Bird Watching In Wisconsin State Parks
Its unique location makes Wyalusing State Park a favorite among a variety of nesting species, although its list of breeding birds is also worth taking note of. Avid bird-watchers stopping by this park can expect glimpses of the Indigo Bunting, the Baltimore Oriole, and the Bells Vireo. During the migration season, the American White Pelican and the Osprey can be seen in abundance along the parks rivers.
There are hundreds of species that have made their home within Devils Lake State Park, including the Acadian Flycatcher, the Broad-winged Hawk, and the Wood Thrush. The parks oak forest area is also rich with a number of rarities.
Harrington Beach State Park is known for having one of the highest species counts of any other birding spot in Wisconsin. Plenty of ducks, shorebirds, gulls, and terns can be seen here, as well as rarities like the Harlequin Duck and the Glaucous Gull.
Located in southwestern Wisconsin, Yellowstone Lake State Park is considered by many to be one of the best birding spots in the state. Its 455-acre lake attracts a ton of dabbling and diving ducks, as well as other incredible varieties during the migration season. Bird-watchers may observe the Henslows Sparrow, the Bobolink, and the Sedge Wren here.
When Is The Best Time To Go Camping In Wisconsin
Wisconsin state parks are open year-round. But if youre not prepared for severe winter weather, you should avoid camping from November-February. Great outdoor winter activities are available, but most campsites dont offer full hook-ups. So unless youre prepared with solar and extra batteries, your stay may not be as enjoyable during those colder months.
Summer is prime camping season in Wisconsin. This means the areas are more crowded, but you experience pleasant weather and lots of outdoor fun. More campsites are available in the non-winter months since the park system only clears a handful during the winter.
Copper Falls State Park Wisconsin
- Accommodation Options: The best way to enjoy the beauty here is by renting a cabin or a cottage. On VRBO, I found this scenic waterfront Log Home and this cabin rental comes with its own dock.
Its easy to see why Copper Falls is considered one of the top northern Wisconsin state parks.
The deep gorges, ancient lava flows, and spectacular waterfalls make Copper Falls State Park Wisconsin one of the most scenic parks. On top, its considered one of the best Wisconsin state parks with waterfalls.
Located about two miles northeast of Mellen in Ashland County, one can reach it by taking State Highway 13 to the north side of Mellen and turn on State Highway 169. Go about 1.8 miles and the parks entrance will be on your left.
This state park offers hiking, picnicking, fishing, and swimming as well as other activities, but one of the main highlights is the North Country National Scenic Trail.
This trail offers some of the best hiking in Northern Wisconsin and is well worth a trip to the park.
The park has 54 regular campsites with a group camping area big enough for 40 people, offering an overnight stay and for people with disabilities, a rustic bin.
Copper Falls is in the heart of the prime fishing area, offering all kinds of sport fishing within easy traveling distance. Its thus perfect to bring your inflatable fishing kayak!
Thats why it is one of the most popular state parks in Wisconsin since it is home to some of the best waterfalls in Northern Wisconsin.
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Friendly And Unique State Park
Activities and amenities
- Nature center: The Gitche Gumee Nature Center features exhibits about the park’s cultural and natural history, including its wildlife and geology. Guided nature walks are offered, and children’s nature exploration backpacks are also available.
- Swimming: The park has a 300-foot sand beach on Interfalls Lake.
- Trails: The park’s 9 miles of hiking trails include trails that are used for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Beaver Slide Nature Trail is 2 miles long and circles Interfalls Lake. Logging Camp Trail is 4.7 miles long from which some of the remains of Pattison’s old logging camp by the Black River, can be seen.
- Camping: The park has 59 family campsites, 18 of them with electric hookups, and 3 backpack sites.
Blue Mound State Park
- Accommodation Options:The Grandstay Hotel and Suites comes with BBQ facilities, a spa, and a wellness center. For Airbnb fans, this luxury retreat home comes with a cozy fire pit and large yard, I also love the dreamy scenery of this stunning Villa with hot tub.
Located on the highest point in southern Wisconsin at 1,719 feet of elevation, sits Blue Mound State Park, one of the top state parks in Wisconsin. The park offers spectacular views along with unique geological features.
It is just north of the Village of Blue Mounds, about 25 miles west of Madison via US Highway 18/151. That makes it one of the easiest state parks near Madison, WI for a day trip.
Blue Mound State Park Wisconsin is the only state park with a swimming pool equipped with a lift for persons with disabilities.
The park is also popular for hiking, camping, cross-country skiing, and mountain biking and for finding peace and solitude from the noisy city. Its no wonder its one of the most popular state parks in southern Wisconsin.
The campground is open throughout the year and contains 77 wooded sites and a rustic accessible cabin for disabled people. Each site has picnic tables, free rings, toilets and water fountains.
