Our mission is support the WDNR in operating and maintaining Rock Island State Park      
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Lastest News [scroll down to see all the news]


New Mailorder Merchandise Available

You can now order new park stickers, magnets and patches by mailorder.   Complete the order form here and mail it with your check to Jim Johnston.

There are 7 new vinyl stickers, 2 new wooden magnets and an embroidered patch that are available to purchase this way.


Early Access to Rock Island for Birding Festival

On May 18th, 19th and 20th, birders will be able to particpate in the Washington Islands Birding Festival being held on Washington, Rock and Plum islands this year.  It is the 100th anniversary of the Migratory Bird Act and the Washington Island Art and Nature Center, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Washington Island Ferry are sponsoring birding activities all weekend.  For more information and to learn how to reserve a spot, see the Washington Island Art and Nature Center website:


Volunteer Opportunities

Spring Cleanup Weekends have been revised.  Our May 5th-6th weekend has been cancelled due to high winds and weather predictions that make boating to Rock Island impossible.  We hope to get many volunteers for our second work weekend on May 19th-20th to make up for losing this first one.


 The park boat leaves at 9am from Jackson Harbor both Saturday and Sunday.  Crews may opt to camp free Saturday night, May 19th.

Everyone is invited to help with these chores.  Please let us know you are coming and whether you want to stay in the Lighthouse or camp on Rock Island.  Contact Colleen Andrews at 715-570-5734 or email to  Weather can cause us to cancel the scheduled trips to the park from Jackson Harbor. We will contact everyone who has registered with us by cell phone should we have to change plans or cancel due to wind/water conditions.

Bring a life jacket for yourself, if you have one.  Also, bring food and water with you to Rock Island.  If you plan to camp on Rock Island, bring your camping gear too.


Docent and Camp Host positions have been filled for the 2018 park season.  If you are interested in volunteering for 2019 Lighthouse Docent and Camp Host, Click here to download a Volunteer Application.  Everyone is encouraged to apply, even if you have applied before and were not selected.  Please reapply every year for our volunteer opportunities.

See Lighthouse docent duties by clicking here.  A FORI committee selects the Lighthouse Docent volunteers from applications received by the end of each year.  Lighthouse Docent selections for the upcoming park season are announced in early spring.

Camp host duties include meeting the ferry to welcome visitors and campers to the island, selling firewood daily and inspecting the campground each evening along with other duties requested by the park manager.   Camp Host volunteers are selected by the park manager prior to each park season.  


Cell Phone Service on Rock Island

Cell service works well on Cellcom and U.S. Cellular phones only.  Verizon and Sprint cell service is available in some areas of the island as well.  Most other providers do not offer service on Rock Island.  Please plan for this when you visit the park.

Change in FORI Board Members

Erik Lucia has returned to his role as President of the Board and Cyndi Lucia has rejoined the Board as an At Large member following their respective leaves of absence.  Following her tentative tenure as Acting President during Erik's absence, Tina Jacoby has resumed her role as an At Large member.


Greg Koelpien was elected to the Board at our July 2017 Annual meeting.  He is serving as an At Large member.  Welcome, Greg!


Salim Zerhouni was appointed to the Board at the Fall Board meeting.  He will serve the remainder of the year as an At Large member.  Welcome, Salim!


Stairs to Lake on North End of Rock Island Remain Closed

Until further notice, the stairway down to the lake from the cliff edge below the Lighthouse is closed.  The base of the stairs was washed away by strong spring wave action and is no longer stable for use.  Please be careful and stay off of the stairway until a repair can be done.  A DNR engineer is working with a FORI volunteer engineer to plan repairs for next spring.

Woodlot News

The woodlot has a new roof, thanks to the efforts of Erik Lucia and a few other volunteers!  This project has been in the works for two years and was finally completed in October, 2017.

  Woodlot Roof 2017


Pottawatomie Lighthouse is Wisconsin's Oldest Lighthouse!

The Lightstation on the north end of Rock Island is the oldest lighthouse in Wisconsin.  It has been restored as a live-in museum to what it was in its 1910 era.  Docents live in the lighthouse from Memorial Day weekend through Columbus Day each year, giving tours from 10am-4pm daily.  Tours include a visit to the lantern room to see the replica of the 4th Order Fresnel lens and to look north to St. Martin's Island in Michigan and northwest to Escanaba and the Upper Michigan Garden Peninsula.  Pottawatomie Lighthouse is a 2-flat with living quarters for the Head Keeper on the main floor and for the Assistant Keeper and his family on the second floor.  One unique feature of this lighthouse is that every room has a large closet which was very uncommon for homes built in 1858.  Besides tours, the museum has a gift shop with Rock Island and Lighthouse clothing and souvenirs.  Donations for tours are gratefully accepted in the Summer Kitchen.  


Other News:  See our News page for information on the In Wisconsin TV segments featuring Rock Island State Park and the Pottawatomie Lighthouse