Merrick State Park RV & Campground Guide

Wisconsin

In the 1800s, areas like that upon which 322-acre Merrick State Park sits were considered a waste. The stretch of the Mississippi 50 miles upstream and downstream of Merrick State Park was an amalgam of shifting sands, wrecked steamships, and fallen trees, making navigation of the river's upper reaches impossible. Each year when the Mississippi flooded, the channel shifted, creating new natural dams and silt traps. One pioneering conservationist saw the possibilities that the Mississippi's backwaters offered along this stretch of the river and purchased all the silted lands. After control dams were constructed at locations near Lake City, MN, 40 miles upstream of the park, and Onalaska, WI, 40 miles downstream, the river bottom was dredged to a continuous 9-foot depth, reducing floods. Today, the land once considered worthless holds an increased value each year as families come to enjoy the fantastic bird population and incredible fishing that has grown since the taming of the river. 

National Park Sample Image
Weather
Spring 23-69 F
Summer 58-83 F
Fall 26-73 F
Winter 7-29 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 Merrick State Park

As many RV enthusiasts can tell you, RV camping has a versatility that other means of camping do not. Add that to the comfort factor provided by an RV, and you discover that using an RV to explore the area in and around Merrick State Park is the best experience available to you. In Merrick State Park, there are various hookups that RVs can use to increase the comfort that campers can experience after a day of angling, hunting, wildlife viewing, or hiking. To find an RV rental, check out RVshare.

Merrick State Park Campground

Merrick State Park Campground offers 65 RV campsites, all of which are back-ins. The campsites have gravel pads, mostly level, with patches of grass. Most of the sites are beneath trees providing plenty of shade. A bare-bones campground, this park provides only 12 sites with electricity.

  • Water Hookup: No
  • Electric Hookup: 30 amps
  • Sewer Hookup: No
  • Wi-Fi Available: No
  • Pet-friendly: Yes
  • Other amenities: Vault toilets, fire rings, picnic tables, warm showers, dump station
  • Fee: $31 per night

Prairie Island Campground

A large campground near Merrick State Park is Prairie Island Campground. The campground is a privately owned facility that provides 200 organized campsites and allows boondocking in some areas. Situated on the shores of the Mississippi River, this campground provides a limited number of pull-through sites. The sites are wide with graveled pads and grassy areas. With the park near the river, there are many swampy areas during the early spring and late fall seasons. A beach alongside the Mississippi allows for easy boat launching, and a camp store rents small boats, kayaks, and canoes. Fishing, hiking, and river viewing are the favorite activities of guests at this park. An 18-hole disc-golf course welcomes guests and non-camping players alike.

  • Water Hookup: Yes
  • Electric Hookup: 30/50 amp
  • Sewer Hookup: No
  • Wi-Fi Available: Yes
  • Pet-friendly: Yes
  • Other amenities: Restrooms with flush toilets, warm showers, fire rings, picnic tables, dump station
  • Fee: $32 to $40 per night

Pla-Mor Campground

Pla-Mor Campground is a small, family-oriented campground that offers 70 RV campsites. The campground hosts concentrate on cleanliness, which, for some, is a major attraction. Located in a bowl behind bluffs overlooking the Mississippi, this campground never floods. Hiking, biking, and jogging trails travel up and down the hills and lead to impressive views of the Mississippi River. There is a heated swimming pool, a playground, and plenty of camp-organized family events. A rec hall includes a snack bar. The camp store sells firewood, necessary perishables, and propane.

  • Water Hookup: Yes
  • Electric Hookup: 30/50
  • Sewer Hookup: Yes
  • Wi-Fi Available: Yes
  • Pet-friendly: Yes
  • Other amenities: Restrooms with flush toilets, warm showers, fire rings, picnic tables, dump station
  • Fee: $41 per night

RV Rentals Near Merrick State Park

Nearby RV Rentals

Restaurants

What to Do at
Merrick State Park

Inside Merrick State Park

The location of Merrick State Park makes for an exotic visit alongside a backwater of the Mississippi River. Campers bring boats or rent kayaks, boats, or canoes to get onto the water. The fishing is excellent as many species are attracted to the lagoon-like water to feed on plentiful sources. Eagles, egrets, and osprey populate the surrounding area and are often observed diving into the waters beside anglers after sighting their prey. Three hiking trails run alongside the water, where those who do not wish to get onto a boat can fish from the bank. 

