Wildcat Mountain State Park: #1 Best Hiking & Canoeing

Explore the Wilderness at Wildcat Mountain State Park

Wildcat Mountain State Park

You’ll find Wildcat Mountain State Park set atop a ridge that rises steeply above the Kickapoo River. Hike along 21 miles of scenic nature and equestrian trails that weave throughout the beautiful wilderness. Stop at the observation point and picnic areas overlooking the Kickapoo Valley to take in the stunning views of the Driftless Region. The Kickapoo River is popular for paddling, and rentals are available in the nearby village of Ontario.

Wildcat Mountain State Park encompasses more than 3,500 acres of a woodland ecosystem of old-growth white pine and hemlock that provides habitat for local wildlife—you’ll find lots of bird-watching opportunities. The Kickapoo River is a Class II trout stream, and the segments of slow-moving waters are ideal for leisurely kayaking or canoeing excursions. As a guest at Justin Trails Resort, Wildcat Mountain State Park is a scenic 30-minute drive, suitable for a day out in the wilderness near our bed and breakfast, log cabins, and campgrounds.

For those who enjoy the outdoors, our Wisconsin resort is the ultimate retreat for your next vacation. Whichever lodging option you choose, you’ll be surrounded by our beautiful 200 acres in the Driftless Region. We offer on-site hiking trails, two professional disc golf courses, a bonfire area, and a communal Lodge where breakfast is served hot and fresh each morning. If you’ve ever dreamed of recreating your summer camp dreams, this is the place to do it! Head over to our booking calendar and start planning today. 

Wildcat Mountain State Park

The Best Things to do at Wildcat Mountain State Park

Wildcat Mountain State Park is an easy trip from Justin Trails Resort. First, head south on Highway 27 towards Cashton. From there, travel east on Highway 33 towards Ontario. The park is just 2 miles from Ontario (stop off here for boat rentals). The turn-off to the canoe landing and Hemlock Trail will be on your right, and the road to the rest of the park will be just ahead on your left.

Here are the top five things to do at Wildcat Mountain State Park:

  • Hiking Trails: There are four main trails for hiking at this Wisconsin State Park. We suggest the Old Settler’s Trail, a 2.5-mile loop that leads to the upper picnic area. Continue to Taylor Hollow Overlook for the best view of the village of Ontario below. On all the trails, keep your ears open for birdsong, explore the interesting sandstone cliffs and rock formations, and stroll in the prairies full of wildflowers.
  • Paddling the Kickapoo River: You’ll find the boat landing in the lower picnic area at Wildcat Mountain State Park. Multiple local businesses in Ontario, WI, provide canoe and kayak rentals, and Drifty’s Canoe Rental also offers to pick up and shuttles to the river. The Kickapoo River has calm waters, perfect for all levels of paddlers!
  • Horseback Riding: For those with equestrian experience, there are more than 15 miles of horse trail loops at this state park. You’ll also find horseback riding rentals in Ontario.
  • Fishing: The Kickapoo River has more than 40 fish species, including an abundance of brown trout. Luckily, for anglers looking for gear, head to the park office to participate in the Tackle Loaner Program.
  • Picnicking: While there are two main picnicking areas at the park with shelters, if you bring your own blanket, you’ll be able to set up a lovely outdoor lunch just about anywhere. Sit by the meandering river or under the shade of the old Hemlock trees.

A vehicle admission sticker is required for entrance to Wildcat Mountain State Park. As always, we’re happy to offer advice or suggestions during your stay; ask before you head out!

Wildcat Mountain State Park

Beautiful Views from our Wisconsin Log Cabins

One of the best perks of choosing a private log cabin at Justin Trails Resort is the stunning views. Not only will you soak up this peaceful atmosphere, but our spacious grounds give a sense of complete privacy. The Sunrise Cottage (pictured above) is a lovely place to make your home away from home. This luxurious cottage can sleep up to four guests in two separate bedrooms, each with a king bed. An open concept living space is ideal for mingling and relaxing with a loveseat, two leather barrel chairs, an antique oak table with four oak chairs, central air, a gas fireplace, and a kitchenette stocked with tableware.

Start planning your next getaway to Wisconsin and book your stay today!

Scroll to Top