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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I stayed here Labor Day weekend 2019 and unfortunately did not know there was an off-road race scheduled in nearby Crandon who meant the campground was busy. Quiet hours were not enforced and many people returned to their campsites late and were a little louder than was appreciated. The lake itself wasn’t particularly interesting to canoe. Also all of the lakefront sites are well above t he water so if you’re hoping to just carry a canoe or kayak down, it would be pretty difficult. Sites were good sized but not very private.
What a great little get away spot! The owners and thier staff on site are all absolutely amazing people. So helpful, respectful, and really know how to make everyone feel welcome. Lots of fun things for the kids to do in the campground. The seasonal site folk are also very wonderful and inviting. Everyone knows everyone in the campground and they make it a point to know the weekend warriors and make them feel as welcome as possible. Me and my family will definitley be returning!
This campground was really well maintained. Groomed campsites, wooded and shaded spots, level and easy pads for rvs. The bathrooms are hands down the best I’ve ever experienced in a campground! Great showers, hot water, and clean facilities. The staff was super friendly and helpful and made sure all our guests had what they needed. There a fish cleaning station, and very clean dump site. A calm and relaxing campground for RVs and a few tent spots. Even though there are seasonal sites, this wasn’t a place with wild crazy parties and golf carts zooming. It was a great place to look at the stars and take a short walk to a wonderful sandy beach. Close enough to all the fun towns and restaurants, and catch a boat out to Washington Island. Can’t wait to visit again!
Highly recommend, but the horse flies were horrible
What a great place to go camping! Sites are private with lots of trees, so there is plenty of shade. We were on site 317 and it was very level which made setting up our travel trailer a piece of cake. Water spigot was right next to our site, and bathrooms with flush toilets were just a short walk away. The lake can be accessed by driving or walking via trails connected to the campground. Water was warm and clean, and just perfect for the 90+ degree days we were there. We could hear the road from our campsite, but it was pretty quiet most of the time. I was really surprised to see that the roads through the campground were not 1-way only. We thought maybe someone just didn’t know the first time we saw someone driving the wrong way, but throughout the weekend there were are least 6 other vehicles that drove the “wrong way.” That would be the only negative of our time there .
As an RV camper, we often struggle with state parks and finding a wooded campsite that will fit our camper. This campground had lots of electrical only sites that were shaded, some having awesome cliffs and rock features. The bathrooms were nice and showers clean, and there’s a full camp store that also rents small water craft. It’s right on the ice age trail, and there are 3 and 5 mile paved loops for running or biking. Lots of small beaches (rocky) and little places to picnic. We rode an easy 2 miles to Mary’s Waterfront restaurant to enjoy cocktails and dinner on the lake. It’s an easy drive to all of the Door County activities you’d like, without the crowds of Peninsula State Park. The campsites were very spacious, so we had room to set up tents next to our RV. We would gladly stay again!