State Parks Janesville WI

5 State Parks Near Janesville WI: Explore the Natural Beauty of Wisconsin

Wisconsin is known for its breathtaking landscapes and abundant natural beauty. If you’re looking to immerse yourself in nature and enjoy outdoor activities, exploring the state parks near Janesville is a must. Whether you’re a camping enthusiast, a hiking lover, or simply seeking a peaceful getaway, these state parks offer something for everyone.

The Janesville WI park system boasts a range of options, including pristine lakes, scenic trails, and family-friendly recreational areas. From camping under the stars to discovering hidden waterfalls, you’ll find endless opportunities for adventure and relaxation in these nearby state parks.

Key Takeaways:

  • Explore the natural beauty of Wisconsin by visiting state parks near Janesville WI
  • Enjoy a wide range of outdoor activities, including camping, hiking, and more
  • Discover picturesque landscapes, pristine lakes, and hidden waterfalls
  • Immerse yourself in nature while still being close to Janesville
  • Create lasting memories with family and friends in the beautiful state parks of Janesville WI

Brunet Island State Park – Cornell

Brunet Island State Park, located near Cornell in Wisconsin, offers a picturesque and immersive outdoor experience. Spanning across 1,300 acres, this beautiful state park is situated at the confluence of the Chippewa and Fisher rivers. It is an ideal destination for camping enthusiasts, nature lovers, and adventure seekers.

Campers at Brunet Island State Park have a unique opportunity to pitch their tents on an island right along the water’s edge. Surrounded by the soothing sounds of the rivers and the breathtaking views of the surrounding nature, camping here is an extraordinary experience.

For those interested in exploring the waterways, Brunet Island State Park provides excellent paddling opportunities. Visitors can navigate through the park’s channels and lagoons, taking in the serene beauty of the surroundings and enjoying a tranquil paddling adventure.

If hiking is your passion, the park offers the Old Abe State Trail, a 20-mile trail that winds through the scenic landscape. Whether you are a beginner hiker or an experienced trekker, this trail provides a variety of terrains and captivating views, making it a delightful experience for all.

Brunet Island State Park Highlights:

  • 1,300 acres of natural beauty
  • Camping on an island along the water’s edge
  • Paddling opportunities in channels and lagoons
  • 20-mile Old Abe State Trail for hiking

With its stunning landscapes, camping options, paddling opportunities, and hiking trails, Brunet Island State Park is a must-visit destination for outdoor enthusiasts in Wisconsin. So pack your camping gear and set off on an unforgettable adventure in the heart of nature.

Brunet Island State Park

Governor Nelson State Park – Waunakee

Located in Waunakee, Dane County, Governor Nelson State Park is a picturesque destination with a range of attractions and amenities. One of the park’s highlights is the dog beach, where furry friends can have a splashing good time. This dog-friendly beach features a pier and ramp for easy access to the water, ensuring hours of fun for both pets and their owners.

From the dog beach, visitors can enjoy breathtaking views of the Wisconsin State Capitol and the bustling downtown Madison, all across the glistening waters of Lake Mendota. The stunning panorama provides a perfect backdrop for a relaxing day at the beach, creating lasting memories for families and friends.

In addition to the dog beach and scenic views, Governor Nelson State Park offers a variety of recreational activities and points of interest. Nature enthusiasts can explore the park’s Woodland Trail, which winds through serene forests, showcasing the region’s natural beauty. History buffs can appreciate the park’s Native American mounds, including a remarkable 358-foot panther effigy mound, a testament to the area’s rich Native American heritage.

For those seeking a peaceful picnic spot, Governor Nelson State Park provides well-maintained picnic areas surrounded by lush greenery. Whether it’s a family gathering or a romantic outing, these scenic spots offer the perfect setting to enjoy a delicious meal while soaking in the beauty of the park.

Overall, Governor Nelson State Park in Waunakee, Dane County, offers a delightful blend of natural wonders, recreational opportunities, and breathtaking views, making it a must-visit destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.

