scenic trails to choose from when hiking or horseback riding, as well as an additional 12 miles of off-road biking trails. During the summer, one of the best places to be is at the 300-foot sand beach off of Hartman Lake. Adjacent to the marked-off swimming area, you’ll find three acres of multi-use law area that is perfect for picnics as it is fitted with picnic tables, changing rooms, toilets, and a supply of drinking water.
Address: N2480 Hartman Creek Rd, Waupaca, WI 54981, Phone: 715-258-2372
10. Heritage Hill State Historical Park
Heritage Hill State Historical Park is a 48-acre outdoor green space that was established in 1972 and is governed by the Heritage Hill Foundation. What makes the historical park really stand out from the others is the open-air museum it houses which has over 30 historical structures. Many of the structures that you will see are original, endangered historic buildings which have been moved to the park from other locations for the sake of preservation as well as public viewing; some of the structures are modern reconstructions. You’ll be able to see buildings from Fort Howard, log cabins from the fur trade era, and public buildings and stores from the late 19th century.
Address: 2640 S Webster Ave, Green Bay, WI 54301
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11. Wisconsin Parks: High Cliff State Park
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There is so much for you to enjoy during a visit to High Cliff State Park. Visitors of all ages can go hiking on the many trails which aim to challenge hikers of different skill levels. All trails vary in length and are marked and looped; there are vantage points scattered throughout and you’ll be able to see the cities of Menasha, Oshkosh, and more from the 40-foot observation tower and other spots. Other activities that are offered at the park include biking, horseback riding, swimming, picnicking, fishing, hunting, trapping, skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, boating, canoeing, and kayaking. There are also two pet picnic areas where you can spend time outdoors with your fur family.
Address: N7630 State Park Rd, Sherwood, WI 54169
12. Kohler-Andrae State Park, Wisconsin
Kohler-Andrae State Park is home to a stunning shoreline on Lake Michigan, miles and miles of golden beach, majestic sand dunes, and an array of flora and fauna. It is one of the last natural preserved along the Lake Michigan shore and is a beautiful place for visitors of all ages to explore and enjoy. Spend your day hiking on the system of nature trails as well as the Lake Michigan shorelines and the dune cord walks. Other activities and recreational opportunities which are available there are camping, picnicking, bicycling, horseback riding, boating, canoeing, kayaking, swimming, fishing, hunting, trapping, and cross-country skiing.
Address: 1020 Beach Park Ln, Sheboygan, WI 53081, Phone: 920-451-4080
13. State Parks in Wisconsin: Lakeshore State Park
Lakeshore State Park can be found in the heart of downtown Milwaukee, and though it is just minutes away from the hustle and bustle of the city, you’ll find the park to be a quiet and calm oasis where you can truly enjoy the natural beauty of Wisconsin. There are several educational and recreational opportunities available at the park, making it a fun place to explore for visitors of all ages. Some of the activities you can participate in while you are there include hiking, bicycling, skating, and winter hiking and snowshoeing during the winter. Get out on the waters and enjoy boating, canoeing, kayaking, and fishing, whether it be on a boar or the fishing pier on the south lagoon.
Address: 500 N Harbor Dr, Milwaukee, WI 53202, Phone: 414-274-4281
14. Lower Wisconsin State Riverway
Lower Wisconsin State Riverway allows you to do so much within its beautiful surroundings such as fishing, hunting, hiking, horseback riding, canoeing, boating, or just enjoying the gorgeous river scenery as you drive down the country roads. The Riverway is filled with flora and fauna, especially an array of resident and migratory bird species. The boundary surrounding the riverway comprises 95,000 acres of wooded natural lands which are perfect for exploring for visitors of all ages. Camping is available not only in the adjacent state parks but also on the islands and sandbars found within the riverway.
Address: 202 N Wisconsin Avenue, Muscoda, WI 53573, Phone: 608-739-3188
15. Mirror Lake State Park, Wisconsin
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Mirror Lake State Park is named after its namesake centerpiece, Mirror Lake. The stunning body of water is calm and peaceful and reflects a gorgeous wooded shoreline - offering a view that can’t be found at many other parks in Wisconsin. You’ll get to see views of 50-foot-high cliffs, wetlands, and a variety of flora and fauna as you explore the park. There are tons of activities you can participate in such as cooling off in the park’s swimming beach, picnicking in the designated areas, camping in the wooded grounds, or renting out one of the park’s many cabins for a wonderful time outdoors.
