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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Want to learn more about neighboring states? Please see:
- The Best Places to Photograph in Minnesota
- The Best Places to Photograph in Iowa
- The Best Places to Photograph in Illinois
- The Best Places to Photograph in Michigan