Summer time surprises

Cool off at the beach

Explore trails and pathways.

Enter Photo Contest.

Vote for your Favorite

Volunteer Jamboree - 2017

Point Lookout - Wyalusing State Park
Point Lookout - Wyalusing State Park
Wyalusing State Park (Locationis hosting the 2017 Volunteer Jamboree September 24-26th.

All Wisconsin State Park System volunteers are invited to attend this fun, educational and social gathering.
Join in the fun with campfires, picnics, and informative discussions while we celebrate the volunteer program.

You should have received a registration form via the parks you have been a camp-host or volunteered at.

Electrical and non-electrical campsites are available free of charge. Alternate lodging is available in the area, but the cost is not covered.

  • Sunday- Pot Luck - Please bring a dish to pass.
  • Monday - Continental breakfast, box lunch, dinner
  • Tuesday - Continental breakfast
Activities at the park - Monday Morning

  • Guided walk: Indian Mounds and Park history. (Path is crushed limestone)
  • River tour: Drive or carpool at Wyalusing State Park Boat landing.
  • Canoeing/kayaking: Inquire at Wyalusing State Park concession stand. Limited supply. (Free to volunteers)
  • Walking the trails and visiting the park lookouts on your own.
On-Your-Own Activities: Monday Afternoon
Monday afternoon will be set aside to allow you to pursue your own interests and explore all that Wyalusing State Park, and the Driftless Area. (Fee may be required)
  • Nelson Dewey State Park. Stonefield State Historic Site. (Link)
  • Effigy Mounds National Monument (Free entry fee) (Link)
  • Shihata Orchard - Free (Link)
  • Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife Refuge - Free (Link)
  • Villa Louis National Historic Monument (Link)
  • St Feriole Island Memorial Gardens - Free (Link)
  • Mississippi River Sculpture Park - Free (Link)
  • Prairie du Chien (Link)

2017 Gold Seal Award Contest


Clipboard1aThe Friends of Wisconsin State Parks are asking for your vote in this year's contest categories. If you are a camper, biker, hunter, hiker, angler, or park visitor, cast your vote for your favorite state park, forest, trail, or recreation area in the categories below.
The winning parks, forests, trails, or recreational areas will be honored with a Gold Seal Award at the Friends of Wisconsin State Parks Awards Banquet on Saturday, November 4, 2017. The statewide Friends of Wisconsin State Parks organization runs the Gold Seal Award program each year to highlight Wisconsin’s parks, trails, and forests.

Click here to make a nomination

Contest ends Friday, September 8, 2017.

The 2017 categories are:
  • Best state park system property for winter recreating
  • Best state park system property for  a short hike with children
  • Best state park system property for trail to ride horses with a group
  • Most scenic state park system picnic area
  • Best state park system office flower garden
  • Best state park system property for star gazing
  • Best state park fishing pier
  • Best state park system property to take nature photos
  • Best state park family beach area
  • Best view of the sunrise in a state park system campground.

Patty Loosen
Friends of Wisconsin State Parks Coordinator
608) 294-0810

2017 FWSP Photo contest

The Friends of Wisconsin State Parks (FWSP) invites all interested individuals to enter their favorite state park, forest, trail or recreation area photo in our annual photography competition. Winners will be featured in the 2018 Friends of Wisconsin State Parks Calendar, released in November 2017.There are so many opportunities to enjoy the Wisconsin state parks during all four seasons. We are looking for photo entries that include beautiful scenery along with people recreating and enjoying activities like hiking, picnicking, cross-country skiing, kayaking/canoeing, horseback riding, biking and exploring.

Submissions are accepted from amateur photographers ages 14 and over.  Professional photographers who earn more than half of their income taking pictures are not eligible. The Friends of Wisconsin  State Parks Board members will determine winners’ eligibility. Employees of the  Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and board members of the Friends of  Wisconsin State Parks and their immediate family members are not eligible to win.


  • Photos must be submitted in high resolution (at least 300 UPI).  
  • Photographs must have been shot within the past three years (Since Jan 1, 2015).  
  • Photographs must portray a specific  Wisconsin state park, forest, or trail and cannot include illegal activities (i.e.  camping in an unauthorized area). We are looking for photos that show scenes from the parks, forests, trails and recreation areas.Wildlife photos will not score as high as people enjoying activities submissions.  
  • Cropped photos are eligible, Horizontal images are preferred. Photos that appear unnatural will not be considered.  
  • An entrant must hold all rights to a  photograph. For a photo in which a person is recognizable, you must secure a model release from the subject and include this with the submission
  • Photographs previously published or pending publication, or photos that violate or infringe upon another person's  copyright, are not eligible.
  • You may submit one photograph per season and up to 4 total entries. We do not accept more than one contestant per e-mail.

By entering a photo, you are verifying:
  • The image is your own;
  • The photo has not been altered beyond light editing/enhancements.
  • The photo is not subject to any third-party agreements;
  • No laws were violated in obtaining the photo.
Photos should accurately reflect the original image. Photos that have been digitally altered beyond standard optimization (cropping,  color, contrast, etc.) will be disqualified.  This includes the digital addition or deletion of objects in the photos. Photo eligibility is the sole discretion of the contest judges.  Photos may originate in any form but must be submitted electronically. A high-resolution image must be submitted. If a high-resolution photo cannot be provided, the entry will be disqualified. Photos may also be watermarked if desired when uploaded to the contest page, however; the watermark should be inconspicuous enough not to interfere with the judging of the photo and a clean, watermark-free version of the photo must be available at FWSP’s request. If a watermark-free version cannot be provided, the entry will be disqualified. Please do not include photographs that display people who are identifiable.    
FWSP will review each photograph received and will accept only those entries that meet the official requirements outlined in these rules. A panel of FWSP board members and staff will review accepted entries and select the winning photos. Selected photos are not official winners until high-resolution,  watermark-free versions are provided to FWSP. If such a version cannot be provided, an alternate winner will be selected. The decisions of FWSP and the contest judges are final.

