Camping in Wisconsin

      Everything you need to know about camping in Wisconsin in one place.

      Your Go-To Camping Guide for Wisconsin

      Wisconsin’s like a giant park calling your name. All you do is wake up to fresh air, sunshine peeking through the trees, and the sound of a babbling brook. Picture campfires crackling under a sky full of stars, or chilling by a lake so clear you can see the fish.

      And it doesn’t matter if you’re a solo adventurer or a whole crew, Wisconsin’s got campsites for everyone. Want something simple and close to nature? Craving a campground with all the bells and whistles? There’s something for everyone. Ditch the daily grind, pack your comfy clothes, and get ready to enjoy Wisconsin’s wild side.

      Best Places To Camp In Wisconsin

      Door County

      Catering to diverse preferences, Door County offers a spectrum of camping experiences. Campers can immerse themselves in the natural beauty of Peninsula State Park, renowned for its dramatic rock formations and scenic coastal views. Whitefish Dunes State Park beckons with its unique sand dunes, while county parks and private campgrounds provide a range of options, from basic campsites nestled amidst the woods to those offering convenient amenities.

      Door County Wisconsin

      The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest

      This sprawling tapestry of verdant wilderness presents a diverse array of camping options, catering to both seasoned outdoorsmen and casual campers seeking a taste of nature’s embrace. Rustic campsites tucked away amidst the towering pines offer a sense of solitude, while developed campgrounds with amenities like restrooms and showers provide a comfortable base for exploration.

      The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest Wisconsin

      The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

      Comprising 21 islands scattered like emeralds across the vast canvas of Lake Superior, the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore offers a camping experience unlike any other. Accessible solely by ferry, these islands beckon with their pristine beauty and promise of adventure. Campers can set up camp on primitive campsites, embracing the solitude and forging a connection with the raw, unspoiled wilderness.

      The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness

      A haven for experienced outdoorsmen seeking an authentic wilderness adventure, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness encompasses a vast network of interconnected lakes, islands, and pristine forests. Accessible only by canoe or kayak, this protected area offers a true test of self-reliance and a chance to disconnect from the modern world.

      The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness Wisconsin

      Wisconsin Dells

      While renowned for its exhilarating water parks and theme parks, the Wisconsin Dells area extends beyond the realm of manufactured thrills, offering a surprising haven for campers seeking a scenic escape. Nestled amidst the dramatic landscape of the Wisconsin River Dells, with its towering sandstone cliffs and unique rock formations, this region provides a picturesque backdrop for a camping adventure.

      Things To Do In Wisconsin


      Milwaukee, Wisconsin's largest city, offers a vibrant mix of cultural attractions, historical landmarks, and exciting entertainment options. Explore the stunning architecture of the Milwaukee Art Museum, designed by renowned architect Santiago Calatrava. Immerse yourself in the rich brewing history of the city with a tour of the Lakefront Brewery or the Harley-Davidson Museum. Catch a game at the iconic Miller Park, home to the Milwaukee Brewers baseball team, or delve into the city's vibrant arts scene with a visit to the Milwaukee Repertory Theater.

      Wisconsin Dells

      Nicknamed the "Waterpark Capital of the World," Wisconsin Dells is a haven for thrill-seekers and families alike. With over 20 water parks, including the world-famous Noah's Ark Water Park, the Dells offers endless opportunities for splashing, sliding, and soaking up the sun. Beyond the water parks, explore the natural beauty of the region with a scenic boat tour on the Dells of the Wisconsin River or hike through the towering sandstone cliffs of Devil's Lake State Park.

      Lake Geneva

      Located just a short drive from Chicago, Lake Geneva is a popular resort destination known for its luxurious accommodations, charming atmosphere, and diverse activities. Take a boat cruise on the pristine waters of Geneva Lake, or rent a jet ski or kayak for a more adventurous exploration. Stroll along the scenic lakefront path, lined with charming shops and restaurants. Play a round of golf on one of the area's many championship courses, or visit the historic Geneva Lake Geneva History Center to learn about the region's rich past.


