Best Free Camping in Wisconsin

Free Camping in Wisconsin

By Nathan Swartz

While free camping is not as abundant in America's Dairyland as in neighboring northern states, options still do exist. Most of the best free RV camping will be had in the northern slice of the state, within about a hundred miles or so from the shores of Lake Superior.

If you're just hightailing it through Wisconsin, many rest areas and Walmart parking lots allow for overnight camping along I-90 and I-94 as well.

Free Camping on Public Lands in Wisconsin

Starting on the state's western border, along the shores of the Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway, a free campground by the name of County Road O Landing offers primitive camping with easy access to put in a canoe or kayak right from the campground. Otherwise, these are barebones, free campsites with a vault toilet available. While the national scenic riverway is technically a national park, it is smaller and has fewer amenities than what you'll find in most.

Toward the center of the state, a grassy patch of a county park by the name of Pioneer Park & Campground offers a simple, open option for those looking to find free accommodations. A few picnic tables and fire rings are scattered throughout what is otherwise a small dispersed camping area.

Though national forest and state forest lands are abundant in Wisconsin, this is one state where free camping suitable for RVs is next to impossible to find in those settings.

Free Casino Camping in Wisconsin

As your travels lead you into the northeastern corner of the state, surprisingly spacious and grassy free camping is available at Potawatomi Carter Casino Hotel, near Carter, WI. The spots even come with free electric hookups. For $5, you can also take advantage of the casino's pool, sauna, shower, and even a gym. Unlike most free overnight RV parking at casinos, this is more of an actual campground with real campsites, as opposed to simply an open parking space.

Further south, near Madison, Ho-Chunk Gaming is another casino that offers the more standard fare - an open spot in an overflow lot as opposed to anything resembling a campground.

With casinos in general, it's usually a good idea to check in with security to let them know you'll be staying the night. In turn, they'll typically keep an eye on you as well.

More Free Camping in Wisconsin

All along the highways, particularly Interstates 90 and 94, rest stops in the state allow overnight camping. They're intended for a single overnight stay, not for setting up the cornhole and camp chairs, but given their immediate proximity to the highway you're likely traveling on anyway; they get the job done.

Additionally, businesses like Walmart in Sparta, Wisconsin extend a similar courtesy, allowing one or two-night stays in their parking lot while you explore the local area. Between all of these varying types of free camping areas, free dump stations are relatively abundant as well.

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Recent Wisconsin Free Campsite Reviews

Oct 22, 2023

"Nice little town. Limited number of sites with table and fire pit"

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Arrived on a Thursday afternoon and was told I arrived on a busy weekend. Christmas tree festival. Park filled up fast with kind courteous people. Excellent location to town. 4 blocks.

3 reviews
Oct 17, 2023

"Sunset And Smiles"

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We arrived just as it was starting to get dark. We only needed a place to park for the night, no service. Lovely little gem! Being this late in the season, the restroom was closed and was told by another camper that she boiled the water before drinking. It was quiet all night and you felt very safe in this sweet little town. Leave a...
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8 reviews
Ashwaubenon, WI


Oct 07, 2023

"Good stay"

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Not really 'quiet' due to the densely populated area. The staff was very friendly and pleasant. We asked about decoupling the TT to go for dinner and supplies. They advised we must return to our rig for the night to stay which, of course, is a reasonable request. We went through the store and found a couple bargains! :-) Its always interesting...
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12 reviews
Oct 03, 2023

"Nice town, great people "

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Rolled into town on a Thursday, as soon as I pulled into the park was informed I arrived at a good time. Apparently the annual Xmas tree festival was about to happen. Park filled up fast but was empty again by Sunday night. Easy access to sightseeing food and gas.

3 reviews
Sun Prairie, WI


Sep 19, 2023

"Nice overnight spot"

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Convenient overnight spot off of 94. Quieter than most places that are close to interstates.

14 reviews