Winners will be notified in September 2017 and invited to the Friends of Wisconsin State Parks  Awards Banquet on Saturday, November 4, 2017, to receive an award. Winning photos will appear in the 2018 FWSP calendar, tentatively set to release November 2017.    

 Internet access is required to participate in the contest. Participants must review the full rules before entering any photos. Photos must be submitted electronically via Friends of Wisconsin State Parks website There is no entry fee to participate. No more than four(4) photos may be entered by any one person. See website for instructions.


  1. The season. (Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter)  
  2. The Wisconsin state park, forest, or trail name where the photo was taken.  
  3. Name of Photographer. (first and last)  
  4. Photographers Address. (Street, City, ZIP)  
  5. Phone #.  
  6. Email Address.  
  7. Friends group affiliation, if any.  
This information will be required to submit the photos at the contest page. This information is needed so that FWSP can:

  • properly credit contest photos when utilized in promotional media
  • notify winners.      

DEADLINE Thursday, August 31, 2017

By participating in the contest, you hereby grant FWSP unlimited, non-exclusive, irrevocable permission to publish and reproduce your image in media including but not limited to the website,  and promotional materials into perpetuity. You retain all other applicable ownership rights to the photo. FWSP agrees to properly credit photographers whenever their photos are used. FWSP reserves the right to exclude any photo from the contest.

Please click here to enter your photo(s)

Direct any questions about the Photo Contest to:
Randy Paske
Board of Directors

Patricia Loosen
Friends of Wisconsin State Parks Coordinator
(608) 294-0810

Friends of Wisconsin State Parks hire Executive Director

Patty Loosen - Executive Director FWSP
Friends of Wisconsin State Parks (FWSP) are proud to announce the hiring of Patricia Loosen as our first full-time Executive Director. FWSP has been organized as a 501©3 for over 20 years to help Protect, Preserve, Promote and Enhance Wisconsin’s State Parks, Trails, Forests, and Recreation Areas. Patty has been with FWSP/WDNR for over 5 years and has been the mastermind behind our FWSP On-Line Store as well as developing and promoting other FWSP programs. Under Patty’s direction and guidance from the FWSP Board of Directors, FWSP is becoming a stronger support group for the Local Friends Groups as well as growing as a funding source for Friends programs and projects at State Park System Properties. FWSP is embarking on a major fund raising campaign to fund current projects, special projects such as natural playgrounds in the parks and an endowment for sustainable funding. For more information, go to FWSP. ORG

Or contact Patricia Loosen


Your Opinions Matter

Dear Friends Groups-
You are probably aware that the DNR is working on the Recreation Opportunities Analysis (ROA), which reviews existing outdoor-based recreation opportunities and future recreation needs.


Two key goals of the ROA are to examine recreation on all state lands including parks, wildlife areas, and natural areas to provide opportunities for motorized access:  (1) within department properties where it is appropriate and publicly supported and (2) across department properties that provide linkages for trail networks. The ROA will help determine which roads, fire lanes, logging roads, etc, are appropriate for motorized vehicle access including pick-up trucks, ATVs, UTVs, and/or off-road motorcycles.
The Northwood’s region ROA is nearly completed. Now the process will move into the remaining state regions over the next several months. It is important that the Friends Groups engage DNR leadership to ensure the best outcome for parks and trails.
In August, the DNR will gather input at five public open houses for northern and northeastern Wisconsin. Each meeting will be held from 4-7pm with DNR staff providing overviews at 4:30 and 6pm.
Upper Lake Michigan Coastal region (Marinette, Oconto, Manitowoc, Brown, Kewaunee and Door counties) are as follows:
  • Tuesday, Aug. 22  -  Stone Harbor Resort and Conference Center, 107 North First Avenue, Sturgeon Bay; and
  • Wednesday, Aug. 23 - Community Center, 901 Henriette Avenue, Crivitz.
Public meetings for the Great Northwest Region (Douglas, Bayfield, Ashland, Burnett, Washburn, Sawyer, Polk, Barron and Rusk counties) are as follows:
  • Monday, Aug. 28 - Hotel Chequamegon, 101 Lake Short Drive West, Ashland;
  • Tuesday, Aug. 29 – The Lodge at Crooked Lake, 24271 HWY 35 North, Siren; and
  • Wednesday, Aug. 30 - Community Library 418 Corbett Avenue, Ladysmith.
The completed ROA will describe existing recreation opportunities, future needs and priorities, and the role of state-owned lands for incorporating motorized recreation. Click on this link for more information and to find on-line survey, select online feedback opportunity
Friends Groups can play a key role in this project. It’s important the park leadership know how park users feel about these potential changes to traditional park and forest use. Click on the below link and follow the instructions to sign up for e-mail updates on the Recreational Opportunities Analysis.

The ROA will have long lasting implications on the future of state lands recreation.  For more information contact Policy chairperson Michael McFadzen  or Outreach chairperson Terry Jensen Thanks for all you do to make Wisconsin state parks, trails, forests and recreation areas a better place to visit and play!

Bill Zager – FWSP President