Rules For Alcohol In Wisconsin State Parks Explained

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When I learned that the question, “Is alcohol allowed in Wisconsin state parks?” was searched often, it really shocked me, as I just assumed this was true in all states, because I live in Wisconsin. Wisconsin is known to be populated with people who drink a lot compared to other states and that is reflected in state park rules.

Alcohol is allowed in all 43 state parks. People must be of legal drinking age. Guests need to be respectful of others and not be disruptive or too loud. There are only 2 Wisconsin state parks that do not allow alcohol to be carried into the state park.

The state parks in Wisconsin that do not allow alcohol are Heritage Hill State Park and Lakeshore State Park. These 2 places are not for staying overnight either. One part of Kettle Moraine State Forest at the McMiller Sports Center, which is the southern unit, when the range is open to shooters does not allow alcohol. All of the observation towers do not allow alcohol either at any state park.

4 people by the fire with a beer
Enjoy your beer when you camp in Wisconsin state parks.

Rules for Alcohol in Wisconsin State Parks

For the parks that allow alcohol, their rules are as follows.

  • There is no drinking on observation towers.
  • You may enjoy them at your campsite or while at a picnic.
  • You must be respectful of others around you with noise and not being obnoxious.
  • Those drinking must be of legal age.

If you don’t follow any of these or those from state law or Department of Natural Resources rules you will be removed from the park and lose fees you may have already paid.

Heritage Hill

Heritage Hill is located in Green Bay, WI, and is an outdoor museum. It’s actually run by a non-profit organization.

Even though the WI DNR site says there is no alcohol allowed at Heritage Hill, there is a way to get around this rule. The following events are welcome to provide alcohol but only if the sales are through the park itself, due to their licensing.

  • Wedding Receptions
  • Corporate and Private Events
cabin near corn or wheat crop
A location at Heritage Hill.

Lakeshore State Park

Lakeshore is located in Milwaukee, WI that has a small beach and paved trails to other parks along the lake. This is another park you only visit for the day unless you have a boat. If you are a registered transient boater you can stay for 4 days on their docks.

You may only have alcohol if you have a permit. There are restaurants near the state park that you can enjoy an adult beverage though. These dining places listed below are all within 1 mile of the main park location.

Kettle Moraine State Forest

If you are not at the McMiller Sports Center when the range is open to shooters, you may drink alcohol at this state park that’s located in Eagle Wisconsin. So if you are going here to just camp you can have a beer or whatever adult beverage you want at your campsite. There are family campgrounds along with horseriders camps at this park to stay at overnight.

Useful Resource Links

So, now you know that alcohol is allowed in Wisconsin state parks. However, if needed I have provided a few links that I found along the way to write this article. Most of these links are from the DNR.

Is Alcohol Allowed in State Parks Near Wisconsin?

Sign saying no alcohol allowed and no camping within one fourth mile of the river.
States near WI do not have the same rules when it comes to alcohol.

If you live in Wisconsin and would like to go camping in nearby states it would be wise to take note if you can bring your alcohol to their state parks. If you go to a state park in Illinois or Minnesota you are not allowed to bring in alcohol. Alcohol rules at state parks in Michigan are a little more complicated.

For Michigan it will depend on the time of the year you want to drink and what park you are looking to visit. Check out the Michigan linke above to see the alcohol restriction there.