Close your eyes and imagine sitting on a camp chair in the Wisconsin wilderness. Someone asks if that’s a waterfall they can hear in the distance. That clearing just a few steps from your campsite leads you along a hiking trail right up the rushing falls. Or, imagine you’re sitting on a piece of driftwood on the shoreline of Lake Michigan, seeing more of the night sky than ever. Whatever you’re dreaming about for your next camping trip, you can surround yourself with nature starting right at your campsite. Wisconsin state parks boast campsites where you can see some of the state’s most beautiful and stimulating landmarks from the instant you wake up to the moment you drift off to sleep.
There’s no better Northwoods island than Brunet Island State Park. The Chippewa and Fisher rivers frame the wooded island, surrounding you with northwestern Wisconsin waterways. It’s a stop on the Old Abe State Trail, and the rolling landscape meshes with the quiet lagoons to create a peaceful energy perfect for valuable friend and family time. Drive right up to your campsite along the edge of the Chippewa River and its bays. Then, set up a tent with fairy lights and lots of pillows for a cozy beach theme at the north end of the campground.
For those looking to get away from it all, Rock Island State Park is the perfect hideaway. It’s accessed only by the local ferry, so you can let the waves of Lake Michigan sway you into hidden island mode. The state park in Door County boasts 2,000 feet of sandy beach and miles of trails, so you can go between hikes and swims throughout the day. Live the lake life and get a perfect view of the ferry line at a walk-in group site with a boathouse right next door. Remote campsites can give you a wilder adventure, too. Set up tents or hammocks right on the water and sleep under the stars. These walk-in rustic sites let you live on island time and are set up with fire rings so the whole gang can roast marshmallows on the beach.
Camping with a view takes on a new meaning at the Wisconsin Ridge Campground at Wyalusing State Park. As you drive into the grounds, your jaw will drop when you approach your bluffside campsite that overlooks the mighty Mississippi River from 500 feet up. Showers are available for all campers and several sites feature electrical hookups. From the top of the ridge, you’ll also be just steps away from a waterfall hiking trail. If everyone is really quiet, you might even hear that whoosh of the water rushing down.
In search of a more active way to settle in for the night? The flowage of the Turtle-Flambeau Scenic Waters Area offers a spread of 66 remote sites that are accessible by water only. With no camper registration, paddlers can glide through the waters for different campsites on a first-come, first-served basis. No one will forget the trip where they paddled from campsite to campsite to stay on a different landmass each night of their trek. Some of these sites are also in the voluntary quiet area that takes up 20% of the flowage. These sites offer a serene getaway for paddlers, campers and anglers alike. It might even be the perfect time to try out canoe or kayak fishing.
Backpackers looking to explore will want to visit Newport State Park. The park itself covers eleven miles of Lake Michigan shoreline and thirty miles of hiking trails. You’ll be able to pick your perfect spot along the trail as the campsites are hike-in and run along the shoreline. Everyone will be able to experience the ocean-like beaches of the great Lake Michigan from the moment you wake up to the moment you fall asleep. And since it’s an International Dark Sky Park, you’ll have a starry view you won’t find anywhere else.
Falling asleep to the sound of rushing waterfalls might sound like a dream, but it’s very much a reality at Amnicon Falls State Park located in northern Wisconsin. The campground is mostly rustic and the shaded campsites have no electric hookups or showers, but that’s exactly what allows for the sounds of the waterfalls and rapids of the Amnicon River to travel their way to your campsite.
Picturing yourself at one of these campsites? Reserve your favorite one (or all of them) now for the best summer ever.
For more scenic camping spots, check out these campgrounds!