5 Wisconsin State Parks for Camping With a View

By Jonathan Eckelberg
Staff Writer

Imagine opening the flap on your tent to reveal a beautiful vista, complete with rolling hills and winding rivers. In Wisconsin, you can get just that and more with the beautiful scenery of our state parks.

Pitch your tent along the bluffs of Wyalusing, or on the beach of Rock Island. You couldn’t ask for more breathtaking views providing both excitement and relaxation as you revel in the outdoors.

Wyalusing State ParkBagley

Camp 500 feet above the confluence of the Wisconsin and Mississippi rivers at one of Wisconsin’s oldest state parks. The park is home to two campgrounds, Wisconsin Ridge and Homestead. To experience the best views, pitch your tent bluffside and take in your surroundings for miles.

There’s no shortage of things to do while you camp. Visit the many Native American burial mounds situated inside the park, or travel down the canoe trail. A boat ramp gives you access to the mighty Mississippi.

You’ll feel as if you’re on top of the world staying at Wyalusing, so hoot and holler as you relish the edge of the bluffs … don’t keep those feelings bottled up!

Harrington Beach State ParkBelgium

Just two hours north of Chicago and located right along the shore of Lake Michigan, this park encompasses 702 acres, including a mile-long sandy beach and scenic 25-acre quarry lake.

Hike through the 80-acre white cedar lowland forest for a chance to see uninhibited wildlife and colors aplenty. If you’re into fishing, Quarry Lake and Puckett’s Pond provide angling opportunities for trout, smallmouth bass and panfish.

If soaking up the sun at the beach, or taking in a beautiful sunrise over the waves is where you belong, you won’t be disappointed with a stay at Harrington Beach.

Big Bay State ParkMadeline Island

This campground located near a mile-and-a-half secluded beach is a beautiful spot to camp. Tucked away in a bay on Madeline Island's shore of Lake Superior this park is a must stop to veiw some of the state's undisturbed wilderness. Wake up to the sounds of waves outside your tent or end the day with a spectacular sunset on the beach. 

In order to get to Madeline Island you must take a ferry ride from Bayfield which just adds to the adventure. 

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Mirror Lake State ParkBaraboo

Near the ever-famous Wisconsin Dells, you’ll find a picturesque lake surrounded by sandstone bluffs. The campsites are wooded for your privacy, but just steps away from the water.

Boat, canoe or kayak across the deep-blue lake and view the ancient rock formations, settled by early civilizations. The park’s main draw, the lake, is entirely no-wake.

The no-wake zone, combined with the expansive bluffs that protect the lake from wind, gives the lake its mirror-like appearance and allows for easy paddling. No chance of waking to the sound of a boat engine roaring here!

Rock Island State ParkWashington Island

Even the journey to Rock Island is extraordinary. Take the ferry from the Door County peninsula to Washington Island, and then the Karfi Ferry to Rock Island. The awe-inspiring views while gliding across Lake Michigan, you won’t easily forget.

Rock Island itself is complete with stone buildings, built by a wealthy inventor who used to own the island. Set up your tent right along either the Green Bay or Lake Michigan sides of the island and get all the time in the water you want. Who wouldn’t want to camp on an island?

Summer and fall aren’t the only times to take in these breathtaking views at Wisconsin’s state parks. Winter provides for a brand new landscape.

Load up the camping gear and prepare to be wowed as you settle in for the evening, and wake each morning at these beautiful state parks.

Find a campground near you in our state parks and forests directory, and discover more great views at these shoreline camping options throughout the state!

This entry was posted in State Parks & Forests Camping