As of November 1, 2016 the four campgrounds are gated thereby ending the 2016 camping season. No camping is allowed after October 31 annually.
Campsite Reservation Policy and Fees
Four campgrounds within three different parks offer unique camping experiences. Approximately 75% of the sites are reservable in advance. Reservations can be made on-line, over the phone at 715.261.1566, or in person at the Park Administative Office beginning at 9 am on Monday, January 9, 2017. On-line reservations can be made 24 hours a day, 7 days a week beginning at 9 am on Monday, January 9, 2017. Call-in and in person reservations can be made beginning at 9 am on Monday, January 9, 2017. After that day call-in and in person reservations can be made during office hours 8am-4:30pm Monday through Friday. Campground Managers post red reserved tags with reservation dates on them on the posts at the end of the camping pad. Any site not reserved becomes available for drive-in self-registration. To self-register, find a campsite not reserved, fill out a self-registration envelope, and set up your camping unit. You must pay for and have your camping unit setup for the entire camping period beginning with the day you are at the campground completing the self-registration form until the end of the permit period.
2016 Camping Season: Friday, April 29 until Monday, October 31, 2016. Advance camping reservations can be made for the nights of Friday, May 6 through the night of Sunday, September 11, 2016. Beginning with the night of Monday, September 12 all campsites are available on a drive-in self-registration basis. Also, during the regular camping season, you may drive-in and self-register at any of the camp sites that are not reserved. Camping in County Forest Units
There aren't any ATM machines in the campgrounds; Credit/Debit cards cannot be accepted either.
Big Eau Pleine Park - West Unit Campground This popular campground is located on the southwest end of the 1,450 acre Big Eau Pleine Park that extends two-miles into the waters of the Big Eau Pleine Reservoir. Campsite 15 is the Host site. Campsite 29 is a handicap site. Campsite 29 is reservable to handicap individuals only through the Park Office at ph 715.261.1550. Campsites 30 - 40 are sunny with a view of the flowage. Campsites 41 - 46 are partially shaded with a view of the flowage. The other sites are partially shaded under the second-growth mixed hardwoods. Within a short walking distance is a swimming beach, playgrounds, 18 hole disc golf course, nature trails, and a boat launch.
Big Eau Pleine Park - South Unit Campground Popular with the fisherman due to it's close proximity to two boat launches this campground has both electric and non-electric sites. The sites are all partially shaded under a canapy of even aged mature northern hardwoods. Within a short walking distance is access to picnic areas, nature trails, and horseshoe pits.
Dells of the Eau Claire Park Campground This 28 site campground located 20 minutes east of Wausau features the Eau Claire River with it's towering palisades of rock out croppings rising up at the 'Dells falls. Other highlights of the park include a high bridge, a State Scientific Area, and the Ice Age Trail. Within walking distance are a swimming beach, playground, picnic area with several shelters, and nature trails.
Marathon Park Campground This urban campground is located in Wausau with easy access just off the intersection of STH 29 and US 51/I39. Located within Marathon Park, home to an outdoor amphitheater and fairground buildings this park is less a mile from downtown Wausau. Features include several playgrounds, Marathon Junction concessions, a Splash Pad, and many reservable shelters.
2016 campsite reservations for camping at Big Eau Pleine Park, Dells of the Eau Claire Park and Marathon Park campgrounds can be made on-line, in person or over the phone from Monday, January 11 through Wednesday, September 7, 2016, for occupancy dates from Friday, May 6 through the night of Sunday, September 11, 2016. Reservations must be made at least three days in advance of the arrival date. Campsite Reservation Policy
*Reservation Fee, Change Fee, and Cancellation Fee apply on a per site basis
Group Campgrounds: (Call or stop by the Park Office, 212 River Drive to check on availablity or to reserve)
Big Eau Pleine Park (200 maximum capacity). Contract #P-173 must be completed at the park office for group campsite. 1 - 25 people, $93/day 2016 rates 26+ people, $138/day 2016 rates Key deposit $20 (Key provides access to the Group campground area only). Tents only allowed on the turf. Camping units and vehicles must stay on the asphalt parking lot. Electric outlets are adjacent to the parking lot for camper hookup.
Dells of the Eau Claire Park (300 maximum capacity) Contract #P-173 must be completed at the park office for group campsite. 1 - 25 people, $79/day 2016 rates 26+ people, $123/day 2016 rates Key deposit $20 (Key provides access to the Group campground area only).
Update as of September 22, 2016 for the remainder of the 2016 camping season:
Marathon Park: There are no fires allowed at Marathon Park because City of Wausau ordinance prohibits ground fires. Portable grills are allowed for cooking food.
Big Eau Pleine Park: Firewood is available to purchase daily from 1 - 2 p.m. and 6 - 7 p.m. at the south unit wood storage area.
Dells of the Eau Claire: Firewood is available to purchase at the wood station through self-registration Monday through Thursday. Friday, Saturday and Sunday firewood is available to purchase daily from 1 - 2 p.m. and 6 - 7 p.m. at the wood storage area through park staff.
In 2007, the Wausau and Marathon County Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department developed a new rule that prohibits visitors from bringing firewood into county parks, forests and campgrounds. This new rule is necessary because firewood can harbor many different kinds of invasive pests and diseases harmful to Wisconsin’s trees. Pests like gypsy moth and diseases like oak wilt are easily spread through infested firewood.
In 2008, the Emerald Ash Borer was discovered in Wisconsin. This exotic beetle, which commonly moves around on firewood, has already killed 20 million trees in southeast Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Ontario, Canada. State plans call for the removal of all ash trees within ½ mile of the affected site. How to protect your tree from the Emerald Ash Borer. For this reason, campers will be required to obtain their firewood at the county campgrounds. Campers can either purchase wood at $5/rick on site or gather up dead or down wood they may find on site. If they choose to gather their wood, chain saws will not be allowed to be used for this purpose. Per City of Wausau ordinance no campfires are allowed at Marathon Park campground. Portable grills are allowed for cooking food. If you have any questions, please contact the Park Office at 715-261-1550.
Sanitary Dumping Station: Marathon Park & Big Eau Pleine Park campgrounds each have a dump station availabe for a $6 use fee. There is no dump station at the Dells of the Eau Claire Park. No guarentee to have running water or sewer service (dump station) after October 22 annually to ensure Park Operations has sufficient time to winterize park facilities that are subject to potential damage from freezing weather and to provide accurate information and consisent service to the public.
Refer to Marathon County Ordinance, Chap. 19, Sec. 19.10, Camping, for additional information on camping.
Generators Use Policy: Generator use is not allowed in campgrounds except to accommodate medical conditions, and only if no electrical sites are available. If no electrical sites are available, the park manager will try to find and assign the camper to the site where the noise of a generator will be least disruptive to other guests. Permission to operate a generator must be granted by the manager at each campground and may be revoked at any time.
Camping in the County Forest Units is allowed on an individual permit basis. There is no charge for the permit. Visit the Park Administrative Office to secure a permit, or call the office at 715.261.1550. If the required information is provided over the phone, we can mail, fax, or e-mail the permit to you.
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