To me, summer is not complete without at least a few camping trips. You got the s’mores and hotdogs over the fire. A day of hiking, biking, fishing, kayaking or swimming (or all of the above). Priceless memories. And best of all, it’s dirt cheap if not free. I’ve gone on two camping trips this summer and hope to squeeze in a few more. Here are ten of the best camping spots in Wisconsin:
1. Devil's Lake State Park (Baraboo)
Devil's Lake State Park is one of the most scenic parts of all of Wisconsin. It features a 360 acre lake with sandy beaches. You can also explore 29 MILES of hiking trails. There are two concession stands. Enjoy 500 foot bluffs that overlook the lake. Modern amenities like showers and toilets are available.
2. Peninsula State Park (Door County)
This stunning park is just under 4,000 acres, with excellent bike trails and sandy swimming beaches. There's even an 18 hole golf course! Get a photo of the 1860's lighthouse. You have your choice of several different campgrounds, some of which have showers, too.
3. Apostle Islands (just off the Bayfield Peninsula, Northern Wisconsin)
As you can see, one of the biggest draws to camping here is that you have a superb kayaking opportunity. Whoa! There are 21 islands in all making up the Apostle Islands. You're able to camp on 18 of them. You do need a permit to do so--but on the plus side, you can reserve your spot ahead of time. As always whenever you're in Northern Wisconsin, be on the lookout for bears.
4. High Cliff State Park (Sherwood)
Lots of beautiful limestone abounds. Get a photo of the 12 foot statute of Red Bird. You have your pick of 112 campsites. There is even one if someone in your party is disabled. There is a general store and museum that sells cold drinks and snacks.
5. Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest (Rhinelander)
The forest covers a whopping 1.5 MILLION acres. As such, there are TONS of campgrounds that are spread out all over the place. You can get ones that have your modern conveniences, or you can go the "primitive" route. You can get a cabin to rent as well. Either way, this is a beautiful place to explore.
6. Black River State Forest (Black River Falls)
Black River State Forest is underutilized but one of the most beautiful places in Wisconsin. You can camp, hunt, ski, and get on your ATV. Pick from several campsites. You can go ultra-rustic or stay inside in a group camp. Elk are being brought up from Kentucky. There will eventually be a population of around 150.
7. Rock Island State Park (Washington)
You can only get here by ferry because no cars are allowed. But do yourself a favor, and get on the ferry. It's gorgeous up there. Enjoy 2000 feet of beach. There are forty campsites, but they are primitive.
8. Lake Wissota State Park (Chippewa Falls)
Enjoy a nearly 300 foot swimming beach and a 6,300 acre lake. On the lake, you'll find plenty of kayakers and water skiing going on. If you prefer activities on land, check out the great biking trails or even ride a horse. Here you can find some excellent, secluded campsites. You have 118 sites, 56 of which have electricity.
9. Willow River State Park (Hudson)
Enjoy 3000 of Wisconsin's finest acres, the centerpiece of which is the falls which cascade into a 200 feet deep gorge. There are three sites you can choose from--some for just tents, others accommodating RVs as well.
10. Turtle-Flambeau Flowage (Iron County)
It's an epic place to go fishing but also incredible to go camping. Want remote? There are 66 sites only accessible via water. Bring your camera---majestic wildlife is everywhere. It is tranquil.
What is your favorite place to camp in Wisconsin? Let us know in the comments.