Summer has finally arrived. The sun is shining, the kids are out of school, and you’ve earned a well-deserved break from work. It’s time to get away for a few days and whether you want your friends and family to tag along or you want to travel solo, we’ve got you covered. We’ve taken care of the research and compiled a list of 25 great campgrounds within two hours of Madison so all you have to do is get your camping gear ready.
Madison is known for its big city culture and small town feel. It is home to the beautiful State Capitol building, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and famed State Street that connects them. With every style of camper in mind, we found a variety of campgrounds that aren’t too far from the big city. Some accommodate strictly tents while others offer full RV hookups and rentable cabins. Many of these campgrounds are situated on a lake, river, or stream too, allowing for plenty of adventurous outdoor activities.
Wanna have some fun in the car? Here are our favorite road trip games:
Good ol’ Mad Libs.
Everyone loves Travel Bingo.
Games On The Go is pretty cool. It’s 50 games clipped to a little carabiner.
Blue Mound State Park : Blue Mound, WIAt an elevation of 1,719 feet, Blue Mound State Park offers amazing 360- degree views of Wisconsin. A short drive west from Madison, this park is very handicap-friendly. There are two handicap accessible sites, one cabin, and a lift to get persons with disabilities in and out of the swimming pool. If you are looking for a challenge, Blue Mound has 15.5 miles of off-road, single track bike trails that vary in difficulty. Hunting and trapping are allowed in the open areas during certain times of the year as well. Each site has access to toilets and showers and comes equipped with a fire ring and picnic table. Besides the handicap-accessible cabin, this park accommodates both tents and RVs.
Mississippi Bend Campground & RV Park : Lynxville, WIThis gem is situated on the banks of the Mississippi River and is a wonderful spot to get away for the weekend. Whether you prefer to stay in a tent, RV, rent a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom vacation home, or a teepee, Mississippi Bend Campground & RV has a spot for everyone to relax and re-energize. We recommend this campground primarily because of the many acres of shaded woodland that keep it cool on hot summer days. Visitors can kayak the river, participate in fishing tournaments, and rent paddle boats to travel the Great River Road. If you get hungry while you’re there, be sure to stop at The Dawg House food cart for a delicious Chicago-style hotdog and other tasty foods.
251 Hillside Drive
Lynxville, WI 54626
Vacation Home: $110
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Devil’s Lake State Park : Baraboo, WIJust an hour northeast of Madison and a great spot for the whole family. Devil’s Lake State Park has three large public camping areas with over 400 single sites and nine group sites. It offers almost 30 miles of hiking trails that vary in difficulty, swimming at two different beaches along the lake, kayak tours, bat watching and more. Most sites are best for tents, but RVs are also allowed at a few of them. Teepees are also available for rent. Running water, restrooms, and showers are scattered throughout the family and group camping areas. Hike or mountain bike up the rocky bluffs for an awesome view of the whole lake!
Merry Mac’s Campground : Merrimac, WIThe best amenities for an instant vacation feel. Located on 40 acres, Merry Mac’s Campground lies between the shores of Devil’s Lake and Lake Wisconsin. It offers swimming in a pool or the lake, large water inflatables, free wifi, a dunk tank, a mini golf course, and a life-size chess set just to name a few amenities. There’s even a grocery store on site, so no need to pack the kitchen cupboards! Whether you plan to stay in a tent, camper, or rent a cabin, all are welcome. Merry Mac’s has 20, 30, and 50 amp hookups for RVs, and each camping site comes with a fire pit ad picnic table. Who wouldn’t want to escape here for a weekend?
E12995 Halweg Rd.
Merrimac, WI 53561
Tent & RV: $25-$90
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Governor Dodge State Park : Dodgeville, WI
A fun location for you and your furry friend! This is one of the largest state parks in Wisconsin, offering 5,350 acres of hills, bluffs, deep valleys, two lakes, and a waterfall to explore. Governor Dodge State Park offers hundreds of sites with electrical hookups available at almost every one. This campground is for tents and RVs with a 30 amp hookup and reservations are often required, so be sure to call ahead. There is plenty of opportunity for outdoor activities including swimming, hiking, fishing, kayaking and canoeing, and horseback riding to keep everyone entertained. This park is open year round so if you like winter camping as well, this is the perfect place for you!
