This 1,500-acre quiet and friendly natural gem is located near the beautiful spring-fed Chain O'Lakes. Camping, recreation opportunities, the Hellstad House Log Cabin, Whispering Pines day use area and seven lakes with crystal clear waters make Hartman Creek a popular destination in central Wisconsin. The park is open year-round from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Activities and recreation:
Hikers have about 10 miles of varied trails to choose from at Hartman Creek State Park.
There are about 12 miles of off-road biking trails in the park which are combination hiking/biking segments. A 6-mile segment is all singletrack and was completed by a local bike club, Cronies. These trails are not paved. Bikers age 16 and older must have a daily or annual state trail pass to use trails within the park.
The campsites are in either a red pine forest or an old apple orchard/hardwood mix of trees. The campgrounds have spacious sites and the family campground has two shower and flush toilet buildings.
Hartman Lake has a 300-foot sand beach and large marked-off swimming area. The beach is adjacent to 3 acres of multi-use lawn area containing picnic tables, drinking water and a combination changing and toilet building.
The park's bridle trails are only a few years old and offer nearly 7 miles of scenic trail through forest, prairie and along Allen Creek. Equestrians age 16 and older must have a daily or annual state trail pass to use trails within the park.
Boating, canoeing and kayaking
Paddlers can launch canoes or kayaks from the boat landing off Knight Lane on Manomin Lake and paddle through the east end of Hartman Creek State Park and the Pope Lake Natural Area to Marl Lake, where they can take time to ponder the depths of the lake's crystal clear waters. From the floating dock at Marl Lake, a stone staircase leads to the Whispering Pines Picnic area where paddlers can break for lunch. The picnic area has tables, grills, bathrooms, drinking water and a vehicle access and parking lot off of Whispering Pines Road.
The park also adjoins Marl, Pope, Manomin and Knight lakes, natural lakes that are at the head of Waupaca's famed Chain O' Lakes. These lakes allow gas motors, but watercraft are limited to "slow-no-wake" speed.
Picnic areas and playgrounds
There are four picnic areas with tables, benches, grills, drinking water and parking:
On the south side of Allen Lake, with an open-sided shelter, playground and vault toilets.
On the south side of Hartman Lake, with a fully-enclosed shelter and vault toilets.
At the beach near the east end of Hartman Lake, with an open-sided shelter attached to a concession stand, a playground and vault toilets.
Whispering Pines, on the north side of Marl Lake, with flush toilets.
Before being established as a state park in 1966, Hartman Creek was a fish hatchery, where dams were built to create four spring-fed lakes; Allen, Hartman, Grebe and Middle. The park is located on part of the terminal moraine of the Wisconsin glacier and potholes, gullies and springs feed the lakes. The lakes have largemouth bass, perch, bluegill and other panfish. Fishing piers, accessible to persons with disabilities, are along the east shore of Allen Lake and at Whispering Pines on Marl Lake.
Anglers of any age may check out basic fishing equipment free of charge at the park office. This equipment was donated by the Tackle Loaner Program. Call the park office to find out what equipment is available.
Hunting and trapping
Hunting and trapping are allowed in the open areas of the park during the Wisconsin state parks hunting and trapping time frame. Trapping is not permitted in closed areas as noted on the park hunting map or within 100 yards of any designated use area, including trails. Certain trap types are restricted on state park properties.
In winter, six miles of trails are available for cross-country skiing. In winter, 3.5 miles of trails are available for snowshoeing. Snowshoeing and winter hiking are also allowed off-trail in the park, except on the groomed ski trails. The park does not monitor ice conditions for ice fishing.
The opening and closing of snowmobile trails is at the discretion of each county. Snowmobile trails which cross DNR lands are opened and closed consistent with the surrounding county (or counties). Whenever possible, the opening and closing of snowmobile trails is done on a county-wide basis, however localized conditions may require localized trail opening and closing. It is the responsibility of the county to provide notification about the status of snowmobile trails.