Monday, April 24, 2017

13 Best Places to Go Camping Near Milwaukee

May is almost here! The beer gardens across the 414 are opening and so are the nearest campgrounds! The weather is getting nicer and I'm craving some tent time. I'm not the only one feeling this way, as I've had a decent amount of people reach out to me asking where some of my favorite places to go camping close to Milwaukee. Currently I'm in the process of moving out of my apartment and into a new place down in Shorewood next week. I'm excited both for a change of pace and scenery but also to be done living out of cardboard boxes, especially those cardboard boxes that have all of my outdoor gear packed away in them. Needless to say, as soon as I'm unpacked, I'm hitting the road and going camping.

READ: Trekking the 414: Best Places to Hike in Milwaukee

Lucky for us Wisconsinites living in the brew city, we have thirteen (!) options of places we can easily drive to to camp for a spontaneous night, weekend trip or week-long vacation. The following is a list of places-- both state and county parks-- that offer car camping sites, all within about an hour drive of downtown Milwaukee. If you're feeling even more backcountry adventurous, try the epic backpacking sites scattered throughout units of the Kettle Moraine State Forest. The Lapham Peak Unit in Delafield has an incredible, remote backpacking site, call the park office to book it.

Expect to pay anywhere from $12 to $20 per night for a non-electric site, $20-$30 for one with electricity. Make online reservations in advance at ReserveAmerica.com for state parks and here for Waukesha County Parks. All county and state park campgrounds listed below do require a daily or annual admission pass. Support your public lands, yo!

  1. Pike Lake Unit, Kettle Moraine State Forest (pictured above)
    Distance from Milwaukee= 50min
  2. Mauthe Lake Recreation Area, Kettle Moraine State Forest
    Distance from Milwaukee= 1hr and 3min
  3. Harrington Beach State Park
    Distance from Milwaukee= 39min
  4. Naga-Waukee County Park
    Distance from Milwaukee=  30min
  5. Long Lake Recreation Area, Kettle Moraine State Forest
    Distance from Milwaukee= 1hr and 7min
  6. Kohler-Andrae State Park
    Distance from Milwaukee= 1hr and 5min
  7. Menomonee County Park
    Distance from Milwaukee= 37min
  8. Ottawa Lake Recreation Area, Kettle Moraine State Forest
    Distance from Milwaukee= 46min
  9. Mukwanago County Park
    Distance from Milwaukee= 40min
  10. Pinewoods Campground, Kettle Moraine State Forest
    Distance from Milwaukee= 41min
  11. Richard Bong State Recreation Area
    Distance from Milwaukee= 43min
  12. Big Foot Beach State Park
    Distance from Milwaukee= 58min
  13. Whitewater Lake Campground, Kettle Moraine State Forest
    Distance from Milwaukee= 59min
Cheers,
Robby