Richard Bong State Recreation Area

outdoors, hiking at Richard Bong State Recreation Area
outdoors, hiking, trails at Richard Bong State Recreation Area
people hiking, outdoors, trail, water, Richard Bong State Recreation Area
family, water, swimming, Wolf Lake, Richard Bong State Recreation Area
family, fishing, water, Richard Bong State Recreation Area
kids biking at Richard Bong State Recreation Area

Located 9 miles west of I-94 on Hwy. 142 (One mile west of Hwy. 75). 4,515 acres. Almost 30 miles of trails for biking, cross-country skiing, and hiking. Also horseback trails and snowmobile parking. Home to the only ATV trail (about 9 miles) in SE Wisconsin consisting of three connected loops. Also year round naturalist activities, volleyball courts, horseshoe pits, hunting areas, nature center and a lake for boating, fishing and swimming. Camp sites (217) with some electrical, seasonal flush toilets & showers and a handicapped accessible cabin.

There is a vehicle admission fee (with daily or annual option). Some other fees apply; depending on activity.

The Visitor Center, near the main entrance, also serves as a nature center. Check out the live animals and hands-on exhibits! The nature center has displays and exhibits about the plant and animal life of the park. The cheerful solarium showcases seasonal exhibits including butterfly rearing and nature free play. All seasons have great hands-on things for people, especially kids, to do. You can also enjoy a great view of the bird feeders! Most of the nature programs, covering a wide range of topics, start at this building. There is no additional fee (other than vehicle admission fee) to visit the center. Check the listed website for hours.

Enjoy birding! The park is a mixture of several habitats, chiefly grassland with some remnant of restored prairie. It also contains numerous wetlands and a spattering of woodlands to complete the picture. Because of this variety, there is a wide array of bird life on the property.

Did you know the second largest Bald Cypress tree in the state, a champion tree, is found here?

Among the accessible opportunities at Richard Bong State Recreation Area is a fully accessible cabin. Others include an observation ramp, wheelchair sand rover at the beach, an accessible fishing pier, and accessible hunting opportunities and campsites.

Once designated to be a jet fighter base, Richard Bong State Recreation Area is fittingly named after Major Richard I. Bong, a Poplar, Wis. native who was America's leading air ace during World War II. The recreation area offers a wide variety of outdoor activities and has a "special use zone" where visitors may fly model airplanes, rockets, hang gliders and hot air balloons.

In August 2019, Richard Bong State Recreation Area opened its Nature Explore Classroom, the first of its kind in the State Park System. The Bong Naturalist Association has been raising funds and awareness of this project for several years and all the work has now come to fruition. There are eleven “classroom” areas dedicated to movement and music, open play, dirt and sand digging, building, gardening, messy materials, climbing and crawling, water exploration and nature art. This is a play area for people of all ages, abilities, and sensitivities. The goal is to connect children and their families with nature in a safe, fun environment that allows them to become comfortable enough to explore nature on their own.

WINTER ACTIVITIES: Cross-country skiing on all trails, sledding, and ice fishing. Trails are not groomed for cross-country skiing. Snowshoeing is allowed north of Highway BB and off-trail anywhere in the property. Skate skiers may use Wolf Lake. A snowmobile trail crosses part of the property.


Richard Bong State Recreation Area

The Richard Bong Recreation Area is named after a WWII fighter pilot. This area was once going to be a jet fighter air base with 4,500+ acres but construction was halted.

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