Buffalo Lake Camping Resort : Montello, WIThis is one of our favorite campgrounds within two hours of Madison. Buffalo Lake Camping Resort is only an hour north and is a perfect destination for your weekend getaway. Its 110 sites can accommodate any style of camping, from tenting under the tall trees and full hookups for RVs to modern park models available for rent. It offers free wifi everywhere on the grounds and cable TV for the “big rigs,” cabins, and park models. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy fishing and paddling in the lake, swimming in the solar heated pool, ATV opportunities, and plenty of outdoor gaming equipment for the kids. When you get hungry, Buffalo Lake Camping Resort also offers made to order food so you never have to leave.
555 Lake Avenue
Montello, WI 53949
Tent & RV: $34-$48
Park Model: $135+
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Fireside Campground : Lone Rock, WIAn inviting campground that has it all. You can hike or bike along the 14 mile Pine River trail, fish on the nearby Wisconsin River, or play one of the many yard games onsite, including mini golf and beanbag toss. New this year, Fireside campground added full hookup sewer sites with 30 or 50 amps for all of you RV campers. There are also tent sites with recently updated bathrooms and showers, and cabins and campers available for rent. If you are traveling with a group, Fireside Campground has group sites and an indoor common area to host a movie night or potluck dinner!
Fox Hill RV Park & Campground : Baraboo, WIThis is a campground that the kids will love. Located in Baraboo, WI, Fox Hill RV Park & Campground is within miles of the famed Wisconsin Dells and next door to a golf course. It offers various recreational activities onsite including a heated swimming pool, pedal carts, hiking trails, disc golf, and even a kiddy train for the little ones. Whether you prefer a tent, a full hookup space for your RV, a log cabin with air conditioning and a kitchen, or a rustic cabin with a refrigerator and a BBQ grill, Fox Hill has a spot for everyone. This campground really is the definition of fun.
E11371 North Reedsburg Road
Baraboo, WI 53913
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Lake Arrowhead Campground : Montello, WIA little over an hour from Madison and not too far from Fox Hill RV Park, Lake Arrowhead Campground is a new campground that opened in April 2016. It’s located on the shores of Lake Puckaway and has plenty of waterfront campsites. We love fishing here because it doesn’t require a fishing license and the lake is stocked with musky, bass, northern pike, and walleye. This site also has two pools, a swimming area in the lake, and an illuminated jumping pillow. Each of the 240 campsites has running water and 30 or 50 amp electricity. Tent campers, RV campers, and those who want to rent a cabin can all be accommodated at Lake Arrowhead.
W781 Fox Court
Montello, WI 53949
Tent & RV: $39-$68
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Madison KOA : De Forest, WIJust six miles north of downtown Madison, Madison KOA is in close proximity to many local attractions. The friendly staff can point you in the right direction for whatever you may want to do, whether it be visiting the UW campus, taking a trip to Henry Vilas Zoo, or trying out a few of the many wineries, breweries, or restaurants. Onsite, this campground offers a pool and playground to go with the 50 amp hookups for RVs, primitive tent campsites, and rentable cabins and park models. There are restrooms dispersed throughout the sites and a laundry facility open 24 hours. If you don’t want to explore the city by foot, Madison KOA has bikes you can rent to get around a little faster.
Viking Village Campground : Stoughton, WIA midpoint between Milwaukee, Madison, and Chicago – a perfect retreat for the weekend camper. Viking Village Campground has 71 campsites for RVs only. Sorry guys…no tents allowed. Some sites are full hookups and others only have water and electric. While this campground gives off a peaceful and relaxing vibe, there is still plenty of opportunity for recreational activities. Viking Village has a pool, sand volleyball court, playground for the kids, a mini golf course, and a picnic pavilion that is great for birthday parties or family reunions. Be sure to call ahead to reserve a spot!
1648 County Rd N
Stoughton, WI 53589
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Mirror Lake State Park : Baraboo, WIMirror Lake State Park is 2000 acres of picturesque perfection. It is located just three miles from Wisconsin Dells, the waterpark capital of the world. At Mirror Lake State Park you’ll find a beautiful lake surrounded by wooded campsites and sandstone bluffs. It offers bike, boat, and canoe rentals, and over 19 miles of scenic nature trails for hiking. The 151 campsites are split up across three different campgrounds, each with a fire ring, sand pad for your tent, and picnic table. The tall pine trees provide shade and privacy between sites. There are also two sand volleyball courts to challenge campers to a little friendly competition.
