Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Where to go winter camping in Wisconsin

Winter camping season has arrived.

With proper planning and the right gear, you too can stay toasty warm while enjoying our state parks, forests, and recreation areas during the cold months. Have you explored our state's great outdoors once the snow falls? The sheer quiet and desolation of these places blanketed in snow will mesmerize you. The first time I ever went winter camping was up in the remote Menominee River State Recreation Area on the northern border of Wisconsin and Michigan's Upper Peninsula. I backpacked in a few miles on snowshoes to a site perched atop Pemene Falls on the Menominee River for a quick overnight, where I could literally see the UP outside my tent's vestibule. Since then I've made the trip to Newport and High Cliff State Parks a few winter camping adventures.

Experiencing Wisconsin's wilderness during the winter months is like stepping into a giant snow globe and so worth it. It's definitely something every outdoor enthusiast should try at least once. With the right planning and equipment, the rewards are surprisingly charming. Get yourself a down sleeping bag that's rated close to or at 0 degrees, a solid three-season (or four) tent, insulated winter hiking gear, and go explore. Have an RV or camper? Some state park properties like Kohler-Andrae, Big Bay, and Wildcat Mountain have electric sites open year-round. It's important to note too that camping rates also change during the off-season and are usually much lower, so check those prices when booking a site.

Here's the current list of places across the state you can winter camp at:
As always, make sure to call the park ahead of time to check conditions and confirm their winter camping sites are open. Stay safe and have fun.


Updated 1/07/2020