Go, See, Explore: Ripley Beach in Cambridge, WI

We believe trying out new places inspires adventure in our children. We are always looking to discover new-to-us places that others’ have suggested or we’ve read about online. Any time we get someplace new, we get asked multiple questions from the kids about the area and surroundings. It is fun to see their curiosity and desire to explore in order to learn about this new location that they are at. It perks their imagination, most of the time anyway!

Recently, we tried out Ripley Beach at Lake Ripley Park in Cambridge, WI on a Tuesday in June. This beach does have a small admission fee required at the entrance. It is $2 for adults or $1 for children under 12 and it is FREE admission for kids under 12 every Tuesday.

Upon entering the park, there are several nice tennis courts and a large grassy area just off of the parking lot. Public restrooms are located near the parking lot and were open. An added perk is an air pump station for visitors to fill up inflatable water toys (like tubes, etc.) right there near the beach. There is a very nice and large playground right behind the beach that was closed due to COVID.

One of the great things about Lake Ripley was how wide the beach is. When we first walked up to the park, we were a little nervous at how busy it looked, as we are still trying to safely social distance as much as possible. However, we walked to the end of the beach and were able to find a spot to ourselves. The thing that we loved the most was the sandy beach leading up to very shallow water that appeared to stretch a long ways out. The kids could go out quite far and still have the water only come up to their hips. The water was clear and the sand was nice and soft – not rocky like some places. This beach was perfect for hanging out, sitting back, and letting the kids play between water and sand!

On this particular day, we only spent time at the beach, but we were impressed with how quaint the downtown felt. It was lined with storefronts and a cute coffee shop (Common House Coffee and Café).

Less than a mile from downtown is the CamRock County Park, which is along the Koshkonong Creek. It includes a trail system (here is a link for more information on the trails). Based on the activity we saw in the parking lot, it looks like it is mostly a mountain biking trail but could also be a nice walking trail. And in the winter, there is a sledding hill.

Make a Day of It

If you want to make a whole day out of this adventure, we’d suggest biking and/or hiking at CamRock County Park, getting takeout for lunch from a local restaurant, like CC sandwiches (or pack your own picnic!). After or during lunch, head to the beach for an afternoon of relaxing. There is also a winery on the outskirts of downtown with a large patio – perfect way to end the day!  Either way, if you are looking for a beach to check out this summer, we recommend Ripley Beach for kids of all ages!

Guest Post by: Gathering Twigs

We’re Sara (blonde) and Katie (brunette) of Gathering Twigs – a place where we share our families’ “adventures”, as we like to call it. We both grew up in the Madison area and share a love for simple, fun things in life: exploring new places, trying new things, eating good food, glass(es) of wine, and laughing – a lot.
Our kids often wake up on a weekend morning asking “what kind of adventure are we doing today?” and hope to continue that zest each day for them. Our account features several day trips in the Madison area, exploring many of the small towns nearby, along with documenting our bigger vacations that we take. We hope to inspire other families to take on some of these big adventures and little moments together, and share most of this on our blog too. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Follow them on instagram at @GatheringTwigs
Photo: @kaylaephotography


Madison Mom
Madison Moms Blog is written by and for moms who live in the Madison Area. We strive to connect local moms by sharing personal experiences, fun ideas and useful information as well as promoting local businesses. Our community begins online, but doesn't stop there! We offer Mom's Night Out events, play groups and other opportunities to connect offline, with and without kids.


  1. I appreciate your write-up on Ripley Park. My family and I visited today, and it was a delight. My son enjoyed playing in the sand, water and playground. Definitely a change from the everyday.


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