Camp Wisconsin: Willow River State Park

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This is one of my favorite top 5 state parks that I have visited to date. Even with only staying one night, hiking just two short trails, raccoon invasion and the Little Falls Lake drawdown, it still made the list. Without argue Willow Falls is their beyond gorgeous gem and awestruck me the instant I came into it’s presence. It was the reason why we stopped in the first place. This was the first day out on our Wisconsin road trip, we stopped to see the waterfall and I just couldn’t find myself to leave the beauty and vibe of it. Rock climbers, kids jumping off the falls, groups of friends laughing and hammock lounging in the many side pools, the atmosphere was perfect to grab a beer and relax. Best part you can even climb behind this waterfall or test yourself against its power as you walk across. How many waterfalls have you climbed behind lately?

With that said lets get to the park itself. Willow River State Park (WRSP) is located near Hudson Wisconsin, very close to the Minnesota border. With several different ways to access this park I’ll let you guys google map this one for specific directions. Offering camping, hiking, waterfall and river swimming as of now this place has a lot to offer with beauty in every corner. They had even more at one point until they drained the lake for dam repair in 2015. This put a damper on fishing, boating and beaching recreation that will continue for several more years. All those activities are offered on the river portion though, keep that in mind. We only hiked and did the waterfall while staying here so I don’t have very much info on that portion sadly. I do want to mention that you should please, please, please put all food, totes and coolers away. Most campgrounds are very good at alerting their visitors of troublesome animals either through word of mouth or post it on memo boards. We were never warned of the raccoon problem, yes we know that we need to put all food items away but our late night turned into leaving a few things out. We woke up to our tote items scattered everywhere on top of that it rained. O it was an amazing mess to clean up. Even with that I still love this place. JUST PUT ALL FOOD ITEMS AWAY.

Camping – 3 different campgrounds easily named 100, 200 and 300. Luckily in that order from the entrance too!

Campground 100 – 50 sites both electric and non, one being accessible. Tents through RV’s can camp here. Has vault toilets sporadic throughout and 1 flush toilet/shower building also has a playground. This is the closet campground to the falls.

Campground 200-  Their newest addition to the park so many of the 30 campsites are not shaded. Offers both electric and non electric sites, also both vault and flush toilets.

Campground 300- One of the most occupied campgrounds in the State Park System being so beautiful and close to the cities I can understand why. I don’t know if that will hold up with the lake being drained though. This is the one we stayed in. Actually got so lucky as to get a site right next to the trail leading to the falls. 70 campsites here both electric and non-electric, one being accessible. Vault toilets throughout, 1 shower building and 2 sets of flush toilets, also has a playground and has the only dump station in the whole park.

Group Camping – 4 areas that can be reserved for group camping and 1 of them being accessible.

Sadly I could not find any pictures of our campsite which is odd because we usually take a picture of every one. The sites were plenty big, all come with fire pit and picnic table.

Firewood – Available at Park Office during open hours and ONLY at campground 300 from 7 pm to 8 pm from the host which only accepts cash or check. Keep this in mind.

 

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Our firewood collector. 

 

Hiking – 13 miles of beautiful hiking trails in this park. We only had time to hike 2 of the 12 trails. One being the Willow Falls Hill Trail which can be accessed by the Willow Falls parking lot, be warned though that this lot fills up very quickly and parking outside of the lot is illegal. Trail is .4 miles long and the quickest way to the falls but your going to have to work a bit as its a very steep hill.

Willow Falls Trail was our second one and the one we got lucky enough to camp right next too. This all gravel trail connects campground 300 to the gorgeous Willow Falls. Big enough to comfortably bring a stroller along and pass people.

Willow River State Park also has a Nature Center that hosts hands on displays and interpretive programs throughout the year.

I highly suggest everyone check this state park out. The falls alone are just gorgeous and deserve a visit. Again how many waterfalls can you walk behind or even swim in these days.

With that I want to thank everyone for their interest and following along. It truly means a lot to me for people to read my work. I’m learning its not easy to keep up with blogging all the time but will find time to get these out to my  valued readers.

Please follow Wandering Nirvana on Facebook and YouTube. Video of us exploring the falls and behind them will be up within the next couple days. Again thank you everyone!!

 

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Very clear side pools make relaxing even more easy.

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