Sherwood, Wisconsin. It’s a name you’ve probably heard of – well, never. As described by a hotel concierge named Abigail in nearby Appleton, Wisconsin, “The Village of Sherwood is so small that if you blink, you may miss it.”
Abigail was right.
The Village of Sherwood is small – really small. As noted on the Village website, “Lodging options are limited in this area.” I believe when they say “limited” what they really mean is “nonexistent”.
At this point you’re probably asking yourself, “Well, gee, why would a travel blogger make a trip to Sherwood, Wisconsin?”
I’m so glad you asked.
Nestled among rolling golf courses and gray-haired retirees, lays a hidden gem: High Cliff State Park.
The park itself is located on the Northeast corner of Lake Winnebego, Wisconsin’s largest lake. From fishing to camping and everything in between, High Cliff State Park offers visitors an abundance of recreational activities. Here are a few highlights:
1) The Forest. Composed largely of Maple, Hickory and Oak trees, the forest stretches most of the upland area of the park. If you’re ready to hike, High Cliff offers about 26 miles of trails. I enjoyed exploring the simpler nature paths, but serious hikers might appreciate the more difficult trails. A word to the wise: bring bug repellant.
2) The Limestone. The park was named after the limestone cliff of the Niagara Escarpment, which parallels the eastern shore of Lake Winnebago. The Western Lime and Cement Company previously owned the land that covers the park, but the quarry operation closed in 1956. Today, visitors can still enjoy the remnants of the abandoned quarries, lime kiln ruins and General Store building.
3) The Views. From the vantage point of the limestone cliffs and even further above on the Lookout Tower, visitors can see for more than 30 miles to the north, west, and south. Don’t forget your camera!
4) The Marina. The marina has over 100 slips available for rent. Windsurfers, kite boarders and paddlers will enjoy the lake and novice fishermen can rent rods, reels and basic tackle through the park office. There is no cost to borrow the equipment, but the park does request that you BYOB (bring your own bait).
5) The Camping. The park offers several camping opportunities for visitors, with a family campground, an outdoor group camp and an accessible cabin for people with disabilities. Family campsites start at $15 a night and pets are welcome
All in all, I’d recommend High Cliff State Park as an inexpensive getaway for families looking to spice up their vacation with a little bit of adventure. No matter one’s age or agility, there’s just about something for everyone. But don’t blink, because you just might miss it.