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Find
a Wisconsin state park, forest, recreation area or trail.
Camping opportunities
in state parks and forests.
How to buy
a vehicle admission sticker or state trail pass.
Get Outdoors!
to attend a nature program or event with family and friends.

Become a campground host with the state park system.

Campground hosts greet and assist campers with information about the park and facilities.

Girl with a large bag of garlic mustard plants

A young volunteer shows off a bag of garlic mustard she pulled at Peninsula State Park.

Campg host and children.

A camp host teaches children about horse care.

Adopt-A-Trail sponsors are recognized with two signs along their trail.
Contact information
For information, contact:
Wisconsin State Parks
P.O. Box 7921
Madison, WI 53707-7921
608-261-8453

Wisconsin State Park System Volunteer opportunities

If you like to spend time in the outdoors, interact with and help other outdoor enthusiasts, and you care about protecting our natural resources, then Wisconsin State Parks needs you!

Get Outdoors! Invite your friends and family members to get outdoors and join us and our friends groups for a fun volunteer work day event. Afterwards, take time to explore the natural wonders of the property.

Do you want to spend more time outdoors or help others enjoy their visit? Check out the wide variety of volunteer positions that are available below.

Position descriptions

View the volunteer position descriptions and the current openings to find the best fit for you prior to contacting the park, trail or forest manager.

To apply, complete the Volunteer Application Form (2500-106) [PDF], save and send directly to the property(ies) where you wish to volunteer. Contact information can be found in each description below, or on the bottom right corner of each property’s web page. (If you are having problems opening the form link, see PDF help).

Campground host

Be a campground host

  • Stay in a campsite at the campground and volunteer a few hours a day.
  • Greet and assist campers with information about the park and facilities.
  • Assist in daily campground operations and set an example by being a model camper.
  • Clean campsites, bathrooms and facilities and assist with light maintenance.
  • Dispense park information and assist with campground programs.
  • Enjoy the company of other campers and make sure that they enjoy their stay.

Naturalist

Be a naturalists or nature center host

  • Present park interpretive and educational programs such as campfire talks, nature walks, multi-media shows, living history programs and evening programs.
  • Lead school group programs on-site.
  • Conduct public workshops or classes.
  • Conduct nature events in campgrounds, on park trails and at park facilities.
  • Support park staff in educational programming.
  • Greet visitors arriving at the Nature Center.
  • Answer questions about the environment, exhibits and the property.

Visitor services

Be a visitor center volunteer

  • Greet visitors and provide brochures, maps, program schedules and answer questions.
  • Assist park visitors with vehicle admission stickers, campsite registration and state trail passes.
  • Staff a visitor center information desk or gift shop.
  • Help coordinate special events.
  • Help design and prepare exhibits, displays and bulletin boards.
  • Help market and advertise park programs.
  • Provide newsletters, brochures, fact sheets and information about the local area.

Special projects

Be a volunteer for special projects

  • Repair and construct fences and bridges.
  • Clean up park grounds, campgrounds and facilities.
  • Complete special or seasonal maintenance tasks as needed.
  • Do carpentry, remodeling or other construction projects.
  • Make park information signs.
  • Assist with minor vehicle/boat/equipment repairs and maintenance.
  • Build and maintain new and existing trails.
  • Build informational kiosks.
  • Plant trees, remove invasive species and do prairie restoration.
  • Assist staff in building picnic shelters, accessible cabins and other property facilities.

Form 2500-120, WSPS Power Equipment Safety Acknowledgment [PDF]

Adopt-A-Trail

Adopt-A-Trail in the State Park System

  • Provide trails support and clean up.
  • Perform as crew members on trail construction, renovation and maintenance.
  • Assist with the control of invasive species and the planting of native species.
  • Report any trail obstructions or hazards.

If you are interested in adopting a trail, complete the Adopt-A-Trail Application and Permit [PDF] or contact the park, forest or trail manager.

