Located in southeastern Wisconsin, Richard Bong State Recreation Area has a network of 16 miles of hiking trails that allow you to explore all of the wildlife in the area. And the trails can also be used for biking and ATVing. Those looking for swimming and boating will also find a beach and large lake for canoeing, kayaking, and fishing.
The park is also a great choice for those looking for a wintertime RV camping retreat. The park’s network of trails transforms into a beautiful cross-country skiing course. And there’s also great sledding for the kids. Fishers can still cast a line as the lake freezes over as well, as the park has some of the best ice fishing in the area.
With over 115 sites to choose from for your rig, you shouldn’t have any problems finding a site that is right for your campervan or camping trailer. Whether you want to hike, hunt, or fish, you’ll have plenty to keep you busy whenever you visit Richard Bong State Park Recreation Area. In case you're curious about the name, the park is named after Richard Bong, a decorated World War II pilot who was born in Wisconsin.
Located in southeastern Wisconsin, Richard Bong State Recreation area is within easy driving distance of major cities such as Milwaukee and Chicago. And the park has well maintained roads that make getting to the main campground easy.
If you are driving from Milwaukee, take I-94 east out of the city and you will be able to reach the park in less than an hour. From Chicago, take I-94 west out of the city and you can reach the park in around an hour and a half.
At the park, most of the road are fairly wide, so most RV campers shouldn’t have too many issues driving to their campsite. However, there can be a lot of snow and ice on the roads if you visit during the winter. Come prepared with snow chains for your tires if you plan on visiting during the winter.
The main campground in the park has over 115 campsites for you to choose from. None of the campgrounds have hookups of any kind. However, they all have fire pits, grills, and picnic tables. And the campground is dog-friendly, provided that you always keep your dog on a leash. You’ll also be within walking distance of showers and restrooms, as well as a recycling and dump stations.
You’ll be able to reach the park’s visitor center by foot, as well as many of the park’s hiking trails. The beach area and boat launch are a bit further away, so you may prefer to drive. However, they are still within walking distance.
The campground is open from March until December, with some sites closing in October and November. All can be booked online, and should be reserved at least a day before you plan to arrive. The park tends to be most popular during summer and fall months, so you should try to book well in advance if you plan on visiting during this period.
There is an additional campground that has 97 sites. Like the sites at Sunrise Campground, those at Sunset Campground have no hookups, but all have fire pits, grills and picnic tables. There is a shower station just outside the campground, as well as flush toilets. There are also vault toilets located within the park, as well as drinking water.
Sunset Campground is to the west of the park’s main areas and the lake, but you’ll be close to the park’s observation tower. You’ll also be able to quickly access the park’s network of trails. The campground is open from May through September, and can be booked online. You’ll have to book your spot a day before you get to the park.
The park is also an excellent destination for RV campers who want to hike. You’ll find more than 15 miles of trails within the park, many of them within quick walking distance of the campground. And dogs are welcome on all of the trails, provided you keep them on a leash.
Hiking in the park is excellent any time of year. However, fall and spring tend to be some of the best times to visit the park.
Wisconsin is an excellent state for birdwatching. And you’ll find most of the state’s most popular bird species at Richard Bong State Recreation Area. There are also dozens of other species that visit the park during annual migrations to and from Canada, making the park a great destination in spring and fall.
There’s a wide variety of excellent birdwatching societies in the state. Check some of their websites before visiting the park to see if you can find any field guides or bird checklists. These can help you make the most of your birdwatching in the park.
The network of trails in the park can also be used by those with ATVs. Explore the park’s wildlife at high speed with more than 15 miles of trails.
Do take extra caution when riding an ATV on the trails. The trails are shared with hikers, and there are many tight turns, and visibility is not always very good in the forests. The park doesn’t rent ATVs or any safety gear, so you’ll need to bring all of your equipment with your rig.
With a wide variety of terrain types and dozens of species of mammals, Richard Bong State Recreation Area is a great hunting destination. Any species that has a hunting season can be hunted in the park.
You’ll need to make sure you have all of the proper state licenses while hunting in the park. And if you plan on hunting pheasant, you’ll need a special license issued by the park.
Always take extra caution while hunting in the area, as the park is a popular choice for hikers. You should also check with park officials to make sure the area where you plan on hunting isn’t restricted.
The park’s 16 miles of trails turn into the perfect cross-country skiing course during the winter. Explore the park as it crusts over with ice and snow during the winter months. The park gets heavy snowfall throughout the colder months of the year, so there’s always a good chance you’ll find snow on the ground.
The trails are not groomed, so less experienced skiers should take caution whenever they head out onto the trails. And rental gear is not offered, so you’ll need to make sure you pack whatever you need with your campervan.
Richard Bong State Recreation Area is also a popular choice for those looking for great ice fishing. The park’s waters freeze over during the winter, and the fish tend to stay active under the ice.
The park does not guarantee the safety of the ice, so you’ll be ice fishing at your own risk. And always make sure you have up to date information on ice conditions before you head out onto the lake, as ice thickness can change quickly.