What You Need To Know About Dogs And Wisconsin State Parks

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When you go traveling you take your whole family and that also includes your dogs as well, because they are family. You will be happy to learn that if you visit a state park in Wisconsin you will be able to bring your pet. The only expectation is 3 state parks do not allow pets.

You can bring dogs to Wisconsin state parks if you are able to keep control of your dog, keep them on a leash, pick up their waste, and keep them out of the restricted areas.

There are 3 parks that do not allow any pets. These three are Copper Culture State Park, Heritage Hill State Park, and Hoffman Hills State Recreation Area.

I have the state park rules below for what needs to be followed including some other great information such as swimming locations for your dog, dog parks, and restaurants you can both go to.

Wisconsin State Park Rules for Bringing Dogs

As long as you follow these four rules below you can you bring dogs to wisconsin state parks.

  1. Keep your dog on its leash. This leash must be under 8 feet.
  2. Your dog must be under control at all times and be of no disturbance to others.
  3. You must pick up its waste and get rid of it correctly in a trash can or dumpster.
  4. Keep them out of the restricted areas to pets.
black lab on leash next to a camper

What Happens If You Break The Rules

Ideally you shouldn’t have to ask what will happen if you break the rules, since rules are there to protect everyone. 🙂

  • You may be asked to leave.
  • You may be issued a citation.
  • Your dog may be taken away from you if they get loose and are subject to local laws regards to stray animals. You may also get a ticket.

If you do lose your dog call the park ranger. Then call the local police and find the nearest stray holding location.

The Following Areas Are Off-Limits to Dogs

Some of the areas lisited below may be okay in some parks in certain areas, such as beachs. If you have a service dog these areas not off limits.

A service animal is defined as “that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability.”

  • Buildings and shelters
  • Picnic areas
  • Beaches
  • Marked nature trails
  • Cross-country ski trails when ready to go for skiing
  • Observation towers
  • Spots that specifically say “pet-free areas”

Take Your Dog Swimming

These 11 Wisconsin state parks have a special place for your dog to be able to get into the water. Just make sure you have a leash on your dog when they are out of the water.

2 dogs wet and in water
Allow your dogs to enjoy water during those hot days.

8 WI State Park Picnic Areas For Dogs

For the parks below you can bring your pet in certain picnic areas with you.

Dog-Friendly Hiking Trails in WI State Parks

Every state park that a dog can go into also has trails for you and your dog. Please keep in mind though a few trails are off-limits to dogs. These trails will be marked with a sign. So take your dog on a hike or walk with you.

Find a WI state park trail here.

Dog Parks

Since you need to keep the leash on your dog while at the state park because of the rules, I wanted to provide a nearby dog park where your dog can be off its leash to run around. Not all state parks are near dog parks, but I have listed the ones that I have found from Bring Fido.

2 dogs playing with a ball
Get your dogs tired with a game of fetch.

Restaurants to Take Your Dog to when near a WI State Park

When you are out exploring with your dog you may want a meal made for you so I gathered these restaurants that allow dogs outside.

dog on a leash near a table with water.

Shopping Places

If you like to go shopping while you are out walking your dog there are a few cities with state parks that allow dogs in some shops.


These additional resources may be of help for you when you bring dog to wisconsin state parks during your vacation.

Also a special thanks to Facebook groups that gave me more ideas as to what others would like to see on here.

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