Wildcat Mountain State Park

Quick Facts

Wildcat Mountain State Park

Wisconsin

(608) 337-4775

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

On a steep ridge overlooking the scenic Kickapoo River Valley, Wildcat Mountain State Park offers hiking trails with spectacular views and camping for families, groups, and horseback riders. Canoe the Kickapoo River in your own canoe or rent one in Ontario.

Map of Wildcat Mountain (WI)

Latitude, Longitude: 43.697703, -90.559680

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Activities

  • Boating

    Bring your own canoe or rent one from one of the local canoe liveries. The liveries also offer shuttle service. The canoe landing in the lower picnic area is a popular starting and stopping point. Be aware of the changing river conditions during rainy weather.

  • Camping

    The campground at the top of Wildcat Mountain has 30 sites, all reservable. Each site has a picnic table and fire ring, and the campground has flush toilets, showers, and a dump station. No electrical hookups are available. There's a campground host during the summer.

    There are three reservable group sites about a half-mile east of the park office. The campground can accommodate up to 75 people and has vault toilets, picnic tables, fire rings, and a shelter house. Water must be obtained at the shower building.

    Horsetrail Campground: There are 24 sites for equestrians available northeast of the park office. All 24 sites can be reserved. The campground has picnic tables, fire rings, drinking water, vault toilets, a corral, hitching posts, parking pads, loading ramps, and a large parking lot.

  • Fishing

    Surveys in 1999 and 2000 of the Kickapoo River between Ontario and Gays Mills documented a total of 46 species, including an abundance of brown trout. Since then, this stretch of river has been classified as a Class II trout stream. Trout use this section of river for food and shelter, but likely spawn in tributary streams.

    Billings Creek a tributary of the Kickapoo River has a population of brown trout.

  • Hiking

    Old Settler's Trail This 2.5-mile trail takes about 1.5-2 hours to complete. It begins in the upper picnic area.

    Hemlock Nature Trail: This 1.3-mile loop trail has interpretive stops covering subject such as plants, animals, ecology, and history of the area. The trail begins at the lower picnic area bulletin board.

    Ice Cave Trail: This short, easy trail leads to a rock formation that looks like the mouth of a large cave as you approach it. A small spring runs over the edge of the rock formation and freezes into a giant icicle in winter.

  • Horseback Riding

    For those who enjoy getting away from it all, Wildcat Mountain has three color-coded loop horse trails totaling 15 miles:

    Red Loop: The Red Loop begins at the horse campground and winds its way through the park's hills and valleys.

    Blue and Yellow Loops The Blue and Yellow Loops connect to the Red Loop, taking riders farther from the park's main use areas.

    Rock Johnson Loop This short trail begins north of the horse camp and winds its way up onto a high ridge connecting with the Red Loop.

  • Water Sports

    Bring your own canoe or rent one from one of the local canoe liveries. The liveries also offer shuttle service. The canoe landing in the lower picnic area is a popular starting and stopping point. Be aware of the changing river conditions during rainy weather.

  • Winter Sports

    The park's 7-mile-long ski trail takes you to five scenic overlooks. The trail begins and ends at the upper picnic area. There's a rest stop midway where you can continue or take a short trail turnaround. Beginner and intermediate skiers can enjoy this trail with easy bypasses on steeper areas, as the trail follows along the ridge top.

Seasonality/Weather

Open year-round.

Directions

Driving

From the north, take State Highway 131 south from Interstate Highway 94 near Tomah about 20 miles to Ontario.

From the west, take State Highway 33 east from La Crosse about 39 miles to Ontario.

From Ontario, go east on State Highway 33 for 2 miles. The road to the canoe landing and Hemlock Trail will be on your right, and the road to the rest of the park will be just ahead on your left.

From the east, take State Highway 33 west from Reedsburg about 36 miles to the park. The entrance to the main part of the park will be on your right.

From the south, take State Highway 131 north from US Highway 14 at Readstown about 23 miles to County Highway F. Go right (east) on Highway F about 1.5 miles to State Highway 33. Turn left (west) on Highway 33 and go about .6 mile to the park entrance, which will be on your right.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(608) 337-4775

Campground reservations

(888) 947-2757

Links