Friends Group

Join a Friends Group

  • A friends group is a group of people who have an interest in Wisconsin’s natural resources and who volunteer their time, services and support in order to enhance Wisconsin's state park properties. These groups have a formal nonprofit partnership with the state park system.

For more information or to learn how to get involved, see: Friends of Wisconsin State Parks.

Current campground host and volunteer openings

Click below for campground host and other volunteer openings in the Wisconsin State Park System.

Blue Mound State Park

Blue Mound State Park
4350 Mounds Park Road
Blue Mounds, WI  53517
Email or call 608-437-5711

Campground description

Blue Mound State Park is the highest point in southern Wisconsin offering spectacular views and unique geological features. Blue Mound State Park offers 78 individual wooded campsites, 12 hike-in/bike-in sites and a Rustic Accessible Cabin for individuals with disabilities. The campground host sites can accommodate large RV campers and have 30-amp electrical hook-ups.

Available dates:
Contact the property for volunteer opportunities.

Buckhorn State Park - Campground Hosts, Volunteer Naturalists

Buckhorn State Park
W8450 Buckhorn Park Ave.
Necedah WI 54646
Email or call 608-565-2789

Park description

Buckhorn State Park is a paradise for water enthusiasts, hunters, hikers, campers and nature lovers. The park and two adjacent state wildlife areas cover more than 8,000-acres on a peninsula in the Castle Rock Flowage of the Wisconsin River and along the connecting Yellow River. Buckhorn State Park has family campsites, an outdoor group camp, 50 cart-in campsites and an accessible cabin for people with disabilities.

Campground Host available dates:
Campground hosts are needed for June and July 2018.

Volunteer Naturalist available dates:
Contact the property for available opportunities for 2018.

Chippewa Moraine State Recreation Area

Chippewa Moraine State Recreation Area
13394 County Highway M
New Auburn WI 54757
Email or call 715-967-2800

Property description

Situated along the Ice Age National Scenic Trail, the Chippewa Moraine offers unspoiled beauty with kettle lakes and many glacial features. The Chippewa Moraine is one of nine units of the Ice Age National Scientific Reserve. The David R. Obey Ice Age Interpretive Center houses first-class glacial, cultural and natural history displays.

Available dates:
The Chippewa Moraine does not need a campground host as there are only three remote campsites. There is not a Friends Group associated with the property, but volunteering opportunities are still available in the Interpretive Center. Contact the property for available opportunities throughout the year.

Copper Falls State Park - Campground Hosts

Copper Falls State Park
36764 Copper Falls Road
Mellen, WI 54546
Email or call 715-274-5123

Property description

Ancient lava flows, deep gorges and spectacular waterfalls make Copper Falls one of Wisconsin's most scenic parks. Log buildings built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s add to the park's charm. There is plenty to do; hiking, bicycling, picnicking, fishing and swimming. The North Country National Scenic Trail passes through Copper Falls State Park.

Campground host available dates:
Campground hosts are needed for June through October 2018.

Council Grounds State Park

Council Grounds State Park
N1895 Council Grounds Dr
Merrill WI 54452
Email or call 715-536-8773

Park description

Native American encampments once occupied the site of Council Grounds State Park. Located along the Wisconsin River and Lake Alexander, this 508-acre park is a favorite for water enthusiasts and also offers camping, hiking, hunting and fishing opportunities.

Available dates:
Contact the park for available opportunities throughout the year. Campground host positions for this season are full. Applications will be considered for 2019.

Devil's Lake State Park

Devil's Lake State Park
S5975 Park Rd.
Baraboo, WI 53913
Email or call 608-356-8301 ext. 140

Park description

With over 2.5 million visitors each year, the Devil's Lake State Park is in need of volunteers to help in a variety of ways. Help with special events, teach kids to fish, help support group hikes, be a nature center helper, help with kayak tours, parking assistants, help with trail maintenance, remove invasive species, help with summer bat watches and more. Whatever you can do, there's something for you.

Available dates:
Contact the park for available opportunities throughout the year.

