9 Top-Rated Wisconsin State Park You May Love Exploring (2023)
As a tourist, you may have multiple stories of how beautiful and fantastic Wisconsin lakes are. But have you ever heard about its land? Well, let us tell you, Wisconsin is home to about 66 renowned State Parks featuring its land-owned wonder. Yes, this Midwestern state is much more than its Lakes, Dairy, and Cheese. From lush Greenland buzzing with wildlife to the ones featuring attractions within, there is a diverse range of state parks in Wisconsin. The total 66 of them encompass more than 60,570 acres of land and endless recreational opportunities.
When you are in one of the Wisconsin parks, you can either observe the gorgeousness or get into the adventure. From seeking a lush waterfall to sliding down the snow, camping, glamping, or fishing at one of the water bodies, fun and engagement here actually never ends. While some State Parks attract a dedicated range of crowd, some offer serenity in tranquillity. Want to explore one of them?
9 Top-Rated Wisconsin State Park You May Love Exploring
Here’s the list of some of the top-rated and must-visit State parks in Wisconsin. Have a look:
1. Devil’s Lake State Park
Devil’s Lake State Park isn’t just full of nature but also full of titles. It is everything from Wisconsin’s third oldest state park to its largest and also the most-visited. Enthusiasts who have explored various forestlands in Wisconsin also list it as the best in the state. The Park is known for its soaring heights that offer breathtaking overlooks. No wonder the 500-foot-high quartzite bluffs here are a dream of every daredevil. Right from the top, it displays the astounding view of a 300-acre namesake lake. For photography prefer reaching close to the bluffs, including Balanced Rock and Devil’s Doorway.
Devil’s Park boasts nearly 30 miles of hiking trails that span partially around the historic Ice Age Trail. There are a few unnamed lakes, two swimming beaches, and multiple spots to chill. When here, you can go biking, climbing, skiing, fishing, ice skating, and absolutely everything a state park is known for. No wonder it welcomes 3 million visitors every single year.
2. Copper Falls State Park
Copper Falls State Park is the most popular state park in Northern Wisconsin. From waterfalls to deep gorges, lakes, and ancient lava flows, it has every element that makes it top the chart. Every waterfall enthusiast in Wisconsin must at least once visit the site in their lifetime. While some falls here are seasonal, some of them flow lushly year-round. The Park is spread over 3000 acres; some developed while some are still unexploited.
Copper Falls State Park offers multiple adventure opportunities. While hiking is one common activity, the North Country National Scenic Trail is a highlight for the same. Along with that, you can go fishing, swimming, snowshoeing, skiing, kayaking, canoeing, and picnicking around. The Park is also home to a campground with 24 sites featuring electric hook-ups. For individuals with disabilities, they have a camper cabin as well. (Before you begin with the trip, do carry along ample mosquito and other insect repellents).
3. Kohler-Andrae State Park
Because you are in Wisconsin, you may have that desire of being close to Lake Michigan. While for that, there are definitely numerous ways, but Kohler-Andrae State Park is top amongst them. This state park is home to majestic miles of Lake Michigan Shoreline. It features miles of golden sandy beaches, sand dunes, and the shimmering water of Lake Michigan. And on the other side, there are woodlands, whispering pines, an abundance of Flora and Fauna.
When here, you can spend your time hiking its natural trail system and soaking into the panoramic beauty around. For an enthusiast, opportunities for learning about this special ecosystem are endless. Either figure it out on your own or head towards the Sanderling Nature Center. The Kohler-Andrae State Park remains quite busy during summers, all thanks to its vast beaches. To beat the heat, almost every Wisconsinite wants to spend some time here. Either swim, fish, kayak, or boat waters of Lake Michigan will always grant you opportunities. Other popular activities here include camping, horseback riding, trapping, hunting, etc.
4. Amnicon Falls State Park
Located in the South range of the state, the Amnicon Falls State Park is a must-visit state park in Wisconsin. It sits right south of Lake Superior, encompassing 825-acre of natural space. While it has endless aspects that work as a magnet for tourism, the four majestic waterfalls, and a historic covered bridge are top amongst them. Stand over the historic bridge, and you will observe a series of small cascading waterfalls flowing right in front of you. While swimming is allowed at all the pools, keeping a little caution is still advisable.
