Home to Wisconsin's largest waterfall, a pretty lake, and a pet-friendly campground, Pattison State Park offers plenty for outdoor enthusiasts.
Situated south of Superior, this 1,400-acre park is where the Black River drops more than 30 feet over Little Manitou Falls, before forming Interfalls Lake and then plunging 165 feet over Big Manitou Falls. The breathtaking waterfalls are the main attraction here, and there are seven miles of hiking trails that help you admire their beauty from every angle. There are several overlooks surrounding Big Manitou Falls, while the Big Manitou Falls River Trail provides a steep, wooded trek half a mile downhill to the Black River.
The lake is the other main hive of activity in the park. The lake covers 27 acres and features a 300-foot sand beach that is popular with both swimmers and sunbathers during the summer months.
If you're planning to stay the night, the Pattison State Park campground features 59 sites, 18 of which have electric hookups. There are no sewer or water hookups here, but a dumping station is provided, while showers and flush toilets are available during summer. However, please note that the location of some of the non-electric sites means you'll need to endure a longer walk to the showers than some other campers.
While camping is available year-round, several facilities (including the bathhouse and shelter) shut down in fall before the arrival of winter. Water fountains and the dump station are switched off at night when temperatures get close to freezing, but are switched back on again during the day if the weather heats up enough.
There are also three backpack sites available, found roughly 1.6 miles from the parking lot. These sites feature vault toilets and have their own picnic tables and fire rings. However, you'll need to carry water and all other supplies in and out.
There's an $8 vehicle entrance fee for Wisconsin day-use visitors, but this rises to $11 for those from out of state. Camping costs vary depending on the type of site you select. Dogs are welcome on all sites but must be leashed and attended at all times.
Dogs are allowed in the following areas: the four-mile Logging Camp Trail, Big Falls Trail, the picnic areas at both waterfalls, and an additional area adjacent to the main picnic area. There's also a one-mile-long dog trail that connects to the Logging Camp Trail.
All of this makes Pattison State Park a grrr-eat place to visit with your dog. The falls are particularly spectacular when in full flow, so make sure you stop in for a visit sometime.