As the 2023 camping season approaches, the Wisconsin Association of Campground Owners (WACO) is showcasing numerous campgrounds across the state that are expanding and upgrading their facilities to offer visitors an even better experience in the great outdoors.
According to a press release, improvements range from exciting new recreational amenities to additional campsites and rental accommodations catering to families and friends seeking memorable outdoor adventures.
Many Wisconsin campgrounds are making significant improvements to their parks, providing a variety of new amenities, such as inflatable toys for children, ropes courses, and swimming ponds with inflatable climbing structures. These additions aim to attract more visitors and enhance the overall camping experience for all ages.
Lori Severson, executive director of WACO, expressed her excitement for the upcoming camping season and emphasized the growth and reinvestment of new and existing campgrounds.
“Several new campgrounds have opened in Wisconsin in recent years,” Severson said. “But at the same time, existing campgrounds have been reinvesting in their parks, providing better camping experiences, more campsites, more rental accommodations, and new recreational amenities,” Severson added.
One of the notable campgrounds, Anchor Woods Campground in Spooner, features the “Red, White & Brew,” a full-service outdoor bar built inside a horse trailer. Open on weekends, this unique amenity offers a red, white, and blue drink with vodka, blueberry lemonade, and a cherry, along with occasional live music.
Anchor Woods Campground, which opened in 2020, boasts 32 campsites and a sister property, Anchor Bay Campground, located along Bass Lake. Guests can also enjoy canoeing and kayaking on the nearby Namekagon River, historic train rides on the Wisconsin Great Northern Railroad in Trego, and the Spooner Rodeo, scheduled for July 6-8.
Breezy Hill Campground in Fond du Lac has been expanding and improving its facilities, adding 90 big rig RV sites between 2017 and 2020. The park now offers 190 campsites and eight rental cabins. In 2021, a second playground area was added to the park’s swimming beach. This past winter, the campground updated its office, laundry room, bathroom, and shower facilities, installed new fencing around its playground and jumping pillow area, and purchased new water toys for its swimming pond. The family-owned campground is open year-round and features a heated swimming pool, hot tub, catch-and-release fishing ponds, and horse-drawn sleigh and wagon rides during winter.
Champions Riverside Resort in Galesville expanded from 220 to 290 campsites in 2022, adding nine cabins, including loft units. The park’s new amenities include a 1.5-acre pond with floating climbing structures and three new land-based inflatables for children. Other attractions include a swimming pool, zipline, laser tag, jumping pillow, barrel rides, gaga ball, teen dances, and sports celebrity appearances.
Duck Creek Campground in Pardeeville is upgrading its playground equipment and adding new water features like log rolling. The park’s amenities include a spring-fed swimming pond with a large sand beach, a swimming raft and inflatable water toys, a fishing pond stocked with panfish and bass, two playgrounds, a gaga ball pit, and a sand volleyball court. The campground’s on-site restaurant, the Du Duck Inn Grille and Bar offers all-you-can-eat wings on Thursdays, a Friday night fish fry, and gyros on Saturdays, among other specialties.
Emrick Lake Campground in Oxford, a brand new 417-site campground, is set to open on May 1 for seasonal campers and May 25 for weekenders and overnight guests. Located 21 miles north of the Wisconsin Dells, the campground was built on an old Boy Scout campsite. A focal point of the campground is its private 38-acre lake, with paddle boats and kayaks available for use. The lake also features two beaches for guests to enjoy. Other amenities include a swimming pond the size of a football field with a 90-foot-long inflatable slide and a set of inflatable floating climbing structures. A playground and jungle gym is provided for younger guests, while the park also offers a restaurant and bar, walking trails, and proximity to neighboring ATV trails.
Hiles-Pine Lake Campground in Hiles, purchased by Jamie Schab and her husband in April 2021, has undergone renovations in the past two years. The latest improvements include remodeling the camp store and one of its shower houses, adding two monthly sites, and two camping cabins that can sleep up to six people. The campground has 88 sites, including 40 seasonal campsites.
Hitts Wildwood Resort in Chetek has park owners Mike and Jenny Hitt upgrading the swimming pool at their North Woods campground, which boasts 1,150 feet of frontage along Prairie Lake. Other recent improvements include replacing the park’s wooden docks with aluminum docks and adding new playground structures. Last year, the Hitts added four seasonal sites and two cabins.
