What to do in Hartman Creek State Park

Hartman Creek State Park is located in the famed Waupaca Chain O' Lakes region where it officially became a state park in 1966. Once the site of a fish hatchery, today the park encompasses 1,500 acres of land and three of the five Upper Waupaca Chain O' Lakes. In total the natural areas feature eight spring-fed lakes surrounded by a blend of southern and northern habitat that include a wide range of woodland and understory growth. Southern oak and prairie tracts meet northern pine and hardwood tracts. As a result a kaleidoscope of plant life exists. The park is located on part of the terminal moraine of the Wisconsin glacier providing sights of potholes and gullies, and rocks and boulders. A waterfall created by a dam at the start of Hartman Creek is located on the east end of Allen Lake. Hartman, Grebe and Middle lakes are other spring-fed lakes as the result of manmade dams. The park adjoins Marl, Pope, Manomin, and Knight lakes, natural lakes that are at the head of Waupaca's famed Chain O' Lakes.

The park's wildlife is as varied as the landscape. Located adjacent to the Emmons Creek Wildlife Area, Hartman Creek State Park is a refuge for a variety of birds and mammals including white-tailed deer, raccoons, opossums, wild turkeys, ruffed grouse, sandhill cranes, raptors, various waterfowl and countless songbirds.

Through the dedicated efforts of park staff and many volunteers, Hartman State Park is what it is today - a haven for four-season outdoor recreation. The tidy park is rich in natural scenery as a result of glacial debris. Interesting and diverse habitats provide protection for a wide spectrum of watchable wildlife. Commonly seen are white-tailed deer and a host of songbirds. The observant visitor may see raccoon, opossum, sandhill crane, red-tailed hawk, or perhaps a ruffed grouse. Ask for a bird list at the park office. Wildflowers not only grow in profusion amid the blend of natural northern and southern habitats but also at the well-groomed butterfly garden. Such butterfly attractors as wild bergamot, cornflower, columbine, and lupine have been planted. Learn more from the park naturalist who offers summer programs at the amphitheater.

Hartman Creek State Park has a 101-site family campground, and five group camping sites. The campsites are located in either a red pine forest or an old apple orchard / hardwood mix of trees. The campground has spacious sites and has two shower and flush toilet buildings. Ten sites are open all winter on a first-come, first-served basis. Camping reservations are available online or by calling a toll-free reservation number. Contact information is listed below.

Hartman Creek State Park has four day use areas featuring numerous individual picnic tables, grills, covered shelters, pet area with tables and grills, amphitheater, unguarded swimming beach, children's playground, multi-use trails, and two fishing piers where anglers can snag bass, pike, perch, and bluegill.

Hikers have a variety of trails from which to choose. Deer Path Trail, a 1-mile loop trail around Allen Lake offers a wonderful view of wildlife and the springs that supply all of the water to this lake. Allen Lake Picnic Area is also a trailhead for a 3-mile off-road mountain bike trail and 4.5-mile hiking trail. The Coach Road Trail and the Windfeldt Trail across the road from the Family Campground offer 3 miles of hiking or mountain biking. Hartman Creek State Park also includes 3 miles of hiking on the 15-mile Ice Age Trail segment, crossing through Waupaca and Portage counties. The Dike Trail is 1 mile long and crosses a narrow strip of land between Mid and Hartman lakes. The park's bridle trails are only a few years old and offer nearly 7 miles of scenic trail through forest, prairie and along Allen Creek. Mountain bikers and equestrians over age 16 must have a daily or annual trail pass to use trails within the park. Accessible from the beach parking lot is the 1-mile Pope Lake Hiking Trail leading into the 80-acre Pope Lake State Natural Area where visitors may explore wetlands, several dry upland areas and a northern wet forest. Common bird species found near Pope Lake include green-backed heron, great blue heron, sora, great crested flycatcher, eastern wood peewee, black-capped chickadee, and goldfinch. In the winter, Hartman Creek State Park offers 10.5 miles of pathway for cross-country skiing. Other trails are available for snowshoeing.

Paddling sports are enjoyed on the spring-fed lakes of Allen, Hartman, Grebe, and Middle. A launching facility for canoes or kayaks is at Knight's Landing on Manomin Lake providing an enjoyable paddle through the east end of Hartman Creek State Park and the Pope Lake Natural Area to Marl Lake. From the floating dock at Marl Lake, a stone staircase leads to the Whispering Pines Picnic area where paddlers can break for lunch. The picnic area has tables, grills, bathrooms, drinking water, and a vehicle access and parking lot off of Whispering Pines Road.

Gas powered boats are permitted on Marl, Pope, Manomin, and Knight lakes, natural lakes that adjoin the park. Watercraft are limited to "slow-no-wake" speed.

Swimming is enjoyed at Hartman Lake where visitors find a 400-foot sand beach and large marked-off swimming area. The beach is adjacent to 3 acres of multi-use lawn area containing picnic tables, drinking water, and a combination changing and toilet building.

The park is open all year with day use facilities accessible 6 AM to 11 PM. Canoe and bike rentals are available. Traveling through the park are two featured Wisconsin Rustic Roads, R-23 and R-24, enabling visitors to enjoy the picturesque scenery from the comfort of their vehicle.

Recreation
Hartman Creek State Park offers both day use and overnight accommodations. Visitors come here to fish, hike, swim, sunbathe, bike ride, paddle, picnic, horseback ride, experience nature, cross-country ski, snowshoe, and snowmobile.

Location
Hartman Creek is about 1 hour and 15 minutes from Green Bay and about two hours north of Madison. It is west of Waupaca on Hartman Creek Road off of Highway 54.

Climate
Southeast Wisconsin has four distinct seasons with warm summers and long winters. January's average temperature is above 16 degrees F (-9 degrees C). Average July temperature is 85 degrees F (29 degrees C). During summer, temperatures can climb to above 90 degrees F (32 degrees C). The area's average yearly precipitation ranges from 32-34". Annual snowfalls in the Southeast Region can range from 20 - 50". Dressing in layers is a good way to remain comfortable in Wisconsin.

Address
N2480 Hartman Creek Road
Waupaca, WI 54981-9727

Phone: 715-258-2372

  • Hartman Creek State Park Travel Q&A

advertisement

advertisement