Wisconsin’s Interstate Park Hiking — Dalles, Potholes, and an Old Mine

As I continue working towards my goal of visiting every Wisconsin State Park, I sometimes wonder what rhyme or reason there is to the order in which I go. Turns out, there is no order. BUT if there had been an order, a logical one would be in order of date of establishment. If I had done that, Interstate State Park or Interstate Park, would have been first on my list.

Located directly across the St. Croix River from Minnesota’s Interstate Park, Wisconsin’s Interstate Park became Wisconsin’s first state park in 1900. (It was Minnesota’s second state park.)

As this park is a 4 1/2 hour drive from my home, we camped in the park and made a long weekend of the trip. The camping was…well, I’ll cover that in a different post. The hiking, though, that part of the trip was wonderful. Scenic and full of both natural and human history.

Continue reading

Campsite Review: Wisconsin’s Ottawa Lake — Kettle Moraine Forest, Southern Unit, Lake View Camping

And just like that, the 2023 camping season is underway for me! Unlike previous years where we drive 5 hours north and then wonder why it’s so cold in May, the first trip of the 2023 season was close to home in south central/southeast Wisconsin at Ottawa Lake Campground.

Links to plan your own adventure:
Campground Information and Reservations
Campground Map
Kettle Moraine Hiking Trails

Part of the Kettle Moraine State Forest Southern Unit, Ottawa Lake Campground is one of the four campgrounds in this part of the forest. In addition to the campground, visitors can recreate with the lake and lake adjacent activities. There is a playground, areas to picnic, volleyball courts, and other ways to spend a day near a lake. This park doesn’t have any of its own hiking trails, which is okay because the Kettle Moraine forest has numerous trail systems nearby. The closest one, and the one we hiked, is the Scuppernong Trail System. I’ll cover that in a post a different day.

Continue reading

Campfire Steak Thai Pasta – Sweet and Spicy Comfort Food

It has been a fun challenge to “campfire-ify” everyday meals, meaning it has been a fun challenge to take meals that I would normally make at home and make them over the campfire instead. They end up mostly the same but with a few unique quirks. While I’ve been doing this with various levels of cooking success, there is one success that has been consistent no matter how the meal turns out, adding variety to campfire menus!

This Campfire Steak Thai Pasta is one of those meals. I make some variation of this meal every few weeks at home. Since I usually have pasta and the ingredients for the sauce on hand, It’s a great “low plan” meal as you can add whatever veggie and protein you have going bad in the fridge.

That being said, feel free to make this recipe your own. Don’t eat red meat? No problem! Hate a certain veggie? Life is too short to be eating something you don’t like! Here are a few variation ideas I’ve used, but really, the sky is the limit.

Continue reading

Wisconsin’s Merrick State Park, Campsite Review, Waterfront Camping on a Mississippi Slough

Frequently, a park has a niche, something it offers that makes it stand out from other parks. This niche is often what become designated as a park in the first place as someone loved this feature enough to share it with everyone. It could be anything, rock formations, Native American history, waterfalls, etc. A showcase of what the state has to offer.

Merrick State Park is no different. Nestled on a short stretch of a slough of the Mississippi River, it’s not surprising that this park is all about water. Water sports, water views, and water…camping.

I covered the minimal hiking at the park in a previous post. You can check it out here. This is a park for water lovers. Fishing, boating, kayaking, and canoeing enthusiasts will find plenty to fill their days with. I’m not a water enthusiast (yet) but I still really enjoyed this park. Not for the hiking, which is normally why I like a park, but for the unique camping it offers.

Continue reading

Wisconsin’s Whitefish Dunes State Park, Door County, Sand Dunes Along a Great Lake

I love Door County. It’s one of those places that I only ever visit while in a vacation state of mind, so I only ever think positive things about it. Growing up outside of Green Bay and now living in Madison, getting there has always been a breeze. From family trips, to girls trips, to a couple’s getaway, it’s been a go to place for a quick yet memorable break.

Part of what makes it so great is the vast amount of things to do. There is seriously something for everyone. Every age, every interest, and every budget can find the perfect activity. I love that the area is a mix of settled civilization and natural/wild area. It’s cute tourist town meets Northwoods meets beach meets farmland. You can get outside and explore nature, stop at a brewery, and then head back to your cabin or lake house.

If you are looking to mix in some outdoor time into your next trip, and I hope you are, then I encourage you to consider Whitefish Dunes State Park.

Continue reading

Presque Isle Campground Review – Michigan’s Porcupine Mountains – Camping Next to Lake Superior

Recently I’ve been talking about our trip to the Porcupine Mountains in Michigan’s upper peninsula. I’ve covered all the hiking we did and all the gorgeous natural scenery we saw. Sadly, I’ve arrived at my last post in the series; where we stayed.

There are lots of options for lodging in and around the Porcupine Mountains wilderness area. Looking for a chain or boutique hotel? You can find that in nearby towns. Looking for more of a cabin feel? There are plenty of those nearby too! Want to stay in the park? Then plan to get a little more rugged. The park itself has a large variety of lodging options, including drive in campsites, walk in campsites, walk in cabins, and walk in yurts.

All of the lodging options, prices, operating dates, and reservation info can be found on the park’s reservation page.

Continue reading