Council Grounds State Park RV & Campground Guide


A historical area where Native American groups held councils long before American settlers came along, Council Grounds State Park is aptly named. The park sits alongside Lake Alexander in Wisconsin and was created after workers completed a dam on the Wisconsin River. This forested area was once a city park and then a state forest before becoming the recreational state park it is today. You'll find activities year-round at Council Grounds State Park, with plenty more to do within an hour's drive during your stay. Family and group campsites at the park offer a chance to get together and enjoy nature with your family or extended group.

Nearby Cities:

  • Merrill, WI

  • Wausau, WI

  • Medford, WI

  • Stevens Point, WI

National Park Sample Image
Spring 40-67 F
Summer 75-80 F
Fall 42-70 F
Winter 23-28 F
National Park Sample Image
Trip Planner
Use our FREE RV trip planner to begin customizing the perfect RV trip. Continue
National Park Sample Image

RV Resorts & Campsites in Council Grounds State Park

Campground Accommodations

Council Grounds State Park Campground

  • Water hookup: No

  • Electrical hookup: Yes

  • Sewer hookup: No

  • Wi-Fi: No

  • Pet-friendly: Yes

  • Max RV length: 50 feet

  • Other amenities: Showers, modern restrooms, dump station, firewood sales, playground

Council Grounds State Park Campground

Council Grounds State Park Campground offers 55 RV back-in campsites. Though the campground is open to RV camping year-round, several amenities — dump station, showers, and watercraft rentals — are offered mid-April through September 30 only. During the rest of the year, the sites are primitive, requiring RVs to be self-contained. The road to the campground is narrow and winds through the surrounding forest. At the campground, nearly every campsite is heavily shaded, with mature trees providing a thick canopy. There is a playground that operates during the summer and a sandy beach alongside Lake Alexander.

  • Water Hookup: No

  • Electric Hookup: 20/30 amps

  • Sewer Hookup: No

  • Wi-Fi Available: No

  • Pet-friendly: Yes

  • Other amenities: Restrooms with flush toilets, fire rings, picnic tables, warm showers, dump station

  • Fee: $15 to $35 per night

Marathon Park

Located about 12 miles south, Marathon Park offers 35 RV campsites with a few more amenities than you find at Council Grounds State Park. Sitting in the middle of Wausau, WI, this county park is near an amphitheater, close to restaurants, and has a few recreational trails. There is a snack bar nearby and two playgrounds. Outdoor basketball and volleyball courts sit side-by-side with a horseshoe pit.

  • Water Hookup: No

  • Electric Hookup: 30/50 amp

  • Sewer Hookup: No

  • Wi-Fi Available: No

  • Pet-friendly: Yes

  • Other amenities: Restrooms with flush toilets, warm showers, picnic tables, dump station

  • Fee: $21 to $40 per night

Sure-Wood Forest Campground

Sure-Wood Forest Campground, located 17 miles north of Council Grounds State Park, offers eight overnight RV campsites. Every campsite is a back-in site. The campground sits beside the Wisconsin River and has a boat dock and ramp for easy access. A fish cleaning station is available for successful anglers.

  • Water Hookup: No

  • Electric Hookup: 30/50 amps

  • Sewer Hookup: No

  • Wi-Fi Available: No

  • Pet-friendly: Yes

  • Other amenities: Restrooms with flush toilets, warm showers, fire rings, picnic tables, dump station, laundry facility

  • Fee: $30 per night

Terrace View Campsites

About 21 miles north of Council Grounds State Park is Terrace View Campsites, a privately owned campground that offers 20 RV camping sites alongside Muskellunge Lake. The campground is open from mid-April to mid-November. There are a sandy beach and boat launch area. Jet-skis are not allowed to launch or land at the boat ramp or the boat dock. Water-skiing, fishing, swimming, tubing, kayaking, and canoeing are permitted on the lake. Muskellunge Lake is stocked every spring with crappie, bluegill, largemouth bass, northern pike, and muskie pike. A playground is available for kids. Volleyball and basketball courts and horseshoe pits are available for adults. A camp store sells firewood and ice and rents boats, kayaks, and canoes. A clubhouse holds a recreation room with an arcade. Hiking trails run around the lake and through the campsite area.

  • Water Hookup: No

  • Electric Hookup: 30 amps

  • Sewer Hookup: No

  • Wi-Fi Available: Yes

  • Pet-friendly: Yes

  • Other amenities: Restrooms with flush toilets, warm showers, fire rings, picnic tables, dump station, laundry facility

  • Fee: $45 per night

RV Rentals Near Council Grounds State Park

Nearby RV Rentals


What to Do at
Council Grounds State Park

You can rent a paddleboard or kayak from the Friends of Council Grounds State Park to explore the water. Or, take a dip at the swimming beach and work on your tan. Anglers can cast a line to try their luck at catching a monster walleye. You can borrow fishing gear from the park office if you did not bring your own. If hiking is more your style, pick one of the five trails to get your exercise. When you get hungry, grab a table in the picnic area or spread out your blanket and picnic basket for lunch surrounded by nature.