E10320 Fern Dell Rd.
Baraboo, WI 53913
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Ice Age National Scenic Trail : Various cities in WIClose to downtown Madison and one of only 11 National Scenic Trails, Ice Age National Scenic Trail extends for over 1,100 miles. It follows the edge of the last continental glacier in Wisconsin. In addition to hiking it is excellent for sightseeing, bird watching, and wildlife viewing. There are plenty of camping opportunities along the trail that vary from primitive walk-in sites to sites with full electrical hookups. Most sites are equipped with a fire ring and picnic table. If you are looking for a specific location on the trail, there is an Ice Age Trail Companion Guide that provides camping details for all parts of the trail.
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New Glarus Woods State Park : New Glarus, WIPerfect for a peaceful weekend escape. New Glarus Woods State Park is located near the Sugar River State Trail and is full of quiet wooded and meadow campsites. This is considered a primitive campground for those who want to get back to the basics of camping. There are 18 drive-in sites for tents, RVs, and campers, and 14 walk-in sites for tents only. In the group picnic area there are grills available for camp cooking, as well as vault toilets and drinking fountains. Eight miles of hiking only trails run through the grounds, so if you want to bike you will have to connect to the Sugar River State Trail.
W5508 CTH NN
New Glarus, WI 53574
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Yellowstone Lake State Park : Blanchardville, WIThis is a popular location year-round. The 455-acre Yellowstone Lake offers many recreational activities including boating, kayaking, swimming, fishing, and waterskiing just to name a few. Many different trails for both hiking and biking are available too. The 108 campsites sit atop steep bluffs that provide awesome views of the lake and surrounding scenery. Each site can accommodate tents and RVs, but only about one-third of them have electrical hookups. Flush toilets and showers are available in the warm seasons and vault toilets are available year round. If you are camping with a group there are five reservable tent-only group sites that fit up to 25 people.
Blanchardville, WI 53516
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Yukon Trails RV & Camping Resort : Lyndon Station, WIJust 10 minutes from the Wisconsin Dells and a little over an hour from Madison, this resort emanates a true camping atmosphere. Yukon Trails RV & Camping Resort offers plenty of space for tents, RVs, rentable cabins, and cottages. This campground has so much to do both on and offsite. The resort offers fishing and boat cruises on Wonder Lake, trails for nature walks, a full-service restaurant, Friday night movies, and even a gold miners’ dig site. If you want to venture away from the grounds, Wisconsin Dells is just down the road and has dozens of local attractions. Make sure to stick around the resort for breakfast though – they have homemade donuts!
Hartman Creek State Park : Waupaca, WI 54981A two-hour drive north from Madison, Hartman Creek State Park lies on the Wisconsin Chain O’Lakes – 15 lakes connected to one another by the Fox River and man-made channels. This park is made up of glacial terrain and many visitors enjoy riding down what is left of the Green Bay Lobe, the last great continental ice sheet. There are 103 campsites for RVs and tents at Hartman Creek, located in both a red pine forest and an old apple orchard with many unique trees. Miles and miles of off-road biking and hiking trails are scattered throughout the grounds and Hartman Lake has a sandy beach to cool off afterwards. Hartman Creek used to ne a fish hatchery, so anglers can expect to catch a wide variety of fish in all of the nearby lakes.
N2480 Hartman Creek Rd.
Waupaca, WI 54981
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Bear Lake Campground & Resort : Manawa, WIJust down the road from Hartman Creek State Park, Bear Lake Campground and Resort is another accommodating campground within two hours of Madison. Located on the shores of Bear Lake, this campground offers all kinds of water activities. It also has tons of cool amenities including a game room, playground, mini golf course, baseball diamond, and an onsite restaurant. Its 200+ campsites are dispersed across 26 acres and have both water and electric hookups available. Bear Lake Campground and Resort is a popular wedding venue as well, with seating for up to 300 people and a large outside entertainment area.
N4715 State Road 22-110
Manawa, WI 54949
Tent & RV: $29+
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Wildcat Mountain State Park : Ontario, WIWildcat Mountain State Park lies on a steep ridge that overlooks the Kickapoo River Valley. The observation point along the 26 miles of hiking trails gives spectacular panoramic views of the river. The Kickapoo River is slow-moving and often calm so it’s perfect for canoeing. Wildcat Mountain State Park has 30 sites, both primitive and electric, but all require a reservation, so make sure to call before you arrive to secure a spot. If you come in the winter, this park has a seven-mile-long cross-country skiing trail that will take you to five different scenic lookouts along the way. This really is a beautiful place to camp.