Elroy Sparta State Trail

Elroy Sparta State Trail
PO Box 99
Ontario WI 54651
Email or call 608-337-4775

Property description

The Elroy-Sparta State Trail is one of the most popular trails in the country. With three rock tunnels and five small towns along its 32.5-mile route, the trail is a favorite Wisconsin bicycling destination. Volunteers are needed to help pull garlic mustard between tunnel 3 and County Highway T, among other projects.

Available dates:
Contact the property for available opportunities throughout the year.

Flambeau River State Forest - Campground Hosts

Flambeau River State Forest
W1613 County Rd. W
Winter, WI 54896
Email or call 715-332-5271

Property description

The Flambeau River State Forest is set in the heart of the Northwoods. It has nearly unlimited recreation opportunities including hunting, fishing, canoeing, hiking, biking, swimming, and much much more! Connors Lake Campground sits on the shores of Connors Lake, known for its walleye fishing and beautiful beach. It has 30 campsites (4 electric), vault toilets and water. Showers are located nearby at the headquarters. The host site is located right on the lake and can accommodate a small RV or large trailer.

Available dates:
Hosts are needed for dates Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend 2018.

Governor Dodge State Park - Campground Hosts, Adopt-A-Trail

Governor Dodge State Park
4175 State Highway 23 N
Dodgeville, WI 53533
Email or call 608-935-2315

Park description

Governor Dodge State Park is one of the state's largest parks, with 5,350 acres of steep hills, bluffs and deep valleys plus two lakes and a waterfall. Located in Wisconsin's scenic driftless area, Governor Dodge offers camping, picnicking, hiking, canoeing, biking, hunting, fishing, off-road biking, cross-country skiing and horseback riding opportunities.

Campground host available dates:
Contact the park for available host opportunities for 2018.

(There are no horse campground hosts at Governor Dodge State Park. If you are interested in being a horse campground host, please check with the Kettle Moraine Southern Forest and Wildcat Mountain State Park for possible openings).

Adopt-A-Trail volunteers needed:
Contact the park for available opportunities throughout the year.

High Cliff State Park

High Cliff State Park
N7630 State Park Rd
Sherwood WI 54169
Email or call 920-989-1106

Park description

High Cliff State Park is the only state-owned recreational area on Lake Winnebago, Wisconsin's largest lake. The park gets its name from the limestone cliff of the Niagara Escarpment, which parallels the eastern shore of Lake Winnebago. The magnificent 12-foot statue of Winnebago Indian Chief Red Bird, standing high on a huge granite rock, overlooks the lake and is a popular destination in the park.

Available dates:
Contact the park for available opportunities throughout the year.

Kettle Moraine State Forest - Northern Unit

Kettle Moraine State Forest - Northern Unit
Forest Headquarters

N1765 Highway G
Campbellsport WI 53010
Email or call 262-626-2116

Forest description

The first and largest unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest offers year-round recreation among world-famous glacial landforms. Visitors may camp at one of four campgrounds, backpack along the Ice Age Trail, swim at one of three beaches, enjoy challenging mountain bike trails, take in a Naturalist program, or just escape among 30,000 acres of rolling wooded hills and prairies. The forest headquarters is 7 miles east of the village of Campbellsport just off State Hwy 67.

Available dates:
Contact the property for volunteering opportunities throughout the year.

Kettle Moraine State Forest - Southern Unit - Campground Hosts

Kettle Moraine State Forest - Southern Unit
Forest Headquarters

S91 W39091 Highway 59
Eagle, WI 53119
Email or call 262-594-6200

Forest description

More than 22,000 acres of glacial hills, kettles, lakes, prairie restoration sites, pine woods and hardwood forests can be found in the Southern Unit, making this a popular area for a wide variety of visitors. The Forest is 30 miles long, extending from the village of Dousman, almost to the city of Whitewater. The forest headquarters is 3 miles west of the village of Eagle on State Highway 59.