      The vibrant capital city of Wisconsin, Madison, offers a unique blend of cultural attractions, outdoor activities, and a lively college town atmosphere. Explore the majestic Wisconsin State Capitol building, a stunning example of neoclassical architecture. Visit the renowned Madison Children's Museum, offering interactive exhibits perfect for families. Stroll through the scenic campus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, or catch a performance at the Overture Center for the Arts.

      Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

      The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is an archipelago of 21 pristine islands, each offering unique landscapes, historical sites, and abundant wildlife. Explore the islands by kayak, boat tour, or ferry, and discover hidden coves, towering sea cliffs, and historic lighthouses. Hike or bike along the scenic trails, go camping under the starry sky or simply relax on the beautiful beaches. During the winter months, experience the magic of the islands transformed into a winter wonderland, perfect for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

      The House on the Rock

      A truly unique attraction, The House on the Rock, located in Spring Green, is an architectural marvel perched atop a chimney rock. Explore the complex's collection of buildings, each with a distinct theme and housing eclectic displays of historical artifacts, oddities, and collections. Take a guided tour through the Infinity Room, featuring an endless mirrored hallway, or marvel at the carousel with its hand-carved animals.

      Circus World

      Delve into the rich history and heritage of the American circus at Circus World in Baraboo. This museum complex showcases a vast collection of circus artifacts, including vintage wagons, costumes, and posters. Explore historic big tops, witness captivating live performances, and learn about the fascinating lives of circus performers. Circus World is a fun and educational experience for families and anyone interested in the captivating world of the circus.


      In the summer months, enjoy boating, fishing, and swimming on the crystal-clear lakes of the region. Hike or bike along scenic trails through lush forests, go whitewater rafting on the exciting rapids of the Wisconsin River or tee off at one of the many championship golf courses. During the winter, Minocqua transforms into a winter wonderland, offering opportunities for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and ice fishing.

      The Driftless Area

      The Driftless Area, encompassing southwestern Wisconsin, is a unique geological region characterized by rolling hills, hidden valleys, and dramatic bluffs. This region offers a plethora of outdoor activities for all skill levels. Hike or bike along scenic trails that wind through the hills and valleys, explore hidden waterfalls and caves or go rock climbing. 

      The Third Ward

      Milwaukee's Historic Third Ward is a vibrant and trendy neighborhood known for its art galleries, boutiques, restaurants, and breweries. Explore the numerous art galleries showcasing the works of local and international artists, or discover unique treasures in the many specialty shops and boutiques. Savor delicious cuisine at trendy restaurants or sample local craft beers at the neighborhood's many breweries.

      National Mustard Museum

      For a unique and quirky experience, visit the National Mustard Museum in Middleton. This museum houses an extensive collection of over 6,000 mustards from around the world, offering visitors a chance to learn about the history, production, and varieties of this condiment. Sample different mustards from around the globe, participate in a mustard tasting or browse through the museum's mustard-themed gift shop. The National Mustard Museum is a fun and educational attraction for all ages.

      Little Sturgeon Bay

      Explore the historic Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal, a vital link between Lake Michigan and Green Bay, or visit the Door County Maritime Museum to learn about the region's rich shipbuilding history. Enjoy a traditional fish boil, a Door County culinary tradition where fresh fish is boiled over an open fire, and savor the delicious flavors alongside other local specialties. Little Sturgeon Bay offers a unique blend of history, culture, and culinary delights.

      Featured Wisconsin Parks

      Inspiration From Our Nearby States

      Book an RV in Wisconsin

      Cruise the scenic highways of Wisconsin in comfort and style with your own RV rental. Explore the vibrant cities, charming towns, and breathtaking natural landscapes at your own pace; an RV offers the freedom and flexibility to create an unforgettable Wisconsin vacation. Book your own rental today and hit the road to explore everything the Badger State has to offer!

      Frequently Asked Questions

      Wisconsin is a fantastic camping destination with something to offer everyone. With a network of state parks, national forests, and private campgrounds offering various amenities and activities, Wisconsin caters to all camping styles and preferences.

