Big Foot Beach State Park
Address: 1452 S. Wells St., Lake Geneva WI 53147
Time from Chicago: 1 hour, 45 minutes (80 miles)
Camping at Big Foot Beach State Park
Big Foot Beach State Park has one of the coolest names of any camping spot in the Chicago area. First off, there’s the “big foot” part, which implies that a scary unknown monster might be roaming the hills. Or, at least, it gives the visual of a heavily-forested area that would be fun to hike in. (“Big Foot” is actually named after a Potawatomi leader from the 19th century who lived in the area.)
And then there’s the “beach” part. While it may seem odd that there could be a beach in south central Wisconsin, this state park sits right on Geneva Lake, a freshwater lake covering eight square miles. There is indeed a beach here with a 100-foot swimming area. There’s also a 26-mile ‘Historic Indian trail’ surrounding the lake that was supposedly used by Native Americans beginning more than 4,000 years ago. And Big Foot Beach also offers horseshoes, volleyball, and fishing (license required), so there are lots of options for summer fun for the family.
But you’re here to read about the campgrounds, so let’s get right to those details. Big Foot Beach State Park has more than 100 camping sites, most of which are drive-up sites that can be reserved in advance. There’s a nice split between sites with electric hookups and those without. The park also has 36 tent-only sites with no parking immediately nearby.
Please note: There’s a new shower building being built in the spring of 2014 with an expected completion date of sometime later this summer. Starting on Memorial Day, guests will be able to use a portable shower trailer until the new building is ready.
Alcohol is not permitted in the Big Foot Beach State Park campgrounds at all. Check out this terrific, detailed campsite map (PDF) for more info on the park.
Bigfoot Beach State Park is located in Geneva, Wisconsin, just five miles from the popular Grand Geneva Resort & Spa. Keep in mind that all state parks in Wisconsin require a vehicle admission sticker. If you’re an Illinois resident planning to camp there, the temporary sticker fee is $10/day in addition to the normal campground price.