Wisconsin January 24, 2017
11 Underrated Wisconsin Parks That Will Bring Out The Adventurer In You
We are blessed to have an amazing system of state parks here in Wisconsin. Many folks who move away lament the lack of public green space wherever they end up because they were so spoiled by the abundance of land available for their use in Wisconsin.
But even with all the amazing parks out there, it seems like Wisconsinites tend to flock to the same few places. While we understand being nostalgic for specific places, there’s way too many great parks out there to explore to keep going back to the same few popular ones.
Check out this list to not only learn about some new parks, but also find out which ones they’re similar to in order to make your transition even smoother:
1. Perrot State Park - Trempealeau
While the masses seem to flock to Wyalusing for camping along the Mississippi, head about two hours north to take in Trempealeau Mountain and amazing canoe and kayak opportunities in Trempealeau Bay. Make sure to hike up Brady's Bluff for the best views. You can also hook up with the Great River State Trail.
Located at W26247 Sullivan Rd., Trempealeau, WI 54661.
2. Yellowstone Lake State Park - Blanchardville
The lake here is 455 acres - something rare for this part of the state. So it's a water-lovers dream, from boating to fishing. And a bit less busy that Mirror Lake. But it's also the only DNR-owned shooting range in the southern part of the state. There's more than 4,000 acres of land to explore.
Located at 8495 Lake Rd., Blanchardville, WI 53516.
3. Richard Bong State Recreation Area - Kansasville
It's a right of Wisconsin childhood passage to giggle at the Bong Rec. Area signs, but have you actually ever visited? It's pretty much guaranteed this place is cooler than anywhere else you've been camping around the state. Originally planned to be an air base, now there are 4,500 acres set aside with some of the only ATV trails this side of the Northwoods. Along with more than 200 campsites, there are zones for model aircraft, hang gliders and hot air balloons, as well as areas for training falcons and hunting or sled dogs
Located at 26313 Burlington Rd.,
Kansasville, WI 53139.
4. Brunet State Park - Cornell
There are folks that love camping along Lake Michigan, but for my money, I prefer Brunet. Every campsite has water frontage and you are free to launch a canoe or kayak and explore the area right from your own overnight plot. Add in the awesome hiking and river cliffs and I'd chose Brunet any day.
Located at 23125 255th St., Cornell, WI 54732.
5. Lakeshore State Park - Milwaukee
If you're looking for peaceful lake views in the middle of an urban setting, skip Bradford Beach and head to Lakeshore Park perched on a strip of land near the art museum and Summerfest ground. There are trails for walking, biking or skating as well as a small marina and some of the best views of Milwaukee to be found anywhere.
Located at 500 N Harbor Dr., Milwaukee, WI 53202.
6. Governor Thompson State Park - Crivitz
Abutting the Peshtigo River State Forest and home to some of the best fishing in the state at the Caldron Falls Flowage, Governor Thompson is a gorgeous combination of water and land recreation and it too often gets overlooked.
Located at N10008 Paust Ln., Crivitz, WI 54114.
7. Big Bay Beach State Park - LaPointe
Folks flock to Bayfield and the Apostle Islands year round, but this small, secluded stretch of beach on Madeline Island usually proves to be much less crowded. Maybe it's that you have to take the ferry and then find it tucked in a small bay of Lake Superior. There are panoramic views of all of Lake Superior as well as some breathtaking sunsets.
Located at 2402 Hagen Road, La Pointe, WI 54850.
8. Hartman Creek State Park - Waupaca
The spring-fed Chain O' Lakes are rather well-known, but this state park holds the head of the chain and is a bit of a respite from the hecticness of summer in the Northwoods. The biking and horseback riding here are particularly gorgeous as the area was particularly affected by glacial retreat, leaving interesting terrain behind.
Located at N2480 Hartman Creek Rd., Waupaca, WI 54981
9. Newport State Park - Ellison Bay
Wisconsin's only formally designated wilderness area, there's just something that much more beautiful and free about Newport. If you're willing to carry your gear in, there are 16 lake-front campsites. There are accessible trails and educational signs all around. A completely different state park than you're used to.
Located at 475 County Road NP, Ellison Bay, WI 54210.
10. Big Foot Beach State Park - Lake Geneva
When everyone else is heading to Devil's Lake on a warm summer day, head to Big Foot for a gorgeous sandy beach, fishing lagoon and awesome picnic areas. Lake Geneva is one of the clearest, cleanest lakes in the state, making it an ideal swimming location.
Located at 1550 S Lakeshore Dr., Lake Geneva, WI 53147.
11. Rock Island State Park - Washington Island
The trip requires a bit more work and the camping is a little more rustic, but if you really want to experience Door County, bypass Peninsula State Park and make your way to Rock Island.
Located at 1924 Indian Point Rd., Washington Island, WI 54246.
Have you visited any of these state parks? What other less-popular, but still awesome parks do you love to visit?
Looking for more Wisconsin hidden gems? Check out
13 Enchanting Spots In Wisconsin You Never Knew Existed.