Pattison State Park features the highest waterfalls in LocationWisconsin and the fourth highest waterfall east of the Rocky Mountains. Big Manitou Falls is 165 feet high and Twin Little Manitou Falls is 31 feet high. This 1,436-acre park also has a lake with a beach, a nature center, camping, nine miles of hiking trails and abundant wildlife.
Activities and recreation
The park has over 7 miles of hiking trails, offering stunning views of the waterfalls. The watchable wildlife in the park include almost 200 species of birds, 54 species of mammals and many reptiles and amphibians.
Pattison State Park has 59 regular (family) campsites, 18 of them with electric hookups and three backpack sites. There is a sanitary dumping station but no sewer or water hookups. Showers and flush toilets are available during the summer.
Pattison provides a campsite, picnic area, telephone, water fountain and toilet-shower building that are accessible to people with disabilities. The paths to the shelter building, nature center, bath house, Little Manitou Falls overlook and Big Manitou Falls overlook are accessible. A map is available at the park office showing accessible buildings and facilities.
Starting in the fall some water facilities will be shut down in preparation for the colder temperatures ahead.
Bathhouse will be turned off September 1st.
Shelter building and Shower building will be turned off the beginning of the week of Oct. 6-10.
Water fountains/dump station will be turned off at night when temperatures approach freezing, but turned back on during the day if temperatures are warm enough.
The water is turned off to protect our water lines from freezing. However, the pit toilets located in the campground are open year round. Also, after the water has been turned off to the campground, visitors can get water from the contact station during open office hours.
The backpack sites are about 1.6 miles from the parking area. They have vault toilets, tables and fire rings. Water must be carried in; garbage must be carried out.
Interfalls Lake is a flowage and water depths often change after rain. Interfalls Lake is 27 acres in size, with a maximum depth of 13 feet and mean depth of seven feet. Pattison's 300-foot sand beach on Interfalls Lake offers an excellent sunning area, beautiful bathhouse and adjacent picnic area. The beach is unguarded. Don't swim alone and watch children closely near the water. Swim only at the designated beach; swimming outside the lifeline, in the river or at the waterfalls is dangerous.
Pattison has three picnic areas with tables, grills, water and rest rooms. The largest is near the beach. There is play equipment near the main picnic area.
Recreational fishing opportunities are limited within the park. The lake does not support a population of sport fish. The Black River below Big Manitou Falls is occasionally fished, although numbers have declined since the DNR stopped stocking the area. Get current information on seasons, size and bag limits and check at the park office. All anglers 16 years and older must have a fishing license. In addition, anyone fishing for or keeping trout must have a trout stamp.
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.
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.
The park maintains 5.5 miles of classic cross-country ski trails. Trail difficulty levels range from beginner to moderate. Three linked loops begin at the campground. Pattison State Park has a number of informal trails available for snowshoeing in winter.