Roche-a-cri State Park is located in the heart of Wisconsin. The park is centered around a 300-foot rock outcropping, home to Native American petroglyphs and pictographs. There are over five miles of hiking trails leading throughout the park, including a staircase that takes you to the top of the outcropping. You’ll find dozens of bird species in the park, making it a great spot for birdwatching. Anglers can head to Carter Creek, where they’ll find brook and brown trout. If you visit during the winter, you can snowshoe and cross-country ski on the park’s hiking trails.
The park is home to the state’s only Native American rock art site. There is an access ramp that takes you to the interpretive exhibit, where you can see Native American petroglyphs and pictographs depicting ancient bird symbols. There’s also a painting that shows a man and a thunderbird, one of the local gods. Additionally, there are other carvings done more recently in the 18th and 19th century.
The RV campground within the park has over 40 sites, located just five minutes from Carter Creek. You’ll also be able to connect directly to the park’s network of hiking trails, and be just minutes from the Native American wall drawings.
Roche-a-cri is located in central Wisconsin, and is within driving distance of most of the park’s major cities. The campground is easy to access with RVs, with few narrow roads or tight turns. Just mind icy roads if visiting the park during the winter.
If you are driving from Milwaukee, take I-94 west out of the city and you will get to the park in around two and a half hours. From Green Bay, take I-41 south and you will arrive in just over two hours. Coming from Madison, take I-39 and I-90 and you will arrive in around an hour and a half.
The park is located right off WI-13, and you can get to the campground in just minutes from the main entrance. There are few tight turns or narrow roads, so large rigs should have few problems getting to their site. If you visit during the winter, you’ll have to park outside of the park in the lot west of WI-13, as the park’s main entrance is closed.
The campground is open from spring through fall. It’s fairly small, so you should consider booking well in advance, especially if you are visiting during peak season in the summer.
There are 41 sites in the RV campground, only four of which have electric hookups. All of the sites come with a picnic table, as well as a fire pit. There are water access points in the campground, as well as vault toilets, a dump station, and recycling. The campground is pet-friendly, but dogs will need to be kept on a leash.
There is a playground in the middle of the campground, and you’ll have access to the park’s network of hiking trails. Carter Creek is just a five minute walk away, and the park office is located on the southeastern edge of the campground.
Roche-de-cri State Park has over five miles of trails for you to explore. You can walk through the dense oak and pine forests surrounding the large rock outcropping. There’s a staircase that takes you to the top of the outcropping, giving you a panoramic view of the park. The park office provides GPS units, should you want to track your location while hiking. The trails are open year round, although the park office closes from late fall through early spring.
RV campers interested in fishing will find plenty of opportunities at Carter Creek, located just five minutes away from the campground. The creek has a range of different fish species, including brown and brook trout, as well as a few varieties of panfish. You’ll need Wisconsin fishing licences if you plan on fishing in the park. These can be purchased at the park and online. The park does not rent fish gear, although there are bait shops nearby.
Roche-a-cri State Park is the only site in the state with a pictograph and petroglyph exhibit, highlighting Native American wall drawings that are hundreds of years old. The drawings show many ancient birds and gods, giving you a window into one of the region’s oldest cultures. There are also multiple carvings dating from later periods, including the 18th and 19th century. There is an access ramp that takes you to the exhibit. The observation deck is open year round, although there may be some closures due to weather.
RV campers interested in birdwatching will find a find a wide range of species in the park, including snowy owl, bobolink, northern shoveler, and northern shrike. The 300 foot rock outcropping gives you the perfect vantage point to look
Wisconsin has a number of birdwatching groups that prepare educational materials on the birds in the region. Check their websites to find field guides and bird checklists. The park office may also have a checklist of the birds commonly seen in the park.
Hunting and trapping are allowed in most of the park. Game found in the park includes deer, coyotes, and squirrels, as well as a variety of species of waterfowl. There are a number of restricted areas in the park where hunting is not allowed. Any of the day use areas are off limits, and you cannot hunt within 100 yards of any trails. Check with park officials to get an up to date map with hunting areas. You’ll also need Wisconsin state hunting licenses.
The pine and oak forests of the park are beautiful when covered in snow, making the park the perfect winter playground. The hiking trails are open to snowshoeing, allowing you to explore the area around the park’s rock outcropping.
Cross-country skiing in the park is also popular, as the hiking trails turn into a great course when it snows. The park does not groom the trails, so beginner skiers may struggle, especially after heavy snow.