If you’re looking for something new, but you think that you’ve seen it all, then think again. High Cliff State Park in Wisconsin isn’t like most state parks. Yes, it is abundant with green nature and plentiful wildlife. Just like any other park, there are lots of opportunities for hiking, biking, horseback riding, boating, and swimming in the summer. And because of its location, there are plenty of winter activities too, like skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling. But just the simple great outdoor activities aren’t all that this great park has to offer!
When you come RV camping at High Cliff State Park, you’ll get to see the Effigy Mounds that were created and left here by nomadic tribes over a thousand years ago. The reason why these mounds were built aren’t completely known, but there are lots of theories. You'll learn all about the lost town of High Cliff too when you visit the Museum and General Store - this once booming little town’s last remains. You’ll get to see neat artifacts and learn how this town thrived and why it eventually shut down. RV camping at High Cliff State Park will provide you with more than the necessary entertainment, and you’ll also get to see and learn so many new things while you’re here.
Not only that, but High Cliff State Park is located on the beautiful Lake Winnebago, which is the largest in the state. Keep an eye out for the 12-foot statue of Winnebago Indian Chief Red Bird overlooking the lake. A marina at the park is the perfect spot for all sorts of aquatic adventure, from kayaking to windsurfing. You can even bring your pet with you to enjoy scenic views of the lake. Whether you take your RV trip to enjoy sunny days on the lake or winter thrills on the trail, High Cliff State Park is a must on your vacation to Wisconsin.
RV Rentals in High Cliff State Park
Transportation in High Cliff State Park
Located two hours north of Milwaukee, High Cliff State Park is easy to get to off of Highways 55 and 114. Local roads provide easy navigation within the park. During the winter time, some roads will not be plowed, making it dangerous to drive on, especially in an RV. So if you’re visiting when there is snow on the ground, make sure that you know which roads you should be prepared to avoid. You can do this by picking up a park map, which will show you which roads get plowed, and which ones don’t.
There is plenty of parking available at this state park including by the marina, Lower Shelter, and trail heads. If you’ve brought your RV but you are only visiting the park for the day, you might be able to get away with parking in one of the many parking areas located at the campground. If you are planning on staying overnight, you can go ahead and set everything up at a campsite to avoid running into limited parking issues, especially if you have a large RV.
Campgrounds and parking in High Cliff State Park
Campsites in High Cliff State Park
The campground that you’ll find here at High Cliff State Park is the perfect place to bring your RV for a family vacation. After all, they’re so family-oriented here that it’s even in the name for the campground. There are 112 total campsites to choose from, and out of those, 32 of them have electric hookups. There are even 2 sites that are accessible. While the sites offer gravel pads, the length of the sites varies, although some sites can accommodate trailers and RVs up to 40 feet long. Most sites provide a nice coverage of shade. While they do have sites with electric hookups, they can go pretty fast, so you’ll definitely want to make reservations ahead of time in order to secure your camping spot. When you stay here, you’ll also have access to a dump station, vault toilets, flush toilets, and showers nearby. Keep in mind though that the showers won’t be available all year long. They’re normally only open for use from May to mid-October. Either way though, you and your family can have a great time RV camping here at High Cliff State Park. Reservations can be made up to 11 months in advance.
There are no First-Come, First-Served campgrounds at High Cliff State Park.
If you’re in need for a bigger camping area for, say, a large group, you have the option to reserve a group campsite here at High Cliff State Park. There are 8 of these sites to choose from. You'll enjoy convenient access to water, restrooms, a play area, and volleyball courts. These sites are perfect for school trips, scout camping, and other larger groups. The maximum vehicle length at each sites varies, but some sites can hold RVs or large vehicles up to 50 feet long. Up to 20 people can stay at each site.
If you are wanting something a little less primitive, you can make reservations at the one cabin that is available inside the park. This cabin is accessible and it can accommodate up to 6 people. You can rent it for up to 4 nights in a row, and it is available for reservations from May to mid-October. This log cabin is a perfect choice for a rustic, yet cozy experience.
Seasonal activities in High Cliff State Park
There are plenty of opportunities for hiking here at the park, with trails of all difficulty levels and lengths. One trail will take you up where you can see over a cliff, and from here, you’ll be able to look out and see various surrounding cities, including Appleton, Oshkosh, Neenah, Menasha, and Kaukauna. It’ll be hard to find a better view than that! For history buffs, you'll enjoy a hike along the Indian Mound Trail, where you can take a self-guided interpretive tour of effigy mounds that are thousands of years old.
If you’ve brought your bike along with on your RV road trip, you can ride it around the park on any of the park roads. This can be a great way to stay eco-friendly during your stay. You can also ride your bike along the Red Bird Trail and the bike/horse trail. The Red Bird trail is a nearly four-mile loop that provides breathtaking views of Lake Winnebago.
There are over eight miles of trails that you can take your horse out on during your motorhome excursion to High Cliff State Park. These trails loop the length of the park so that you can see most of it just by going out for a ride. You can also take your horse on the bike/horse trail, which is open from May until November.
If you want to take the boat out on the lake, you can do so at one of the four developed boat launches that are available for you to use here. You can also rent a slip and keep your boat here overnight if you wish to do so. If you’re coming to windsurf, kite board, or paddle, you can use the undeveloped boat launch to get into the water. Virtually limitless aquatic adventure awaits you when you take your camper to High Cliff State Park!
There’s no better way to enjoy the heat of summer than by jumping into cool water. And here at High Cliff State Park, you can do just that at the swimming area. While the swimming area does not have lifeguards, it does have changing areas, showers, bathrooms with flush toilets, and open shelters for you to take advantage of.
Don’t let the winter season get you down or stop you from exploring all the great trails here. Simply park your camper, strap on your snowshoes, and get out there. If you didn’t bring your own, you can rent a pair from the park. You can go snowshoeing on just about all of the trails, except the ones that are for skiing only.
Each year, the park takes certain trails and makes them good for skiing on, as they keep them well groomed for traditional skiing. These ski trails are perfect for anyone who is just starting out at skiing, and for those that consider themselves to be intermediate skill level skiers. Skiing can be a great way to get out and enjoy the snow.
Here at the park, there is a snowmobile trail that is 3 miles long and connects Lake Winnebago with the entire Calumet County snowmobile trail system. Be sure to check the weather conditions before heading out, and make sure that the trail you want to go on is available - they open and close based on the county that they’re located in.
Playing in the Snow
There is so much that you can do in the snow that doesn’t involve snowshoes, skis, or vehicles when you take a winter RV trip to this state park. You can simply start by rolling up a ball of snow. Two more of those and you’ve got yourself a nice little snowman. Get together with your family to build a whole family of snowmen, or wage war with an epic snowball fight.
There is nothing quite as peaceful as sitting out to catch a couple of fish in the dead of winter. The atmosphere is already so quiet and calming, and fishing is such a great way to let go from the day. Putting the two together would be like an outdoor retreat, but much cheaper.