The Best Places to Photograph in Wisconsin

Interstate State Park by Urdangaray / Public Domain

Wisconsin is a great place for landscape photographers. Not only is it full of natural beauty, but most of the best locations in Wisconsin are still relatively unknown to most people around the United States, so you have the opportunity to get some very unique photos. This page will showcase some of the best locations in the state. The interactive map below shows the location of each spot mentioned on this page.

This page will continue to be a work in progress, so please feel free to leave a comment with your own suggestions of great places to photograph.

Find great places to photograph in any state! We have similar guides for each state to help you find all of the best places to photograph. See the index page to find the guides for each state.

Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore consists of 21 islands, as well as some mainland area in northern Wisconsin on Lake Superior. This beautiful area features picturesque coastline, sea caves, cliffs, and old-growth forests. You can reach the islands by a tour boat or by kayaking or boating on your own. Only one of the Apostle Islands, Madeline Island, is accessible by a car ferry. Madeline Island is the only one of the islands that is technically not a part of the national lakeshore. Plenty of campgrounds are available throughout the islands.

The Best Places to Photograph in Wisconsin

Apostle Islands National Lakeshore by Royalbroil / CC BY-SA 3.0

Cave Point

Cave Point County Park in beautiful Door County is in eastern Wisconsin on the shore of Lake Michigan. This park features stunning cliffs, crashing waves, and underground caves beneath your feet.

The Best Places to Photograph in Wisconsin

Cave Point by James Jordan / CC BY-ND 2.0

Peninsula State Park

Peninsula State Park is only about 15-20 miles northwest of Cave Point. This popular park features 8 miles of Green Bay shoreline, a sand beach, 150-foot bluffs, as well as a lighthouse. Eagle Tower on Eagle Bluff provides a great view of the area.

The Best Places to Photograph in Wisconsin

Peninsula State Park by James Jordan / CC BY-ND 2.0

Rock Island State Park

Rock Island is located in northern Wisconsin off the tip of the Door Peninsula. This Lake Michigan island is home to Rock Island State Park. You’ll need to take a ferry to reach Rock Island unless you are arriving in the winter when you can use a snowmobile. Although the park is not the easiest to reach, it does offer beautiful scenery on Lake Michigan.

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The Best Places to Photograph in Wisconsin

Rock Island State Park by Josh Mayer / CC BY-SA 2.0

Big Manitou Falls and Little Manitou Falls

Big Manitou Falls and Little Manitou Falls are within Pattison State Park in northwestern Wisconsin. Big Manitou Falls is the highest waterfall in Wisconsin (165 feet). Little Manitou Falls is 30 feet.

The Best Places to Photograph in Wisconsin

Big Manitou Falls by Doug Kerr / CC BY-SA 2.0

The Best Places to Photograph in Wisconsin

Little Manitou Falls by Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources / CC BY-ND 2.0

Interstate Park

Interstate Park is in western Wisconsin along the St. Croix River. On the other side of the river is Interstate Park, managed by Minnesota. The park features a deep gorge, glacial potholes, and other rock formations. This area is part of the Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway and is full of potential for photos. Since it is only about a one hour drive from Minneapolis and St. Paul, this park is very popular.

The Best Places to Photograph in Wisconsin

Interstate State Park by Urdangaray / Public Domain

Parfrey’s Glen

Parfrey’s Glen is about 40 miles northwest of Madison and is within Devil’s Lake State Park. This mossy sandstone gorge is a beautiful area and perfect for photographing. Visiting the glen requires a hike of about 1.5 miles round trip.

The Best Places to Photograph in Wisconsin

Parfrey’s Glen by Mark Sadowski / CC BY-SA 2.0

Wyalusing State Park

Wyalusing State Park is in southwestern Wisconsin where the Mississippi and Wisconsin Rivers meet. The park’s hardwood forest is a National Natural Landmark and perfect for photographers.

The Best Places to Photograph in Wisconsin

Wyalusing State Park by Yinan Chen / Public Domain

Pleasant Valley Conservancy

Pleasant Valley Conservancy State Natural Area is about 25 miles west of Madison. Here you will find woodlands, meadows, dry and wet prairies, and marsh. This is a great place to photograph nature, especially a variety of plants.

The Best Places to Photograph in Wisconsin

Pleasant Valley Conservancy by Joshua Mayer / CC BY-SA 2.0

Willow River State Park

Willow River State Park is in western Wisconsin, only about an hour’s drive from Minneapolis or 30 minutes from St. Paul. Due to its location, easy access, and beautiful scenery it is one of the more popular state parks in Wisconsin. Willow Falls is a cascade within a picturesque¬†gorge. Several trails run throughout the park, including a 1-mile trail to the falls.

The Best Places to Photograph in Wisconsin

Willow River State Park by Andrew E. Larsen / CC BY-ND 2.0

Natural Bridge State Park

Natural Bridge State Park is in southern Wisconsin and is home to the state’s largest natural bridge. The park is mostly undeveloped with the only facilities being picnic tables and restrooms. A short trail leads from the parking area to the natural bridge.

The Best Places to Photograph in Wisconsin

Natural Bridge State Park by Good Free Photos / CC0

Witches Gulch

Witches Gulch is located in Wisconsin Dells, about 60 miles north of Madison. You can get to Witches Gulch by car or by taking a boat tour. It is a narrow slot canyon that is quite beautiful and unique.

The Best Places to Photograph in Wisconsin

Witches Gulch by Jordan Richmond / CC BY 2.0

Amnicon Falls State Park

Amnicon Falls State Park is in northwestern Wisconsin. It features a series of waterfalls on the Amnicon River and a historic covered bridge, as well as forest and wildlife.

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The Best Places to Photograph in Wisconsin

Amnicon Falls State Park by Good Free Photos / CC0

Dells Mill

Dells Mill is about 20 miles southeast of Eau Claire. It is on the National Register of Historic Places, now serves as a museum, and is a great subject for photos.

The Best Places to Photograph in Wisconsin

The Dells Mill by Jim Bauer / CC BY-ND 2.0

Dave’s Falls Park

Dave’s Falls Park is in northeastern Wisconsin, not far from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Some small falls along the Pike River surrounded by rocks make this an interesting and scenic place. It is conveniently located close to US Route 141 with just a short walk to the falls.

The Best Places to Photograph in Wisconsin

Dave’s Falls by Ryan Wick / CC BY 2.0

Whitefish Dunes State Park

Whitefish Dunes State Park is in Door County, adjacent to Cave Point. This is one of the best places along the western shore of Lake Michigan for sand dunes and beaches. Trails are also available to explore and photograph the woods.

The Best Places to Photograph in Wisconsin

Whitefish Dunes State Park by Joshua Mayer / CC BY-SA 2.0

Pewits Nest State Natural Area

Pewits Nest State Natural Area is about 40 miles northwest of Madison. The main feature is a 40-foot deep gorge on Skillet Creek, with some small cascades.

The Best Places to Photograph in Wisconsin

Pewits Nest State Natural Area by Good Free Photos / CC0

Copper Falls State Park

Copper Falls State Park is in northern Wisconsin. The park features a gorge around the Bad River, with several waterfalls. There are several miles of trails that allow you to explore this scenic park.

The Best Places to Photograph in Wisconsin

Copper Falls State Park by Royalbroil / CC BY-SA 3.0

Want to learn more about neighboring states? Please see:

Photo license links: CC BY-SA 3.0, CC BY-ND 2.0, CC BY-SA 2.0,

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