Camping in & Around Wisconsin's National Parks

Wisconsin is unique in that it’s home to a national lakeshore, a national scenic riverway, a national forest and a tribal national park! These awe-inspiring natural areas make for one-of-a-kind getaways, made even more memorable by experiencing them with your favorite people. So, pack up the camping gear and head out to explore these national treasures.

Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

At the northern tip of Wisconsin, a group of 21 islands in Lake Superior form the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. Eighteen of these islands, plus an area on the mainland, offer camping destinations ranging from sandy shoreline campsites to wooded areas so secluded you likely won’t see anyone else around.

These islands are only accessible by boat—you and your crew can take the ferry to Madeline Island or book a kayak camping excursion with one of the many guides in the area. With sandstone sea caves, historic lighthouses and unique sights on each island, this is sure to be one camping trip you’ll never forget.

More camping near the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore:

•    Apostle Islands Area Campground - Bayfield

  • Electric campsites
  • Water/sewer hookups and flush toilets
  • WIFI
  • Cabin rentals

•    Little Sand Bay Recreational Area - Russel

  • Boat ramp and dock
  • Swimming beach
  • Picnic area and Gazebo
  • Ball field and game area
  • Amenities for tent and RV camping

•    Big Bay State Park - Madeline Island

  • Electric campsites
  • Showers and flush toilets
  • Ball field and game area
  • Beach wheelchair available

St. Croix National Scenic Riverway

The St. Croix River and the Namekagon River come together to create part of the natural border between Minnesota and Wisconsin, called the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway. This riverway offers miles of lush scenery where visitors can canoe, fish, hike, hunt and ride horses—all while observing wildlife native to the area.

Primitive campsites can be found nestled along the river’s edge with the vast majority being only accessible by boat or canoe. There are individual campsites as well as group sites, and visitors can stay for up to three days at a site. Step away from your everyday and immerse yourself in nature at this nationally recognized wonder.

Enjoy the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway without the boating:

•    Governor Knowles State Forest - Grantsburg

  • Three different campgrounds, some with electric sites
  • Many nature trails leading to the river

•    Interstate State Park - St. Croix Falls

  • Two campgrounds and primitive group campsite
  • Shower facilities in north campground
  • Three state natural areas within the park's 1,400- acres
  • Ice Age Interpretive Center

Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest

Originally two separate forests, the Chequamegon and Nicolet Forests are now one national treasure. Together they stretch the northern expanse of Wisconsin, overlapping with parts of the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway in the west and reaching to Marinette in the east.

Glaciers were a dominant force in the formation of this forest’s unique and ranging topography. Stay at the Namekagon Campground for a view of a sparkling lake that is also the headwaters of the Namekagon River. Swim, fish or boat in the lake and explore, hiking, and mountain bike trails nearby, as well as tasty local restaurants along the lake shoreline to enjoy after a long day of adventuring together.

Explore this list of campsites that range from secluded to those with more modern conveniences.

Frog Bay Tribal National Park 

Take a trip to Frog Bay to experience the United States’ first ever tribal national park. Located within the Red Cliff Reservation at the northern tip of Wisconsin, you and your group will marvel at the pristine shoreline along Lake Superior, lush forest, a view of five of the Apostle Islands and much more.

While camping is not permitting within the park, nearby Buffalo Bay Campground and Marina offers a stunning view of Lake Superior with campsites for tents and RVs. Explore Frog Bay Tribal National Park and learn about the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa’s history in this beautiful area.

Looking to make more memories in Wisconsin’s stunning landscapes? Check out these accessible state parks for more refreshing fun. 

This entry was posted in Camping Campgrounds National Parks & Forests