10 Best National Parks in Wisconsin (2023)

Wisconsin, also known as the “Badger State,” is renowned for its diverse natural beauty, encompassing majestic lakes, pristine forests, and scenic landscapes. Nestled within this picturesque state are remarkable national parks, each offering unique experiences and opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts. In this article, I will embark on a journey to explore the ten best national parks in Wisconsin, showcasing their fascinating features and providing essential information for visitors. So, grab your hiking boots, pack your camping gear, and get ready to discover the natural treasures that await you in Wisconsin’s national parks.

National Parks in Wisconsin

10 Best National Parks in Wisconsin

Here are the ten best national parks you can see in Wisconsin:

1. Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, located on the stunning shores of Lake Superior, is a paradise for nature lovers. The park comprises 21 islands featuring towering cliffs, sandy beaches, and pristine forests. Visitors can engage in various activities, including kayaking, boating, hiking, and camping. The visitor center offers information on park activities, exhibits, and educational programs. Opening hours vary by season, so checking the official website for current information is advisable.

  • Address: 415 Washington Avenue, Bayfield, WI 54814
  • Phone: (715) 779-3397
  • Website: www.nps.gov/apis

2. Isle Royale National Park

Isle Royale National Park comes in second among the ten best national parks in Wisconsin. Although located in Michigan, Isle Royale National Park can be accessed via ferry from Wisconsin’s northern tip. This pristine wilderness area is famous for its rugged landscapes, including dense forests, inland lakes, and stunning shoreline along Lake Superior. Visitors can enjoy hiking, camping, fishing, and wildlife watching. The park’s visitor center provides valuable information about trails, safety, and park regulations. Ferry services operate from various ports in Wisconsin, and it is recommended to check the ferry schedules in advance.

  • Address: 800 East Lakeshore Drive, Houghton, MI 49931
  • Phone: (906) 482-0984
  • Website: www.nps.gov/isro

3. St. Croix National Scenic Riverway

The St. Croix National Scenic Riverway offers a breathtaking experience as it winds through the lush forests and picturesque bluffs of Wisconsin and Minnesota. This protected waterway provides opportunities for kayaking, canoeing, fishing, and wildlife observation. Visitors can also explore the scenic hiking trails along the riverbanks. The visitor center at St. Croix Falls offers information on park activities, exhibits, and educational programs.

  • Address: 401 North Hamilton Street, St. Croix Falls, WI 54024
  • Phone: (715) 483-2274
  • Website: www.nps.gov/sacn

4. North Country National Scenic Trail

The North Country National Scenic Trail stretches across seven states, including Wisconsin, offering hikers a chance to explore diverse landscapes and immerse themselves in nature. This park is one of the best national parks in Wisconsin. In Wisconsin, the trail winds through forests, meadows, and scenic vistas. Visitors can enjoy day hikes or embark on multi-day backpacking trips along the trail. As the trail encompasses various sections, it is recommended to consult trail maps and guides for specific access points and trail segments.

  • Address: Various access points along the trail
  • Phone: (866) 445-3628
  • Website: www.nps.gov/noco

5. National Scenic Trail

The Ice Age National Scenic Trail stretches over 1,000 miles, traversing the remarkable landscapes carved by ancient glaciers in Wisconsin. Hikers can explore the trail’s diverse terrain, including glacial drumlins, scenic overlooks, and tranquil forests. The trail offers opportunities for day hikes, backpacking, and wildlife observation. Access points are located throughout the state, allowing visitors to explore different sections of the trail. Detailed maps and trail information are available on the official website and at visitor centers along the trail.

  • Address: Various access points along the trail
  • Phone: (608) 441-5610
  • Website: www.nps.gov/iatr

6. Wisconsin Islands Wilderness

The Wisconsin Islands Wilderness encompasses several islands located in Lake Superior’s Chequamegon Bay. This park ranks sixth among the ten best national parks in Wisconsin. These remote and uninhabited islands provide a serene and untouched natural environment. Visitors can explore the islands’ rugged shores, hike through forests, and enjoy breathtaking views of the lake. Camping is permitted on some of the islands, offering a unique opportunity for a wilderness experience. As the islands are accessible by private boat or kayak, it is essential to check weather conditions and safety guidelines before planning a visit.

  • Website: www.fs.usda.gov/cnnf

7. Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest

The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest covers over 1.5 million acres, spanning the northern part of Wisconsin. This vast forestland offers a wide range of recreational activities, including hiking, fishing, camping, and wildlife watching. Visitors can explore numerous trails, visit scenic lakes, and immerse themselves in the tranquility of nature. The forest has various ranger districts with visitor centers that provide information on activities, maps, and permits.

  • Address: 500 Hanson Lake Road, Rhinelander, WI 54501
  • Phone: (715) 362-1300
  • Website: www.fs.usda.gov/cnnf

8. Kettle Moraine State Forest

Kettle Moraine State Forest falls among the top national parks in Wisconsin. This park encompasses several units spread across southern and eastern Wisconsin. Kettle Moraine State Forest is characterized by its unique glacial landforms, including kettles, moraines, and glacial lakes. Visitors can enjoy a variety of recreational activities such as hiking, biking, horseback riding, and camping. Each unit of the forest offers different facilities and attractions, including interpretive trails, nature centers, and scenic overlooks. Opening and closing times may vary by unit and season, so it’s advisable to check the official Website for specific information.

  • Address: N1765 County Road G, Campbellsport, WI 53010
  • Phone: (262) 626-2116
  • Website: www.dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/StateForests/km

9. Horicon National Wildlife Refuge

Horicon National Wildlife Refuge is a haven for migratory birds and wildlife located in south-central Wisconsin. The refuge encompasses marshes, prairies, and hardwood forests, providing critical habitat for waterfowl and other species. Visitors can explore the refuge through wildlife drives, hiking trails, and observation platforms. The visitor center offers exhibits, educational programs, and information on refuge activities. The refuge has varying hours and may be closed during certain periods to protect nesting and migratory wildlife, so it’s recommended to check the official Website or contact the refuge for up-to-date information

10. Pattison State Park

Pattison State Park, located in northern Wisconsin, is home to the state’s highest waterfall and offers a picturesque natural setting. Also, Pattison State Park appears among the best national parks in Wisconsin. Visitors can marvel at Big Manitou Falls, which cascades 165 feet, and hike through scenic trails that wind through forests and along the Black River. The park also offers camping, fishing, and picnic areas. Opening and closing times may vary by season, so it’s advisable to check the official website or contact the park for current information.

  • Address: 6294 South State Road 35, Superior, WI 54880
  • Phone: (715) 399-3111
  • Website: www.dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/parks/pattison


Wisconsin’s national parks showcase the state’s incredible natural diversity, offering a myriad of outdoor activities and breathtaking vistas. Check out the article above carefully to see the ten best national parks in Wisconsin. From the pristine Apostle Islands National Lakeshore to the rugged beauty of Pattison State Park, each park provides a unique experience for visitors to immerse themselves in the wonders of Wisconsin’s natural heritage. Whether you’re hiking along the Ice Age National Scenic Trail or kayaking through the Apostle Islands, these national parks offer endless opportunities for adventure and appreciation of the state’s remarkable landscapes. So, plan your visit, explore the trails, and create unforgettable memories in Wisconsin’s extraordinary national parks.

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