Governor Nelson State Park

Attractions Location Features
Dog Beach Adjacent to Lake Mendota Pier and ramp for easy access to the water
Wisconsin State Capitol Viewpoint Overlooking Lake Mendota Scenic views of the Capitol and downtown Madison
Woodland Trail Throughout the park Hiking trail through serene forests
Native American Mounds Various locations within the park Includes a 358-foot panther effigy mound
Picnic Areas Designated areas throughout the park Scenic spots for relaxing and dining

Governor Thompson State Park – Crivitz

Located in Crivitz, Marinette County, Governor Thompson State Park is a hidden gem stretching across 2,000 acres of serene woodlands. Nestled within this natural playground is the breathtaking Caldron Falls Flowage, renowned for its trophy fishing opportunities. With its abundance of campsites, fishing pier, and extensive ski and hiking trails, the park offers outdoor enthusiasts a multitude of recreational activities to enjoy.

Whether you’re seeking an adventurous getaway or a tranquil escape, Governor Thompson State Park has it all. The expansive campground features nearly a hundred campsites spread across three campgrounds, including three boat-in sites, ensuring that every visitor can find their preferred camping experience. The park also boasts a scenic picnic area overlooking the picturesque Woods Lake, perfect for unwinding and immersing yourself in the beauty of nature.

For the avid angler, Caldron Falls Flowage presents an incredible opportunity to cast your line and reel in impressive catches. This popular fishing spot is known for abundant muskellunge, walleye, and panfish. Whether you prefer shore fishing or venturing out on a boat, the fishing pier provides convenient access to the water, making it an angler’s paradise.

Outdoor enthusiasts will be delighted by the array of recreational activities available in Governor Thompson State Park. The ski and hiking trails meander through the woodlands, offering breathtaking views and opportunities for exploration. Embrace the thrill of skiing amidst the winter wonderland or embark on a picturesque hike as you discover the park’s hidden treasures.

“Governor Thompson State Park is a nature lover’s paradise, offering a peaceful retreat where visitors can immerse themselves in the serene woodlands and explore the pristine waters of Caldron Falls Flowage.”

Escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and discover the tranquil beauty of Governor Thompson State Park. Whether you’re camping under the stars, casting a line in the fishing pier, or venturing along the ski and hiking trails, the park provides a remarkable outdoor experience for all.

Harrington Beach State Park – Belgium

Harrington Beach State Park, located in Belgium, offers a tranquil and scenic experience for nature enthusiasts. Situated along the shores of Lake Michigan, this beautiful park boasts a mile-long beach, providing ample opportunities for swimming, sunbathing, and picnicking. Whether you’re looking to relax on the sandy shores or take a refreshing dip in the crystal-clear waters, Harrington Beach State Park offers a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Harrington Beach State Park

One of the unique features of this park is its observatory, which allows visitors to gaze at the stars and witness the wonders of the night sky. Whether you’re an amateur astronomer or simply fascinated by celestial objects, the observatory at Harrington Beach State Park provides a remarkable opportunity for stargazing and learning about the mysteries of the universe.

For nature lovers, the park offers a picturesque campground nestled among the natural beauty of the surrounding landscape. With walk-in and kayak sites available, camping at Harrington Beach State Park is a truly immersive experience, allowing you to reconnect with nature and enjoy the peaceful serenity of the outdoors.

One of the highlights of Harrington Beach State Park is the old quarry lake. Surrounded by limestone outcrops, this tranquil lake offers a serene setting for fishing, birdwatching, or simply enjoying the peaceful ambiance of the water. A hiking trail winds its way around the lake, providing breathtaking views and opportunities for exploration.

So whether you’re looking to bask in the sun on the sandy beaches, marvel at the night sky in the observatory, or embark on a scenic hike around the old quarry lake, Harrington Beach State Park in Belgium is a must-visit destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.

Hartman Creek State Park – Waupaca

Hartman Creek State Park, located in Waupaca, is known as a “quiet and friendly natural gem.” The park features seven crystal-clear lakes and offers a range of recreational activities such as fishing, swimming, and hiking. With over a hundred campsites, visitors can enjoy a camping experience surrounded by the park’s beautiful landscapes. One of the park’s highlights is Whispering Pines on Marl Lake, a scenic picnic area with stone steps leading up from the shoreline.

