Welcome! We are the Friends of High Cliff State Park

Photo by (c) Greg Burns

These hard but fractured limestone layers are part of the Niagara Escarpment, the edge of a vast sedimentary rock layer that once formed on the bottom of ancient seas. It keeps its cliff edge because the soft shale underneath erodes, leaving the dolomite overhanging --until it breaks off and forms a new cliff face.

Important Notice Regarding a trail connection linking High Cliff State Park to the Fox Cities


East Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (ECWRPC) is creating a feasibility study and master plan and is seeking YOUR input. This plan will address the future of a new multi-modal / trail connection along the northern edge of Lake Winnebago, linking communities to High Cliff State Park. The study will focus on identifying a route that connects the Loop the Little Lake Trail, the City of Menasha, the Village of Harrison, and the Village of Sherwood along an east-west corridor to High Cliff State Park, with potential for building off of the existing Friendship Trail. As the study progresses, other spur connections and links to other surrounding communities will be identified as well.

Currently and through November 2021, the project will be in the Community Engagement Phase 1. During this phase, the project team will be gathering preliminary ideas, and concerns from stakeholders throughout the area about the project. We invite you to learn more about this project and provide your feedback by going to the project website, https://hkgi.mysocialpinpoint.com/high-cliff-connection. Here you will find links to the interactive mapping tool providing you a fun way to document your ideas and the community survey. Go ahead and leave ideas regarding your ideas and suggestions for the project; areas that you think would make great starting points, destinations for biking and walking along a connection to High Cliff State Park, and identify areas of concern.

This study is funded through the David L. and Rita E. Nelson Family Fund within the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region

Additionally, project representatives will be available at the following events to tell you more about the project and gather your ideas.

Saturday, October 23rd Appleton Farmers Market

Saturday, October 23rd High Cliff State Park Candlelight Hike

Tuesday, November 16, 6 PM.

Friends of High Cliff State Park Annual Meeting

A project update will be provided

Thanks for taking the time to provide your feedback! Please do share this community engagement opportunity with others.

Lorrie Formella represents the Friends of High Cliff State Park on the Projects' Stakeholder Group. Feel free to reach out to Lorrie lorrie.formella@gmail.com with questions or comments.


Photo by (c) Greg Burns

Find the latest news on park hours, restroom availability, capacity limits, and more on the DNR website.

We are the volunteers who enjoy, help preserve, and enhance this natural resource known as High Cliff State Park, named for the limestone cliff of the Niagara Escarpment that figures prominently here. This 1,187-acre treasure near Sherwood, Wisconsin, in Calumet County is the only state-owned recreation area on Lake Winnebago.

Each of us finds so much in this park to appreciate. We hope you will, too.

Our Friends group (FOHC) was established in 1997 as a non-profit corporation formed under chapter 181 of the Wisconsin Statutes. It is recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. FOHC is organized for the charitable and educational purpose of supporting, assisting, and promoting the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources with interpretive, scientific, historical, educational, and related visitor services.

The group has the following objectives:

  • Promote the park through publications, special events, and interpretive programs.

  • Provide and coordinate volunteer services that support the programs of the park.

  • Provide financial support to High Cliff State Park for the furtherance of its programs, facilities, and resources by raising revenues through such methods as membership fees, donations, sales, grants, and special events.

Please explore our website and High Cliff State Park and consider becoming a member.

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Among High Cliff State Park’s treasures:

  • shelters including a handicapped-accessible facility with kitchen facilities

  • watchable wildlife including turkey vultures, purple martins, and deer

  • an observation tower atop the limestone cliffs

  • a marina

  • play areas including a new handicapped-accessible playground in 2020

  • a paved handicapped-accessible trail and fishing ramp at the Butterfly Pond

  • a 125-acre area state natural area, designated in recognition of the cliff environments, wet-mesic forest, and Lake Winnebago shoreline.

  • the remains of a lime kiln industry that operated here from 1855 to 1956

  • Pre-American history effigy mounds created between 1000 A.D. and 1500 A.D.

  • a main campground, group campground and a specially-designed cabin that offers accessible opportunities for people with disabilities.

  • picnic areas and a beach

  • hiking, biking, and horseback-riding trails

What's not to love?


All photos are the copyright of the individual photographers and should not be reproduced without permission.Website photos courtesy of: (c) Greg Burns(c) Maureen Blaney Flietner(c) Jay Vosters(c) Paul Stelter