State Parks Eau Claire WI

6 State Parks Near Eau Claire WI: Explore Wisconsin’s natural beauty

Wisconsin is renowned for its breathtaking state parks, providing ample opportunities to immerse yourself in the state’s natural beauty. If you’re in the Eau Claire area, you’re in luck! There are numerous state parks nearby that offer a plethora of outdoor activities for all ages. From camping under the stars to exploring scenic hiking trails, these state parks are a nature lover’s paradise. Let’s discover the top six state parks near Eau Claire that are sure to captivate your senses and create lasting memories.

Key Takeaways:

  • Discover the natural beauty of Wisconsin at these six state parks near Eau Claire.
  • Experience a wide range of activities, from camping and hiking to fishing and wildlife observation.
  • These state parks offer something for everyone, including family-friendly activities and accessible amenities.
  • Immerse yourself in the wilderness and explore the diverse ecosystems of Wisconsin’s state parks.
  • Don’t miss out on the opportunity to connect with nature and create unforgettable outdoor adventures.

Brunet Island State Park – Cornell

Located near the city of Cornell, Brunet Island State Park offers a unique camping experience on an island along the Chippewa and Fisher rivers. With over 1,300 acres of picturesque landscapes, the park provides ample opportunities for paddling, hiking, and picnicking. The 20-mile Old Abe State Trail is a popular attraction for hikers and bicyclists, offering scenic views of the surrounding nature.

If you’re looking to immerse yourself in nature or enjoy some outdoor activities, Brunet Island State Park is a hidden gem worth exploring.

Check out some of the highlights of Brunet Island State Park:

  • Camping in Cornell on an island
  • Paddling along the Chippewa and Fisher rivers
  • Hiking and biking the Old Abe State Trail

Imagine waking up to the soothing sounds of nature on an island campground, surrounded by stunning river views. Brunet Island State Park offers this unique experience and so much more. Whether you’re exploring the rivers by kayak, hiking through the lush trails, or enjoying a picnic with loved ones, this park is a true natural paradise.

Discover the Beauty of Brunet Island State Park

With its tranquil rivers, diverse wildlife, and breathtaking scenery, Brunet Island State Park provides endless opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts and nature-lovers. The park’s prime location in Cornell makes it easily accessible for both locals and visitors alike.

Activities Facilities
  • Water activities: Paddling, fishing, and swimming
  • Hiking and biking trails
  • Wildlife watching
  • Picnicking
  • Campgrounds with electric and non-electric sites
  • Picnic areas with shelters
  • Playground
  • Boat launch

Whether you’re planning a weekend camping trip, a day of paddling, or a peaceful hike, Brunet Island State Park is the perfect destination to reconnect with nature and create lasting memories.

Governor Nelson State Park – Waunakee

Situated in Waunakee, Governor Nelson State Park offers stunning views of Lake Mendota and the Wisconsin State Capitol. The park features a dog beach, making it the perfect destination for pet owners to enjoy some fun in the sun with their furry friends. Visitors can also explore the Woodland Trail, which offers panoramic views of Native American mounds and a 358-foot panther effigy. With its beautiful beaches, boating opportunities, and proximity to Madison, Governor Nelson State Park is a must-visit for outdoor enthusiasts.

Governor Nelson State Park

Activities and Amenities at Governor Nelson State Park

Activities Amenities
  • Hiking
  • Birdwatching
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Picnic areas
  • Dog beach
  • Boat launch
  • Playground
  • Restrooms

“Governor Nelson State Park offers the perfect combination of natural beauty and recreational activities. Whether you’re hiking the Woodland Trail, enjoying a picnic by the lake, or taking your dog for a swim, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.”

Governor Thompson State Park – Crivitz

Nestled in Marinette County, Governor Thompson State Park is a hidden gem that offers a tranquil retreat amidst 2,000 acres of woodlands. This picturesque state park provides visitors with access to the popular fishing spot, Caldron Falls Flowage, and offers a range of recreational activities to enjoy.

The park features nearly a hundred campsites, including boat-in sites, allowing outdoor enthusiasts to immerse themselves in nature. Whether you’re interested in fishing, hiking, or skiing, Governor Thompson State Park has something for everyone.

One of the highlights of the park is its wheelchair accessible fishing pier, providing an inclusive fishing experience for all visitors. The pier offers a convenient and comfortable spot to cast a line and enjoy the tranquility of the surrounding nature.

