For adventurers who are looking to get off the beaten path, Wisconsin is a dream.
This large state, which is easy to reach from most places in the United States, is a wonderland of wild landscapes and secluded spots.
It’s bordered by two of the Great Lakes — Lake Michigan to the southwest and Lake Superior in the north — creating endless opportunities for waterfront camping. If you prefer to stay inland, you’ll find deep, green forests and picturesque rolling farmland.
Wisconsin has four distinct seasons, each with its own camping character. Summers are warm and sunny, while spring is impossibly green and fresh.
Autumn is a spectacular time to camp in Wisconsin; the thick forests blaze with fall colors, and the air is crisp and pleasant.
Winters are cold and snowy, particularly in the northern reaches of the state — return to your cozy RV or yurt after a day of ice fishing, skiing, snowshoeing, or snowmobiling.
No matter when you visit, this stunning state ensures a pleasant trip.
1. Apostle Islands National Lakeshore
Phone: (715) 779-3397
Address: 415 Washington Avenue, Bayfield, WI 54814
- Boat tours
One of the most spectacular outdoor areas in Wisconsin, the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is a must-see destination. Here, 21 islands dot the cold waters of Lake Superior, all within a short boat ride of the rocky shoreline.
This is a landscape marked by rugged cliffs, hidden caves, and dense pine forests. Spend your days kayaking under rock arches, and return to your campsite to warm up by the fire. In the winter, the caves are covered in shimmering blue ice, and visitors can hike out across the frozen lake to visit.
Nineteen of the Apostle Islands have campsites; there’s also one on the mainland. All of the sites are tents-only to ensure the peace and quiet; most are primitive, with vault toilets. On Manitou Island, there’s just one site to ensure maximum relaxation.
If you prefer some company, book one of the multiple sites on Stockton Island, Sand Island, or Rocky Island.
2. Edge-O-Dells Resort
Phone: (608) 253-4275
Address: N555 US 12 & 16, Wisconsin Dells WI 53965
- Water parks
- Live music
Wisconsin Dells is one of the most iconic vacation spots in the state of Wisconsin. Its main draw is the beautiful Wisconsin River, which is bordered by towering cliffs and dramatic rock formations.
Families love the area for its proliferation of water parks. Around the area, you’ll find hiking trails that run along the waterfront and through deep, cool forests, as well as some of the best boat tours in the state.
The Edge-O-Dells Resort is a camping resort that’s only open to adults. It’s more than just a camping trip — it offers a full vacation experience. Relax in the sparking pool, spend evenings around the fire, and check the schedule to find one of the many live-music performances.
If you don’t feel like cooking, the onsite bar and grill has you covered. With campsites, RV sites, and a variety of simple and luxurious cabin options, there’s something for every camper.
3. William G. Lunney Lake Farm County Park
Address: 4330 Libby Rd, Madison, WI 53711
- Cross-country skiing
Tucked away in south-central Wisconsin, William G. Lunney Lake Farm County Park is the perfect home base for adventures near Madison.
This sprawling campground is located in an enormous green park on the shores of Lake Waubesa. Lake Monona and the beautiful Madison downtown are both close by. During your visit, spend time paddling and fishing, or take a drive through the rolling hills of the nearby farms. In the fall, visit an orchard and end the day with a stunning sunset over the water.
William G. Lunney Lake Farm County Park offers 54 sites; 39 of them come with electrical hookups, so you can bring a motorhome. The park offers Wi-Fi, hot showers, bathrooms, and a playground for the kids.
4. Newport State Park
Address: 475 County Rd NP, Ellison Bay, WI 54210
Play in the pleasant waters of Lake Michigan when you stay at Newport State Park. Located in stunning Door County, this Wisconsin campground enables you to enjoy the wilderness in peace.
This is a spot that attracts serious adventurers — the remote, rocky shores are unspoiled by crowds, and the limited access means that you’re likely to have the beach to yourself. At night, the stars shine brilliantly above, thanks to the lack of light pollution.
Newport State Park has just 16 campsites. Each one is a hike-in site; load up your backpack and head out into the wild for a true off-grid getaway.