Holly Wood Hill Camping and RV in Crandon, one of Wisconsin’s newer campgrounds, opened in 2019 and is located next to the Crandon International Off-Road Raceway. This family-owned park features live musical entertainment, an RC track, a camp store, the Crandon Saloon, and two food trucks. Cabin rentals will be available for the first time this year, complementing the park’s RV and tent sites.
Jellystone Park Camp-Resort in Caledonia will complete its new swimming pool project this year, along with a new recreation center and bathhouse. The campground also operates a sister park next door, Bear Paw Beach and Adventure Park, which will feature a new three-level ropes course that is 48 feet tall and has more than 60 obstacles.
Kinney Lake Campground in Marion has added a new 1.5-acre water pond with a floating watersports park, set to open Memorial Day weekend. The new aquapark complements the campground’s fishing and swimming lake, heated pool, hot tub, organized crafts, and activities for children. The park also offers rental bikes, and kayaks, live entertainment on various weekends, and on-site food services. The Tortoise Club serves various American food, while the Tiki Bar at the pool features tropical drinks. A new concession stand opening this year will also feature treats for the whole family. The campground is expanding, adding 60 campsites and ten rental units, with completion expected by June 30. The expansion will increase the park’s capacity to 598 campsites and 14 rental units.
Merry Mac’s Campground in Merrimac has added 15 seasonal campsites on the park’s remaining undeveloped acreage. The campground now has 171 seasonal sites, 75 overnight campsites, and 25 rental units. The park’s amenities include a swimming pool, a swimming pond with water inflatables and a beach, a jumping pillow, a dunk tank, miniature golf, a playground, sand volleyball, basketball, and a gaga ball pit.
Pineland Camping Park in Arkdale has added a new Amish rental cabin and replaced five older models with new campers in its rental fleet to enhance the guest experience. The park has also remodeled its camp store, office, and on-site restaurant, now called the Pineland Grille. The campground’s arcade has been relocated into the kids’ clubhouse, so all the kids’ activities and amenities are centrally located. This campground also features organized family activities.
Sand Haven Campground in New Haven is a 115-site family-owned campground planning to add another 32 campsites this fall, a second playground, and a pickleball court. After the new campsites are filled, the park plans to add a second pond or double the size of its existing pond.
Skillet Creek Campground in Baraboo has added 37 full hookup campsites and a new one-acre swimming pond. Park amenities include catch-and-release fishing, a hiking trail, a gaga ball, a jumping pad, and a playground. Craft and other activities are also available on Saturdays. The campground is close to Devil’s Lake State Park and Mirror Lake State Park.
Syren RV Resort in Siren is more than doubling in size this year, from 70 to 150 sites. The new campsites are expected to be completed by Labor Day. The park is adding a half-acre swimming pond this year and upgrading its miniature golf course.
Spooner Lake RV Resort in Spooner is a new seasonal campground that expects to open its first 50 sites over Memorial Day weekend and grow to 200 sites by the end of next year. The campground is located on over 500 acres of densely wooded forest. It features nearly a mile of shoreline along Spooner Lake, in addition to the campground’s 20-acre swimming lake inside the park. Kayaks and canoes will be available for guest use, and ATV trails are also located nearby.
Stoney Creek RV Resort in Osseo opened a one-acre swimming pond with a wraparound beach and inflatable floating climbing structures last year. New for this year is a building that will feature a market with a snack bar, food, coffee, ice cream, retail items, restrooms, and showers. The campground features organized family activities and themed weekends. Other amenities include laser tag and miniature golf.
Whiskey Creek Family RV Park in Sparta, one of Wisconsin’s newest campgrounds, opened in 2021 and is situated along the banks of the Little LaCrosse River. It features rustic tent sites, full hookup overnight RV sites, seasonal full hookup sites, and one river view cabin that sleeps six. Whiskey Creek offers organized family activities, traditional Friday night Wisconsin fish fries, beach parties with live music or DJs, barrel train rides, outdoor movies, fishing opportunities, and kayaking tours. The campground is also close enough to Warrens to serve as a base camp for families who want to attend the annual Warrens Cranberry Festival or visit the Amish communities in Cashton and Viroqua.
Wilderness Campground in Montello is adding 50 more campsites in preparation for the upcoming camping season. Roughly half of the new sites will be for seasonal campers, with the balance being for overnight campers. Campground amenities include a swimming pond with a sandy beach and floating climbing structures, a heated swimming pool, fishing lakes, miniature golf, sand volleyball, and a skate park. The campground also offers organized activities and themed weekends.
Featured image from Jellystone Park Caledonia.