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How Many State Parks Are In Wisconsin
More than 20 million guests visit Wisconsin state parks every year. These visitors enjoy hiking, biking, horseback riding, and camping, as well as water activities like boating, fishing, swimming, and canoeing. In the winter, guests go skiing, snowshoeing, and ice fishing. Devils Lake State Park is the largest and most popular.
Wisconsin has 66 state parks that also include state recreation areas. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources manages the parks and state forests. The state parks and recreation areas cover over 60,500 acres, and the state forests cover over 471,000 additional acres.
List Of Wisconsin State Parks And Recreation Areas
|1961||None||Features a 64-foot observation tower atop a 400-foot hill. Operated by the Belmont Lions Club.|
|1959||None||Contains observation towers atop the highest point in southern Wisconsin and the state park system’s only swimming pool.|
|1948||Two man-made lakes|
|1980||None||Features trails and a 60-foot observation tower among hills covered in forest, prairie, and wetlands.|
|1962||Mirror Lake||Surrounds a reservoir whose wooded shores and 50-foot cliffs often keep the water mirror-smooth. The Seth Peterson Cottage designed by Frank Lloyd Wright is on the NRHP.|
|1963||Several small lakes||Supports recreational activities, including ATVs, falconry, hunting and sled dog training, and model aircraft on the site of the abortive R.I. Bong Air Force Base.|
|91||1932||Preserves sandstone outcroppings similar to the nearby Dells of the Wisconsin River along one of the river’s former channels.|
|Surrounds a 455-acre reservoir built in the lake-poor Driftless Area.|
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Where To Book Wisconsin State Parks Cabins
Please note that Wisconsin state parks camping fees are additional and range from $15 to $35, plus a $7.75 reservation fee.
Booking.com Astonishingly, Booking.com offers much more than hotel rooms. I found them to have a vast offer of State Park cabins in Wisconsin. They even have a large selection of Wisconsin State Park campsites. Check prices and read reviews
Airbnb If you are looking for Wisconsin State park cabins with a personal touch, I recommend booking at Airbnb. On top, their park cabins are often very affordable. They have a vast choice! Check prices and read reviews.
VRBO In my opinion, VRBO has the largest offer when it comes to Wisconsin State Park cabins. Whether youre looking for lakefront cabins or beachside, its very likely that you can find your cabin at VRBO. Check prices and read reviews
I also have several articles on accommodation options throughout the state. Including the best luxury resorts in Wisconsin, the best luxury cabins in Wisconsin, and even the best pet friendly cabins in Wisconsin.
Add The Badger State To Your Camping Destination
Making reservations at these Wisconsin camping state parks is easy and convenient. The most difficult part of the process is deciding which state park to visit first. Regardless of which one you choose, youll enjoy outdoor activities and beautiful scenic views during all seasons. Definitely add the Badger State to your list of camping destinations. Which state park will you visit first?
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Mirror Lake State Park Wisconsin
- Accommodation Options: the Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Wisconsin Dells *** is always a great choice, while I love the backyard of the Hilton Garden Inn Wisconsin Dells ***. For Airbnb fans, check out this cute deluxe cottage in Christmas Mountain. Its one of my favorite Airbnbs in Wisconsin Dells.
Just a few miles from Wisconsin Dells, Mirror Lake State Park Wisconsin is a great place to spend some quality time with family in the summers. It is conveniently located just off Interstate 90-94, exit I-90-94 to U.S. Highway 12, south of Wisconsin Dells.
The lake is surrounded by beautiful sandstone bluffs that go up to 50 feet offering excellent fishing, swimming, canoeing, kayaking, and bird watching opportunities.
One can also enjoy wooded campsites, picnic areas, a boat landing, and miles of biking, hiking, and cross-country ski trails, making it an ideal spot for a weekend vacation idea in Wisconsin.
This Wisconsin Dells State Park features 147 campsites and various other types of lodging, camping, and great fishing. It also offers adaptive equipment available for people with mobility impairment.
What Are The Admission Fees To Wisconsin State Park
A vehicle admission sticker is required in most State Parks, forests, recreation areas, and trail parking areas.
The admission sticker costs around $8 for a day or $28 for a year for Wisconsin residents, and for vehicles with out-of-state plates, the cost of the admission sticker is $11 for a day and $38 for a year.One can, either buy the admission sticker at the park office, at the service center, at a local business, by calling DNR at 888-936-7463 or online as part of a gift package.
However, if anyone fails to pay the fee before using the park, an additional $5 fee will be charged.
The Wisconsin State Park Pass for trails is mandatory for people aged 16 or older who want to indulge in recreational activities like biking, cross-country skiing, horseback riding or in-line skating on certain trails. A state trail pass is not required for walking or hiking.
