The Mississippi River accounts for a large portion of Wisconsin’s western border, which means there is no shortage of camping options with gorgeous views and lush natural areas to explore. Whether you’re planning to hike along the river or hop in a boat to do some fishing, these campgrounds will allow you to experience the Mississippi in your own unique way. Wherever you go, you’ll be sure to witness some of the most magnificent views Wisconsin has to offer.
Wisconsin may not be known for its elevation, but your ears just might pop as you enter Wyalusing State Park and ascend the giant bluff. Situated 500 feet above the confluence of the Mississippi and Wisconsin rivers, it goes without saying that the views from the trails and campgrounds are truly jaw-dropping.
This 2,700-acre park is one of the oldest in the state and is home to both the Homestead and Wisconsin Ridge campgrounds. With more than 14 miles of hiking trails to explore, you’ll find caves, waterfalls, and scenic overlooks all worth stopping for. If you’re hoping to experience the river firsthand, the canoe trail and on-site rentals give you the opportunity to paddle the back channels of the Mississippi.
Perrot State Park is located where the Mississippi and Trempealeau rivers meet, forming a lush valley abundant with wildlife of all types. 12.5 miles of hiking trails wind their way throughout the park and eventually lead you to the top of the bluff where the view will undoubtedly take your breath away. Perrot is also home to two state designated natural areas, Brady’s Bluff and Trempealeau Mountain, that offer challenging hikes and views that make the effort completely worth it!
In addition to some of the best views of the Mississippi in the state, Perrot is also known for its archaeological and historical resources. Just a short walk from your campsite, be sure to make a stop at the nature center to learn about the Native Americans who once called the area home – you might even be able to identify an effigy mound on your hike.
Plenty of parks and campgrounds feature campsites along the river’s edge, but Goose Island Campground is actually surrounded by the river. Situated on an island within the back channels of the river, this county campground provides a unique way to experience the Mighty Mississippi.
Being surrounded by the river makes Goose Island an excellent choice for those looking to do some fishing. The on-site canoe rentals, bait shop, and fish cleaning house provide everything anglers need to stay well-equipped throughout their visit regardless of experience level.
If you’re hoping to check out the river from a higher vantage point, the nearby Grandad Bluff Park offers incredible panoramic views of the river valley and city of La Crosse.
Merrick State Park has long been described as a haven for boaters and anglers alike. With a variety of picturesque waterfront and island campsite options available, it’s not hard to understand why! You can hop right into your canoe or kayak and start exploring the winding channels flowing into the Mississippi.
If you don’t have equipment of your own, both canoes and kayaks are available for rent on-site. Merrick is also able to accommodate most motorized watercraft with two easily accessible boat launches.
Whether you’re out on the boat or casting from the shore, you’ll be sure to encounter bluegills, crappies, bass, and more. If you’re really lucky, you might even spot a bald eagle between casts!