For those looking to explore the park’s scenic trails, there are options for both skiing and hiking. These trails wind through the lush woodlands, offering breathtaking views and a chance to connect with nature.

If you’re planning a picnic, the picturesque picnic area on Woods Lake provides a scenic backdrop for enjoying a meal with family and friends. Take in the beauty of the lake and surrounding landscape while indulging in a leisurely picnic.

wheelchair accessible fishing pier

The Highlights of Governor Thompson State Park:

  • 2,000 acres of tranquil woodlands
  • Fishing in Caldron Falls Flowage
  • Nearly a hundred campsites
  • Wheelchair accessible fishing pier
  • Ski and hiking trails
  • Picturesque picnic area on Woods Lake

Harrington Beach State Park – Belgium

If you’re looking for a state park with stunning Lake Michigan beaches, Harrington Beach State Park in Belgium is the perfect destination. With its mile-long sparkling beach, the park offers a scenic retreat reminiscent of an ocean shoreline. Visitors can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, and beach walks at this beautiful location.

The park also features an accessible cabin, providing a comfortable and inclusive accommodation option for all visitors. Nature enthusiasts will appreciate the limestone outcrops surrounded by picturesque white cedars, creating a unique and captivating landscape.

For those seeking adventure, Harrington Beach State Park offers geocaching, an exciting activity that combines treasure hunting and outdoor exploration. With various geocaching trails to choose from, it’s an excellent opportunity to discover hidden gems within the park.

Whether you’re relaxing on the beach, exploring limestone formations, or embarking on a geocaching adventure, Harrington Beach State Park has something for everyone to enjoy.

Harrington Beach State Park

Recreational Activities at Harrington Beach State Park:

Activity Description
Swimming Cool off in the refreshing waters of Lake Michigan and enjoy a swim along the mile-long beach.
Sunbathing Soak up the sun’s rays and relax on the sandy beach, taking in the beautiful lake views.
Beach Walks Take a leisurely stroll along the shoreline and explore the natural beauty of the park.
Geocaching Embark on a treasure hunt using GPS coordinates to locate hidden caches throughout the park.
Limestone Outcrop Exploration Discover the unique limestone formations and admire the surrounding picturesque white cedars.
Accessible Cabin Stay Experience a comfortable and inclusive stay in the park’s accessible cabin.

Hartman Creek State Park – Waupaca

Hartman Creek State Park in Waupaca offers a serene and friendly environment for outdoor enthusiasts. Located in Waupaca, this state park is a hidden gem that should not be missed. With its diverse range of recreational activities, it caters to the interests of nature lovers, hikers, and water enthusiasts alike.

Clear Lakes and Water Activities

One of the main highlights of Hartman Creek State Park is its seven crystal-clear lakes. Visitors can relish in the beauty of these pristine bodies of water and engage in various water activities, including boating, fishing, and swimming. Whether you’re an avid angler or simply enjoy a peaceful day by the water, these clear lakes provide the perfect backdrop for a memorable experience.

Exploring the Trails

If hiking is your passion, Hartman Creek State Park has you covered. The park offers scenic trails that wind through its picturesque landscape, providing stunning views of the surrounding nature. From leisurely walks to challenging hikes, there are trails suitable for all skill levels. And if you prefer cycling or mountain biking, there are designated trails that cater to these activities as well.

Picnic amidst the Scenic Beauty

Whispering Pines on Marl Lake, one of the park’s four picnic areas, provides a picturesque spot for picnicking amidst the scenic beauty of the lake. Whether you’re enjoying a meal with your family or simply taking in the peaceful surroundings, this idyllic setting offers the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

Activities Highlights
Boating Explore the clear lakes and enjoy a day on the water
Fishing Catch a variety of fish species in the park’s pristine lakes
Swimming Cool off on a hot summer day in the refreshing waters
Hiking Discover scenic trails and immerse yourself in nature
Mountain Biking Ride through the park’s designated trails for an exhilarating experience

Embark on an adventure at Hartman Creek State Park and create lasting memories in the heart of Waupaca. Whether you’re seeking tranquility, outdoor activities, or a peaceful picnic spot, this state park has it all. Explore the clear lakes, hike the scenic trails, and immerse yourself in the natural beauty of this hidden gem.

