Local Family Celebrates One Year of Their Dream Come True, Cornfield to Campground and Aqua Park in Sparta, WI


The name Whiskey Creek came from George Gilbertson and a friend, who suggested Whiskey Creek would be a catchy name for a campground someday. Owned and operated by the Gilbertson family: George and Diana, with their son Marcus, and his wife Kristin, that day has come. Whiskey Creek Family RV Park is open today to families and campers, beach goers, kayakers, canoeists and fishing enthusiasts alike. 

Once a dairy farm, and then a crop farm, it was Diana and George’s dream to take the land at 17694 Icarus Rd, right off of HWY 16 in Sparta, WI, and create a wonderful place for folks to camp, fish, and gather around the campfire. The dream has been passed down through the generations. First started by George’s father, Harlan Gilbertson,  who farmed the original Hillgrove Farm on Highway 16, then to George and finally to Marcus.  When Marcus asked his Dad in 2019  if he still had that dream of having a campground on the creek land, George was a little apprehensive. But Marcus said, “It’s now or never!” and so a partnership was born. 

Some said building a campground on a corn field was too much work,  some said they were crazy.  The Gilbertson family has never been afraid of hard work and were undeterred. They stuck to their vision and got to work planning the development of the park. They turned to experts at WACO-Wisconsin Campground Owners Association, an association with campground members from around the state, for priceless advice, experience, and guidance. 

The plans for the new campground were drawn up by Marcus and Kristin over many nights working together at the kitchen table. They knew that Sparta would be a great place for a family friendly Rv park and resort. Building a 1 acre swim pond with beach and a 55 site campground from a rural farm field would take a lot of hard work. It was the spring of 2020 and covid just shut down everything. Marcus, who is a local electrical contractor in Sparta with Hillgrove Electric, used the lockdown time as an advantage and got to work!

 Whiskey Creek was fortunate to hire local building  contractors and workers, providing important work during the COVID shutdowns. The family credits the expertise and work ethic  of their local subcontractors- Kory Revels Construction, Sure Plumbing, Hillgrove Electric,  Antony Excavating, Arctic Heating, Heeg Well, US Silica, and WI Lake and Pond Resource for a job well done.  The result is a campground with many amenities and modern comforts, like Wifi. 

Whiskey Creek has travelers and locals alike making reservations or coming for the day to enjoy the amenities. Whiskey Creek Family RV Park offers 29  RV Full hookups, 4 Water/electric sites, 10 tent camping sites, and a serene river view cabin to rent. When not splashing around at the beach, there’s a playground and gaga ball for the kids to explore. There’s also weekend activities for kids and families, including craft time, barrel train, wagon rides, bubbles on the beach, outdoor  movies, and  even occasional live music. River access on the Little La Crosse river promises fun for fishing enthusiasts, kayakers, and canoeists. The Sparta-Elroy Bike and Great River Trails are also within half a mile for scenic hiking and biking. The swimming area features an aqua park with a 20 ft trampoline, catapult swing, climbing wall with slide and blast bag, and a new log roll on the  aqua blue water flanked by sandy beach on two sides. Whiskey Creek offers some  life vests, corkels, kayaks, and some beach toys for kids to borrow while at the swim pond. New this year is the Sugar Shack & Tiki bar next to the beach serving drinks, and snacks like  adult slushies, bloody Mary’s, pulled pork sandwiches, walking tacos, nachos and candy. 

The front office houses the camp store and the Campfire Cafe. The family greets guests when they arrive to check in with options for food and supplies, made to order food, too: Why cook when you can place an order for pizza, corn dogs, chicken tenders, French fries, a traditional Friday night fish fry, which is so good they often sell out, ice cream and more. This family insists on full service which means your order will be delivered right to the beach or your campsite. Guests can even have campfire wood and ice delivered to their site. On the back wall of the camp store are two mounted brown trout that were fished right here in the creek by George's granddaughter, and Marcus’ daughter, Lillian with her grampie-George. That creek is now open for use by their guests, a generational family's dream come true.

Whiskey Creek Family RV Park and Campground is located at  17694 Icarus Rd, right off of HWY 16 in Sparta, WI. 

The family welcomes you to “Come Camp, Fish, Kayak & Bike at Whiskey Creek Family RV Park, when you’re here, you're part of the family” Reservations  and inquiries can be made at 608-269-4796 or on the web at whiskeycreekfamilyrvpark.com.


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