Chris B.
Madison, WI
Joined May 2019
Photographer, dog guy
Quiet, dog-friendly campground with trails, lakes, and beautiful sunsets

Yellowstone Lake State Park was a last-minute weekend destination for a few friends and I. We live in nearby Madison, WI and were looking for something within an hour of the city for single night stay. Yellowstone Lake is the perfect spot as it's clean, quiet, and has a number of outdoor activities to do within the grounds. 

Fishing, ATV trails, Snowmobile trails, dog trails, off-leash dog beach, and a good beach for people round out a really nice weekend. Pair that with summer concerts and a wide array of spot types, everyone can enjoy a weekend trip to Yellowstone Lake. 

We stopped in the administration building and picked up a trail map and did over 3 miles of easy hiking and could have extended it if we pleased. We stopped halfway at the off-leash dog beach with our puppies and continued the journey. 

Campers were all pleasant and kept noise to a minimum.

We stayed at the Walk-In tent sites which had a great view of the lake / sunset only a few feet away (these were not on the water, but higher over looking the water).

The perfect stop for the start of your Chequamegon National Forest Trip

Bagley Rapids Campground is located in the Lakewood- Laona District of the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, which is about as far South as the Forest goes. This makes Bagley Rapids Campground the perfect spot for a quick weekend trip from surrounding larger cities. It's roughly 2.5 hours away from Madison and Milwaukee and just over an hour away from the Green Bay area. 

If outdoor recreation is your thing, this is the perfect base camp. The campground entrance is right off the ATV / Snowmobile / Horse Trails which connect to thousands of miles of trail systems all throughout the Northwoods of Wisconsin. I've stayed here 5 times in the last two years and frequent the local logging roads on my Dual Sport motorcycle. I'd say over 1/4 of the spots are actually located on Bagley Rapids, a very clear, crisp refreshing spring fed river that runs around the campground. It's great to wade into and enjoy after a hot day hiking and exploring trails. 

A couple miles from the campground is nearby Mountain, WI where you can get basic groceries, gas and a great bar burger. Within 30 minutes you can be in the smaller town of Wabeno, which is home to some of the best ATV trails around and also has a very cool old style downtown.

The sites are a mix of tent and RV with some really great spots with some elevation that back down into the river. It's always been peaceful during my stays and never gets loud and rowdy.

As there isn't a beach, small children should stay out of the river due to it's strong current, so this might not be the best choice if you're going purely for the water.