This Underrated State Park Boasts Wisconsin's Highest Waterfall And A Little-Known Beach

If you've ever traveled to Wisconsin, you're probably familiar with the state's unique charm and natural beauty. From five-star food and beer destinations to pristine beaches with sparkling, crystal clear waters to under-the-radar state parks that look straight out of a postcard, the Badger State isn't lacking when it comes to opportunities to make memorable experiences during every visit. When it comes to exploring, Wisconsin's nature-rich landscape is where the state's true essence shines.

One of Wisconsin's natural gems that you may not have heard of is Pattison State Park. Located roughly 13 miles from the city of Superior — and a stone's throw from the state line with Minnesota – Pattison State Park stretches across 1,400-acres and boasts over 7 miles of hiking trails. There's also a dedicated campground, a lake with a beach for soaking up the sun, towering waterfalls, and picnic and recreational areas for guests to enjoy.

Open year-round from 6:00 a.m. 'til 11:00 p.m., Pattison State Park requires that visitors purchase official admission stickers — available at daily and yearly rates for locals and out of state guests — in order to enter. Along with this, travelers will also be happy to know that the park accepts dogs throughout the premises — however, they must be leashed at all times, and owners are responsible for picking up after their pooch.

Hitting up Wisconsin's tallest waterfall

The real star of the show at Pattison State Park is, without a doubt, Big Manitou Falls. Standing at 165 feet tall, the waterfall is Wisconsin's tallest, as well as the fourth-highest waterfall located east of the Rockies. Not to be forgotten, there's also Little Manitou Falls, which features a 31-foot drop.

Once inside the park, there are different ways you can take in the majestic beauty of the falls. First, there's the easily accessible half-mile trail directly from the main picnic area toward the Big Manitou Falls overlook. From there, you'll have the opportunity to take it all in from both sides of the river.

Alternatively, there's also the Big Manitou Falls and Little Manitou Falls river trail. For the more adventurous, this 4-mile loop will take you to both of the falls along a relatively easy hike. Plus, you'll also have the opportunity to keep a close watch for any of the natural inhabitants of the park — including the dozens of species of mammals and over 200 types of birds that call Pattison State Park home.

Cooling down at Interfalls Lake

Away from the waterfalls, Pattison State Park is also a haven for families and travelers alike looking to take things a little bit easier while still being surrounded by nature — and Interfalls Lake is just the place for it. Spanning roughly 27 acres, the lake is a great spot for kicking back after your hike (or your drive).

After all, not only is the 300-foot beach an ideal spot for lounging, but it's also great if you're hoping to take a refreshing dip safely (especially considering that swimming in the waterfalls is considered to be dangerous by local authorities). Keep in mind, however, that there is no lifeguard at the lake, so make sure to take the appropriate precautions, especially when visiting with children.

To make things even better, the lake and its beach are both located right next to Pattison State Park's main picnic area — which means you can make an entire day out of swimming, snacking, and relaxing. Lastly, for guests who feel that they haven't had enough, the park also offers a total of 59 family campsites — as well as three backpack campsites — available to rent. Now that's what we like to call the perfect getaway.