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High Cliff State Park

If you’re looking for a picturesque destination, High Cliff State Park in Wisconsin is definitely worth checking out. With its breathtaking views of Lake Winnebago, this park offers a range of activities including camping, hiking, and biking to keep you entertained.

Escarpment Cliffs in Wisconsin

Last summer, we traveled north to camp in the Upper Peninsula along Lake Superior. We stayed at High Cliff State Park Campground on our way through Wisconsin. 

High Cliff is located along Lake Winnebago’s northeast side, Wisconsin’s largest inland lake. The park is on an old limestone quarry and cement company from the 1950s. 

Entry Pass Information
A vehicle admission sticker is required on all motor vehicles stopping in all Wisconsin state parks, forests, and recreation areas. $8/day for residents $11/day for out of state

High Cliff State Park Map

Camping at High Cliff State Park

High Cliff has two campgrounds: a group campground and a family campground. We stayed at the family campground.

The group campground has eight sites that can hold 160 campers. Group sites have picnic tables and fire rings.

The family campground has 112 campsites. A fourth of the sites have electrical hookups. 

All sites are relatively flat on packed sandy dirt. The sand drains quickly after rain. The campground is in a large grove of trees, so most campsites are shaded. Foilage between sites makes them spread out.

motorhome at High Cliff State Park Campground

There are six sets of buddy sites where two parties can camp together. Only one of the six is electrical. The campground has two accessible campsites and an accessible cabin for rent.

The campground has vault toilets, water faucets, and overflow parking areas. The main shower house has flush toilets, showers, and a family bathroom. You can find a playground and amphitheater for programs near the shower house. 

We enjoyed our stay in the park and appreciated the darkness and quiet at night.

Reservations are strongly encouraged, especially for electrical sites or on weekends. Reservations can be made up to 11 months in advance at Wisconsin State Parks. Check out our reviews of nearby Peninsula State Park in Door County and Wyalusing State Park on the opposite side of the state. 

Things to Do at High Cliff State Park

The park has numerous recreational activities for all ages. These include 

  • walking
  • hiking
  • bike
  • horse trails (no rentals)
  • boating
  • kayaking
  • canoeing
  • fishing (accessible pier)
  • swimming (no lifeguard)
  • picnic
  • playgrounds
  • shelters (rent for events)
  • observation tower
  • statue
  • old kiln
  • old quarry
  • General Store Museum
  • wildlife viewing
  • concessions
  • hunting
  • cross-country ski
  • snowmobile
  • snowshoe

View of Lake Winnebago in Wisconsin

High Cliff Trails

You can go hiking and walking throughout the park. The trails are well-marked and have signage at intersections. Trails range from accessible to steep. We hiked them all.

The Effigy Mound trail is short, just north of the main campgrounds. It has mounds with signs explaining the mounds and life back 1000 to 1500 years ago.

hiking path through Escarpment Cliffs in Wisconsin

Our favorite hike was the Lime Kiln Trail. Campground access requires a hide down the escarpment on steep stairs. The trail parallels the lake. The lower part of the trail is relatively flat and has several points where you can crawl out to view the lake. You can see the old kiln at the start of the path from the lower parking lot.

the Lime Kiln Ruins in Wisconsin

High Cliff Biking

Two trails in the park allow bicycles. Those are the Red Bird Trail and the Bike/Horse Trail. Our long ride on both was a total of 10 miles.

bike in front of a cliff

While we saw fresh horse poop, we encountered no horses on the trail. It is wide enough for a bike and horse to pass. Hikers and bikers yield and give way to horses.

Short Visit to High Cliff State Park

Suppose you find yourself with only a short visit to High Cliff. In that case, we recommend seeing the old kiln, observation tower, and statue. A walk along the Red Bird Trail along the escarpment and through the old quarry is a must. Stroll around the Butterfly Pond Trail.

Check out the swim area, marina, and concession area.

We enjoyed our two-night stay at High Cliff State Park. We saw many beautiful birds and enjoyed the cliffs. 

Nearly Camping Itineraries

lakeside view of Lake Winnebago in Wisconsin
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