This summer is the perfect opportunity to travel around the incredible state of Wisconsin, exploring the state's many natural wonders along the way. One way to do that is by visiting Wisconsin's State Parks, which in total see over 14 million visitors each year. Altogether, there are 47 State Parks in Wisconsin, along with a variety of state forests and recreational areas. Each of these parks comes with its own personality and unique features. Come out and explore the great state of Wisconsin with us this summer. When you need a place to rest, look to our collection of Wisconsin Bed and Breakfasts for the finest accommodations around.
9 Stunning State Parks in Wisconsin
From lush forests and winding rivers to sparkling fresh-water lakes, Wisconsin is a veritable playground for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you're looking for someplace to go hiking, mountain biking, paddling, or just relaxing amidst some of the most scenic areas in the state, there's a park for you. Here are 9 popular Wisconsin State Parks, each of which is near one or more of our incredible Wisconsin Bed and Breakfasts.
- Copper Falls State Park isn't too far away from Bayfield, and the 2 cascading waterfalls here make it more than worth the trip.
- Devils Lake State Park in Baraboo is the most popular of the State Parks in Wisconsin. The bright blue waters of Devils Lake are surrounded by towering quartzite cliffs. Hiking along the bluff trails offers some truly Instagram worthy views!
- Governor Dodge State Park is located in southwestern Wisconsin and is home to two lakes perfect for swimming and paddling. There's also plenty of hiking to enjoy.
- Hike along the stunning dalles on the Wisconsin side of the St. Croix River at Interstate State Park in St. Croix Falls. Look for glacial potholes, which were formed by melting glaciers long ago.
- The Kettle Moraine State Forest, which spans the state and includes the northern and southern units, is a beautiful place to hike. The Ice Age Trail winds its way through these hills.
- Door County's popular Peninsula State Park is worth the trek. It's the state's second most popular park. People come from all over to bike the sunset trail and hike along the Niagara Escarpment. It's also home to the Eagle Bluff Lighthouse, and plenty of opportunities for kayaking.
- Enjoy hiking in the picturesque hills of Rib Mountain State Park, near the centralized town of Wausau. It's one of the oldest geologic formations in the world, and also home to one of the Midwest's premier ski destinations each winter, Granite Peak Ski Area.
- Wildcat Mountain State Park, which overlooks the Kickapoo River near Ontario, offers plenty of hiking trails and scenic overlooks.
- Willow River State Park near Hudson is beautiful, with cascading waterfalls being the focal point of this peaceful park.
5 State Parks Off the Beaten Path
During the summer, the crowds at the state's most popular parks can be overwhelming. Luckily, there are just as many extraordinary state parks off the beaten path that are just as worthy of exploring. Here are 5 of our favorites:
- Brunet Island State Park, located where the Chippewa and Fisher Rivers meet, is an extraordinary place to enjoy some paddling. This park also gives you access to over 20 miles of hiking on the Old Abe State Trail.
- Hartman Creek State Park, located at the head of the Waupaca Chain O' Lakes, is a spectacular place to spend time. There are 7 lakes, a variety of boat launches, fishing, and plenty of trails to explore.
- Perrot State Park near Trempealeau is extraordinary. Here, take the time to hike to the top Brady’s Bluff, where you'll enjoy an exquisite panorama of the Mississippi River. More than 200 bird species pass through this area each year, making it a spectacular birding paradise.
- Wyalusing State Park in Prairie du Chien is one of Wisconsin's three original State Parks. The scenic bluffs here overlook the confluence of the Wisconsin and Mississippi Rivers, in addition to thousand-year-old Native American mounds and an Astronomy center.
- Big Bay State Park, located on an island and reachable only by ferry from Bayfield, is one of the state's best-kept secrets. This park offers incredible vistas of the states untamed wilderness, along with a panoramic view of Lake Superior.
There's little doubt that after a day of hiking, biking, paddling or exploring at any of these state parks, you'll be ready for a rest. For restful accommodations around the state, look to our collection of Bed and Breakfasts. We offer a range of properties, each with a great selection of amenities, and the finest hospitality in the midwest. It's easy to find your perfect match. To begin your search for the perfect lodging property, use our search tool to narrow the list down by region, city, amenity, or other convenient option. We look forward to guiding you around our incredible state this summer!