2018 Campground Host available dates:

  • Whitewater Lake Campground: May June, September, October
  • Horserider Campground (horses required): May, June, August, September, October
  • Requests of two weeks to a month available - email forest staff if interested.

Other volunteer opportunities:
If you are interested in volunteer work days and being added to the volunteer list at the Southern Unit, please contact forest staff.

Kohler-Andrae State Park - Nature Center Hosts

Kohler-Andrae State Park
1020 Beach Park Lane
Sheboygan, WI 53081
Email or call 920-451-4080

Property description

Kohler-Andrae is home to majestic sand dunes, miles of golden beach, shimmering blue Lake Michigan water, whispering pines, an abundance of wildlife and recreational activities for everyone. Kohler-Andrae State Park is one of the last natural preserves along Lake Michigan. The Sanderling nature center is about one mile north of the campground and about 0.25 miles south of the park entrance.

Nature Center host available dates:
Nature Center hosts work 12:30-4:30 p.m. Wednesday-Friday, and 10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, with Monday and Tuesdays off. The Nature Center Host position includes an electrical campsite, with water hook up (no sewer). Nature Center hosts are still needed for August 2018.

Lakeshore State Park

Lakeshore State Park
500 N Harbor Dr.
Milwaukee WI 53202
Email or call 414-274-4281

Volunteer descriptions

In the heart of downtown Milwaukee, Lakeshore State Park provides a unique urban oasis with recreational and educational opportunities geared to the urban population. Lakeshore State Park offers offers many types of programs. Volunteer opportunities available include:

  • Park Ambassador – Greet and inform visitors about the park, upcoming events and activities. Sign up for a shift on the weekend, weekdays or evenings.
  • Volunteer Naturalist – Assist staff in conducting educational classes and programs. A background in teaching and\or natural sciences is desirable but not required.
  • Citizen Scientist – Help park staff gather information on scientific studies at the park, such as bird surveys, water data or conducting visitor surveys.
  • Lakeshore Caretakers – Assist park staff with the many projects required to operate and maintain the park.
  • Special Events – Assist in the setup, operation and take down of various events, such as the Urban Island Beach Party, Beach Bonfire, SturgeonFest and others.

Available dates:
Contact the property for volunteering opportunities throughout the year.

Lapham Peak - Nature Center Volunteers

Kettle Moraine State Forest - Lapham Peak Unit
W329 N846 County C
Delafield, WI 53018
Email or call 262-594-6200

Description

Lapham Peak's glaciated topography provides excellent hiking, backpacking and cross-country skiing on lighted trails. The Hausman Nature Center is located at Lapham Peak and offers nature programs during the year.

Available dates:
Hausman Nature Center volunteers are needed for weekends during summer, Memorial Day through Labor Day. If interested, please contact the property for available opportunities.

MacKenzie Center - Docents/Volunteer Naturalists

MacKenzie Center
W7303 County Highway CS
Poynette WI 53955
Email or call 608-635-8105

Property description

The MacKenzie Center Wildlife Team is seeking docents/volunteer naturalists for the summer season. No experience is necessary. Volunteers are needed to lead outdoor programs during summer; availability approximately once per month for 2-3 hours on Saturdays in June, July and August. For more information, contact the MacKenzie Center at 608-635-8105.

Available dates:
Contact the property for volunteering opportunities throughout the year.

Merrick State Park - Campground hosts

Merrick State Park
P.O. Box 127
Fountain City, WI 54629
Email or call 608-687-4936

Park description

Located along the lazy Mississippi River and surrounded by the hills of Wisconsin's Coulee Region, 322-acre Merrick State Park is popular with anglers and boaters. The marshy backwaters are home to a variety of fish, birds, animals and plants. Rising and falling river levels, though controlled by dams, are part of the natural environment.

Available dates:
Contact the park for available host opportunities for 2018.

