You’re looking to kick off your camping adventure at Wildcat Mountain State Park the right way—and we’re here to help! Our comprehensive Wildcat Mountain State Park Camping Guide provides all the information you need at a glance. Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about camping at this scenic state park!
What to Expect At Wildcat Mountain State Park
Perched on a ridge overlooking the Kickapoo River, Wildcat Mountain State Park is home to Mount Pisgah and boasts over twenty miles of picturesque hiking, nature, and horseback trails, with an observation point and picnic areas overlooking the Kickapoo Valley. The Kickapoo River is also popular for paddling, with canoe rentals available in the Ontario village. This is a fantastic camping destination for lovers of all different outdoor adventures!
The Complete Guide to Wildcat Mountain State Park Camping
Open year-round to the public from 6am-11pm, camping at Wildcat Mountain State Park offers a one-of-a-kind camping adventure for individuals, families, groups, and equestrians. Whatever your camping style is, there’s a place for you at this beautiful and accommodating park!
Best Camping Spots
Camping at Wildcat Mountain State Park offers several options for different kinds of campers:
The family campground—which is located on top of the mountain within hiking distance of the most popular overlook of the valley—offers several tent sites and a handful of electric hookups. This campground provides flush toilets and showers and allows well-behaved pets. Each site contains a picnic table and fire ring.
For larger groups, you can reserve one of three group campsites located roughly a half-mile east of the nature center and maintenance building. Group sites 1 and 2 can hold a maximum of 25 people each, while Group Site 3 can sustain 50. Each group campground provides vault toilets, picnic tables, fire rings, and a shelter house.
For those interested in one of the 20 cart-in sites, the park provides a cart for you to load your gear up at the parking lot and hike a short distance off the beaten path to your campsite. You’ll find plenty of shelter beneath the pine and hardwoods, as well as a fire ring, picnic table, drinking fountain, and vault toilet. There is also access to the shower building within walking distance.
If you’re camping with your horse, you may reserve one of the 24 equestrian campsites, available May 1-November 14. Each campsite offers picnic tables, fire rings, drinking water and vault toilets, as well as a corral, hitching post, tether pole, parking pad, and loading ramps. (Note: The park does not provide tethering ropes. If fencing or restraining devices are needed, please contact the park office.)
These popular campsites can all be reserved ahead of your visit, and they tend to book out fast! Visit their website to secure your camping spot today.
Things To Do At The Park
There are many recreational activities available at Wildcat Mountain State Park!
There’s so much to see on the more than 20 miles of hiking trails, including scenic vistas, caves, and the beauty of Mount Pisgah. You can experience the park’s splendor on foot on the hiking trails, or by horseback on the bridle trails; or, if you prefer the water, bring or rent a canoe or kayak and launch off from the popular landing in the lower picnic area to enjoy the park from the gorgeous river itself.
Interested in fishing? The Kickapoo River is classified as a Class II trout stream, making it a popular spot for anglers of all ages to fish for brown trout as well as the other 46 fish species classified in this stretch of river between Ontario and Gays Mills.
As an official Wisconsin Watchable Wildlife site, Wildcat Mountain State Park is home to many animals including red squirrels, deer, beavers, wild turkeys, bald eagles, tundra swans, and several species of fish and snakes. While you’re most likely to spot the elusive mammalian wildlife early in the morning and at dusk, when they tend to be most active, reptiles are more often spotted in the heat of the day in moist, grassy locations; please note the native snake species in Wildcat Mountain State Park are non-venomous and tend to slink away upon discovery.
Vegetation / Geography
Native pines and hemlock trees flourish in the park’s north-facing cliffs, along with walking ferns and some rare mosses, wildflowers, and other vegetation lining the stunning sandstone cliffs. Amid the high castellated bluff mountains, there are some very rare and old plants that can only be observed by canoeing the river. You’ll want to keep your camera handy as you traverse the park…there’s no telling what memorable sights you can capture among the flowerbeds, groves, and other natural beauty the park has to offer!
Make Sure To Bring
When planning your Wildcat Mountain State Park camping excursion, you’ll want to come prepared. Inspect and ensure ahead of time that all camping equipment is in good repair, and plan on packing extra water, food, and other commodities as needed. If bringing your horse, please pack your own tethering ropes, as these are not provided by the park. You may also bring your own canoe or kayak if you’re planning to paddle the Kickapoo River.
For hikers, fishers, and hunters, proper and well-maintained gear is imperative for a safe experience; however, if you forget your tackle, fishing equipment can be checked out free of charge at the park office.
There are a few standard fees to be aware of when booking your Wildcat Mountain State Park camping expedition:
· Vehicle admission sticker is required.
· Camping in the Wisconsin State Park System.
· State trail pass is required for horseback riders 16 years of age and older.
· Hunting and fishing licenses apply.
Averaging a 4.5 rating among reviewers, camping at Wildcat Mountain State Park is a popular choice. Campers have praised it for its cleanliness, quietude, and family-friendly accommodations. The spaciousness of the campsites has also been a favorite among past visitors, though some have taken issue with the way sound carries at the campgrounds, making the sites feel less isolated than they preferred.
Overall, Wildcat Mountain State Park retains great popularity among campers of all ages, most of whom agree they would happily camp here again!
Wrapping Up Wildcat Mountain State Park Camping
We hope you found the Wildcat Mountain State Park Camping Guide helpful in preparing for your adventure at the park! Which activity are you most looking forward to while camping at Wildcat Mountain State Park? Let us know in the comments!