What to do in Yellowstone Lake State Park

Yellowstone Lake State Park is comprised of 968 acres with a 455-acre manmade lake. The park's steep hills, deep valleys and beautiful vistas attract visitors to the Driftless Area of Southwest Wisconsin. In 1949 federal and state financing permitted the purchase of acreage in Lafayette County. The land was excavated and dams and dikes were built along a 2.5-mile basin. Once the manmade lake filled, bass, walleye, pike, and pan fish were stocked. The development of the fishery has been marginal. Today, anglers consider the fishing good year-round. Hundreds come to ice fish.

The artificial lake provides a great setting for park recreation. Campers find two campgrounds containing 128 sites of which 108 are reservable through Wisconsin State Park's central reservation system. Thirty-eight sites offer electric hookup. The east side is open all year and has 36 campsites, while the west side is open from May to October and has 93 campsites. In addition to the family sites, there are six reservable groups sites, four with electricity. A new flush toilet and shower building, completed in 2002, provides campers with excellent accommodations. Camping reservations are available online or by calling a toll-free reservation number. Contact information is listed below.

Fishing Yellowstone Lake State Park entails shoreline fishing along a tree-lined shore or launching your boat from the main two-lane ramp. Temporary mooring is available. Nearby is a second ramp where tackle, bait, rentals and supplies may be purchased. Check Wisconsin State Rules and Regulations before dropping a line. Bag limits apply.

Day use areas nine picnic areas, shelters, beach area and rifle range. Picnic areas have tables, grills and restrooms. There is also a large playground near the park office. Swimmers will find a 40-yard-long beach with a smattering of tables, changing facilities, restrooms, and sunbathing area. The beach is unguarded. The park's rifle range is located on County Road F. The range is open all year. Call park office for details.

During the summer months, a park naturalist offers a variety of nature programs including lessons about wildflowers and birdlife. Check with the park office for a schedule of events. A special feature of the park is not the 455-acre lake, but the work of Kent Borcherdig, a park volunteer from Hazel Green, who has maintained bat houses and been working with park bats since 1995. Borcherdig gives interpretative presentations on the bats.

At least seven short hiking trails are offered at the park. They range in difficulty from easy to difficult. The easiest trail is the nature trail which travels along the dikes around a designated waterfowl area; great for wildlife watching. The most difficult trail is Hunting Trail which exits the park and explores the wildlife area found southwest of the lake. Another difficult trail is Green Valley Loop, which climbs through a steep valley. Windy Ridge Way permits hikers, mountain bikers, and cross-country skiers on its open prairie. Oak Ridge Trail permits hikers and cross-country skiers through its habitat of hardwoods and conifers. Snowmobilers enjoy Marsh Meadow Trail in winter while hikers enjoy the trail during the warmer months. Drinking water is available near the park office.

Recreations enjoyed at Yellowstone Lake State Park include hiking, camping, swimming, picnicking, wildlife viewing, canoeing, waterskiing, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, and ice fishing.

Yellowstone Lake State Park is located eight miles west of Blanchardville in Southwest Wisconsin.

Southwest 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 Southwest Region can range from 20 - 40". Dressing in layers is a good way to remain comfortable in Wisconsin.

7896 Lake Road
Blanchardville, WI 53516

Phone: 608-523-4427

  • Yellowstone Lake State Park Travel Q&A