Shirwil L.
Madison, WI
Joined May 2018
A great way to spend some time in Lake Superior

We visited this park in October - there was some rain !! - the owls were wonderful.  Taking the ferry across works easily, there was firewood at the park - There were plenty of sites to choose from in Oct.  (and sort of fun for us - it's a "new" campground in that the current picnic area used to be the campground - kind of like a field with the sites around the edge) Now the campground is lovely with pretty private sites in the woods.  Again the hiking is really nice, and access to the Lake is along a sand beach as well as a boggy boardwalk parallel to the shoreline - Getting ice for our cooler was a little iffy in October as the main options in summer were closed by but a local bar sold us a bag of their ice and all was good.  In addition to the hiking the State Historical Society runs a site on Madeline Island centered around the fur trade of earlier times.  Limited hours.

Near great hiking

A popular campground for good reason.  We were able to get a site without a reservation mid week in Oct. but would have liked to stay longer.  We had a nice site in the woods - semi private in feel, lots of toads!!! The hiking in this park is excellent - observation areas, water falls etc. There were open areas nearby too so we were able to do some kite flying!   We also spent a little bit of time in nearby Mellen  - the little historical society museum was wonderful … very eclectic and all things Mellen.

a walk0-in campground on an island

We visited this Park in fall - the last week that the ferry over was running.  There are roughly 40 sites there and there were maybe 4 other campers there - This is in big contrast to the summer when it's packed.  I would call this a walk in site and not a hike in campground which makes is accessible to more folk… and allows one to bring in more gear than if it were a true hike in site.  Wagons are provided to haul gear if desired, water is available at the entrance to the campground.  We were in site #9 - on the water and pretty far from the dock - a lovely site in the dunes.  We spent 2 nights - allowing us to relax and also walk all the trails….. It's a small island so this is very doable.  We had been to Rock Island on several earlier visits but had never camped - glad we did - especially in the shoulder seasons - Don't think I would like it as much in summer, too crowded…. I'd head to Newport State Park first - much more solitude - and many more miles of hiking.  The boat house on Rock Island is stunning, worth the trip just to see that, and the light house also cool

Close to the cycles of nature

We have been camping at this park for decades.  There are 16 sites scattered throughout the large park on Lake Michigan and Europe Lake.  The nature of the sites changes with the changes in the Lake… what once might have had a sandy beach might now be a mucky shoreline with scrubby growth.  Others, higher up are more stable in their feel but also lack some of the immediacy of the water.  Always there is solitude and wonderful hiking for miles.  However even the trails change as storms down swaths of the forest, low lake level of the last decades encouraged tree gowrth where there was once water but the water level is now high again and the trees are in the water and dying.  It might not be beautiful but it is a powerful reminder of the cycles in nature that we are privileged to walk amongst. We have very definite opinions of the sites as they are currently - #'s 7,8,16 are on the water with an experience of the water that has enough rock to allow you to be near the water without being in muck or brush.  3,4,5, used to have beautiful sandy beaches but now are mucky. 10 and 12 have a lot of brush on their pebble beaches, 11 is similar but it is also right on the trail (although not much traffic but…)  9 seems like it would be great being right on Varney Point but the water access is VERY limited.  13 is on the inland side of the trail so not on the water but not far from it either and there the shore is rocky ledges so that's kind of nice.  6 is totally landlocked so that's kind of odd - not a bad site but for a lake focussed park having no access to the lake is odd, 1&2 are also inland but there is lake access via a short trail, and 14 and 15 are on Europe Lake is a small lake experience is what you want.  All have outhouses or pit toilets.  There are no wagons to carry gear so it's on your back or on a bike or you can boat in if you like.   Star gazing is superb and the staff is very helpful.

Comfortable park in western WI

We camped here in the fall and the colors were lovely.  The camping was sort of open but sites are spaced nicely so we didn't feel like we were on top of each other.  The nature trail was very nice - the biking was also good.  We took advantage of being near Lake Wissota State Pk and explored that too.

