POINT BEACH STATE FOREST
Point Beach offers 6 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline, with dunes, a lighthouse, camping, and hiking, biking, skiing, nature, and snowmobile trails. Follow links in the left column for details.
To get to Point Beach from Two Rivers, the nearest community, take County Highway O north about 4 miles; the entrance road will be on your right. From the north on Wisconsin Highway 42, take Manitowoc County Highway V east to County Highway O and go south about 2 miles; the entrance road will be on your left.
The forest is open year round. Day use areas are open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.
Vehicle admission stickers are required. Hourly, daily, and annual stickers are available at the entrance station.
1. Native American Presence: The forest's history dates back thousands of years when Native American tribes, primarily the Potawatomi, inhabited the area. They utilized the land for hunting, fishing, and gathering resources.
2. European Settlement: Europeans began arriving in the area in the early 19th century. The first permanent settlement was established in 1839 by Jeddiah Higgins. The settlers utilized the vast forests for timber, which was used for construction and fuel.
3. Lighthouse and Navigation: In 1847, the Point Beach Lighthouse was built to guide ships through the treacherous waters of Lake Michigan. The presence of the lighthouse facilitated maritime transportation and allowed for the growth of nearby settlements and industries.
4. Industrial Era: During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the forests were heavily logged by timber companies to support the booming lumber industry. The area also saw the establishment of sawmills, brick kilns, and other industries driven by the abundant natural resources.
5. State Forest Establishment: In 1938, the State of Wisconsin acquired land along Lake Michigan to establish Point Beach State Forest. The primary objective was to protect the unique coastal ecosystem, sand dunes, forests, and wildlife in the area. The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) played a significant role in developing the park's infrastructure during the Great Depression.
6. Recreation and Conservation: Over the years, Point Beach State Forest has become a popular recreational area for locals and visitors alike. The forest offers various amenities and activities, including camping, hiking, picnicking, swimming, boating, fishing, and wildlife observation. Efforts have been made to conserve and restore the natural habitats, including the globally significant Great Lakes dune ecosystems found there.
A Wisconsin State Park System vehicle admission sticker is required on all motor vehicles stopping in state parks, forests and recreation areas, please visit the VEHICLE ADMISSION STICKERS
The family campground consists of 127 sites, 70 of them with electricity see campground map, PDF, 271KB. All of the sites are within walking distance of Lake Michigan, where you can enjoy more than five plus of undeveloped shoreline. Because of the high sand dunes, none of the sites offer a view of the lake. All sites are wooded. Each has a fire ring and picnic table. A flush toilet and shower building is across from site 31.
Point Beach campsites generally fill up on weekends from Memorial Day through the end of October. Weekdays in July and August are also busy, and reservations are recommended. Sites are reserved on a first-served basis. You can make reservations 48 hours to 11 months before the date of your arrival. Call toll free to 888 947-2757 or make reservations online.
Point Beach campground is open year round. The campground entrance road is plowed to the shelter building. Sites 74 through 81 have electricity. Enjoy the solitude of the season. You can cross-country ski right from your campsite to the groomed trails. Water is available at the forest office or at the shop building. The shower building is shut down in mid to late October.
The nightly camping fee depends on when you camp, whether or not you're a Wisconsin resident, and whether or not you have an electrical hookup. In addition, there's a reservation fee.
Firewood Inquire at the forest office. Firewood is sold per bundle.
Concession A private concession is available for some grocery items, camp supplies, ice, food and refreshments. Hours are from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sanitary Dump Station Available to registered campers. Located across the main entrance to the campground.
Garbage and Recycling Located near the dump station. Please separate tin cans, aluminum, paper and 2 plastics and place in appropriate containers.
Pets are allowed at Point Beach however, we ask pet owners to strictly follow regulations and policy. Please ask for a copy of Pet Rules and Regulations publication when arriving with a pet.
Pets must be on a leash 8 feet or shorter, and must be kept under control by the owner. This includes controlling barking.
Pets are not allowed in any picnic area, building, shelter, playground or on the Swales Nature Trail. The only exception is a leader dog for a blind, deaf or mobility impaired person.
We ask for strict adherence to all pet regulations in order to enhance the visit of all quests and to ensure the safety for both people and pets.
Point beach provides an area south of the lighthouse where pets are allowed on the Lake Michigan Shoreline. For more information contact the forest office.
Indoor Group Camp
The indoor group camp is near Lake Michigan about 1.7 miles south of the forest entrance station. Its two buildings have sleeping accommodations for 30 people.
Outdoor Group Camp
Point Beach has an outdoor group camp that accommodates as many as 60 people and is designed for tents and small trailers up to 20 feet in length. Large motor homes and fifth wheel units will not fit in the group camp area and should use the family campground. Group camp accommodations include hand pump for water, pit toilets, picnic tables and a large fire ring.