Straight Lake State Park

Straight Lake State Park

Straight Lake State Park is one of the newest and least developed parks in Wisconsin. I think one of its main functions is to “protect” a section of the Ice Age Trail. Take a look at the park map below and see if you agree.

We parked in the closest (lower?) parking lot to the entrance. As you can see below, it’s not a paved lot, but then neither is the road to the park paved. I wonder how difficult it is to get here in winter.

Straight Lake State Park parking lot

We decided to hike the Rainbow Lake Trail which goes around the fairly small Rainbow Lake.

Rainbow Lake Trail sign

At the edge of the parking lot near the beginning of the trail is this “billboard” telling you all about Straight Lake State Park.

Straight Lake info sign

We walked counterclockwise around Rainbow Lake. For most of our journey, we were trying not to slip on the multitude of acorns the forest of oak trees had dropped on the path. The acorns were still falling, but none of them bopped us on the head. I’d say the nearest one fell about 5 yards away.

Acorns at Rainbow Lake

You can quite easily get to the Ice Age Trail from the Rainbow Lake area, but we didn’t go there. (The biggest problem we have with the Ice Age and most other state trails is that they’re not loops. The only way to get back to where you started; that is, where your car is parked, is to backtrack which feels like a waste of time and energy.)

Ice Age Trail sign

They’re a little hard to see, but there was a nice collection of lily pads along the shore of Rainbow Lake.

Lily pads at Rainbow Lake

The trees were just starting to change colors. Imagine this view about a week or so later.

Colorful trees at Rainbow Lake

On the western side of the lake, we found this grill, and nearby were some picnic tables. Both areas provided a nice view of the lake.

Grill at Rainbow Lake
Forgot the sun was behind me
Picnic table at Rainbow Lake

It’s not exactly sunrise, but you can get a beautiful view of almost the whole lake from its western shore.

Rainbow Lake

Straight Lake State Park definitely has a rustic feel. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but there’s nothing there that would make me seek out this out-of-the-way destination a second time.

Your mileage may literally vary.


Nearest City

Luck, Wisconsin (5 miles)

Nearest Emergency Facility

Luck, Wisconsin (5 miles)


6:00 AM to 11:00 PM, year-round


Vehicle admission sticker required

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