There are forty seven State Parks in Wisconsin and they vary in size from a tiny 22 acres right up to the 10,200 acres of Devil`s Lake State Park, which is a hugely popular park receiving over 1.2 million visitors a year.
To scroll down
and see the
complete list of
Wisconsin State ParksJust Click Here
In addition to the state parks, Wisconsin has five other public areas, these include historic sites and recreation areas.
The state of Wisconsin is in the north central part of the United States in the Great Lakes Region. It has Lake Michigan to the east and Lake Superior to the north.
A number of the state parks in Wisconsin are located on the shores of these two huge lakes and two are actually to be found on small islands in their waters. They are Big Bay State Park on Lake Superior and Rock Island State Park on Lake Michigan.
Wisconsin claims that it was actually the very first state to have a state park.
The Dalles Of The St.Croix River At Interstate State Park
In 1878 a large part of Vilas County in northern Wisconsin was called "The State Park" in an effort to preserve it. However, this did not protect it from the lumber barons and their devastating logging activities. Today the oldest of the state parks in Wisconsin is Interstate State Park which was created in September 1900.
Native American tribes such as the Fox, Kickapoo, Ojibwa, Potawatomi and Sauk were all living in the area long before the first Europeans arrived.
The heritage of these Native American tribes is remembered at a number of the Wisconsin State Parks. For example Potawatomi State Park is named after that tribe and Big Foot Beach State Park was named after an Indian called Chief Big Foot, "Gros Pied", in French.
The Lake At Big Foot Beach State Park
The first Europeans to reach what is now Wisconsin were French explorers whose names are still remembered to this day - Jean Nicolet, Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet were the most notable.
Although the French explored widely and traded for furs with the Indians, they did not create any permanent settlements.
As a result of the French and Indian War of 1763 Britain briefly gained control of the region but it became an American possession in 1783 after the Revolutionary War.
However, although they did not now own it, the British remained in control until 1812. In 1836 the area then became known as the Wisconsin Territory, but only for twelve years, as on the 29th of May 1848 it was admitted to the Union as the 30th State.
From its birth, Wisconsin became a center for the Abolition of Slavery and supporters of this cause were responsible for founding the Republican Party in a small schoolhouse in the town of Ripon, Wisconsin on March 20th 1854.
The Willow Falls At Willow River State Park
Not only was this major political party started here but politicians are remembered among some of the Wisconsin State Parks. Four of them are named after Governors. They are Governor Dodge State Park, Governor Nelson State Park, Governor Thompson State Park and Nelson Dewey State Park.
The geography of the region includes a number of major rivers which flow through the state. Many of the state parks in Wisconsin are to be found on rivers such as the St.Croix, Chippewa, Black River, Bad River and, of course, the Wisconsin River after which the state is named.
The mighty Mississippi also makes up part of the western border of the state and four Wisconsin State Parks are found on its banks. They are Merrick State Park, Nelson Dewey State Park, Perrot State Park and Wyalusing State Park.
An Aerial View Of Potawatomie Lighthouse At Peninsula State Park
No discussion about the state parks in Wisconsin would be complete without mentioning Peninsula State Park. Its wonderful facilities makes it probably the most popular of all the parks in the state.
Here is the position of all the Wisconsin State Parks marked on a county map