Whether you’re a nature lover or simply seeking a peaceful getaway, Hartman Creek State Park in Waupaca, Wisconsin, is the perfect destination. With its crystal-clear lakes, sandy beaches, and abundant wildlife, this park offers a retreat into nature’s embrace.

For outdoor enthusiasts, fishing is a popular activity at Hartman Creek State Park. Cast your line into the tranquil lakes and try your luck at catching bass, panfish, and trout. The park also provides designated swim areas where you can cool off on hot summer days.

If camping is your preferred way to connect with nature, the park offers a variety of campsites for both tents and RVs. Set up camp amidst towering trees and enjoy the serenity of the surrounding wilderness. The Whispering Pines picnic area on Marl Lake is the perfect spot for a family outing or a romantic picnic.

For those seeking adventure, the park boasts several hiking trails that wind through forests, around lakes, and up to scenic viewpoints. Immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of nature as you embark on an invigorating hike. Don’t forget your camera to capture the beauty of the park’s flora and fauna.

Park Amenities

Crystal-Clear Lakes Beaches Fishing Campsites
7 stunning lakes perfect for swimming, fishing, and kayaking Sandy beaches for sunbathing and picnicking Abundant fishing opportunities for anglers of all skill levels Over 100 campsites for both tents and RVs
Whispering Pines on Marl Lake

Whether you’re looking to relax by the water’s edge, explore scenic trails, or immerse yourself in the serenity of nature, Hartman Creek State Park in Waupaca is the perfect destination. Plan your visit today and experience the beauty and tranquility of this hidden gem in Wisconsin.

Lakeshore State Park – Milwaukee

Lakeshore State Park is an urban oasis located in downtown Milwaukee. This 22-acre park offers a serene escape from the bustling city, providing visitors with a chance to experience nature’s beauty right in the heart of Wisconsin’s largest city.

One of the park’s main attractions is its multi-use trail, which is perfect for walking, biking, or skating. Whether you prefer a leisurely stroll along the waterfront or an invigorating bike ride, the trail offers stunning views of Lake Michigan and the picturesque city skyline.

Fishing enthusiasts will appreciate the park’s fishing pier, where they can cast their lines and try their luck catching various species of fish. Boating enthusiasts can also take advantage of the 20-slip marina, offering a convenient spot to dock their boats and enjoy a day out on the lake.

In addition to its natural beauty, Lakeshore State Park offers easy access to Milwaukee’s renowned museums and festival grounds. Visitors can take a leisurely walk to nearby museums to indulge in art, history, or science, or attend lively festivals and events throughout the year.

Overall, Lakeshore State Park provides an incredible opportunity for locals and tourists alike to enjoy a peaceful retreat within the bustling city. With its urban oasis setting, multi-use trail, fishing pier, boating facilities, and proximity to museums and festival grounds, this park offers something for everyone.


Are there any state parks near Janesville, WI?

Yes, there are several state parks near Janesville, WI. Some of the closest state parks include Brunet Island State Park, Governor Nelson State Park, Governor Thompson State Park, Harrington Beach State Park, and Hartman Creek State Park.

Can I go camping at these state parks?

Yes, all of these state parks offer camping opportunities. Each park has designated campsites where you can set up tents or park your RV. Some parks even have unique camping experiences, such as camping on an island at Brunet Island State Park.

What outdoor activities can I do at these state parks?

The state parks near Janesville offer a wide range of outdoor activities. Visitors can enjoy hiking on the various trails, go fishing in lakes and rivers, paddle in certain parks, and even swim in designated areas. Each park has its own unique features and amenities to explore.

Are these state parks family-friendly?

Yes, these state parks are family-friendly and suitable for visitors of all ages. They provide a safe and enjoyable environment for families to spend quality time together while experiencing the beauty of Wisconsin’s natural landscapes.

Are there hiking trails in these state parks?

Yes, each state park near Janesville has hiking trails for visitors to explore. These trails showcase the natural beauty of Wisconsin and provide opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts to engage in physical activity while enjoying the surroundings.

Can I bring my dog to any of these state parks?

Yes, some state parks, like Governor Nelson State Park, have designated areas where dogs are allowed. However, it’s important to check the specific park’s regulations regarding pets before bringing your furry friend along.

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