Mill Bluff State Park - Campground Hosts

Mill Bluff State Park
15819 Funnel Rd
Camp Douglas, WI 54618
Email or call 608-337-4775

Park description

Travelers passing through the Camp Douglas area are intrigued by the unusual, tall bluffs rising abruptly from the flat plain. Mill Bluff's sandstone buttes were islands in Glacial Lake Wisconsin during the Ice Age, 12,000 years ago. Mill Bluff State Park offers hiking with spectacular view of picturesque rock formations, swimming, playground and picnicking opportunities. The campground offers 21 campsites.

Available dates:
Contact the park for available host opportunities for 2018.

Nelson Dewey State Park - Campground hosts

Nelson Dewey State Park
P.O. Box 658
Cassville, WI 53806
Email or call 608-996-2261

Park description

Nelson Dewey State Park overlooks the Mississippi River from a 500-foot bluff. At this park you can combine your interest in history with your enjoyment of the outdoors. Camp, hike or picnic high above the Mighty Mississippi. Named for Wisconsin’s first governor, Nelson Dewey, the park offers a rich history, featuring the Dewey home and the nearby Stonefield Historic site. There are 48 camping sites for visitors to enjoy.

Available dates:
Campground hosts are needed for August through Labor Day 2018.

Newport State Park

Newport State Park
475 County Highway NP
Ellison Bay, WI 54210
Email or 920-854-2500

Park description

Newport State Park, northeast of Ellison Bay, is Wisconsin's only formally designated wilderness park. With 2,373 acres and 11 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline, the park offers quiet alternatives to bustling Door County. Explore 30 miles of hiking trails with hike-in campsites. There are evergreen and hardwood forests, wetlands and upland meadows.

Available dates:
Contact the park for available opportunities throughout the year.

Pattison State Park

Pattison State Park
6294 S State Rd 35
Superior, WI 54880
Email or call 715-399-3111

Park description

Pattison State Park features the highest waterfalls in Wisconsin 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.

Available dates:
Contact the park for available opportunities throughout the year.

Peninsula State Park

Peninsula State Park
9462 Shore Rd.
Fish Creek, WI 54212
Email or call 920-868-3258

Park description

Considered Wisconsin's most complete park, Peninsula offers 468 campsites, three group camps, a summer theater, an 18-hole golf course, sand beach, bike trails, a lighthouse and eight miles of Door County shoreline. The rollicking waves that skip towards Peninsula's sky high bluffs are part of the Niagara Escarpment.

Available dates:
Contact the park for all available volunteering opportunities throughout the year.

Pike Lake

Kettle Moraine State Forest - Pike Lake Unit
3544 Kettle Moraine Road
Hartford, WI 53027
Email or call 262-670-3400

Property description

The Pike Lake Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest is named after the 522-acre, spring-fed kettle: Pike Lake. Powder Hill, a large glacial kame, provides the opportunity for a great hike and view. Visitors can enjoy camping, swimming, hiking, fishing, picnicking and much more within the forest.

Available dates:
Contact the park for available volunteer opportunities for 2018.

Potawatomi State Park

Potawatomi State Park
3740 County Hwy PD
Sturgeon Bay, WI  54235
Email or call 920-746-2890

Property description

Located in Door County, Potawatomi State Park has more than 1,200 acres of forest and two miles of rocky shoreline on Sturgeon Bay. On a clear day, the view from the park’s observation tower reaches 16 miles across Green Bay. The park has 123 family campsites and four group campsites.

Available dates:
Contact the park for all volunteer opportunities.

Rib Mountain State Park

Rib Mountain State Park
4200 Park Road
Wausau WI 54401
Email or call 715-842-2522

Park description

This billion-year-old hill is one of the oldest geological formations on earth. Rib Mountain State Park is a premier day-use facility with picnicking, hiking trails and a reservable amphitheater. The top of the 60-foot observation tower offers spectacular views of the Wausau area and Wisconsin River. Granite Peak Ski Area is on the north face of the mountain and offers downhill skiing and snowboarding during winter.

Available dates:
Contact the park for available opportunities throughout the year.