Very quiet mid week in the fall

If you want a more peaceful getaway in Door Co (in the fall) Potawatomi is a good bet.  It's not in the center of the Door Co hubBub - but it's close and a lovely park in it's own right.  The campground is away from the water but trails leave right from the campground to get into the park and near the water…and there is a nice selection of trails to choose from.  Our campsite was one of many surrounding an open area that was nice as it was quite rainy when we were there so less claustrophobic than being buried deep in the woods.  Our campsite was separated nicely from adjacent ones though a little small, especially as we also had a tarp (did I say it was rainy?!?!). So often I think this Park is overlooked because it is south of the main Door Co energy - but it is a park well worth visiting - It's also where the Ice Age Trail starts!!!

Close to wonderful Lake Michigan

while not directly on the Lake - this campground is just across the road so you never feel far from the water.  The sites are relatively secluded with ample room.  We were tent camping the in fall which is a spectacular season to visit as the crowds are less, the colors are gorgeous, and the beaches go on forever.  There are many trails in the forest, including part of the Ice Age Trail - as well as miles of sandy shore.  We were glad to not be right next to the bathrooms as the fan noises were evident and that's not our idea of a peaceful night under the stars. Nearby in Two Rivers, there is an excellent Wood Type Museum, and in Manitowoc - the Maritime Museum - fun area to spend some time in.

Overlooking the lake - just barely

Nice campground - It was a May spring day - so filtered light through early foliage.  We had a cliffside site - non electric - (so very private as most were in electric sites) We could see the Lake through the new growth - but no clear view.  Imagine later in the season- there is no view.  Large site - with easy access to trails right from the campground.  And consequently we also had many hikers walking right in front of our site - especially towards sunset.  The trillium were in full bloom and added some magic to our site,  the limestone formations are really interesting and close to the site.  We did not have reservations but the campground hosts were very helpful and were also able to sell us some firewood (nice on those cooler May evenings).  The trails in the park are varied - from accessible (a lovely hike around a pond with MANY birds) and a more challenging hike along the cliff side and Lake - but lovely - especially this time of year.  Mayflies could be heard near the lake but we didn't run into any major issues with them (which we have sometimes experienced at Devils Lake) The history of the park is also part of the intrigue with the defunct lime kilns.

Nice park along the Mississippi

Variety of sites - we had a very wooded one - semi private. The hiking is great - with wonderful views of the River - Also near Trempealeau and the old hotel, barge traffic, and the Great River Road - also the national wildlife refuge….

Easy lake access

Autumn camping along the lake - we chose an electric site even though we tent as it was in mid autumn and it gets darker earlier - it was mid week so no issue getting a site. Love the hiking here and easy lake access - Plus it's near Sheboygan and Kohler with all they have to offer

Great views if .....

The Wisconsin Ridge Campground has great views IF you can get one of the sties with a view. Not all view sites are reservable and none have services. But if you can snag a view site the view of the Mississippi and Wisconsin River confluence is spectacular. Sites vary a lot in size and view access but there is a video out there which walks through all the sites which can be helpful. The bathroom is modern, showers, and the NOAA weather is constantly on. The fan noise from the restroom can be bothersome if you are sensitive to white noise. Hiking at Wyalusing is exceptional, and the canoe rental option (right from the campground) is fun. Also options for some good biking, Indian mounds, tennis, a modestly stocked concession stand in the campground. Nearby is Prairie du Chein, and what that has to offer.

Special park on the lake

Nicolet Bay Large campground, but easy water access, amenities reduced come mid Sept. but lovely in the fall - water front sites don't have water or electric - Park is great for hiking, and biking and proximity to what Door Co has to offer. -

lovely in the fall

wooded, private sites, no trouble getting a site midweek in October, nice hiking along the water

Arid with large view

We were in the tent loop - the loop in the upper part of the campground. This loop has the advantage of a larger view…although little respite from the sun. A busy campground so reservations were necessary in April. Enjoyed the convenience of being near Cottonwood which worked well as we were using this stop as a respite and transition between different parts of our trip.

