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“Great Park - Rangers out of hand”

Hartman Creek State Park
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Hartman Creek State Park
Reviewed July 1, 2012

We've been going to the park annually for 30+ years, it's a family tradition. We've always enjoyed the park's great vistas, trails and facilities. Unfortunately, like many other visitors have stated, the rangers are over the top, and in my opinion, out of line, especially the night gray haired lady. They obviously don't want you up past 10pm, period. Think twice about going there if you enjoy sitting around the fire and conversing. We have MANY ridiculous ranger stories, but one of the worst was when we were told to turn down cd player playing a lullaby for a new born.

Like I said, it's a great park, but WI has several fantastic State Parks. I would recommend going to a different campground where the rangers are a bit more curtious and respectful.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with family
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8  Thank skimmer797
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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26 - 32 of 41 reviews

Reviewed June 25, 2012

I have to agree with the other "terrible" reviews. The park is excellent but the staff rangers are out of control. I have camped at Hartman every year for at least 10 years for an annual star party. The rangers are the type that "take their job seriously" and micro-manage everything looking to assert their authority, but whatever they complain about depends on which day of the week it is and which way the wind blows that particular day. The trend has been getting worse over the years. It's almost like the rangers are afraid to NOT say something about anything. They also fear to make any kind of "call" on their own without "instructions from the supervisor" first.

On some of these "terrible" reviews you might take it with a grain of salt but this IS the way these guys ARE. Absolute petty harrassment. They have a track record and I can site several examples, but in short, the rangers project the attitude that they are "trying to tame the lawless streets before they descend into total chaos". It isn't one particular ranger but almost a 'culture' at Hartman. Put your bullet away Barney and be polite and practical.

The park is beautiful, but just be prepared for Barney to feel the need to make a comment on some aspect of whatever it is you are doing that you are doing wrong.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with friends
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7  Thank Jim W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 15, 2012

Camped here one night in mid-April, 2012. I almost considered going somewhere else after reading all the bad reviews of one particular ranger but am very glad we came here. We really appreciate being left alone while camping which is why this was a concern for us but our fears were totally unfounded. Not only was the only ranger on site very professional, clean cut, and very courteous, we only saw him drive by twice the entire time we were there. He never eyed anybody up, snuck up on anyone, or harassed anyone. So, fear not fearless campers, the bad reviews on this site are written by someone who was disgruntled, or the offending ranger has since moved on.

This park is amazing. Lots of wild, open space to explore. Lakes and beaches and 100 campsites to choose from. Half the sites were closed because it was too early but we took a very nice spot overlooking the lake. Great pines and good facilities. Wood is for sale at $3 a bundle.

Room Tip: Sites 29 and 30 are great if you can get them together. This makes for a very large, semi-private c...
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  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with family
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6  Thank trip_seeker-7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 30, 2012

My husband and I used to travel to Hartman creek state park and camp every year in August. We love to home and swim and just enjoy the whole camping experience. This was until 2 years ago we had the same bad experience with the intrusive ranger woman. We have always been respectful campers and up until then had never had a problem with anyone at any campground. This ranger would pop up in the dark and say she could hear our deep voices from down the road. Weird when you are whispering already how someone would say we need to be quiet. I would completely understand If there would've been a complaint from another camper, or campsite, but there is no reason for being scolded for whispering! I thought 6 inch voices were for the library!! I Hope one day we can enjoy this campground again, but will not return until this same problem ranger that myself and other campers have complained about is no longer there!

  • Stayed: August 2011
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9  Thank Courts1234
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 29, 2011

We had no problems with Park Ranger at all. There was a tornado warning out when we camped at Hartman Creek and the female ranger stopped by each and every campsite to notify the campers. She was very informative on what to do in case of severe weather. Hartman Creek was a very nice State Park, some of the campsites were a little small but overall we enjoyed the week we stayed there.

Stayed: August 2011, traveled with family
3  Thank Carol Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 3, 2011

I usually don't write reviews (good or bad), but I felt I needed to in order to make up for some of the bad reviews this park has received. I agree with the poster that said the negative reviews were probably all from the same person using different names.

We just got back from a Boy Scout family camp at Hartman Creek and I have only positive things to say about it. First of all the park is HUGE. Over 1,400 acres. And there is plenty to do from hiking, biking, kayaking, canoeing, swimming (nice sand beach and clean lake), and of course, camping. There were about 20 of us who did a one-night camp from Saturday noon to Sunday noon and other than the rain, we had a great time. Our group camp site was wonderful with plenty of areas among the trees to pitch our tents and set up our kitchen.

As for the Rangers... I will say that they were certainly more visible than at other state parks I have been to, but not in an overly intrusive way. They did come to our site once in the early afternoon to let us know that there was a severe thunderstorm advisory (which I thought was nice of them). As for the Rangers being overly agressive in their enforcement of park rules such as quite time. I was in my tent by a little after 10:00 and some in our camp stayed up talking until well after 11:00 and the Rangers never snuck up on them and told them to quiet down. Actually, I was the only one who eventually had to ask the few night owls in our group to keep it down because I was worn out and wanted to sleep. :) One person in our group said that they came back again about 11:30 when they were still up talking but all they told them was that if the winds get too strong we may want to consider moving our tents into the field rather than staying in the woods.

Bottom line, check the park out for yourself.

Stayed: July 2011, traveled with family
4  Thank Misterhappyfuntime
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 1, 2011

we have been going to this campground for 30 years. we also have had problems recently with rangers invading our space. We thought it was just us,but now that i have read these other reviews, I see it is not just us. We will be going there next week and if we have any problems with the park rangers I will complain at the front office. We love this place and it is the perfect campground so please do not be discouraged from going there because of the rangers. If enough people complain maybe they will see that there is a problem.

Stayed: September 2010, traveled with family
4  Thank julieb1542
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hartman Creek State Park

Address: Waupaca, WI
Location: United States > Wisconsin > Waupaca
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Specialty Lodging in Waupaca
Number of rooms: 101
Also Known As:
Hartman Creek State Park Hotel Waupaca

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