Hartman Creek State Park Activities and recreation
Hikers have about 10 miles of varied trails to choose from at Hartman Creek State Park.
There are about 12 miles of off-road biking trails in the park which are combination hiking/biking segments. A 6-mile segment is all singletrack and was completed by a local bike club, Cronies. These trails are not paved. Bikers age 16 and older must have a daily or annual state trail pass to use trails within the park.
Hartman Lake has a 300-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's bridle trails are only a few years old and offer nearly 7 miles of scenic trail through forest, prairie and along Allen Creek. Equestrians age 16 and older must have a daily or annual state trail pass to use trails within the park.
Boating, canoeing and kayaking
Paddlers can launch canoes or kayaks from the boat landing off Knight Lane on Manomin Lake and paddle through the east end of Hartman Creek State Park and the Pope Lake Natural Area to Marl Lake, where they can take time to ponder the depths of the lake's crystal clear waters. 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.
The park also adjoins Marl, Pope, Manomin, and Knight lakes, natural lakes that are at the head of Waupaca's famed Chain O' Lakes. These lakes allow gas motors, but watercraft are limited to "slow-no-wake" speed.
Picnic areas and playgrounds
There are four picnic areas with tables, benches, grills, drinking water, and parking:
- On the south side of Allen Lake, with an open-sided shelter, playground, and vault toilets.
- On the south side of Hartman Lake, with a fully-enclosed shelter and vault toilets.
- At the beach near the east end of Hartman Lake, with an open-sided shelter attached to a concession stand, a playground, and vault toilets.
- Whispering Pines, on the north side of Marl Lake, with flush toilets.
Before being established as a state park in 1966, Hartman Creek was a fish hatchery, where dams were built to create four spring-fed lakes; Allen, Hartman, Grebe, and Middle. The park is located on part of the terminal moraine of the Wisconsin glacier, and potholes, gullies, and springs feed the lakes. The lakes have largemouth bass, perch, bluegill, and other panfish. Fishing piers, accessible to persons with disabilities, are along the east shore of Allen Lake and at Whispering Pines on Marl Lake.
Hunting and trapping
Hunting and trapping are allowed in the open areas of the park during the Wisconsin state parks hunting and trapping time frame. Trapping is not permitted in closed areas as noted on the park hunting map or within 100 yards of any designated use area, including trails. Certain trap types are restricted on state park properties. For more information, please see:
Limited Access for Spring Turkey Hunting: Each turkey hunter must first obtain a Turkey Permit and property map (identifying those areas closed to hunting within the park properties), prior to spring turkey hunting. Hunters must apply for a turkey permit by application. Applications cost $3 and are available at any license sales agent or through the on-line service center. For questions, call: 1-877-WI-LICENSE (1-877-945-4236). The application deadline for the spring hunt is December 10. Successful applicants will be notified via mail. After the lottery drawing occurs, remaining turkey permits will be sold over-the-counter on a first-come, first-served basis.
In winter, six miles of trails are available for cross-country skiing. In winter, 3.5 miles of trails are available for snowshoeing. Snowshoeing and winter hiking are also allowed off-trail in the park, except on the groomed ski trails. The park does not monitor ice conditions for ice fishing.