12 Wisconsin Campgrounds for Active Adventures

Camping is more than just setting up a tent and eating s’mores. For many travelers it’s also about the adventure.

We’ve picked some fun outdoor activities highlighted at campgrounds around the state so you can get the best of both worlds, depending on the activity you’re most interested in. All this while enjoying the great Wisconsin outdoors this season!

River Tubing

The Apple River Hideaway in Somerset is a great destination for tubing and camping and river tubing in northwest Wisconsin. They offer tree-lined sites along the Apple River, and tube rentals that are good for the entire day. Set up your tent, grab a tube and drift along the river. Weekends on the Apple River can get a little rowdy as the waterway transforms into one of the largest outdoor pool parties; however, Sundays through Thursdays are the perfect times for family fun.

If you’re in northeast Wisconsin check out Wolf River Trips & Campground in New London for a fun-filled family vacation along the Little Wolf River. Campsites range from rustic to electric, with sites both along the river’s edge or secluded in the woods.

Kayaking/Canoeing

The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is a treasure trove of paddling adventures for kayak and canoe enthusiasts. Head to Big Bay Town Park on Madeline Island for the perfect blend of camping and paddling. Bring your own or rent one of the boats provided while you explore the entrance to the dazzling Big Bay Lagoon and more than a mile of beach along the Lake Superior shore.

If primitive camping is more your style, head to the Kickapoo Valley Reserve in the Driftless Region for a rustic atmosphere and a chance to paddle down Wisconsin’s “crookedest” river.

Fishing

It’s hard to narrow down the perfect place to go camping and fishing in Wisconsin, because there are so many destinations to choose from! Both are popular activities across the entire Midwest, so here are just a few suggestions to get you started.

Sure-Wood Forest Campground in Tomahawk is right on the north shore of Lake Alice, and also has access to the Wisconsin River. Sure-Wood Forest Campground provides boat rentals including fishing boats, canoes and a pontoon. Common catches include musky, northern pike, walleye, bass, crappie, perch and bluegill.

In the southern part of the state, head to Lake Joy Campground in Belmont – a family-owned campground on a private spring-fed lake which has some of the best fishing in the area. They offer rental boats and a selection of live worms and artificial lures for your convenience; not to mention excellent fishing opportunities for large and small mouth bass, walleye, catfish, northern pike, crappie and bluegills (no fishing license required!).

Horseback Riding

If your passion is horseback riding, then the Wild West Campground in Amherst is your go-to destination. Pack up your RV, camper or tent and gather your friends and family to experience the life of a modern cowboy on 90 acres of scenic, rustic countryside in central Wisconsin.

Wild West Campground has a corral with more than 20 horses that love to take visitors for a ride. Their horses are gentle enough to take care of a first-time greenhorn, and well trained so that an experienced rider can have just as much fun.

Rock Climbing

Devil’s Lake State Park in Baraboo is known to have some of the best rock climbing experiences in the Midwest. With more than 1,600 listed rock climbing routes on picturesque cliffs, there is no shortage of locations to climb at Devil’s Lake. For those new to rock climbing, there are several instructors and outfitters in the area excited to show you the ropes, like Vertical Adventure Guides.

With so much to do in the area including swimming, hiking, biking and boating, Devil’s Lake is the busiest state park in Wisconsin and offers hundreds of campsites.  Be sure to get your reservation in early!

You can also check out one of the nearby private campgrounds like Wheeler’s Campground or Nordic Pines Campground.

ATV Riding

When ATVs grab your attention, head to Merrillan to stay at Doc’s Bunkhouse Campground, which welcomes RVs and tents with plenty of parking for your all-terrain vehicle. Doc’s has direct access to the ATV trails of Clark and Jackson counties and their very own ATV Park. Stop by the on-site Bunker Bar & Grill, open seven days a week, to sit out on the patio overlooking the mud pit.

Don’t own an ATV? That’s okay, because Doc’s is located just a few miles away from Hatfield Sports Shop, which can assist you with all your rental needs.

Off-Road Biking

Offering 30 miles of mountain bike trails, the Kettle Moraine State Park – Southern Unit in Eagle has some fantastic off-road biking opportunities in southern Wisconsin. They even have a special loop created for newer mountain bike riders to test their skills in a variety of terrains. This state park has three separate campgrounds with almost 300 individual sites for campers to reserve.

If you’re headed north, then you can’t beat the CAMBA Mountain Bike Trail System with more than 300 miles of marked and mapped routes through a near-wilderness. Located in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, there are numerous locations for tent or RV camping around the area.

Plan your camping trip with our statewide directory, or subscribe for the inside scoop on Wisconsin’s campgrounds and natural attractions.

This entry was posted in Adventure Sports, Campgrounds, Camping