Address: E10320 Fern Dell Rd, Baraboo, WI 53913
16. State Parks in Wisconsin: Nelson Dewey State Park
Nelson Dewey State Park is a 756-acre outdoor space which was established in 1935. The park is situated aside the Mississippi River and is an amazing composition of naturally beautiful areas. You can spend your time at the park walking the trails all the way to the top, where you’ll be greeted by gorgeous bluff-top views of the Mississippi River Valley. There are 45 camping sites scattered throughout the park’s campground; you’ll get some of the best views of the surroundings by staying at one of the four walk-in camping sites located along the top of the bluffs.
Address: 12190 Co Hwy VV, Cassville, WI 53806, Phone: 608-725-5374
17. Newport State Park, Wisconsin
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Spanning 2,737 acres, Newport State Park is one of the state’s few formally designated wilderness areas. It is extremely popular with visitors as there’s so much to see and do on land and in water - there are over eleven miles of Lake Michigan shoreline at the park. You go hiking or biking on over thirty miles of trails, much of which will take you through the stunning wetlands, upland meadows, and hardwood forests which are situated in the park. Other activities you can participate in are fishing and limited hunting, for which you’ll need proper licenses, camping, boating, canoeing, kayaking, cross-country skiing, and stargazing.
Address: 475 County Rd NP, Ellison Bay, WI 54210
18. State Parks in Wisconsin: Pattison State Park
Pattison State Park’s crown jewel is Big Manitou Falls, a tributary of the Nemadji River and the highest waterfall in the state of Wisconsin at 165 feet; while you’re there, you’ll also be able to see Little Manitou Falls which has a height of 30 feet. The park was established in 1920, spans over 1,436 acres, and is named after Martin Pattison, an early miner and lumber man. You can take part in many activities while you’re there - start your visit at the Gitche Gumee Nature Center which has several exhibits dedicated to the flora and fauna in the area. Other things you can do is swim in the park’s sandy beach, camp in the 59 modern campsites, or hike, ski, or snowshoe through the nine miles of trails.
Address: 6294 WI-35, Superior, WI 54880
19. State Parks Near Me: Perrot State Park
Perrot State Park is one of the best outdoor spaces in Wisconsin to partake in bird and wildlife watching. There are several observation platforms scattered throughout the 1,270-acre park, many of which also offer views of the river valleys and steep limestone bluffs. The park protects two State Natural Areas: Trempealeau Mountain and Brady’s Bluff Prairie. You can explore these beautiful areas while hiking or mountain biking through the park’s many trails and camping in the stunning untouched grounds. Trempealeau Mountain was traditionally considered sacred by the Native Americans and was used as a landmark for meetings; visitors today will still be able to see earthwork mounds which were made by them.
Address: 26247 Sullivan Rd, Trempealeau, WI 54661, Phone: 608-534-6409
20. Kettle Moraine State Forest
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Open all year long, Kettle Moraine State Forest is separated into six units: Northern Unit, Southern Unit, Pike Lake Unit, Loew Lake Unit, Lapham Peak Unit, and Mukwonago River Unit. There are different amenities available in each of the aspects; for example, the Northern Unit has several recreational areas, an observation tower, a beach, a boat launch, and a campground. Visitors can enjoy boating off of the Ottawa Lake Recreation Area, hiking, camping, and visiting a number of farmsteads in the Southern Unit. If you prefer spending your time horse riding or hunting, head over to the Loew Lake Unit.
Address: 3544 Kettle Moraine Rd, Hartford, WI 53027
21. Potawatomi State Park, Wisconsin
Potawatomi State Park is filled with several outdoor activities the entire family can do and enjoy while in Wisconsin. The park has a number of multi-use trails, including the eastern terminus of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail. You can use the trails to go hiking, bicycling, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling. The park also has two miles of water frontage on Green Bay; during the summer you can head out on to the waters and partake in fishing, boating, and canoeing. There are several picnic areas along the Sturgeon Bay shoreline, a couple of playgrounds, limited hunting and trapping areas, and a number of modern camping sites.
