Traveling Ted is a blog that takes readers along on my adventures hiking, canoeing, skiing, and international backpacking. Many blogs focus on one aspect of backpacking, but I tackle both the outdoor adventure side and international exploration as well.

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Richard Bong State Recreation Area - Wisconsin State Park sticker

Wisconsin State Park sticker is need at the entrance to the Richard Bong Recreation Area

Adventure travelers do not like nor do they expect to pay extra fees

Wisconsin outdoor enthusiasts who love to adventure travel often do not like to open up their wallet. Since we are roughing it outdside there should be no reason to pay extra for the experience. Costs for permits for hiking and camping are often met with derision.

The recession has wreaked havoc on the tax base that government relies on to function. Property taxes are down, sales taxes are down since people are not buying as much, and with many people still out of work income taxes are down.

This means that local and federal governments will not have the money to subsidize state and federal lands like in the past. Unfortunately, payments to adventure travel could rise in the future.

Wisconsin State Park sticker is worth the fee

I have no problems paying for outdoor adventure travel if I can see the benefit or see the reason for the payment. One cost I have no problem paying each year is the money for a Wisconsin State Park sticker and a Wisconsin state trail pass.

The Wisconsin State Parks do such a great job of maintaining the parks. I know this costs money, so I have no issues at all with these funds coming out of my pocket in order to buy a Wisconsin State Park sticker and a trail pass.

South Kettle Moraine State Forest Scuppernong area

South Kettle Moraine State Forest Scuppernong area is Wisconsin State Park sticker country

This fact is evident especially in winter. Parks like Kettle Moraine, Blue Mound State Park, and Black River State Forest do a tremendous job of grooming their trails for cross-country skiing. They also are on the all as far as updating their website to let cross-country skiers know what the conditions are like.

Blue Mound State Park Wisconsin

Blue Mound State Park near Madison, Wisconsin is Wisconsin State Park sticker territory

The cost for the annual Wisconsin State Park sticker is currently $25.00 for in state, $10 for in state senior citizen,  and $35.00 for out of state. People who do not use the parks often can get daily passes for $7.00 in state, $3.00 for in state senior citizens, and $10.00 for out of state. Some parks like Wyalusing have a one hour fee for $5.00. The state trail pass costs $20.00 per year and $4.00 per day and is the same for both in state and out of state.

The easiest way to get the Wisconsin State Park sticker is to buy it at any state park visitor’s center. Many parks like Wyalusing, Bong Recreation, and Lapham Peak have cashiers as you drive in where you can pay. The DNR suggests these options on their website:

  • Buy your daily or annual sticker when you get to a state park and forest entrance. Visa and MasterCard are accepted.
  • Some parks, forests, and trails have self-registration stations for payment of fees.
  • Businesses near state trails sell state trail passes.
  • Department of Natural Resources service centers sell stickers and state trail passes

I recommend that anyone who comes to a Wisconsin State Park pay the yearly fee even if there are no plans to come back. If you spend more than three days you have paid off the fee. Many times it happens that you pay the one day fee thinking it will be your only trip and then return back unexpectedly. Even if you only come for one day and do not return your money is going to the upkeep of the Wisconsin State Parks, which is a great cause. Think of the extra money as a charity donation.


The goal of Traveling Ted is to inspire people to outdoor adventure travel and then provide tips on where and how to go. If you liked this post then enter your email in the box to get email notifications for each new entry. Daily travel photos are excluded from your email in order to not flood you with posts. There is no spam and email information will not be shared. Other e-follow options include Facebook (click on the like box to the right) or twitter (click on the pretty bird on the rainbow above).

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