Richard Bong State Recreation Area - Nature Center Hosts

Richard Bong State Recreation Area
26313 Burlington Rd.
Kansasville, WI 53139
Email or call 262-878-5601

About the nature center

The Molinaro Nature Center has displays, live animals and and hands-on exhibits about the property. The solarium showcases seasonal exhibits including butterfly rearing and nature free play. Typically Nature Center hosts are needed for Friday through Monday, about 10:45 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., with some flexibility. A full hook-up campsite is available to Nature Center host volunteers.

Nature Center host available dates:
Nature Center hosts are needed for dates in June 2018. Contact the property for available opportunities.

Roche-A-Cri State Park - Volunteer Naturalists

Roche-A-Cri State Park
1767 State Highway 13
Friendship WI 53934
Email or call 608-339-6881 (summer); 608-565-2789 (off-season)

Park description

Roche-A-Cri State Park, established in 1948, protects a 300-foot-high rock outcropping and Native American petroglyphs and pictographs. The name "Roche-A-Cri" comes from French words meaning "crevice in the rock." 

Volunteer Naturalist available dates:
Contact the property for available opportunities for 2018.

Rock Island State Park

Rock Island State Park
1924 Indian Point Road
Washington Island WI 54246
Email or 920-854-2500

Park description

This primitive island off the tip of the Door County Peninsula and northeast of Washington Island offers hiking trails, the oldest lighthouse in Wisconsin and 2,000 feet of beach. Vehicles are not allowed on the 912-acre island, making for an experience unlike any other Wisconsin state park. Stone buildings, built by a wealthy inventor and his family, house exhibits. The ferry to the island runs Memorial Day weekend through Columbus Day.

Available dates:
Contact the park for available opportunities throughout the year.

Wildcat Mountain State Park - Campground Hosts, Horse Camp Hosts

Wildcat Mountain State Park
E13660 Hwy 33
Ontario, WI 54651
Email or call 608-337-4775

Park description

On a steep ridge overlooking the scenic Kickapoo River Valley, Wildcat Mountain State Park offers hiking trails with spectacular views and camping for families, groups and horseback riders. Campsites include traditional sites for tents, vans, or trailers as well as cart-in sites.  Canoe the Kickapoo River in your own canoe or rent one in Ontario.

Campground host available dates:
Contact the park for available host opportunities for 2018.

Willow River State Park - Nature Center, Campground Hosts

Willow River State Park
1034 County Rd. A
Hudson, WI 54016
Email or call 715-386-5931

Park description

Willow River State Park is located just east of the Twin Cities in western Wisconsin. Willow River is one of the busier state parks with more than 800,000 annual visitors. The park offers a variety of recreational opportunities including hiking, camping, picnicking, fishing, hunting and sightseeing. The main attraction of the park is a magnificent waterfall on the Willow River. The park has 150 family campsites and four group campsites. The park nature center provides educational opportunities for visitors and school groups year-round through planned programs, presentations, classes, special events and hikes.

Nature Center volunteers:
We are looking for volunteers to help staff the nature center (especially on weekends) and to assist with classes and programs. Contact the park for available opportunities throughout the year.

Campground Host available dates:
Contact the park for available host opportunities for 2018.

Yellowstone Lake State Park - Campground Hosts

Yellowstone Lake State Park
8495 Lake Road
Blanchardville WI 53516
Email or call 608-523-4427

Park description

Yellowstone Lake State Park is 1,000-acre park nestled in the rolling farmland and woodlands of Southwest Wisconsin. Yellowstone Lake is the primary recreational lake in the area. The 455-acre lake is well known for its pan fishing with reports each year of excellent catches of catfish, walleye, bass and musky. Recreational boaters, skiers and canoes also enjoy the lake. The park has 128 family campsites and 5 group sites. Camp host assist camper with general information and typically spend 15-20 hours a week removing ash from fire rings and picking up litter.

Campground host available dates:
Campground hosts are needed for dates in May and June 2018.

Last revised: Friday June 15 2018