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.
Riding my bicycle laden with touring gear in the rain, I was quite wet by the time I arrived at the state park entrance. The two ladies inside were very helpful and got me set up in a site near the showers. However after riding the mile to get to the site I found it occupied. They had until 3 to leave. Luckily my phone had service so I called and switched to the next one over. I set up my tent and threw my stuff inside as the rain drizzled around me.
The rain gave way around 3 so I went out and tended to the chain. As I was working the camp hosts came by. They cleaned out the fire pit and found broken glass, watermelon and other trash left by the last group. We had a nice conversation. They said that they knew the couple who hosts the next state park I'm riding to so I'll pass on their hellos. Then I walked out to the beach and found whitecaps on the waves.
This is a great state park and well worth your stopping by.
Clean, beautiful, and I wasn't planning on it being that cool at night, I know better now.
sites: quite private. near beach. nice size.
other attractions: hiking. beach. near Sheboygan- nice city. I would go back again.
We were in route to visiting Green Bay Wisconsin and found this campground on Lake Michigan. We were able to secure a sight by calling directly to the park because the phone number was on the Wisconsin State Map. The had a staff of about 5 people at the and took a debit card for Payment. We paid $22 for the sight because it had electricity and an additional $9 day fee required in Wisconsin. You can pay $30 for a season, we were only in Wisconsin for two nights. The sight was nice for a tent and we were able to hang out on the beach of Lake Michigan. The bathrooms had hot showers. We got up early and made our way to Green Bay.
We truly enjoy camping at Kohler Andrae State Park. The facilities are well kept and there is a good variety of things to do at the park from the beach to the boardwalk.
Great location, great swimming in the summer, good hiking trails.
Most of the sites are pretty small, and some seem a bit packed in. Since there are a lot of dunes being right near the lake, the terrain can be hilly, depending on the site. The drive-way is flat and there is typically a flat spot for the tent, but some sites have a little hill from the driveway to the rest of the site.
The park has an awesome boardwalk through a marsh that is awesome early in the morning.