Address: 3740 Park Dr, Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235
22. Rib Mountain State Park, Wisconsin
Comprising an amphitheater, multiple concession stands, a ski resort, and the Granite Peak Ski Area, Rib Mountain State Park is one of the most popular outdoor spaces in the entire state. The park was established in 1927 and has since then, been a place of fun and recreation for local and visiting families. The mountain, the main feature of the park, is almost four miles long and peaks at 1,942 feet. When the ski area atop the mountain opened, it was the nation’s first ski area in the west and one of the first public ski areas in North America.
Address: 4200 Park Rd, Wausau, WI 54401
23. Rock Island State Park, Wisconsin
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Rock Island State Park was created in 1969 and is a year-round state park which spans 883 acres. It is managed by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation and is centered on a peninsula which is surrounded by rivers which flow down to Center Hill Lake. Camping is one of the most popular activities visitors partake in at the park; they have 60 campsites and ten cabins to rent out. Other things you can do while there are hiking on the two trails available, one of which runs along the Collins River. Anglers usually head straight to “Blue Hole” for fishing during the summer months.
Address: 82 Beach Rd, Rock Island, TN 38581, Phone: 931-686-2471
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24. Wildcat Mountain State Park, Wisconsin
Located in Vernon County, Wildcat Mountain State Park is a stunning outdoor space filled with bodies of water, lush greenery, and sandstone and limestone bluffs. The state park is immediately adjacent to the Kickapoo Valley Reserve, and together, they form a continuous protected area. The state park is open all year long and offers an array of recreational activities for people to participate in. During the summer months you can enjoy hiking, fishing, and canoeing and during the winter, visitors can take part in horseback riding, snow shoeing, and cross-country skiing. Other facilities in the park include a nature center, picnic facilities, and bird and wildlife viewing stations.
Address: E13660 WI-33, Ontario, WI 54651
25. Yellowstone Lake State Park, Wisconsin
An IUCN protected landscape and seascape, Yellowstone Lake State Park is a 968-acre state park that was established in 1970 and is a part of the Yellowstone Lake State Wildlife Area. Its main and most popular feature is a 455-acre reservoir which is a tributary of the Pecatonica River and offers opportunities for visitors to go fishing. Some of the fish species anglers will be able to catch are largemouth bass, channel catfish, walleye, and northern pike. Other activities you can participate in are picnicking, swimming, hiking, cross-country skiing, horseback riding, and boating. Some of the amenities you’ll find there are a boat rental service, a boat launch, designated picnic areas, and a golden sand beach.
Address: 8495 N Lake Rd, Blanchardville, WI 53516, Phone: 608-523-4427
The 25 Best Wisconsin State Parks near me today according to local experts:
- 1. Amnicon Falls State Park
- 2. Apostle Islands National Lakeshore
- 3. Wisconsin Parks: Aztalan State Park
- 4. Blue Mound State Park, Wisconsin
- 5. Wisconsin Parks: Copper Falls State Park
- 6. Devil's Lake State Park, Wisconsin
- 7. Wisconsin Parks: Governor Dodge State Park
- 8. Harrington Beach State Park
- 9. Wisconsin Parks: Hartman Creek State Park
- 10. Heritage Hill State Historical Park
- 11. Wisconsin Parks: High Cliff State Park
- 12. Kohler-Andrae State Park, Wisconsin
- 13. State Parks in Wisconsin: Lakeshore State Park
- 14. Lower Wisconsin State Riverway
- 15. Mirror Lake State Park, Wisconsin
- 16. State Parks in Wisconsin: Nelson Dewey State Park
- 17. Newport State Park, Wisconsin
- 18. State Parks in Wisconsin: Pattison State Park
- 19. State Parks Near Me: Perrot State Park
- 20. Kettle Moraine State Forest
- 21. Potawatomi State Park, Wisconsin
- 22. Rib Mountain State Park, Wisconsin
- 23. Rock Island State Park, Wisconsin
- 24. Wildcat Mountain State Park, Wisconsin
- 25. Yellowstone Lake State Park, Wisconsin