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High Cliff State Park Activities and recreation

Hiking Hiking

High Cliff hiking trails offer different levels of challenge to hikers. All trails are looped and vary in length. Hikers should stay on marked trails and behind barricades and barriers where they are provided. From the vantage point of the cliff and especially from the 40-foot observation tower, you can see the cities of Appleton, Oshkosh, Neenah, Menasha and Kaukauna.

Camping Camping

Camping at High Cliff State Park

Biking Biking

Bicycles are allowed on all park roads. Bikes are restricted to the bike/horse trail and the Red Bird trail. The bike/horse trail is open for biking about May 1 through November 15.

Boat Launch Canoeing & Kayaking Boating, canoeing and kayaking

High Cliff State Park has four developed boat launches. Windsurfers, kite boarders and paddlers enjoy access to the lake using the undeveloped boat launch. A state park vehicle admission sticker is required to use the launches.

The High Cliff State Park Marina provides slips for 100 boats.Boaters may remain overnight aboard boats moored in the marina. The marina has over 100 slips available for rent. For transient slip rentals, call the marina at 920-989-1349 (Memorial Day through Labor Day). For seasonal slip rentals, contact the Harbor Commission. Slip rentals include the use of the marina shower building.

Swimming Swimming

High Cliff has a swim area. No lifeguards are provided. The bathhouse has flush toilets, showers, changing areas and open shelters. Remember, don't swim alone and watch children closely near the water.

Horseback riding Horseback riding

High Cliff has 8.5 miles of bridle trails, looping the length of the park. Horse rentals are not available at the park. The horse/bike trail is open for biking about May 1 through November 15.

Picnicking Shelters Playground Picnic areas and playgrounds

High Cliff has four picnic areas with tables, grills, water and rest rooms. Two picnic areas have swings, merry-go-rounds and slides. Playground equipment is also available in the campground. A sand volleyball court and a grass volleyball court are available for summer sports enthusiasts. Volleyballs and nets are available on a first-come, first-served basis and can be signed out at no cost.

Pets Pets

Two areas in the park are designated as pet picnic areas - one is in the marina, which provides water access for your pet.

  • Pets (except disability service animals) are not allowed in buildings, mowed picnic areas, beach, playgrounds, observation tower or snow-covered cross-country ski trails.
  • Pets must be on a leash no longer than 8 feet, under control and attended at all times.
  • Pet owners are responsible for removal and proper disposal of pet waste.

Fishing Fishing

Both the Butterfly Pond and Lake Winnebago have fishing opportunities. The pond may yield largemouth bass and panfish. Fish for walleye, white bass and perch on the lake. You'll need a Wisconsin fishing license.

Anglers of any age may check out basic fishing equipment free of charge at the park office. This equipment was donated by the Tackle Loaner Program. Call the park office to find out what equipment is available.

Archery Hunting Trapping Archery only hunting and trapping

Archery hunting and trapping are allowed in the open areas of the park during the Wisconsin state parks hunting and trapping time frame. Gun hunting is not allowed in the park. 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:

In addition to the opportunities that are available during the state parks hunting/trapping time frame, hunting opportunities in state parks that were already established by rule and in place prior to the enactment of 2011 ACT 168, remain in place.

  • At High Cliff State Park, this includes a 9-day muzzleloader deer hunt. There is no gun deer hunting at the park.

Winter Activities Winter activities

Certain trails in the park are designated for skiing when snow covered. The trails are groomed for traditional skiing and is suitable for beginning to intermediate skiers. Trail conditions are posted at skinnyski.com [exit DNR]. Pets are not permitted on ski trails.

Winter fat tire biking is allowed on the segment of the Red Bird Trail from the Red Bird Statue to the Family Campground and on park roads. A state trail pass is not required.

Snowshoeing is permitted anywhere in High Cliff except on ski trails when snow covered. The Forest Management trail is good for winter hiking and snowshoeing. Snowshoe rentals are available on a first-come, first-served basis when the park office open.

A 3-mile snowmobile trail through the park connects Lake Winnebago with the Calumet County snowmobile trail system.

The opening and closing of snowmobile trails is at the discretion of each county. Snowmobile trails which cross DNR lands are opened and closed consistent with the surrounding county (or counties). Whenever possible, the opening and closing of snowmobile trails is done on a county-wide basis, however localized conditions may require localized trail opening and closing. It is the responsibility of the county to provide notification about the status of snowmobile trails. The Travel Wisconsin Snow Conditions Report [exit DNR], and local club and county snowmobile web pages [exit DNR] and telephone hotlines will provide the most current information.

Last revised: Tuesday December 13 2016