What to do in Pattison State Park

Pattison State Park encompasses 1,374 acres and boasts one of the state's most outstanding natural sights, Big Manitou Falls. The Black River starts approximately 20 miles south of the park eventually spilling into Great Lake Superior. On its strong course it drops a thunderous 165-feet at the park and just a mile away it plunges 31-feet creating the Little Manitou Falls. An additional attraction at Pattison is Interfalls Lake, a 27-acre body of water supporting populations of northern pike, largemouth bass, trout, and pan fish.

This Northwest Wisconsin parcel became a park in 1920 after the original land donation by Martin Pattison. The next decade brought development by the Depression-era Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC), Company 3662. These young men built the nature center, changing house, a picnic shelter, and other park stone structures from 1935 to 1942.

One of the most popular attractions at Pattison State Park is the state's highest waterfall, 165-foot Big Manitou Falls. The falls is the fourth tallest east of the Rocky Mountains. A hiking trail leads to the falls offering several impressive lookouts.

The park features a historic nature center built by the CCC. The center is flush with geologic displays, nature mounts, Native American history, industrial mining information, and photos from the work accomplished by the CCC. As you will learn from the center, the park is a haven for plant and animal life. Ask for copies of the species lists that help you identify sights and sounds while visiting Pattison State Park. Interpretive programs are offered.

The park is available for camping all year. Camping reservations are available online or by calling a toll-free reservation number. Contact information is listed below.

Hiking is a popular recreation at the park. In addition to the path leading to Big Manitou Falls, this nature trail incorporates a lesson in local geology. Take the Beaver Slide Nature Trail for a scenic hike around Interfalls Lake. Those looking for a bit of a challenge typically adventure onto the 4.7-mile Logging Camp Trail to explore undeveloped parkland.

Anglers will find plenty of fishing opportunities nearby and at the park. Copper Creek and Black River support populations of native brook trout. The natives in Black River are located above Interfalls Lake and below the 165-foot falls. Brown trout live throughout Black River while king salmon migrate in the waterway. Yellow perch, rock bass, shiners and chubs are taken from Interfalls Lake. Call the park for fishing details and State of Wisconsin fishing rules and regulations.

Additional day use areas include a 100-yard swimming beach, several picnic areas, volley ball courts, children's play area, and a fitness course emphasizing pull-ups, leg presses, leg lifts and more.

Winter sport buffs find over four miles of groomed cross-country track.

Recreation
Recreations enjoyed at Pattison State Park include nature study, boating, canoeing, swimming, fishing, camping, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling.

Location
Pattison State Park is located in Northwest Wisconsin 13 miles south of Superior along WI 35.

Climate
Northwest Wisconsin has four distinct seasons with warm summers and long winters. Great Lakes Michigan and Superior tend to make summers cooler and winters milder close to shore. January's average temperature is in the single digits F (-teens C). During summer, temperatures can climb to above 90 degrees F for several days (32 degrees C). Nighttime summer temperatures occasionally dip below freezing. The area's average yearly precipitation ranges from 32-34". Annual snowfalls in the Northwest Region have a wide range; the southern areas may receive 20" while the northern areas may receive in excess of 200". Dressing in layers is a good way to remain comfortable in Wisconsin.

Address
6294 South State Road 35
Superior, WI 54880-8326

Phone: 715-399-3111

Fax: 715-399-3101

  • Pattison State Park Travel Q&A

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