Excited for your Buckhorn State Park trip? We’re excited to help you make the most of it with our Buckhorn State Park Camping Guide!
Here you’ll find everything you need to know about the park at a glance as you plan an exciting adventure camping in Buckhorn State Park!
What to Expect at Buckhorn State Park
You can experience the beauty of Buckhorn State Park within the Castle Rock Flowage – an inland part of the Wisconsin River. The park boasts a unique variety of environments—including floodplain forests, savannas, and prairies—and lying adjacent to two state wildlife areas.
Buckhorn State Park is fantastic retreat for campers who are fans of maritime activities, hunting, hiking, fishing, exploring, wildlife-watching, and more!
The Complete Guide to Buckhorn State Park Camping
Open 6am-11pm year-round, Buckhorn State Park provides a great variety of camping options, including family campsites, a group campground, 50 cart-in and backpacking campsites, and a cabin built for handicap accessibility.
Best Camping Spots
There are numerous camping options available at Buckhorn State Park, ensuring all you or your group’s camping needs will be met!
Located off 19th Avenue and north of Launch A inside the park, with access through the main entrance, the family campground hosts 69 separate sites. 17 are standard electric, and 3 are accessible electric. All sites can accommodate tents or trailers, some being drive-in, others pull-through, and each one has its own picnic table and campfire ring.
The campground also offers a shower/toilet building and a half-mile path of crushed rock that connects from the campground to the day-use area for walkers and bikers.
For campers with disabilities, Campsite 8 is available year-round, providing an electric hookup, charcoal grill, fire ring, and asphalt path with access to the parking lot, restroom, and campsite.
Note: Additional family sites A1-A8 are located in the group camp area.
For backpackers, year-round camping is available at the secluded backpack sites 9, 16 and 26-29. There is a shared gear cart provided for sites 10-12, 25 and 199, 23-24, 30-33 and 39-42. Gear can also be brought to sites by boat or canoe, as these sites are near the water.
Each site contains a picnic table, fire ring, and bench, and each cluster of backpack sites has a designated portable toilet. Sites 26-29 have a pit toilet available.
For handicapped campers, Buckhorn State Park provides an accessible cabin near the fishing pier. This cabin can be rented for a maximum of 4 nights per year and accommodates up to 6 people at a time. (Note: If reserving this cabin, you will need to send your reservation form to the Buckhorn State Park Office).
For group camping, you’ll find sites B1, B2, and B3, which accommodate up to 40 people each. Features include a designated cart for each site as well as water and vault toilets, a volleyball court, and a horseshoe pit (volleyballs and horseshoes can be checked out a the park office for free).
RVs and pop-ups are welcomed but must park on the gravel area in the parking lot. (Note: There is no electricity available at group tent camping sites.)
If you’re looking to book in at the family, group, or backpacking sites, visit the Wisconsin State Park System website to secure your camping spot today. For the handicap-accessible cabin, please send your reservation to the park office by visiting the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources website and following the instructions.
Things to Do at the Park
On-site, Buckhorn State Park offers an abundance of recreational activities.
Several hiking trails of varying challenge weave through the park, including one with an observation tower. Each one boasts a unique view of the park’s variegated environments. For those more interested in relaxing on the water, there are options to canoe, kayak, boat, swim, and fish at the popular Castle Rock Flowage.
Available for day use exclusively to campers in sites 10-12, 25, and 199 is the rustic shelter, located near the parking area and set with a picnic table and screened windows. This is a great place for campers at these sites to cook out, relax in the shade, and avoid insects and inclement weather.
In addition, you can visit the 1600-acre Buckhorn Wildlife Area and the 2,200-acre Yellow River Wildlife Area adjacent to the park for even more hiking, nature-viewing, and wildlife-watching recreational opportunities!
Buckhorn State Park is home to a variety of wildlife, including whitetail deer, coyotes, turkeys, and the rare black bear in the uplands, and geese, herons, cranes, beavers, otters, and mink in the marshes and sloughs. Snakes, mice, insects, hawks, and owls frequent the prairies, and there are plenty of fish to be found in the Castle Rock Flowage.
If you’re interested in nature-watching, rest assured—you’re more likely to encounter some of the resident wildlife than not! The Buckhorn Wildlife Area is maintained to encourage an abundance of natural wildlife, and these creatures are frequent visitors to the park.
Vegetation / Geography
Home to scenic vistas and two State Natural Areas, Buckhorn State Park is a fantastic place to experience some of the best environments and geological beauty the state has to offer!
You can visit a desert-like sandblow, the oxbows and floodplains, and prairies, each sporting its own unique vegetation and views.
Make Sure to Bring
As you prepare for your Buckhorn State Park camping experience, make sure you come prepared! Inspect all camping equipment to assure it’s in good repair, particularly if you plan to camp in a tent. You’ll also want to bring appropriate footwear, attire, and accouterments for hiking a variety of environments, including insect repellant for the swampier areas.
If you’re camping during a hunting excursion, or if you plan to go fishing, be sure to bring the proper gear. You can also rent tackle free of charge at the park.
Also, due to the abundance of wildlife, be sure you pack appropriate containers for your food and other perishables to deter any unwanted visitors!
When planning your Buckhorn State Park Camping adventure, you’ll want to keep these standard park fees in mind:
- Vehicle admission sticker is required.
- Camping in the Wisconsin State Park System.
- Hunting and fishing licenses apply.
With an average rating of 4 out of 5 stars, this park is generally well-reviewed for its unique beauty and large size, with plenty for hikers, campers, and others to enjoy.
Some have noted a decline in the park’s upkeep as it’s gained notoriety over the years, with bathrooms and showers in the campground and the beaches not being as well-maintained. Campers have also noted an abundance of mosquitos around the Castle Rock Flowage area.
Despite these issues, Buckhorn State Park continues to grow in popularity among campers every year.
Enjoy Camping in Buckhorn State Park!
We hope our Buckhorn State Park camping guide has helped you plan ahead for your dream getaway to this sprawling, beautiful park!
Let us know in the comments what aspect of camping in Buckhorn State Park you’re most excited about!