The woodland and waves are calling you out to Newport State Park, and our Newport State Park Camping Guide is here to help you make the most of your trip! Find out what you need to know about this park and prepare for a truly memorable camping excursion.
What to Expect While Camping At Newport State Park
Situated on the far end of the stunning Door Peninsula just off Highway 42, Newport State Park is comprised of 2,300 acres of forest and 11 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline, with 30 miles of hiking and biking trails, and backpack camping available. This gorgeous park makes a great destination for campers looking for a rustic getaway who don’t mind bringing in their gear!
Newport State Park Camping
Open year-round from 6 am to 11 pm, and with camping available in specified locations, Newport State Park is Wisconsin’s only formally designated wilderness park and provides a great camping experience for both new and seasoned campers. Its accommodations tend more toward the rustic, and it invites campers and day-visitors alike to embrace a truly unplugged, relaxing experience.
Best Camping Spots
Newport State Park camping is permitted only at designated camping spots, which are located along the length of the park with Europe Lake on one side and Lake Michigan on the other. The park offers 17 reservable, hike-in backpacking campsites, including one group site. You’ll find standard camping amenities such as a pit toilet, a fire ring with a flip-up grill, a lockbox for food, and a few benches. Water can be obtained either at the park office or seasonally at the solar pump near Lot 3’s picnic shelter.
A few things to note: There are no shower facilities or carts available at the park. All gear and supplies must be hiked or biked in from the parking lot, and all campers are required to carry out their own garbage. Campers are permitted to gather any firewood that is dead and down, but it is illegal to cut anything from live trees.
Any of Newport State Park’s campsites can be reserved ahead of time through the Wisconsin State Park System. Visit here to book your camping spot.
Things To Do At The Park
Newport State Park is a fantastic place for many recreational activities! Most popular among visitors are its hiking and biking opportunities, with nearly 20 miles of standard and off-road bike trails—from the rugged to the leisurely—and more than a dozen hiking trails winding through the stunning natural scenery including upland meadows, evergreen and hardwood forests, wetlands, and coastline. The most popular of these trails is Poetry Trail, which sports poems by local writers, Wisconsin poets, and others on stanchions along the path.
While there is no boat launch on-site, small watercraft and flotation devices can be used on nearby Lake Michigan while camping at Newport State Park (campers are advised to be mindful of lake-effect winds when using these devices); kayaking is also available and is a popular recreation along the stunning shoreline. Responsible hunting and trapping are made available in the park during hunting season, and in the winter, cross-country skiing is a popular activity. In addition, Newport State Park is a designated Dark Sky Park, making it a perfect destination for stargazing.
If you’re looking to rest up from the rigors of traversing the park, hop over to nearby Ellison Bay and visit the local restaurants, art galleries, and other urban sites!
Newport State Park boasts much of the classic Wisconsin wildlife, including whitetail deer, foxes, coyotes, and other forest favorites that are best spotted in the early morning or at dusk. You can also encounter plenty of waterfowl and many of the beach-dwelling creatures along the Lake Michigan coastline; and for the fisherman or marine enthusiast, there is no small number of fish to be found in the lake as well!
Vegetation / Geography
Sporting over ten miles of gorgeous Lake Michigan coastline and hundreds of acres of woodland, this park is praised for its scenic setting and breathtaking views. Besides the famous fall foliage that comes in full swing at Newport State Park, during the summer the hiking trails boast lovely, full-bodied growth and a spread of beautiful wildflowers; the hiking trails pass by the evergreens and hardwoods, and if you’re traversing the coast while camping at Newport State Park, you’ll find spacious beaches and unforgettable waterfront sights along both Europe Lake and Lake Michigan. This park truly has everything to offer with both its lakeside and forested jaunts!
Make Sure To Bring
When planning your Newport State Park camping trip, you’ll want to take into account the more rustic accommodations and come prepared! Be sure you dress to meet the seasons, have plans to secure all food and other perishables, and inspect your tent and outdoor equipment for integrity before heading out to the park.
You will also want to pack any amenities not readily provided by the park, such as extra water, toiletries, etc., as well as appropriate footwear for hiking, tackle gear if you intend to go fishing at one of the lakes, hunting gear in season, and so on.
When planning your Newport State Park camping excursion, there are a few standard park fees to be mindful of:
- Vehicle admission sticker is required.
- Camping in the Wisconsin State Park System.
- Hunting and fishing licenses apply.
Sporting an overall rating of 4.5, Newport State Park is often praised among visitors as a fantastic destination to experience the best of Wisconsin’s fall foliage. Many reviewers encourage a visit in the autumn months and assure fellow backpackers, hikers, bikers, and campers not to be deterred by the more rugged aspects of the Newport State Park camping experience. This quiet and charming location is lauded as a hidden gem of Wisconsin!
Wrapping Up Newport State Park Camping
We hope our Newport State Park Camping Guide has helped you feel prepared and excited for your camping trip! What part of the adventure are you most looking forward to? Let us know in the comments!
Looking to plan more exciting Wisconsin State Park adventures? Check out our other camping guides below!