If you find yourself in northeastern Wisconsin close to Sturgeon Bay, you would do well to stop by Potawatomi State Park for a weekend of camping fun. We’re going to look at all that there is to do within the park and what kind of camping you can expect to find!
What to Expect At The Park
Potawatomi State Park has something for everyone. The park is located on the shores of Sturgeon Bay so there are tons of fishing, boating, and swimming opportunities. Upon your arrival, you’ll be greeted by sweeping views of limestone cliffs and rolling hills covered in hiking trails. If you’re not satisfied with the views at ground level, there’s an observation tower that offers 16 miles worth of viewing over Sawyer Harbor and Sturgeon Bay.
Camping at Potawatomi State Park
The bulk of camping options at Potawatomi State Park is located within Daisy Field Campground. There are two separate campground loops that offer a total of 123 campsites, 97 of which can accommodate RVs. Of the 123 campsites, only 40 of them have electrical hookups, so you’d be advised to make a reservation or prepare for boondocking.
All of the sites are tent friendly and offer fire pits as one of the only commodities. While water isn’t available at campsites, there are numerous taps throughout the park to collect water from. There’s also a camp store on-site that sells a few essentials including firewood, but you would be wise to bring whatever you need from home. There are four vault toilets throughout the campground as well as a shower house with showers and flush toilets.
97 of the campsites can accommodate RVs up to 50 feet in length. 25 of them have electrical hookups capable of handling up to 50 amps. You would do well to book your trip in advance as these sites tend to fill up quickly. While there are not any full hookup options available, there is a dumping station on the premises.
Primitive Camping Options
Most of the campsites are without electric, water, or sewer hookups which offers plenty of primitive camping options. The sites are fairly spread out and wooded and offer ample privacy. There are no official camping spots along the beaches of Sturgeon Bay, but if you’re feeling adventurous and get the ok from the front office, you may be able to pitch a tent along the shores.
There are also four group campsites capable of handling groups of up to 30 people. Two of them are reserved for tent campers, and two of them are able to handle RVs.
The Cabin by the Bay in the south campground provides fully accessible indoor camping for persons with disabilities. The cabin is equipped with a low counter, stove, microwave, and refrigerator. Two hospital beds, a full-sized sofa sleeper, and two cots accommodate up to six people. Amenities include a bathroom with a wheel-in shower, heating, air conditioning, and a screened porch.
A committee of people with disabilities helped design the cabin to make it highly useable by a variety of people.
The perimeter of the campground is surrounded by hiking trails and the boat launch is to the north of the park. There’s no such thing as a bad campsite at Potawatomi State Park. Both loops are fairly close to Shoreline Road on the east side, but it’s mainly used only by boaters, hikers, and campers.
Should I Book My Trip in Advance?
Campsites, especially group sites and electric sites fill up quickly. You can make reservations online or call to reserve a spot. There are also winter camping opportunities when you book your trip in advance.
Things To Do At The Park
There’s no shortage of activities at Potawatomi State Park. With two miles of shoreline, fishing, swimming, and boating are big hits. There are also several hiking and biking trails including the Ice Age National Scenic Trail that runs along the shores of the bay. Each of the trails within the park is popular with hikers, bikers, snowmobiling, and cross-country skiing.
One of the most popular spots in the park is the observation tower that offers dazzling views of the bay. Be advised, however, the tower is old and is closed periodically for repairs. The park is pet-friendly, but dogs have to be kept on a leash.
Wildlife at Potawatomi State Park
There are plenty of wildlife viewing opportunities anywhere you go in northeastern Wisconsin. White-tailed deer, raccoons, fox, gray squirrels, opossums, skunks, and chipmunks are the most common animals seen at the park. There’s also a chance that you’ll glimpse a pileated woodpecker, a variety of gulls, terns, or one of the other 200 bird species known to migrate throughout the park.
The fish at Potawatomi State Park is a huge draw for fishermen and fisherwomen. Sturgeon Bay is one of the top bass-fishing lakes in the world. The bay also offers walleye, northern pike, and rainbow trout, just to name a few of the other options.
Vegetation and Geography of Potawatomi State Park
The cliffs that rise up from Sturgeon Bay are part of what’s known as the Niagara Escarpment and are composed of limestone. Bluffs, ravines, and rolling hills are beloved features of the park. Dense forests composed of sugar maple, basswood, white pine, red pine, and white birch cover most of Potawatomi’s 1,200 acres. Beech trees are also a common sight along with white cedars, ferns, and a world of other plants.
Potawatomi State Park receives 4.5 stars out of 5 on Trip Advisor. It’s loved for the fishing and hiking opportunities it offers as well as the breathtaking views of Sturgeon Bay. It should be noted that there’s a small airport in the vicinity of the park and occasionally planes fly overhead. Other than that, there’s nothing but good things to be said about Potawatomi State Park.
Final Thoughts About Camping at Potawatomi State Park
As you can see, there is no shortage of things to do at Potawatomi State Park. From camping to hiking to everything in between, you’re in for a treat when you spend a weekend at this awesome Wisconsin park.
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