High Cliff State Park and Surrounding Area: A Simple Sparkles Review

A couple of people have mentioned to me that they’d like to hear more specifics about some of the places that we travel – more of a review – so that they can determine if it’s a place they might want to go. With that in mind, I’m going to start posting both recaps of trips (fun anecdotes, etc.) and also reviews of locations, restaurants, etc. as relevant.

I’ve already posted a recap of our holiday weekend at High Cliff State Park, but now want to share a bit more about the actual park and some of the places we went.

High Cliff State Park and Camping Facilities

First off, the actual state park and camping facilities. Overall, we’ve been really happy with our experience with Wisconsin State Parks. We’ve found them to be clean, well kept and have large/private camp sites. High Cliff State Park was no different.

Lake View at High Cliff State Park

The Sites

We were at Site #69 – chosen mostly because of availability when we booked at the last minute. Our site was large and private – with LOTS of shade and trees. (I don’t have a picture – but I promise I’ll get better at this!) Although I wish our site had had electricity – many of them at the park do, but remember, last minute booking! – overall I was really pleased. The picnic table and grill area were well maintained, and we were only a few sites away from the onsite volunteer managers, who were always around checking on things and keeping everything clean/picked-up.

We did have a chance (while walking Buddy!) to check out many of the other sites and I think if we had our choice, we would probably pick one of the southern/eastern sites on the outer ring. Those seemed to have the most privacy and best views. (All of the sites seemed to be very well shaded!)

The park

The park is relatively small compared to many Wisconsin state parks – we felt like we were able to experience most of it during the course of one weekend. But even given the size, there were some nice trails (our favorite was the Lime Kiln trail) and the beach did look beautiful (if not sandy)! There are definitely hills to contend with though – so something to keep in mind if you (or your puppies!) are not so athletic.

Trail at High Cliff State Park

the facilities

The bathroom facilities were very clean and well maintained. In the campground there were pit toilet/outhouse type facilities spread throughout the sites and then one modern restroom/shower facility. My only complaint about the modern facility was that there were only three shower stalls each for men/women – two of which were extremely small in each – so there were frequently lines to get into the showers. We solved this by using the showers during non-peak times, but something to keep in mind for scheduling!

I didn’t use the pit toilets/outhouse facilities so I can’t speak to them.

Surrounding Area

High Cliff State Park is near the small town of Sherwood but really the closest large town/city is Appleton, Wisconsin. We didn’t tow a car or rent a car, so we really didn’t do much in the are (it’s not easy to drive the RV around and then re-set up camp all the time!).

But, as I mentioned in the other recap, High Cliff Restaurant (associated with the High Cliff Country Club) was walkable from the campground as was The Chubby Seagull. High Cliff Restaurant is a nice mid-scale restaurant with pretty standard American options. My favorite thing here was definitely the cheese curds! G had the shrimp wrap and I had the fish sandwich, both of which were fine but not spectacular. But it was a nice option to have within walking distance. We didn’t go to the Chubby Seagull, but have heard good things about their ice cream! (And they do have limited non-dessert options.)

On Friday night, we did brave driving the RV into Appleton to get Stuc’s Pizza. (Side note: the roads in Appleton are AWFUL for driving the RV. Probably fine for a car, but we would not recommend driving through the city in an RV…) The pizza was really good! Very delicious sauce and lots of cheese! They also had good pasta marinara! (We wouldn’t recommend the spinach bread… although the 30 minute trip back to our campground before we ate it may have been a factor contributing to our dislike of it…)

From what I saw in Appleton though, if we’d had a car, we would have had a lot more options of places to eat and things to do! Also, the campground wasn’t that far from Oshkosh, WI, which has even more things to do and another Lake Winnebago beach!

Overall, I think High Cliff State Park would be a wonderful weekend trip, especially for a family. There were TONS of kids riding bikes around the campground, lots of family friendly activities and beautiful trails.

About Lindsey

Hello! I'm a 30 year old, newly married, lady living outside of one of the best cities in the USA! I work in communications, love to read, recently purchased an RV with my husband (yay for road trips!) and am looking forward to starting a family soon-ish. I love to smile and hope to make other people smile too!

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