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Winter Sports In Wisconsin State Parks
Granite Peak, a ski area with Wisconsins biggest vertical drop at 700 feet, is found within Rib Mountain State Park. The massive mountain itself features over 75 runs, four terrain parks, and five chair lifts, including two high-speed ones. With all this, its clear that skiing opportunities here are unparalleled by anywhere else in the state! Besides that, though, the park also features over 13 miles of trails open for winter hiking and snowshoeing.
Meanwhile, trails at Whitefish Dunes State Park are perfect for cross-country skiing. Winter hikes are also extremely popular here, taking guests along its beautiful sandy beach with amazing views of the water.
At Blue Mound State Park, visitors are free to hike or snowshoe its designated loops, however, many come here to take on its massive sledding hill. Those who want a more peaceful experience, on the other hand, can choose to climb up either of the parks two observation towers, which offer breathtaking views of the surrounding frozen landscape. If you love the outdoors but hate the cold, check out our best heated jackets review.
Backpacking In Wisconsin State Parks
The North Country Trail is a four-day backpacking trip that will take you across 50 miles of challenging terrain. The route begins at Copper Falls State Park, located north of Mellen, and continues on through to the Chequan Nicolet National Forest. Considered to be one o the most difficult backpacking trails in the United States, this is undoubtedly an adventure that youll never forget.
Those who want an easier backpacking trip will love the trail found at Newport State Park. This 30-mile route is extremely easy, featuring little to no challenges, and will take approximately two to three days to complete.
Another great trail for beginner backpackers, routes at Rock Island State Park are scenic with zero natural challenges. It will take around two to three days to complete so be prepared to rough it up as you spend the night in one of the parks rusting camping sites.
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List Of Former Wisconsin State Parks
|Lizard Mound State Park||Washington||1986||None||Contains 28 effigy mounds in excellent states of preservation, walking trails and interpretive signage. Taken over by Washington County in 1986.|
Devils Lake State Park Wisconsin
- Accommodation Options: The Ringling House Bed & Breakfast has the best reviews in town and the Inn at Wawanissee comes with a hot tub! Cabin lovers, this area is heaven for you! Check out this quirky Log Cabin or stay in this gorgeous contemporary home on a quiet wooded lot.
Devils Lake State Park is the largest and most visited state park in Wisconsin. It is also considered by many to be the best state park in Wisconsin, and its easy to see why with it offering gorgeous scenery in every season, and the opportunity to enjoy that with your favorite outdoor activity.
It is located in south-central Wisconsin, about 3 miles south of Baraboo. It is well connected with road and one can reach this State Park by car following the brown and white Devils Lake State Park signs at turns.
Climbing the huge boulders that make up the East Bluff trail offers the views of the lake. The surrounding valleys are absolutely breathtaking and the most amazing activity to do.
As the name suggests, it is also home to Devils Lake, one of the best lakes in Wisconsin.
With downtown Lincoln City a few minutes away, one can glide quietly by canoe or kayak on the lake. With three campgrounds, Devils Lake Wisconsin camping has 423 sites that can accommodate a family of 6.
Camping at Devils Lake is one of the best things to do in Central Wisconsin.
Devils Lake is great for hiking year-round, and a great activity in Wisconsin Dells in winter.
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Restaurants And Dining In Wisconsin State Parks
Nicknamed Wisconsins #1 Supper Club, the Ishmala Supper Club located in the middle of Mirror Lake State Park is a dining experience like no other. Guests are even free to canoe or kayak right up to this beautiful log-cabin eatery, whose menu features fresh local ingredients and regional mouth-watering dishes.
Harrington Beach State Park
- Accommodation Options: Relax after your day out with a calming spa bath at The Rochester Inn, your new home away from home. If you prefer Airbnb, this Lake Shore House in Sheboygan, just north of the park, is one of the best romantic cabins in Wisconsin, and the perfect getaway for outdoor couples.
Nestled between the village of Belgium and the formidable Lake Michigan, Harrington Beach State Park provides all the outdoor activities you could expect from such beautiful land, including hiking trails through picturesque cedar swampland, a mile of beach for sunbathing and swimming, as well as family camping grounds and a one-mile bridle trail for horse riding.
But Harrington Beach State Park also has a few less-frequently seen attractions. For example, this is one of the few state parks in Wisconsin to have its own observatory, which has monthly public viewings.
Also, from the picnic area overlooking Lake Michigan, visitors can see the sunken remains of the wooden steamship Niagara a freighter that caught fire and sank a few hundred feet from the shore over 150 years ago.
Scuba and diving enthusiasts can enjoy exploring the remains, which are submerged under roughly 80 feet of water.
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