Camping Along the WI Great River Road


Camping Along the Wisconsin Great River Road

The Wisconsin Great River Road offers a myriad of opportunities to get out into nature, including many campgrounds.  There are a lot of choices, whether you want to pitch a tent and explore the wilderness, or if you like to camp in your comfy RV with a side of wifi, either possibility is open to you.

When looking for campsites, the State Parks along the River Road are popular options.  But, there are more campgrounds than you might think, and we sifted through them to pick out four that you might not have heard of before.

Island Camping and Marina – Hager City, WI

When you’d like an RV campsite that is right on the Mississippi River, then this might be the one for you, with over 80 sites with direct river frontage.  Hager City is a tiny town along the Wisconsin Great River Road that has a marina and campground out on Trenton Island with the main channel of the Mississippi on one side and the backwaters on the other.  Just across the channel is the historic city of Red Wing, Minnesota, but this RV campground has more than its location going for it.  Expect hot showers, a laundromat, a pavilion with wifi, and just a 2 minute walk to a bar and restaurant.  

Kickapoo Valley Reserve – La Farge, WI

How about an adventure where the only access to your campsite is via canoe or kayak?  The Kickapoo Valley Reserve has campsites that are river access only, or river and trail access that you can hike out to.  There are more traditional sites in the Reserve as well where you can park at your site.  The river access only sites can be a challenge and be prepared to hike your gear up a ways as there is always the risk of flooding on the Kickapoo, so there’s no riverbank camping.  You may find a steep hike up to your site from the river, but the challenge is what makes it awesome.

Sleepy Hollow Campground – Fountain City, WI

Outside of Fountain City you’ll find a small RV and tent campground that is located on acres of wooded land with miles of connecting nature trails.   The trails have varying difficulties and can take you through woodland, marshland, rolling hills, and prairie grasslands.  A trout stream meanders through the property, so maybe try your hand at some fly fishing while you’re there.  The campground’s location near Fountain City means that there are some very unique attractions nearby, including Elmer’s Toy and Auto Museum, Kinstone Megalithic Gardens, and Rock in the House.

Tarrant Park – Durand, WI

Bicyclists will find Tarrant Park to be of particular interest.  The park has direct access to the Chippewa River State Bike Trail.  This trail is 30 miles long and takes you right into the downtown area of Eau Claire where the Eau Claire and Chippewa rivers meet.  There are a lot of amenities that make this park a favorite stop including a swimming pool with a bathhouse.  You’ll also find lots to keep the family occupied with volleyball sand courts, playgrounds, and horseshoe pits.  Both RV and tent sites – with and without electricity – are available at the park.