Reforestation Camp campground off to good start
By Rich Palzewic
BROWN COUNTY – The newest campground in the Northeastern Wisconsin area is off to a good start.
On June 3, the Brown County Reforestation Camp campground, adjacent to the NEW Zoo in Suamico, opened to the public.
“Overall, it’s going fantastic,” Brown County Parks Director Matt Kriese said. “Opening a new campground in Northeastern Wisconsin doesn’t happen that often, so we welcome customers and campers.”
The county invested $1.2 million to develop the property and anticipates about 20,000 visitors a year.
The campground is estimated to generate about $125,000 in annual revenue, a number Kriese said they’re on target for in 2022.
“Despite opening a month later than expected, we still foresee getting to $125,000,” he said. “About (two weeks ago), we were already at $60,000, so if the trends continue, we’ll be good.”
Kriese said campers are pleased with the facility.
“It’s a unique property,” he said. “It’s 1,400 acres, with hiking, biking and horseback trails. With the NEW Zoo and Adventure Park nearby, visitors can stay a full weekend and take advantage of the property.”
Kriese said August is the busiest month for area campgrounds.
“With Packers Training Camp, the (recently-completed) soccer game at Lambeau Field and various concerts, the campgrounds fill up fast,” he said. “For example, (the weekend of July 22), we didn’t have any openings at any of our campgrounds.”
Kriese said many people are surprised to hear campgrounds fill up fast, especially when it involves Packers season.
“For someone who has already invested in a camper, camping is what they want to do,” he said. “It saves people from staying 60 miles away in a hotel. Even during the week for training camp, it fills up.”
Kriese said it proves camping is still a valuable resource people seek.
“People like to get outside and enjoy nature,” he said. “That’s one of the reasons the county board wanted this campground. We know RV industry trends are increasing.”
There are RV hookups and two restroom/shower buildings on site.
Kriese said officials are looking to possibly add a few more amenities in the future.
“We’d like to add a small playground and a small asphalt basketball court,” he said. “It’s nice for parents to send their kids off for additional activities. Depending on things, that may be in place for 2023.”
Kriese said the campground is anticipated to stay open until the end of October.
Sites can be reserved online by visiting browncountyparks.org.
“The online system has worked great,” Kriese said. “People can show up and make a reservation with their phone – or, they can make a reservation 364 days in advance.”
To read a story about an upcoming mountain bike race at the camp, CLICK HERE.