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Camping Wisconsin

With the well-known water borders of Lake Michigan, Lake Superior, and Mississippi River, and the natural wonders of The Dells, stunning island sea caves, and the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, the hardest part about camping in Wisconsin is deciding where to go.

There are over 5,000 campsites in the state park system, and many more options for remote rustic camping, family campgrounds, and wilderness cabins. It’s important to think about what kind of experience you want. Trust that the Badger State will live up to its outdoor recreation reputation – but for those looking for a tame trip camping in Wisconsin’s forests, hopefully not its nickname.

Factoid: Wisconsin got its nickname, The Badger State, because of lead miners in the 1800s that often lived in tunnels burrowed in the hillsides to shelter in the winter. The miners were nicknamed “badgers.” Actual badger encounters are incredibly rare in Wisconsin.

For those who might be mildly disappointed by the lack of badger action, you’re probably the type looking for a rustic wilderness experience. Some of the best options for more remote camping in Wisconsin include Bagley Rapids Campground, Kettle Moraine State Forest, Rock Island State Park, Big Bay State Park, and the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore.

One of the most visually stunning and unique places to experience in Wisconsin is the Apostle Islands archipelago off the southern shore of Lake Superior, with camping available on 19 of the 21 islands. Great options are available for all levels of tent or wild camping, with traditional sites, group campsites, and remote backpacking zones. One of the main attractions is the sea caves. They’re best viewed by a kayak, and unless you know the area, it would be smart to get a guide or take part in a tour to find the best spots, and more importantly, stay safe amongst the spectacular geological formations, sculpted by the same unpredictable water that needs to be respected when visiting the area.

If you’re looking for the true family fun experience while camping in Wisconsin, that doesn’t necessarily require wilderness survival skills, check out the Wisconsin Dells. This 5-mile glacially formed gorge is carved in sandstone on the banks of the Wisconsin River, with incredible naturally formed sculptures and canyons. The area has become one of the primary destinations in the state for outdoor recreation and family fun. There are a multitude of Wisconsin Dells cabins available for a memorable trip to “The Waterpark Capital of the World.”

When you’re looking for Wisconsin Dells cabins to rent, there are several cabin resorts boasting nearby outdoor activities, access to the Dells, and comfortable accommodations. Pay attention to the actual distance between your accommodations and The Dells, and be aware of the wide ranging term “cabin”, as some might not fit your definition. Just remember, go for the scenic views and natural beauty, stay for the water slides and food.

When camping in Wisconsin, it’s hard to go wrong with the state or national park system, with so many options and levels for all types of campers. With state’s like Wisconsin that have such variety, stick with us at The Dyrt for on-the-ground information about the region.

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Recent Reviews in Wisconsin
Wonderful Wisconsin Park

Mirror Lake is just up the road from Devil's Lake, so if it's too busy there - make sure to go check out Mirror Lake! 

Although we didn't actually camp here, we did hike a lot of the trails. We came across lots of fun nature (toads, snakes, bunnies!). The trails are well maintained and a nice woodland area.

This is Wisconsin?!?

Copper Falls was absolutely amazing!! I have lived in WI my whole life, and was so disappointed that 2018 was the first time visiting it! 

We stayed in one of the South Campgrounds, which turned out to be really nice. We liked the loop because it meant more privacy with the woods between. And it was great for finding kindling! We also brought our bikes which was convenient because we were able to bike down to the hiking trails rather than driving and parking. 

We went to Copper and Brownstone falls the first day and the second day went to Red Granite Falls and it was so stunning! We couldn't believe there were waterfalls like that right in WI! 

It was so beautiful and the trails weren't crowded at all. Not sure why, with views like this! Although it is quite a drive from Madison or Milwaukee, it is definitely worth it!

Door County Must See

I don't think there has been a time where we went to Door County without visiting Peninsula! It is kind of a family tradition. It's wonderful in any season, but fall is my favorite with the lookout and all the beautiful trees!

Beautiful State Park with Ample Amenities

We love Devil's Lake! It has incredible views and is absolutely breathtaking in the fall. It is also wonderful in the summer to go swimming and hike around. 

We've never camped overnight here, but have taken many trips to hike around. With it only being 45 minutes from Madison, it's a great day get away! 

Only drawbacks to Devils Lake are the crowds. It's popular (and for good reason!) so I would suggest hiking earlier in the day to avoid the larger crowds of people. I would also avoid going there when the mayflies have hatched because it can be unbearable.

Great Campground

Easy in and out for large campers. Walking distance to local restaurants and shops. Just pay online. No worries about checking in.


Good place to camp

Secluded and private

We went the weekend after Labor Day and basically had the whole place to ourselves. Very quiet and peaceful. Walked the loops looking at other campsites and most are very private. Did hear some bear walking the first night and some coyotes/or wolves howling literally right behind our tent the second night. The wood grab was very generous and rather than them taking 5 small pieces and wrapping them together with cellophane, you fill up a wheelbarrow via honor system with large split dry logs and pay for it that way. Made for some great campfires. Only complaint was the site we were at had not been mowed for some time so grass was REALLY long. Will definitely be going back again

A not-so-crowded KOA

Stayed here on the way home from Yellowstone. Really frustrating to navigate, but all the good more private spots are in the back. Some of the full timers were annoying/drunk/rude as we made our way to our site, but otherwise not so bad. Bugs were definitely annoying too, but they make a spray for that.


Herbester is on the shores of Lake Superior, its a beautiful campground. It's smaller with a little of every type of camping. From tent, rv hook ups and right on the water.

Great place if you like a quieter relaxing park

Camping, hiking, boating, cross country skiing. This park has a lot to offer. Not as crowded as some other state parks its a nice relaxing place to be.