Hartman Creek State Park lies near the center of Wisconsin near Waupaca and is home to a wide variety of outdoor activities. The 1417 acre tract of land has 2 distinct and equally diverse habitats located within its boundaries. There are the central sand hills opposing the forests area in separate locations in the natural area. Established in 1966, the state sponsored wildlife area is home to many diverse and interesting flora and fauna. There is always something to do at this facility including all forms of summer and winter sports that are enjoyed by outdoor enthusiasts.
One of the favorite things to do at Hartman Creek State Park is picnicking by the various lakes that dot the landscape. Allen Lake, Hartman Lake and Marl Lake all have areas reserved for visitors who came here for an outdoor lunch. Most of the lakes also have some kind of shelter nearby with toilets as well when nature calls. The four separate picnic areas all offer tables, grills, clear water for drinking and nearby parking. It makes a great way for families with young children to gather everybody together or a romantic getaway for a young couple.
Hunting is also allowed here, but in only half of the available area during the regular firearm or bow season. The only type of wildlife that may be killed are deer however.
Some other popular pastimes include hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding and water sports. With the number of different lakes here, Hartman Creek State Park is home to canoes and kayaks alike as the calm waters make it a great way to enjoy this most leisurely pursuit.
Camping is also welcomed here, with 103 sites devoted to family style campgrounds and 5 additional spots for group camping. These are all located in either the apple/hardwood grove or red pine forest. These spacious units are available from April 1st through December 1st and include 2 shower buildings and 2 flush toilets buildings for easy access. Sites can be reserved up to eleven months prior to arrival. Interested parties can call toll free 888 WI PARKS (888 947 2757) to set up their own reservation or make one via the internet on the official website of the park. The campgrounds are closed in the winter months from December 1st to April 1st.
One of the most popular nearby attractions for conservationists is the Emmons Creek Barrens which offers an Oak Savanna as its primary habitat. This is home to a wide variety of wildlife and wild plants abound as well. It is home to the Karner Blue Butterfly – listed on the government’s endangered species list. This insect uses Wild Lupine to lay its eggs and host the larval stage before the transformation into butterfly. A few other notable species include Pennsylvania sedge, June grass and goldenrod. This area is owned by the Department of Natural Resources and in 2002 was made into a State Natural Area.
The Emmons Creek Fishery area contains about 1500 acres and shares a boundary with the Southern perimeter of Hartman Creek State Park. The property is defined by the four and a half miles of Emmons creek which is though of as a cold water trout system. With additional waters from spring ponds and additional feeder streams, this body of water passes through several different topographical features, providing the moisture necessary for most of these delicate ecosystems to survive.
In the summer months, families with young children enjoy the naturalist programs that are offered at the amphitheater. Most of these centers around outdoor themes, with the ability to learn valuable outdoor skills necessary for survival in the wild.
The park is easy to reach, located about a 2 hour car ride from Madison and 1 hour and 15 minutes from Green Bay. A Wisconsin State Park vehicle sticker is necessary for admission and this can be readily obtained from any of the state park offices in the general area. Straddling the Waupaca-Portage county line, the Geographic coordinates are 44° 19′ 48.0″ N, 89° 12′ 50.43″ W. For vehicles equipped with GPS tracking, there is virtually no way to get lost here.
The various scenery, and idyllic settings in this location make Hartman Creek State Park and its surrounding attractions a must see during the summer months for vacationers and hunters will enjoy the deer hunting in the fall as well. This is a premier spot to visit in the entire state and should be on the to do list of every resident.