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Thursday, May 7, 2015

What's So Great about High Cliff State Park?

Well, besides the fact that WE are here.... heh heh.

While I was cleaning firepits and grills today (a camphost task) I decided to snap some pics of my favorite parts of the park!   Just so you can see what a great place this is....  

The park is almost 1,300 acres located on the NE shore of Lake Winnebago, Wisconsin. High Cliff State Park is named for the large section of lime stone cliff that is part of the Niagara Escarpment.  The park is open year round. We have:

  • 112 family campsites 32 of them with electric, the remainder rustic
  • 8 large group campsites, with central open field area
  • a handicapped cabin for rent
  • 4 picnic areas and 2 dog friendly picnic areas (one with swimming access)
  • beach house and large grass beachfront (no lifeguard)
  • a 40ft lookout tower
  • a big indoor pavillion with center fireplace, and numerous outdoor pavilions for rent
  • a butterfly pond with handicap access trails and bridges
  • a myriad of hiking, biking, horseback trails all over the park
  • In the winter there is cross country skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobile trails maintained in the park, as well as winter camping in the group sites. 
  • historical site of an old lime kiln manufacturing operation
  • General Store museum, and a nature center
  • A 100+ slip marina 
  There is a LOT to see and do here.... but most of all it's the scenery!

Along one of the hiking trails

Yup, it's all about the cliffs! 

The HIGH Cliffs! 

View from the beach out towards the breakwater

Yup, this is Lake Winnebago
140,000 acres -  30 miles long by 10 miles wide
a very shallow lake of only average 15 feet deep, deepest 21 feet

One of the shelters available for rent for parties or picnics
overlooking the lake

The Marina has over 100 slips to rent and small concession stand

The boat ramp for access to the lake (fee charge)

Pet friendly picnic area with water access for water-loving dogs! 

 An elderly gent (who now passed away) used to make these Martin Houses
for the park, and they are used every year

 The Butterfly Pond
 (if you look from the air, it's shaped like one) 
Created by the efforts of The Friends of High Cliff.
It has a lovely walking trail around the perimeter with handicapped access 

The General Store Museum
with displays of how the people lived here in the 1800's working at the Lime Kilns.
Now it also hosts the Nature Center for the Park Naturalist

The Lime Kilns
Historic Ruins of an industry long gone past. 

The Beach Changing House and picnic grounds
 (with Steve working inside to get it ready for the season)

There is a LOT of lawn to mow in this park!  
Today, we only have one part time temp worker Kelsey, to help Steve mow ALL the lawn!!!!

Here is the 40ft lookout tower and the big pavilion in the upper park picnic area

Yup.. It's big! 

See how nice and green the grass is?  
I think it is from everyone 
who just HAS to spit down from the top!!!!

Here is Steveio's office and maintenance shop. 
Pretty impressive for just one guy, eh?
Yup, Steveio is the only full time maintenance worker for the whole park. 
He does get some temp summer workers to help with cleaning, lawn mowing and repairs.
The entire park is run by 4 full time people, and a few part time temp help in the summer.
But, basically, Steve is in charge of all the equipment, repairs, and maintenance.  

Then there are THE CLIFFS! 

It's wonderful to walk among them on the criss cross of trails all over, 
along the top edges, 
the bottom flat areas, 
and up and down between. 

 This is the handicapped cabin that can be rented out
with proper application at the office

This is one of my favorite paths to walk, 
it's along the east side of the campground.
In the fall, it's a blaze with oranges, yellows and reds.

Parts of the park are on old farmsteads, 
and the stone walls remain from the fields

As I walk around the park, the volunteer and staff mantra is:
meaning any trash anyone sees, it MUST be picked up. 

Right now the trilliums are in bloom, 
and each white blossom looks like trash wrappers! 

Here is a map of the campground.... 

And a map of the entire park
(click to open in a new window to enlarge) 

After a long hard day of work, ranging from sign installation, cement finishing, inspections, gravel hauling, lawn mowing and handling a dozen phone calls....  Steveio didn't even have a chance for a lunch break.  Whew!  

While he is doing all of this, I am cleaning firepits, grills, assisting campers with information and picking up trash, dumping my ash buckets and of course, taking pictures! LOL

We tossed some burgers on the grill. some sweet corn in the microwave, and poured ourselves some liquid refreshment.

We love High Cliff State Park
Can't you tell? 


  1. Highcliff looks like a great place to visit.

  2. OMG, you never told us you are a marketing/PR/advertising lady! Aside from giving its name to our country's largest RV manufacturer, Winnebago can be compared with Lake Okeechobee in Florida, which we visited last winter. Both are big shallow freshwater lakes that invite camping and recreation around them. I'm not sure, but I think both contend for the Mosquito Capitol of the US?

    1. Yup..them skeeters are out in FULL FORCE! They are about mini-helicopter size this hatching... heh heh. We use a THERMOCELL to sit outside comfortably and they don't bother us at all....

  3. High Cliff Park is huge compared to ours. It looks beautiful. Steve and his crew are doing a fantastic job on the park along with all the volunteers and of course the Camp Hostess, hehehe. ;-)


    1. AWww shucks! It's fun to host, and we might be vacating out site tomorrow for the next hosts to take over. But we get the whole month of August again to be here. We also have reservations to just be "campers" here in Sept. and Oct. for a couple weekends too.

  4. I guess I'm not too old to learn new things. I always knew how large Lake Winnebago is, but never realized it's that shallow. It Really is a beautiful park! Thanks to people like you and its' "friends".

    1. Aw thanks.... yup, it's so shallow that when a storm comes up, it gets pretty dicey for the boaters to get OFF NOW! Same as the waters up in the Green Bay, very shallow.... this lake flows up the Fox River and into the Green Bay.

  5. That is beautiful! What a truly lovely place!

    1. We used to come here and camp when my kids were little. Never dreamt that we would become so involved in our senior years with this park!

  6. Leave it to Craig to remember the mosquitos from Wiscinsin. When we were there last year we didn't have any problems at all! In fact I bought a Thermocell thing two years ago and have not yet tried it. I enjoyed seeing Highcliff with you, and think your post is a keeper. You should print and laminate it and burry it to look back on someday.

  7. Thanks for the tour of that beautiful park.

  8. You have talked about that park for years. Glad you took the time to really show it to us.

  9. So glad that you are volunteering at the park! Volunteers see things that other campers don't see!

  10. What a beautiful park Karen! I'll bet it's gorgeous in the fall. I think that trail would be my favorite too. That is a big lake. Nice digs Steve has.

  11. It's a beautiful park. It seems like it is more than big enough for a couple of camphost spots. Would benefit the park, the campers, and help Stevio out too.

  12. I can see why you love that Park. It is beautiful, and your guided tour is great!


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