Wake up to the sound of Lake Michigan waves, and spend your days hiking through the forests or splashing in the bay. With its mix of white-sand beaches and rugged cliffs, there’s always something new to explore.
5. Cedar Falls Campground
Address: 6051 Cedar Falls Rd, Hazelhurst, WI 54531
Located near the charming resort town of Minocqua, Cedar Falls Campground embodies the relaxed northern-Wisconsin vibe. You’ll feel it as soon as you get in — the pace is slower, the air is fresher, and the peace of the forest is palpable.
Located deep in the woods, this area is known for its many inland lakes; spend your trip fishing, swimming, or boating. In the evenings, watch the local water-skiing troupe perform stunts. If you’re more interested in land activities, there’s plenty of hiking to do; don’t miss the beautiful Cedar Falls as it tumbles through the trees.
At Cedar Falls Campground, you’ll find 42 sites for tents and RVs. Many of the sites offer electric hookups; all sites are first-come, first-served. Nearby, there’s a dump station, laundry room, boat launch, and bathrooms with showers for convenience.
6. Merrick State Park
Phone: (608) 687-4936
Address: S2965 WI-35, Fountain City, WI 54629
- Hunting and trapping
Merrick State Park sits on the shores of the mighty Mississippi River on the far western edge of Wisconsin. At this park, it’s all about the water — explore the network of small islands just offshore, enjoy the views over the river, or fish right from the shore.
Paddling, either by canoe or kayak, is the perfect way to experience the region; the water is calm, and there are plenty of beautiful inlets and beaches to discover. The leaves change color dramatically each fall, making autumn a particularly lovely time to visit.
No matter when you come, the 65 campsites in the state park make a great home base. Sites are split between three different areas.
The North campground offers electrical hookups for RVs, the South campground is known for its water views, and the island campground offers basic walk-in sites. With its quiet atmosphere and mostly flat terrain, this spot is popular with families and anglers.
7. Harrington Beach State Park
Phone: (262) 285-3015
Address: 531 Co Rd D, Belgium, WI 53004
- Horseback riding
- Swimming and fishing
Get the full Lake Michigan experience at Harrington Beach State Park, which is located right on the shore. With its wide, sandy beaches and exceptional water access, this is the perfect spot for swimming and beach exploration.
If you’re an experienced paddler, launch a canoe or kayak right from the beach and navigate the waves just offshore. In the winter, cross-country skiers glide silently through the snowy forests with stunning views of the water.
Inside the state park, a family-friendly campground offers 68 sites. Each one offers a fire pit and a picnic table, so you can enjoy the full beauty of the Wisconsin landscape.
Both tents and RVs are welcome; about half of the sites offer electric hookups, and there’s a dump station and water fill-up area nearby. Keep in mind that the campground is only open from May through October. In addition, you can book a single camping cabin or a boat-in kayak campsite.
8. Big Foot Beach State Park
Phone: (262) 248-2528
Address: 1550 S Lake Shore Dr, Lake Geneva, WI 53147
Explore the southern farmlands of Wisconsin from your site at Big Foot Beach State Park. Set up camp under the trees, and walk directly from your site to the calm, shallow waters of beautiful Geneva Lake.
Madison, Milwaukee, and Chicago are all within a few hours’ drive, but you’d never know it — the area is known for its small-town vibe and impossibly scenic views.
The state park offers 100 campsites; it’s busy during the summer months, so it’s a good idea to make reservations in advance. If you’re coming in an RV, book a site in the upper loop; they offer gravel pads, and 14 sites have electric hookups. With hot showers and a dump station, this park is comfortable for both tents and motorhomes.
Whether you’re kayaking around the Apostle Islands in the far north or sleeping among the rolling farmlands in the south, we think you’ll be charmed by Wisconsin’s natural beauty. The magic is in the variety — from the rugged Lake Superior coast to the striking Wisconsin Dells to the white-sand beaches of Lake Michigan, there’s something for every mood.
When you visit Wisconsin, be prepared for a warm welcome. This is a state that embraces the legendary Midwestern friendliness — it’s easy to strike up a conversation to discover local hot spots or the best restaurant in town. In fact, you may find yourself planning a return trip even before the sun sets on the last night of the trip.