Every year, we meet up with some Wisconsin friends at Buckhorn State Park, which 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, making it the perfect place to camp in the summer.
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. All of the sites have a massive and aggressive resident mosquito population.
Castle Rock 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.
- Vehicle admission sticker: http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/parks/admission.html
- Camping fees: http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/parks/camping/campfees.html
- Fishing license: https://jc.activeoutdoorsolutions.com/wi_public/goHome.do
- Bug spray, bug spray and more bug spray
- Motorized and non-motorized watercraft
- JELLO shots to share at the sandbar