Just five miles Northeast of Hudson in Wisconsin, you’ll find Willow River State Park. Nearly 3,000 acres make up this park, providing you with wonderfully scenic prairie lands, mysterious forests, and beautiful riversides for you to enjoy. And when you bring your RV for a few nights, you’ll get to experience it all.
The best part is that you can visit any time of the year. The park is open year round from 6am to 11pm so that you have plenty of opportunities to come and see it all. There’s also lots to do here too. Keep yourself cool during the summer time by taking a dip in the water. You can also check out all the hiking trails, go kayaking, picnicking, and so much more.
There’s no better way to spend a family summer vacation than at Willow River State Park. But the opportunities to have fun don’t go away when the seasons change. In the winter time, you can come cross country skiing, snowshoeing, sledding and more. And what’s better than bringing an RV with you? When you bring your RV to Willow River State Park, you’ll be able to take your time and experience all that this park has to offer you.
RV Rentals in Willow River State Park
Transportation in Willow River State Park
You should have no problems getting to the park, as you can either come from Hudson, or from Interstate Highway 94. Once inside the park, you might run into problems at 300 campground. Any trailer longer than 30 feet will have difficulties getting around in this campground. Also keep in mind that none of the campground roads are plowed during the winter, so they might not be approachable in an RV.
You might have a hard time finding parking in the park, especially if your trailer or RV is on the bigger side.. During peak season and on weekends and holidays, parking can especially be a challenge. Setting up your RV at a campsite before heading out is the best option to avoid problems.
Campgrounds and parking in Willow River State Park
Campsites in Willow River State Park
The Campground at Willow River State Park
When you stay at Willow River State Park in your RV, you’ll be guaranteed a great time. You’ll definitely want to make campsite reservations before you come, because this campground is one of the most popular in the state. In fact, it has the highest occupancy rate in the entire state parks system.
The campground is located on the southern shore of Little Falls Lake, and is split into three sections. Those sections are 100 Campground, 200 Campground, and 300 Campground. 100 Campground is the newest addition and is probably going to be the best option for RV campers. There isn’t much shade available here, but they can accommodate some pretty large RVs. There are 50 sites located here, and another 70 are located at 300 Campground. While 300 Campground is not accepting of any vehicle longer than 30 feet, they are open all year long, unlike 100 and 200 Campground.
Whichever campground you choose to park your RV or trailer at, you’ll have the option pick a site with water and electric hookups if you desire it. There are plenty of camping options when you stay at Willow River State Park.
Winter Camping at 300 Campground
300 Campground is the only area that is open in the winter time. If you have a trailer or motor home that’s small enough and you want to stay at 300 Campground in the winter, you’ll need to check the weather and come when road conditions are safe enough for you to drive on. If road conditions allow for it, you’ll need to pick a site that will provide you with electric hookups so that you can stay warm.
There will be no water hookups though, due to freezing temperatures. Flush toilets will also be unavailable, but there are vault toilets that you can use instead. Not many people like to come camping in the winter, but if you’re up for it, you won’t need to worry about making any reservations. If you can reach the site, it’s all yours for the taking.
Seasonal activities in Willow River State Park
There are 13 miles of trails here in the park, and you’ll be able to find trails that match your preferred difficulty level. One of the most popular trails is the Willow Falls trail. This trail will take you on an adventure where you’ll get to look out over at the scenic river valley.
If you’re looking for a good spot to hold a picnic, you’ll be able to find plenty of tables and grills scattered throughout the park. One of the most popular places for a picnic is down by the beach area. There are more tables located here, and it makes for the perfect scenery and entertainment afterwards.
Little Falls Lake is a popular spot for swimming - when it's not being renovated, that is. No need to worry though because you can still enjoy a dip into the Willow River. Playing in the river can be a lot of fun, and you might even be able to find cool rocks and little critters in the water.
The lake makes for a great place to kayak, with calm waters that are ideal for even inexperienced kayakers. And for more of a thrill, you have the option to go kayaking down the river. Just make sure that you’re aware of the changing river conditions, obstacles, and underwater debris.
The river provides excellent opportunities to those that like to fish. The river is always stocked with trout for you to catch, and the best way to catch them is by going upstream of the waterfall. You might also be able to catch bass and panfish if you go below the dam.
If you decide that you want to visit in the winter time when there is snow covering all of the trails, don’t let that stop you from getting out there. You can just strap on some snowshoes for a more challenging adventure. There are two miles of trails located on the north side of the river that are hard packs and perfect for snowshoeing. By doing this, you’ll still get to experience the trails and the views, all while getting to see and feel the snow too.
Cross Country Skiing
There are nine miles of trails that are perfect for cross country skiing. These trails are kept nice by volunteers that groom and track the trails so that you can have a great skiing experience. Cross country skiing is an excellent way to have fun, even when it’s cold outside.
If you’re looking for something a little more thrilling to do, then bring a sled along with you on your trip to the park. There are plenty of hills and slope that make for the perfect sledding opportunities. Just make sure that conditions are right and that you don’t run into any obstacles.
If you love to fish, then you won’t let a little bit of ice stop you from doing it. While the waters might be frozen over on the surface, the fish are still alive and swimming underneath. So bundle up and head out for a relaxing day of ice fishing. Just make sure that the ice is plenty thick enough to avoid any danger.
Visit the Nature Center
All of that outdoor winter fun is sure to have left you absolutely exhausted and frozen to the core. That’s why you should duck inside the classroom in the Nature Center. During the colder months, this locations is used as a warming house so you can come in and thaw out.