Lakeshore State Park – Milwaukee

Tucked in the heart of Milwaukee, Lakeshore State Park offers an urban oasis for nature enthusiasts. The park features a multi-use trail that meanders through its 22-acre charm, providing a scenic route for walking, biking, and skating. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or an invigorating bike ride, this trail caters to all fitness levels and offers breathtaking views of Lake Michigan.

For fishing enthusiasts, Lakeshore State Park boasts a fishing pier where you can cast your line and try your luck at catching Lake Michigan’s prized fish. Spend a peaceful afternoon as you engage in the relaxing sport of Lake Michigan fishing.

Located in the heart of Milwaukee, this urban park is a haven for outdoor lovers, combining green spaces with breathtaking city views. While exploring the park, take a moment to appreciate the natural beauty and tranquility amidst an urban setting.

With its convenient location near museums, festival grounds, and downtown Milwaukee, Lakeshore State Park offers the perfect escape for city dwellers craving a dose of nature. Step away from the hustle and bustle of the city and immerse yourself in the peaceful surroundings of this hidden gem.

So, whether you’re in the mood for a leisurely walk, an adventurous bike ride, or a relaxing fishing session, Lakeshore State Park is the perfect destination to connect with nature in the heart of Milwaukee.

Facilities at Lakeshore State Park – Milwaukee

Facility Description
Multi-Use Trail A well-maintained trail suitable for walking, biking, and skating.
Fishing Pier A dedicated fishing spot with access to Lake Michigan.
Marina A 20-slip marina providing convenience for boating enthusiasts.

Newport State Park – Ellison Bay

As the only formally designated wilderness park in Wisconsin, Newport State Park in Ellison Bay is a nature lover’s paradise. With over 11 miles of pristine Lake Michigan shoreline and a variety of hiking trails, visitors can immerse themselves in the untouched beauty of this park. Experience the natural wonders and unspoiled landscapes of Newport State Park for an unforgettable outdoor adventure.

Nestled in Door County, one of Wisconsin’s most scenic regions, Newport State Park offers a tranquil escape from the bustling city life. With its dense forests, rolling dunes, and stunning views of Lake Michigan, the park provides a serene haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you’re hiking through the picturesque trails or enjoying a leisurely picnic by the shore, Newport State Park offers a diverse range of activities for all nature lovers.

One of the highlights of Newport State Park is its exceptional stargazing opportunities. As one of the Midwest’s Dark Sky places, the park boasts minimal light pollution, allowing visitors to witness the brilliance of the night sky. With its designated stargazing areas and frequent astronomical events, such as meteor showers, Newport State Park is a dream destination for astronomy enthusiasts.


Are the state parks near Eau Claire WI suitable for camping?

Yes, many of the state parks near Eau Claire WI offer camping facilities. Brunet Island State Park, Governor Thompson State Park, Hartman Creek State Park, and Harrington Beach State Park have designated campsites for visitors.

Can I go hiking in these state parks?

Absolutely! All the state parks near Eau Claire WI mentioned in this article have hiking trails that allow visitors to explore the natural beauty of the parks. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced hiker, there are trails of varying difficulty levels to choose from.

Are these state parks suitable for families with children?

Yes, these state parks offer family-friendly activities and amenities. You can enjoy picnicking, swimming, fishing, and various other recreational activities with your family. Some parks, such as Hartman Creek State Park, even have playgrounds for children.

What outdoor activities can I do in these state parks?

The state parks near Eau Claire WI offer a wide range of outdoor activities. You can go camping, hiking, fishing, boating, swimming, picnicking, and even enjoy winter activities like skiing and snowshoeing in some parks.

Are pets allowed in these state parks?

Yes, pets are generally allowed in these state parks but must be kept on a leash at all times. However, it’s always a good idea to check the specific rules and regulations of each park before bringing your pet.

Are there any entrance fees for these state parks?

Yes, most state parks charge an entrance fee. The fees vary depending on the park and the activities you plan to engage in. It’s recommended to check the official website of each park for up-to-date information on fees and permits.

Are there any amenities available in these state parks?

Yes, the state parks near Eau Claire WI provide various amenities such as restrooms, picnic areas, campsites, and sometimes even visitor centers. Some parks may also have amenities like accessible fishing piers, dog beaches, and playgrounds.

Can I rent equipment like boats or bicycles in these state parks?

Some state parks may offer equipment rentals like boats, kayaks, canoes, and bicycles. It’s best to check the official park website or contact the park office directly for information on equipment rentals.

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