National Forest and Ponderosa Pines

We visited in April. We were the only tent on our loop during the week and it was only an issue in that the RV's all used their generators at times throughout the day - particularly early morning and dinner time - On the weekend it was all reserved and our loop turned into all tenters - it was SO quiet. This was not necessarily true of the other loops that we heard in the distance. Our site #7 was fine for a tent - nice views to an open area with Ponderosa Pines shading the site and also allowing enough sun in to use our solar chargers. There are other better tent sites - #8 right next to us was wonderfully private. One can always hear the traffic noise of Highway 89 - particularly the motorcycles. The campground has recently been logged in all the surrounds - kind of weird… but understand. The location of the campground is close to Prescott which makes it very convenient if you're wanting to take advantage of Prescott offerings. The trails in our immediate area were closed because of the logging. Although not really nearby … but for us from the midwest it was worth the trip … take the 40 mile trip to Arcosanti Urban Laboratory off of I-17 - good to step out of ones comfort zone!

Large, popular, but holds its own

We were camping in October, and showed up midday on a Sunday - The campground had been quite full over the weekend and was still in the process of clearing out but someone had already vacated a nice site in the lower loop (one of 4) overlooking the Lake that was available for the next three nights. We are tent campers but in this shoulder season we like electric sites to mitigate some of the dark. The colors reflecting off the Lake and the flock of white pelicans hanging out on a sand bar made this a lovely place to hang out - stoking up a little afternoon fire, which we seldom do. Neighbors at this site were far enough away although there is little privacy between sites. The Park is situated on both shores of an arm of Lake of the Ozarks which allows it to feel more removed from the chaos of the tourist world which we appreciate and the waters are quite shallow in the area which reduced fast boat traffic - could almost imagine kayaking there. The trails in the park are many and we only sampled a few - nice forest. The Caverns were closed by this point in the season so ….. that will have to be fore next time.

Close to history

We arrived mid week in October without reservations. The campground host was SO helpful in steering us in the right direction both in terms of the campground and there is a Basic loop separate from those with electricity - not very used in October mid week. Bathrooms were centrally located in the campground. The campground is within an easy 1/2 mile of the historic town of Arrow Rock and also a slightly longer hike through woods and leaves and into the Wildlife Refuge to the Missouri River and a landing site. Lewis and Clark and the Santa Fe Trail play into this history here so that's pretty cool too. The Visitor Center at the State Park is really good and tells the story of the area well.

New and lots of concrete

Visited in October - weekday without reservations - The process for securing campsites is awkward at best as it is staffed for very limited hours. It seems a pretty new campground, nice restroom facilities (individual toilet/sink rooms). We are tent campers and in Oct. we tend to look for sites with electric because it gets dark so early - all the electric sites have these massive concrete pads - "double wides" - that actually also include the fire pit! We thought this was a lot of hardscape in a natural setting and so checked out the basic loop and it was the same thing. There are walk-in sites which we did not check out that I presume are not concrete. Unfortunately there hasn't been much attention given to tenter's needs as the concrete slabs are relatively level but area around them (if there is enough available for a tent) is pretty slopey - the staff person suggested putting our tent on the concrete!!! We slept slopey - it was OK. Also the first site we set up in - the 20amp circuit breaker wasn't working so we had to switch after having set up our tent - lesson learned: check breakers first! One more thing: we are very conscientious about not moving firewood and are willing to spend premium to buy firewood from the Park concession. This wood was WET and $1 a stick - come on ….. The park and neighboring parks in the area are well worth visiting.

like none other

A wonderfully unique experience. Accessible by boat or seaplane only - 8 sites nestled in a little grove outside the Fort. When you reserve your ferry ride you also reserve a space in the campground although not a specific site. The ferry company also has perks for campers that are "included" in the ferry ride: a box lunch, water, can restock on ice for a small cooler if you bring one when the ferry comes in the next day, snorkeling equipment. There are carts at the dock to transport gear to the camping area only about 1/4 mile away. No fires allowed - we used a sterno stove to heat water for coffee in the morning.

Our site was very private - most are. Bathrooms nearby are pit toilets for campers only when the ferry is not in dock. There is NO water on the island - can refill when the ferry is in dock. The snorkeling is really wonderful and very special once the ferries and seaplanes leave for the day and you have the island pretty much to yourself - magical. During the day you can take Ranger led tours of the Fort and just hang out, bird watch relax, etc. There are a LOT of hermit crabs and one can hear scurrying of rats at night - although they are not an issue especially as there are food poles provided at each site.

It's an experience I'm SO glad we did - 2 nights was enough for us - it's a small island but 2 nights gave us a good exposure. We're in our 60's and active if that is any framework for anybody.