5 Must See State and County Parks in Wisconsin

5 Must See State and County Parks
With warm weather right around the corner, it’s the perfect time to get outside and get active! What better way to do so than by exploring Wisconsin’s best state and county parks, all within a short drive from the Chippewa Valley. 

* The following travel times are based off of a starting point of Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

Interstate State Park - Osceola, WI

Travel Time: 1 hour 35 minutes

Interstate State Park sits on the St. Croix River, right around the bend from Minnesota. It is not only a geology lover's dream, with 1,300 acres of basalt rock, but the perfect day trip for your family. Although it offers four seasons worth of activities, you won’t want to miss the beautiful greenery and spring views. If you're lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of a local rock climber or a majestic bald eagle. Get hungry after your long hike? Stop by Dalles House Restuarant & Lounge in St. Croix Falls for great food, great people, and great times. 

Rib Mountain State Park - Wausau, WI

Travel Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Photo by Greg Bouressa

Located in central Wisconsin, just east of Wausau, Rib Mountain is the perfect hiking venue for you and your family. You may know this park as a daring downhill ski location, but visit it in the spring, and you’ll find half billion year old red-quartzite, a challenging hike, and breathtaking views atop the 60 feet high observation tower. 

Willow River State Park - Hudson, WI

Travel Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

Visit Willow River State Park for the day and witness a series of spectacular cascading waterfalls, or spend a night at the Willow River Campground and explore all 13 miles of hiking trails. Have some free time during your stay? Head to charming downtown Hudson, Wisconsin for a bite to eat and a walk along Lakefront Park. I reccomend Pier 500 for a beautiful view of the St. Croix River and an appetizing meal. 


Big Falls County Park - Fall Creek, WI

Travel Time: 20 minutes

Right in Eau Claire’s backyard, Big Falls County Park is the dream Chippewa Valley getaway. The Eau Claire River flows rapidly around large boulders, creating a beautiful view and unbeatable fishing, hiking, and swimming. You are guaranteed to feel one with nature here.  

Devil’s Lake State Park - Baraboo, WI

Travel Time: 2 hours 10 minutes

Devil’s Lake State Park’s astonishing scenery will not only make you think you left Wisconsin, but the whole country altogether. But it’s other-worldly views and arduous hikes are not it’s only features. Keep the whole family entertained with a trip to the beach, great fishing, picnicking, and boating. Devil’s Lake is a must see for every Wisconsinite! Need some caffeine for the drive home? Stop by Little Village Cafe for strong coffee and a bite to eat - and just a 10 minute drive from Devil's Lake. 


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