E13660 State Road 33
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Harrington Beach State Park : Belgium, WIWith a mile of beach along Lake Michigan, Harrington Beach State Park is calling all of you water lovers. Although there is no boat launch onsite, boating, canoeing and kayaking are very popular water activities here, in addition to swimming and fishing. Anglers can expect to catch salmon, trout, and panfish in both Lake Michigan and little Quarry Lake, which is also located on the grounds. If you would rather stay on land, there are plenty of hiking trails and even a volleyball court. Harrington Beach has 65 sites for tents only, some with and without electric hookup. We love this site because of its excellent stargazing views.
531 County Rd D
Belgium, WI 53004
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Kohler-Andrae State Park : Sheboygan, WIOn the edge of Lake Michigan, Kohler-Andrae State Park is another great campground within two hours of Madison. With 2.5 miles of sandy beach and 135 campsites, this park is suitable for any type of camper at any time of the year. Popular outdoor activities include swimming, fishing, boating, hiking on seven different trails, and horseback riding. In the winter, you can cross country ski or snowshoe and several of the sites will be plowed for those who enjoy winter camping. Each campsite can accommodate up to six people and there is one teepee available for those who do not have their own camping gear. Showers and flush toilets are located near the family campsites to keep you feeling fresh.
Kettle Moraine State Forest-Southern Unit : Dousman, WIThis campground is just 61 miles east of Madison and consists of 22,000 acres of gleaming lakes and glacial hills. It has several different camping areas with over two hundred sites suitable for tents and RVs. There is also a designated campground for those traveling with horses, which includes a horse shower and manure deposit station. The four lakes that surround Kettle Moraine State Forest are great for fishing, swimming, boating, kayaking, and canoeing. Hiking trails are open year round along the grounds as well. For those who want to practice their shooting, the forest has a shooting range with a wide variety of opportunities for shooters and archers.
S59 W36530 County ZZ
Dousman, WI 53118
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High Cliff State Park : Sherwood, WIHigh Cliff State Park overlooks the largest inland lake in Wisconsin, Lake Winnebago. For all of you history buffs, this park is positioned on limestone cliffs that were sacred to early Native Americans who lived on the land. Because the lake is a main attraction of the park, there are four boat launches and a marina onsite if you want to leave your boat in the water overnight. This allows for many fun water activities, whether it be water skiing, wakeboarding, or tubing. High Cliff State Park offers lake-view sites for both tents and RVs, as well as eight group sites. Shower and restroom buildings are accessible in the family campground. Don’t forget to bring your pets, because they are welcome too!
N7630 State Park Rd.
Sherwood, WI 54169
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Plymouth Rock Camping Resort : Plymouth, WIWhether you are looking to “rough it” in the woods or “glamp” in a deluxe cabin, Plymouth Rock Camping Resort is calling your name. This is a huge campground with over 600 sites ranging from a primitive tent set up to a full hookup for your RV to a rentable cabin that will fit the whole family. It’s so big that there are golf cart rentals to help you get from place to place. At Plymouth Rock Camping Resort the amenities are endless. It offers three heated pools, a restaurant, two arcades, a basketball court, swimming and fishing in Little Elkhart Lake, an outdoor movie theater on weekends, and more. Because there is so much to do, this is a very popular campground, so make sure to make a reservation ahead of time.
N7271 Lando Street
Plymouth, WI 53073
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Breezy Hill Campground : Fond du Lac, WINot too far from Madison, Breezy Hill Campground is a great place to get away from the city without driving for hours. It is known for being both a quiet and kid-friendly campground, so everyone is happy. For the kids, there is a pool, playground, arcade, two water jumping pillows, and even weekend wagon rides. There is also a walking trail that loops around the campgrounds. Breezy Hill has 85 sites that accommodate tents and RVs with 30 amp and 50 amp full hookups. Right on the edge of the stream are eight cabins available to rent for those who want to be a more luxurious camper. They also have an overnight horse boarding stable for equestrian enthusiasts.
N4177 Cearns Lane
Fond du Lac, WI 54937
Tent & RV: $40-$59
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