While visiting, you can enjoy fishing, swimming, boating, or hiking. Make sure to take some time to stop and appreciate the wildlife while out exploring.

Inside Council Grounds State Park

The campground at Council Grounds State Park sits beside Lake Alexander, a reservoir noted for its clear water and boating, kayaking, and canoeing opportunities. Anglers love the lake for its native population of bluegill, black crappie, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, northern pike, muskie, walleye, and yellow perch. The park has a 271-foot swimming beach with a gradual drop-off into the lake. During the winter, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are permitted on the hiking trails, which are crowded during the summer months with hikers and bikers.

Fishing Fishing

Fishing is popular in Lake Alexander and the Wisconsin River at Council Grounds State Park. An accessible fishing pier on the park's northwest side has fishing stations with platforms over the water. Species you're likely to catch include northern pike, walleye, smallmouth bass, muskies, yellow perch, bluegills and black crappies.

Geocaching Geocaching

A hidden geocache is located in the park as part of the Wisconsin Geocaching Association's State Park series. After you find it, you can take a prize from the cache, but don't forget to bring along a family-friendly item to replace it with for the next treasure hunter.

Nature Watching Nature Watching

Plenty of songbirds and waterfowl will amuse you as you relax and enjoy the beauty of nature. Be on the lookout for small critters in the woods and an occasional deer or bear.

Stargazing Stargazing

Although the park is heavily forested in many areas, you can get a clear view of the night sky from the beach. Since the park is far from city lights, you can see stars, galaxies, and planets.

Flora and Fauna

This heavily wooded area features hardwoods and pines with little ground cover. Small mammals and rodents inhabit the forests with trees full of songbirds, owls, and eagles.

Hiking Hiking

Five trails loop through Council Grounds. Big Pine Nature Trail is 0.75 miles, with interpretive signs along the way to learn more about the area. The Blue Trail winds 0.65 miles through Krueger Pines State Natural Area. Alternatively, on the 0.8-mile Brown Trail, you will meander through mixed hardwoods. Anglers may want to explore the Green Trail, which takes you 0.6 miles alongside marshy lowland and upland forest to the river. Finally, the Northwest Trail is a 1.5-mile loop through meadows and forest land.


Get out on the water with your boat, kayak, or canoe. There is plenty of open water for your craft. Try a paddleboard if you're feeling sturdy. Kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards are available to rent nearby. Paddles and life jackets are included with your rental.

Swimming Swimming

A 217-foot sanded beach provides access to the water for swimming and space for sunbathing. There are restrooms and picnic tables nearby.

National Park Sample Image

How to Get to
Council Grounds State Park

Council Grounds State Park is located in north-central Wisconsin, just outside Merrill. The nearest major highway running north and south is Highway 51. Take the exit for Highway 64 at Merrill, driving west to Grand Avenue. Take Grand Avenue northwest to Council Grounds Drive, where you'll head south until you find the entrance.

Entering Council Grounds State Park

There is parking available at the entrance of the park near the office. Additional parking is available at the boat launch and the beach.

All Wisconsin state parks require a vehicle admission sticker for entrance. These stickers are available online or at the park office. The daily rate is $8 for residents and $11 if you are from out of state.

Council Grounds State Park Entry Fee (Residents) : $8.0

Council Grounds State Park Entry Fee (Senior Residents) : $3.0

Council Grounds State Park Entry Fee (Non-residents) : $11.0

Frequently Asked Questions About Council Grounds State Park

What is the best time of year to visit Council Grounds State Park?

Council Grounds State Park features recreational activities all year. If you like water sports and fishing, you'll find spring, summer, and fall best with the warmer temperatures. In the winter, you can cross-country ski, snowshoe, or hunt in the park.

What kind of wildlife can be found in Council Grounds State Park?

In the park, you can spot dozens of species of songbirds and waterfowl, such as ducks and geese. While exploring the trails, you'll likely encounter squirrels, opossums, and other small rodents. Larger mammals you may glimpse are deer, bobcats, and bears.

Are there designated RV camping spots in Council Grounds State Park?

The Council Grounds State Park campground has several sites for RVs, both with and without electricity hookups. Each site has a fire ring, picnic table, and nearby restrooms.

Do you have to reserve a camping spot at Council Grounds State Park and what is the cost?

Reservations for campsites are required at the Council Grounds campground. These reservations can be made online or through the park up to 6 months in advance. You must reserve and pay for your spot before setting up on your site. Campsites are $28 per night.

Are pets allowed at Council Grounds State Park?

Pets are welcome at Council Grounds when on a leash and supervised. Dogs are not allowed on the beach or in the picnic area.