North Woods Wisconsin

Trip Planning

North Woods Escapes

The North Woods of Wisconsin offer a beautiful escape for travelers all over the country, including Chicagoans who need a break from the city. Jeff Crider shares where to go and where to stay in the North Woods.

Wisconsin’s North Woods has been one of America’s favorite hideouts for over a century. Some of Chicago’s most notorious mob figures used to escape to its dense forests in the 1920s, 30s and 40s while running from the law. Today, the North Woods is a favorite vacation destination for RV enthusiasts not only from Wisconsin, but from throughout the Upper Midwest. Here, after all, is a place where one can enjoy some of the boating, fishing, kayaking and canoeing opportunities in the country along with scores of scenic trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding as well as plenty of backroads for ATV enthusiasts. There’s even opportunities for whitewater rafting and float trips, led by companies such as Kosirs Rafting and Wildman Adventure Resort, the latter of which also offers classes in stand-up paddle boarding.

The good news for RV enthusiasts is that there are campgrounds all over the North Woods that offer easy access to the full range of North Woods activities, including hunting in the fall. Here’s a sampling of campgrounds that can serve as destinations in themselves as well as base camps for your North Woods adventures:

Arbor Vitae Campground in Woodruff: Activities at this 40-acre campground include fishing and boating on Big Arbor Vitae Lake. Kids can also play in Link Creek and raft from one bridge to the next. The campground is also close to ATV trails.

Bach's Wildwood Campground in Eagle River: This campground offers river tubing as well as canoe and kayaking trips on the Wisconsin River and the Eagle River Chain of Lakes. Kayaking and stand-up paddleboard lessons and equipment are also available.

Chain O' Lakes Camping Resort in Eagle River: This campground has a marina with 48 boat slips, boat rentals as well as a bait and tackle shop.

Hiles-Pine Lake Campground in Hiles: This campground has 88 campsites, including 40 seasonal campsites, and 454 feet of shoreline on Pine Lake, a 1,673 acre lake. The lake offers Panfish, Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Northern Pike and Walleye. 

Holly Wood Hill Camping and RV in Crandon: One of Wisconsin’s newer campgrounds, which opened in 2019, this family owned park is located next to the Crandon International Off-Road Raceway. This campground features live musical entertainment. Onsite amenities include an RC track, a camp store, the Crandon Saloon and two food trucks.

Lynn Anne's Campground in St. Germain: Activities including boating, fishing, swimming, pedal karts as well as bike trails and nature trails. Watercraft are available for rent, including kayaks and canoes and pontoon boats.

Maple Heights Campground in Lakewood: This campground borders the Nicolet National Forest and the picturesque McCaslin Brook trout stream meanders around the campground. Campsites are shaded by maple, beech and hemlock trees. The park is within 10 miles of at least 60 lakes, which offer a variety of fishing opportunities, from lunker bass to walleye to panfish. This campground can also be used as a base camp for whitewater rafting trips on the Wolf and Peshtigo Rivers.

McCaslin Mountain Campground in Silver Cliff: This campground is close to the newly established Governor Thompson State Park and the Peshtigo River State Forest surrounding Caldron Falls and High Falls Flowage. More than 60 lakes are located nearby. Popular activities include fishing, boating, canoeing, kayaking, whitewater rafting, horseback riding and hunting.

Peshtigo River Campground in Crivitz: Located along the scenic Peshtigo River, this campground offers tubing and canoe rentals for relaxing floats down the river. This includes a free shuttle service to the launch site.

Spur of the Moment Ranch in Mountain: This unique campground not only offers RV sites, but facilities with RVers with horses, including an outdoor style barn with 19 box stalls and 15 paddock areas interspersed around the ranch. This ranch-style campground also offers opportunities for its guests to learn how to groom, saddle and ride horses. Additionally, young children can learn how to groom, saddle and ride Blackjack, the ranch’s miniature donkey. Horse-drawn carriage rides are also available. The 12-acre ranch has direct access to the Nicolet Trail, an abandoned railroad bed that runs for 30 miles north and south and has been revitalized into a multi-use recreational trail.

Terrace View Campsites in Tomahawk: This campground is located along the shores of spring-fed Muskellunge Lake. Most of the park’s campsites have a view of the 163-acre lake, which has crappie, bluegill, largemouth bass, northern and muskie. There are also trout streams nearby.

Three Lakes Campground in Three Lakes: Located on the largest freshwater chain of lakes in the world, this 49-acre campground offers a relaxing camping experience with access to excellent fishing opportunities. Campsites are nestled among large maples, oaks and pine trees. Park amenities include seasonal boat slips and a boat launch as well as a swimming beach and playground for the kids. Guests can also drive their golf cart from the front door of their camper to the first tee box at Big Stone Golf Course across the street. The park also has a community room and access to two nearby restaurants, the Sunset Grill and Jakes Bar & Grill, all within walking distance from your campsite.

Weaver's Resort & Campground in Pelican Lake: This campground borders Pelican Lake, which offers swimming, boating and fishing opportunities. Park amenities include a swimming beach, a boat launch and dock, rowboat and canoe rentals, and a fish cleaning house.This campground can also serve as a base camp for other North Woods attractions. The park is within a 30 minute or less drive from Elcho, Mole Lake, Rhinelander, Antigo, Three Lakes, Eagle River and other towns, where guests can enjoy dining, shopping, golfing, casinos, go-carting, horseback riding, rafting, hiking and biking trails and ATV trails.

Jeff Crider


Jeff Crider, President and CEO of Crider Public Relations, has been involved in covering the campground industry for over 25 years. Jeff has worked as a freelance writer for publications such as RV Business, Motor Home Magazine, Trailer Life, Highways and other Affinity Group Inc. publications since 1995. He has also successfully pitched many of the nation's top tier media outlets, including CNN, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, The Financial Times, Reuters, The Associated Press and National Public Radio. In addition to writing, Jeff is also a talented photographer and humanitarian.