      Free dispersed camping opportunities in Wisconsin are limited compared to other states. However, you can find some options within designated areas of national forests like Chequamegon-Nicolet with a permit.

      Remember, dispersed camping comes with its own set of challenges, requiring more self-sufficiency and adherence to specific regulations.

      Camping fees at Wisconsin State Parks vary depending on the location, time of year, and campsite type. Typically, they range from around $15 to $30 per night for basic campsites. Additional fees may apply for amenities like electric hookups or showers.

      Unlike designated campgrounds, camping is not permitted just anywhere within a Wisconsin state forest. Dispersed camping is allowed only in specific designated areas with a permit. It's crucial to research and obtain the necessary permits before embarking on dispersed camping trips within state forests.

      Wisconsin boasts beautiful seasons, each offering unique camping experiences. Spring (May-June) provides blooming wildflowers and comfortable temperatures. Summer (July-August) is the peak season with warm weather, perfect for swimming and outdoor activities. 

      Autumn (September-October) stuns with vibrant fall foliage and offers comfortable temperatures for hiking and exploring. Winter (November-April) provides a snowy wonderland for experienced winter campers who enjoy the serenity of the frozen landscapes.

      Wisconsin's state park system offers diverse camping options. Devil's Lake State Park, known for its stunning lake and sandstone formations, is a popular choice. 

      For scenic views, consider Wyalusing State Park with its breathtaking Mississippi River bluffs. If you're seeking a more secluded experience, try Peninsula State Park, located on a scenic Door County peninsula.

      Reservations are highly recommended for camping in Wisconsin State Parks, especially during peak season and weekends. You can make reservations online or by phone several months in advance to secure your desired campsite.

      Campsite amenities vary depending on the location. State park campgrounds often offer basic amenities like picnic tables, fire rings, and vault toilets. Some may have showers, electric hookups, and flush toilets. Private campgrounds typically provide more amenities, including laundry facilities, swimming pools, and camp stores.

      Your packing list will depend on the season and the type of camping you'll be doing. However, some general essentials include a tent, sleeping bag and pad, appropriate clothing for the weather, a headlamp, camp stove and fuel (if needed), cooking supplies, plates, utensils, and a first-aid kit. 

      Don't forget insect repellent, sunscreen, and a good book to enjoy by the campfire!

      Campfire restrictions can vary depending on the location, time of year, and current fire danger. Always check park regulations or with campground staff before lighting a fire. Some areas may have designated fire rings or specific times when campfires are allowed.

      Most Wisconsin state parks and campgrounds allow pets, but leash laws and specific pet regulations are in place. Always check the park's website or call ahead to confirm pet policies and any necessary permits. 

      Responsible pet ownership is essential, including cleaning up after your pet and keeping them under control at all times.

      Be prepared for changing weather conditions, especially during spring and fall. Practice responsible campfire management and extinguish fires properly. Be aware of wildlife and take precautions to avoid attracting them to your campsite. Store food securely and follow proper food storage guidelines to avoid attracting unwanted animal visitors.

      Become a Go Camping America Member!  

      Imagine planning your dream RV trip with unmatched ease and efficiency.'s powerful search engine puts the power in your hands, allowing you to pinpoint campgrounds that perfectly match your needs, whether you seek a serene escape in nature, a family-friendly adventure zone, or anything in between. Compare countless options side-by-side, filtering by amenities, location, price, and more, to find the ideal stopover for every leg of your journey.

      But the benefits don't stop there. As a valued OHI member, you'll gain access to a treasure trove of premium RV trip-planning resources designed to make your adventure unforgettable. Download exclusive guides packed with expert tips and recommendations, ensuring you experience the best each campground has to offer. Stay informed and inspired with a regularly delivered newsletter featuring insider insights, must-see destinations, and valuable tips from seasoned RV travelers. And to sweeten the deal, OHI members may even enjoy exclusive discounts on campground stays, stretching your travel budget further and allowing you to explore even more.