Camp at Buckhorn State Park

    3.5

    Added by Robin Pfeifer

    Camp in a rare wilderness setting along the shoreline of Castle Rock Lake.

    Buckhorn State Park is located just off of Interstate 94, halfway between Milwaukee and Minneapolis. The park occupies the end of a large peninsula that cuts into the Castle Rock Flowage of the Wisconsin River.

    Forty two backpack sites line the outer ring of the peninsula, arranged in clusters of three or four sites each. Most are secluded and positioned along the shoreline of Castle Rock Lake, giving you access to a narrow strip of private shoreline. The sites are separated from one another by 10-20 yards of dense growth, which offers a lot of privacy, even when camping with a group. Each site has a picnic table, fire ring and a small bench. Each cluster has a shared portable toilet and a small parking area located anywhere from 100 yards to just over one mile away. Some of the sites have carts available to transport your gear to and from the parking area.

    The lake is calm and shallow - perfect for fishing and floating. If you don't have a boat of your own, rent a pontoon and head south to the end of the peninsula. Look for the small island which marks a large sandbar where locals and visitors dock their boats en masse on the weekends and wade from boat to boat exchanging shots of Rumchata and cans of domestic beer.

    Read More
    Stand Up Paddle
    Chillin
    Camping
    Fishing
    Rafting
    Kayaking
    Swimming
    Adult Beverages
    Bathrooms
    Beach
    Dog Friendly
    Easy Parking
    Forest
    Groups
    Lake
    River
    Swimming Hole

    Go Pro.

    We're committed to building a better, more inclusive home for the modern outdoors. Go PRO to support our mission and get benefits like gear deals, no ads, and more!

    Learn More

    Reviews

    Rate this Adventure

    🥇Top Contributor

    4 months ago

    Great park in WI!

    My sister told me about this park and I am so grateful she did. The lake is beautiful and sunsets here are insane!!! Had a blast camping here. Bathrooms were clean and it was relatively quiet.

    Glad we went, but probably won't go back

    Maybe we picked a bad weekend, but the park was not super clean. It was a beautiful setting though.

    🥇Top Contributor

    over 3 years ago

    Fun time at Buckhorn

    Our group enjoyed the hiking at Buckhorn. The trip was pleasant; not a lot of traffic on the trails, so we were able to enjoy the woods to ourselves. Nothing too challenging, we might go back with kids next time!

    🥈 Contributor

    over 4 years ago

    Don't Expect Pristine Nature

    I was excited to check out this State Park via trail-running and a swim, only to find that most trails had been overtaken by logging roads and the water was so warm that algae had drastically reduced the water clarity. I had to use the beach's showers after my swim to get the green algae out of my suit and hair. Despite the above, the backpacking sites I ran past looked very pleasant, and the Central Sands Nature Trail Loop and Barrens Nature Trail remained untouched by the bulldozer. Also, there appeared to be some nice canoe/kayak/SUP routes on the eastern portion of the park that would be worth checking out. I didn't know about Jello shot island, but will be doing that over running the next time I go!

    Leave No Trace

    Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

    We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

    Stay Nearby

    Tomah, Wisconsin

    Oakdale Koa

    Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin

    Wisconsin Dells Koa

    Reedsburg, Wisconsin

    Valley Springs Farm Bed And Breakfast

    From $110/night

    Nelsonville, Wisconsin

    Tomorrow River Homestead Private Lodging On River

    From $170/night

    Nearby Adventures

    Hike the Mill Bluff Trail

    1.25 mi / 175 ft gain

    Hike through Witches Gulch Slot Canyon

    Kayak the Wisconsin River in the Dells

    4.5

    Hike the Echo Rock Trail

    2 mi / 60 ft gain
    More Nearby Adventures