The Amnicon Falls State Park is home to about 36 nicely spaced wooded campsites. While they stay busy throughout the year, winters here are especially popular. Camping here is more dedicated to tenting and less towards the one with amenities. For someone who wants to experience the real essence of this land, falls, winters and springs are definitely the best time to be here.
5. Heritage Hill State Historical Park
One of the unique state parks in Wisconsin, the Heritage Hill State Historical Park, is a must-visit. It is both a state park and a 56-acre open-air museum. Here you can explore the off-beaten parts and experience living history. The Park is filled with 26 historical and reproduced structures. These structures are either fresh construction, or historic buildings moved from other locations. It includes buildings from the fur trade era, log cabins from the past, structures from Fort Howard, and more. While walking around, you will find interpreters wearing period-style clothing taking experience to another level.
Inside the historic building of Heritage hill are housing more than 9000 artifacts. While some are part of the permanent collection, some have been taken on loan. While during summers, you can walk across the Park and visit various buildings, during winters, visitors often choose to ride horse-drawn sleds. If after being in Wisconsin, you haven’t been here; still, you are definitely missing something great.
6. Mirror Lake State Park
Named after its centerpiece, the Mirror Lake State Park is a family-friendly summertime spot. Right in the middle, it has a so calm lake that not even a breath passes its surface. Most of the day, overlooking it will make you feel as if you are gazing into a mirror. It reflects the gorgeous wooded shoreline that looks mesmerizing, especially on a clear day. The Park features a lake, woods, cliffs, hiking trails, and a beach.
When you are inside the Mirror Lake State Park, you can participate in various opportunities. Be it is about cooling off the heat on the beach, trekking the trails, or camping amidst the woodlands, visitors are always with a handful of options. You can also rent one of the cabins in the Park and spend your holiday leisurely for a more relaxed time. The only drawback is that because it is a bit close to the highway, camping here can prove a bit noisy.
7. Newport State Park
The Newport State Park is Wisconsin’s formally designated wilderness area. On both land and water, the state park offers so much to do and observe. And especially if you are a stargazer, the Newport part is definitely a must-visit for you. Once Sun starts settling and the moon infuses its milky white light, you can observe millions of stars in the sky. No other Wisconsin state park offers such a real night sky view than Newport.
The Newport State Park is blessed with eleven miles of Lake Michigan shoreline. Though it doesn’t have dedicated beach space, its stunning waterfront opens up plenty of opportunities. Either paddle through Lake Michigan’s waves, kayak your energy out or show some swimming skills; there’s so much to do. The state park is also home to 16 dedicated campsites, of which 13 also offer winter backpack camping opportunities. For visitors who hold a proper license, the state park also offers hunting opportunities.
8. Wyalusing State Park
Wyalusing State Park or, say, the Wyalusing Hardwood Forest, be it any name, Wisconsin love being here. Spread over 2,628-acre, it is one of the oldest state parks in Wisconsin. It is located right where the Mississippi and Wisconsin rivers meet, at the town of Wyalusing. The Park is home to 500-foot-high bluffs featuring prehistoric Native American mounds that overlook the entire river valleys over splendidly. Climbing till its summit, though, is definitely tough but for climbers and enthusiasts, all those efforts are worth it.
Wyalusing State Park is listed as a world heritage site. Walking through its trails, you will find several Indian burial mounds and more surprising elements. You can be a history buff or a nature lover; the Park will always offer plenty of opportunities to enjoy your vacation. For overnight stayers, the Park features 109 campsites for tenting and RVing. There’s also a Huser Astronomy Center where you can take a look up at the glorious night sky quite closely.
9. Rib Mountain State Park
Rib Mountain State Park is a popular outdoor recreation space in Wisconsin. It features a ski resort, a Granite Peak Ski Area, an amphitheater, and everything that ensures entertainment. The main feature and highlight here are the Rib Mountain, four miles long and 1942 feet high. This Mountain piece dates over one billion-year-old and is one of the oldest geological features present on earth. Even if you do not indulge in any kind of fun, being here alone is one accomplishment on its own.
On a clear sky day, you can climb up the 60-foot observation tower and observe the serenity of nature around. Or hike those trails on the ground and get close to unique habitats and spectacular vistas. While winters in the Park are all about snow adventures, summers, and falls, here are more about concerts and events. From Memorial Day weekend through the Labour Day weekend, vibes here are full of music, laughter, and enjoyment. You can carry any interest and find something suitable to do when in Rib Mountain State Park.