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Get out of town! Explore Wisconsin’s State Parks


View of the lake from the quartzite bluffs of Devil’s Lake State Park.

It’s summertime and the weather is fine with vacation heavy on our minds…

But the reality is that with work, family, and household responsibilities, our vacations can be limited. When we let these responsibilities keep us from leisure activities, it often leads to higher stress levels, sleeping problems, and other unhealthy behaviors. That’s why it’s so important to make time for yourself and your family and to get out of town, away from the things that can weigh you down, physically and emotionally.

The good news is, you don’t have to fly across the country en route to a pricey vacation spot. Our very own state offers beautiful areas for day-trips and weekend-stays, a perfect way to escape the stresses of life, while also staying within a budget.  Whether you’re into hiking, camping, swimming or simply want a hassle-free stay at a quiet lodging spot, WI has something for you. Here are some of our favorite local mini day and weekend trips:


1. Get out and hike! Visit Copper Falls State Park 


Copper Falls State Park, Brownstone Falls

Located in the Great North West region of the state, Coppers Falls offers 17 miles of hiking trails with great scenery and unique land features. Take a walk along the Bad River, hike your way to the Copper or Brownstone falls, and don’t forget to make it to the ancient lava flows and deep gorges. Don’t make us try to convince you…this state park is well worth the visit.

2. Pack your swimsuit! Visit Governor Dodge State Park

This south-centrally located park has much to offer in the way of fun, outdoor activities. Its two inland lakes are clean and warm by the early summer months and are great for swimming or kayaking/canoeing – rentals available! That on top of beautiful hiking trails, waterfall and 269 family campsites make this a perfect weekend getaway.

3. Bring the whole family! Visit Peninsula State Park in Door County


Birds-eye view of Eagle tower at Peninsula State Park, Door County.

Anxious to find a family-friendly park with lots of activities to keep the little ones occupied? You can’t go wrong with Peninsula State Park. Here you’ll find beautiful trails for hiking and biking alike; a nice sandy beach with kayak, canoe and watercraft rentals; playgrounds; tennis and volleyball courts; and an old lighthouse to explore. With over 460 campsites and a location close to shops and restaurants, this could be your best – and cheapest – family vacation yet. Not into camping? Door County can accommodate that.

 4. Bring the camera! Visit Devil’s Lake State Park

Just 45 minutes outside of our state capitol, Devil’s Lake is a gem for Wisconsin locals. It’s easy to access, making it very popular for visitors, but has plenty of backcountry solitude to make everyone happy. Picnic sites line the shore on both sides of the lake, with restroom, food and boating rental facilities. No motorized boats are allowed, adding to the cleanliness of the lake and peaceful quality of the park’s atmosphere. The quartzite bluffs make for vigorous, but do-able, hiking with rewarding views around every corner. Whether for a day trip or camping, you’ll love your time here and will be anxious to return.


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