Big Bay State Park Camping, Wisconsin’s Madeline Island, Site #59, Oh Deer!

To finish up the tale of the mini-moon, we end with the review of the campsite at Big Bay State Park. In case you missed it, we arrived at Madeline Island late in the afternoon and checked into our site for the next two nights. In addition to camping at the park, we also hiked. Check out those recaps and reviews here with PART 1 and PART 2.

Helpful Park Links:
Park Website
Camping Reservations

The park has 60 campsites with some electrical sites, some walk-in sites, and some group camp sites. There are both flush and vault toilets with showers available. The park sells firewood in a shed near the park office. (Bonus, the woodshed had a box of free newspaper for fire starting It was the local island newspaper. Sure, the news was a few months old, but it was interesting to read the happenings of the locals.)

I feel like this goes without saying for camping in general, but it is especially true here. Make sure you are aware of the weather (especially the temperature) and make sure you are prepared for it to sleep comfortably. As we experienced, it can get pretty windy and cold being so far north and so near the lake. Sleeping hats were definitely needed on this trip.

We selected site 59 for it’s proximity to the trail-heads, although none of the sites are too far away from anything in the campground. Also consider distance to the flush or vault toilets, depending on your preference and how close you like to be near a toilet. Those walks to the bathroom in the middle of the night seem even longer when it’s cold outside.

This site is spacious enough for 2 cars and at least 2 tents. It’s relatively secluded by trees on three sides. As you can see on the map above, the site is slightly farther away from other sites than most. I tend to look for this on campground maps whenever I book a new park as I like a little more distance from my neighbors (nothing personal). I haven’t been let down by this method of booking yet.

Another thing to know about this campground is that none of the sites are on or near the water, despite being on an island. This makes sense after visiting as I now know there is a large bog between the campground and the lake. I think I knew this when I booked as I always look at the tiny campsite photo but I want you to know it too.

The best part of this site was a very lovely lady who stopped by each afternoon to eat near the campsite. She became a very “deer friend” of ours. (Insert eye roll here). There must have been something special about that grass as she kept coming back for the same patch of it. She looked at us a few times when we were moving around and being generally annoying about taking pictures of her, but she was otherwise unconcerned about our presence. Just living her best deer life.

Nom nom nom!

Overall this campground very nice, quiet (when we were there anyway), and well kept. The bathrooms were clean and the site we were at felt secluded enough for my taste. If I find myself wanting to camp on the island again, I would absolutely return to the park.

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