When you’re relaxing on the warm, sandy beaches at Kohler–Andrae State Park, gazing across the watery expanse of Lake Michigan, you’re not likely contemplating the area’s nearly two-million-year history. This is when Ice Age glaciers carved out the lake basin and rising and falling water levels dramatically changed the landscape. Soon after, the first Paleo-Indians began inhabiting the area, who hunted mammoths and giant musk ox around the northeastern regions. Moving into the Christian Era, the Hopewell, Chippewa, Potowatomi, and Sauk took turns residing here. Then came European settlers in the 19th century, who had no interest in beachfront property, as it couldn’t be farmed. It wasn’t until the early 20th century that Americans started to value outdoor recreation as a form of relaxation and entertainment. Today, you can enjoy this 1000 acres of sandy beaches, rolling dunes and mixed woods, where you’re more likely to be contemplating the cool breeze what to barbecue for dinner.
For grilling up your tasty burgers, be they beef, beet, or anything in between, Kohler–Andrae State Park offers a large campground with fire rings and picnic tables in each site. There are more than 130 tent and RV sites to choose from, some with electrical hookups. There is also two group tent sites. The campground provides flush restrooms with showers, picnic areas and shelters, a playground, amphitheater, and laundry facilities; a dump station is located nearby. The campground is open year-round, but some amenities may not be available in winter months. Dogs are permitted in the campground and on some trails, but must remain leashed. Campers can access the beach through the picnic area or via a short nature trail. There is also an ADA accessible cabin available to rent. Campsite reservations can be made up to 11 months in advance; seasonal rates are $15–$40/night.
While soaking up the sun and splashing in the lake are the main draw to Kohler–Andrae State Park, there’s much to do. Visit the Sanderling Nature Center at the north end of the park where you can explore interactive exhibits about the area’s natural history, and native flora and fauna. Kids can become Wisconsin Explorers and earn a patch for completing activities. For some paddling fun, you can launch your kayak or paddleboard right from the beach, or for fishing, head over to the fishing pond on the Ancient Shores Trail. And speaking of trails, the park has 8.5 miles of nature paths and hiking trails to explore, many of which are barrier-free. A walk on the aforementioned Ancient Shores Trail reveals where the lakeshore existed more than 5,000 year ago; the Marsh Trail along the Black River is a good place for bird and wildlife watching; and the Dunes Cordwalk explores the park’s dunes, wetlands and white pine forest.
Although there are plenty of nature trails an a pretty beach on Lake Michigan, the sites are very close together. With over 200 sites, it makes for a very noisy campground with lots of barking dogs and crying/screaming kids. In addition, you can hear the cars on the highway all night, as this campground is right by it.
We love this park. Lazy days at the beach listening to the waves and kids playing in the sand. Our site had tall pines for the kids to hang hammocks and plenty of open area for yard games. Good shower facilities as well. We do most of our state park camping during the week due to our schedule, fewer campers and quieter surroundings is enjoyable.
K-A is absolutely incredible. The ONLY bad thing about it, is that is has gotten so popular within the last 3-5 years and getting a site is near impossible. It is a large campground with a lot of campsites that are pretty close together. Some sites make up for the closeness with good seclusion (trees, brush, etc.)
K-A is clean and the facilities are very nice. The beachfront is gorgeous. The boardwalk is a lovely walk in nature. Rangers have always been friendly and helpful. This campground is VERY family-friendly so if you're looking for quiet seclusion, try October or a different campground altogether.
This campsite was so peaceful. It was not far from the lake and not far from the bathroom. It was comforting to be in the trees.
Daily and weekly visitor, excellent cycling, fantastic beach (although lake levels are currently quite high. Have enjoyed the Teepee several times with family. brand new Teepee this year with new cots and lake views! Always quiet, friendly, green. Many deer, sand hill cranes, turtles. Great nature center. great evening programs…
Grew up near Kohler-Andrae state park, and it was always a fun place to go. Right on Lake Michigan, had nice and clean beaches. Campsites are a nice-not the most private but its a big park, and the facilities are stocked and clean. Hiking trails are great, especially the ones through the dunes. Definitely worth the stay! Happy Trails!
Living rather close to this park, this is our "go-to" place to camp. It has a great variety of activities available. There is a beach AND a dog beach so it's pet-friendly. Dogs are not allowed on all of the trails, but there are many you can take them on. Being on the water, you can swim, kayak, fish, or just soak up some rays! There are also non-reservable sites available. There are many electric sites, clean bath houses, friendly campground hosts, some rather private sites as well. It's a short walk from the campsites to the lake. Our favorite site is next to the woods where we have seen ample deer, turkey, foxes, and birds. Close to town if you need supplies, firewood and ice is available in the park.
The campground is set in the pines right on the coast of Lake Michigan. We went in late June, and the site was surprisingly free of mosquitos. The size of the site is pretty typical. Not huge, probably enough for two tents. The best part of the park were the trails in the sand dunes. We took a daily hike from the campsite to the nature center through them, often making side trip to wade through the gentle waves of the lake.
The whole campground was beautiful and comfortable, and we're definitely planning another trip.
We camped for about 5 days with our family of 6. The first site we made reservations for was awful. It had no trees and was right by the entrance. But before we set up our tents, the host told us who was leaving and that we could take their first come first serve site. That one was shady, private enough, walking distance to the clean showers and bathrooms. It was quiet by 11, not a party camp ground. The walk towards like Michigan was scenic, the beaches were clean. I would go back again and highly recommend it.
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