Outside Merrick State Park

There is an incredible number of communities surrounding Merrick State Park, with some in Wisconsin and others in Minnesota. Restaurants abound in the area offering Mexican, American, Asian, and Mediterranean cuisine, with a dash of pizza and barbeque. Local shopping malls are smaller than those found in large urban areas. Many museums, memorials, and archeological sites appear as you travel alongside the river.

Restaurants

NOSH Restaurant and Bar

NOSH Restaurant and Bar depends on local farms for its fresh products, making a consistent menu interesting. Their focus is on a Mediterranean-influenced American and seafood menu. Their market fish of the day is always the freshest you can find in the area.

Type: American, Seafood

Location: 102 Walnut Street, Winona, MN 55987

Monarch Public House

To experience a cuisine completely out of place in Wisconsin, visit the Monarch Public House. Here you find an Irish menu. Try their shepherd's pie or the Galway pot pie.

Type: Irish

Location: 19 North Main Street, Highway 35, Fountain City, WI 54639

Golden Frog Saloon

For an eclectic menu, try the Golden Frog Saloon. Their choices include broasted chicken, pan-fried steaks, and frog legs, among others.

Type: American

Location: 112 North Shore Drive, Fountain City, WI, 54639

Shopping

Winona Mall

Winona Mall houses 30 businesses. Most are local shops based on franchises.

Location: 1213 Gilmore Avenue, Winona, MN 55987

Walmart Supercenter

The Walmart Supercenter in Onalaska, WI, is the nearest store to Merrick State Park that offers a variety of products under one roof. In these stores, campers find camping equipment, groceries, and medicines.

Location: 3107 Market Place, Onalaska, WI 54650

Sightseeing

Minnesota Marine Art Museum

The Minnesota Marine Art Museum is dedicated to the encouragement of artists who base their art on water. Here you find prints of such greats as Monet and Audubon on display, explaining how the artist chose water as a subject to include in their works.

Location: 800 Riverview Drive, Winona, MN 55987

Great River Shakespeare Festival

To attend one of the best small-town live performance arts centers in the country, make a reservation to see a performance at the Great River Shakespeare Festival. Whether it is Shakespeare's, Moliere's, or a modern artist's work, these performances run the gamut of emotions with spectacular performances by celebrities in starring roles.

Location: 121 East 3rd Street, Winona, MN 55987

Jump Start Adventure Park

When the kids need something extra to work out pent-up energy, drive 44 miles downstream alongside the Mississippi River to the Jump Start Adventure Park. Kids bound on trampolines, climb nets, and endure an indoor Ninja Warrior course at this business.

Location: 3939 County Road B, La Crosse, WI 54601

National Park Sample Image

How to Get to
Merrick State Park

Most travelers approach Merrick State Park via Minneapolis through Lake City, MN. Directions from Lake City to the park involve getting onto United States Highway 61 South (US-61 S) and driving southeast for 13.1 miles into Wabasha, MN. In Wabasha, turn left onto Shields Avenue and go for 0.1 miles, where the road merges onto Hiawatha Drive West. Continue driving for 0.4 miles, then turn left onto Bridge Avenue and go for 0.3 miles. 

Turn right on the first cross street onto Grant Boulevard West and then turn left onto Minnesota Highway 60 (MN-60) and drive for 0.4 miles to cross the bridge into Wisconsin. Once you cross the river, you will be on Wisconsin Highway 25 North (WI-25 N). Continue following WI-25 N for 2.6 miles. Turn right onto Wisconsin Highway 35 South (WI-35 S). Travel WI-35 S for 22.4 miles until you reach the Merrick State Park Junction. Turn right, and the entrance to the park is 0.4 miles ahead on the right.

Entering Merrick State Park

Merrick State Park is a day-use area that is open year-round from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Entry fee per vehicle (Wisconsin license plates) : $8

Per vehicle (Wisconsin license plates, resident age 65 or older) : $3

Per vehicle (out-of-state license plates) : $11

You'll make memories that last a lifetime when you take an RV adventure to Merrick State Park. If you don't have an RV of your own, rent one with RVshare! If you share your trip photos on social media, be sure to tag us, or send them to [email protected] for a chance to be featured on our blog.