Wildcat Mountain State Park sits on the edge of a hill looking down over the majestic Kickapoo River Valley. The Kickapoo River, which at over 100 miles long, is the longest tributary of the Wisconsin River. Sitting on 3,603 acres occupied by thick woodlands, a crystal clear river, and babbling creeks, this park boasts a spectacular landscape while offering visitors the opportunity to fish, hike, and picnic in the area.
For plant and animal lovers, Wildcat Mountain State Park features a huge unexploited wooded area that is a haven for various species. For birders, there are plenty of herons, kingfishers, and bald eagles nesting near the Kickapoo River banks, so remember to pack a pair of binoculars in the camper. In the forest, keep an eye out for warblers, vultures, and hawks. The largest percentage of Wildcat Mountain State Park is covered by lush green vegetation varying with each region.
Nature lovers and animal enthusiasts will enjoy learning about native plants and local wildlife. Take an interpretive hike along the Kickapoo River and learn all about the local ecosystem. You'll see many different types of plants and trees throughout the park from white pines and ferns to hemlock trees. On your hike, you are likely to see snakes, squirrels, and deer. Anglers will enjoy fly fishing on the Kickapoo River. If fishing isn't quite your style, try canoeing down the river and stop for a picnic along the shore. You'll get plenty of exercise hiking and biking with more than 20 miles of trails to choose from.
Outdoor lovers of all ages will be in paradise during an RV road trip to Wildcat Mountain State Park, and with so much to do, no one in your crew will be bored for even a minute on this camping vacation.
Whichever direction you are coming from, Wildcat Mountain State Park can easily be accessed via main roads and highways. Less than 15 minutes north of Rockton and only 10 minutes from Ontario, WI, Wildcat Mountain State Park is easy to find with clear signage along the way. The park may sometimes experience heavy rains and storms, forcing some sections of the park to shut down.
You will find most of the parking at the upper and lower picnic areas. Of course, you can park at your campsite if you are staying overnight.
Wildcat Mountain State Park offers a pet-friendly campground with 30 campsites located on the top of the hill for tents, RVs, and trailers. In addition, there are three designated group camping sites with a maximum capacity of 75 campers. All campsites are open for reservation except sites 22 and 105. These two are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Wildcat Mountain State Park campsites feature amenities such as a dump station, showers, fire rings, picnic tables, and flush toilets. Campsites can fit a maximum RV length of 35 feet. Only ten sites have electric hookups; the rest are primitive.
All campsites are open for reservations except sites 22 and 105. These two are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
For those horse lovers, you don't have to leave your four-legged friend behind. Bring your horse to the equestrian campground and take advantage of the horseback riding trails in the park. With a huge parking area and a total of 24 campsites, your horse should feel comfortable camping with you. Sites 7 through 10 are specifically walk-in, while the other 20 are open for advance reservations. Amenities in this campground include hitching posts, a horse corral, drinking water, fire rings, and picnic tables.
The Kickapoo River is one of the best places in all of Wisconsin to go canoeing or kayaking. "Kickapoo" actually means "one who goes here, then there" and that's exactly what you'll be doing when you paddle along the river. Once you park your RV and head to the water, you can use your own boat or rent one from a local private company. The lower picnic area features a launching point for canoes and is also an excellent place to stop for a snack before going down the river.
Wildcat Mountain State Park is home to 26 miles of well-marked trails. History buffs will enjoy the 2.5 miles of Old Settlers Trail which is named after early settlers. The Hemlock Nature Trail meanders along Kickapoo River giving spectacular views of diverse plants growing near the shores and birds before leading to the park’s observation point. The scenic Ice Cave Trail weaves along the Billing Creek vegetation before cutting through sandstone formations. For those who prefer a short and less tedious hike, the Prairie Trail is a good choice. Make sure to pack your hiking boots in the motorhome for this camping adventure.
There are plenty of fishing opportunities at Wildcat Mountain State Park. With over 45 fish species, the park is an oasis for anglers thanks to the Kickapoo River and its tributary billing creek. With the river winding through the park, anglers won't need to travel far to catch their limit of trout. Apart from sport fishing, this section of the Kickapoo River is a great destination for kayaking, boating, and canoeing too.
Mountain Biking is a popular past time in Wildcat Mountain State Park because of its hilly terrain and striking landscape. There are over 20 miles of hiking and biking trails that lead all over the park and even down to the Kickapoo Valley Reserve below. Campers can take their bikes on many of the trails or even hit the backcountry for some fat tire terrain. Summer is the best to cycle the park, but in early fall, cyclists like to ride the trails to see spectacular leaf changes in the autumn season. No matter when you go, you'll enjoy the scenery on a ride through the park.
Wildcat Mountain State Park is serviced by 15 miles of color-coded equestrian trails. Opening seasonally from the beginning of May to mid-November, these designated horse trails are interconnected with most originating from the equestrian campground and traversing the park’s ridges, valleys, and hills. A state trail pass is mandatory for riders over 16 years of age. Trails for horseback riding include the Red Loop, Rock Johnson Loop, Purple Loop, Green, Blue, Yellow and Orange Trails. You can keep your horse overnight in the Equestrian Campground, so you don't have to worry about a thing during your RV stay.
There is, perhaps, no better place to enjoy a picnic than sitting on the banks of the Kickapoo River, except sitting above it on a ridge looking down upon the whole Kickapoo Valley. You can throw a blanket down anywhere that strikes your fancy, or you can choose one of Wildcat Mountain State Park's picnic areas.
The upper picnic area is located on the ridge offering visitors awesome views of Kickapoo River as it slowly moves through the park. This area marks the beginning of Old Settlers Trail. A large playground sits in this picnic area. The lower picnic area is the starting point of Hemlock Nature Trail. For canoeists, this area houses the canoe landing. Enjoy a delicious packed lunch before heading out on the river in your canoe.
Would you like to sharpen your archery and hunting skills? Then you have found an added reason to visit Wildcat Mountain State Park in your RV. From mid-November to January, some sections of the park’s grassland are open for muzzleloader deer hunting and archery. Rifle hunting is not allowed within the park. To be on the safe side, please remember to check on restricted areas, permissible trap types, and other Wisconsin hunting guidelines, including required hunter safety courses and licenses.
In the winter months, when the snow gets deep enough, you can cross-country ski on seven miles of groomed trails within the park. You can take the loop beginning and ending at the park office, which is a convenient place to warm up and get a cup of coffee. Ski along the ridge that overlooks the Kickapoo River and stop to check out each scenic lookout. The trails have been recently widened, so there will be plenty of room to ski with a friend. Additionally, you can snowshoe on any of the hiking trails throughout the park. This will be quite a workout since the park is known for its hilly landscape. Make sure to dress appropriately and bring plenty of water. Pick up a trail map from the park office or print one online before heading out for a winter adventure.