Contact Us                                                                                                                                                                             Visit us on Facebook

Lastest News [scroll down to see all the news]


FORI Needs Volunteers in May

We need volunteers to help clean up the park, the boathouse and the lighthouse on Saturday and Sunday, May  16th and 17th.  There is free transportation to the island on the park boat and free camping at Group Site 1 for volunteers who come to help us.  FORI will host a potluck dinner in the Lighthouse on Saturday and offer a S'mores roast back at the campsite for dessert. If you can come to help us get the park ready for opening this time, please send email to Colleen Andrews at to book your spot on the park boat and to let her know if you will be camping or want to participate in the potluck dinner.


The park boat leaves Jackson Harbor at 9am both days and returns to Washington Island about 4pm daily.  There is no ferry service to Rock Island for the work weekend.  You can take the 8am Washington Island Ferry from Northport on the mainland on Saturday and still make the park boat by 9am.  You can take the Washington Island ferry back to Northport at 5pm on Sunday.


There are so many ways you can help, including loading cut firewood, hauling it to the woodlot and then stacking it for sale, spring cleaning chores at the boathouse, lighthouse and campground host trailer, policing campsites for downed branches, and even cleaning latrines!  All skill levels are needed!  We welcome all who can make the trip to Rock Island!


Thordarson Garden Gate to be Refurbished

You may have heard that the cedar gate above the Ranger's office was to be taken down for safety reasons.  Shortly after that was announced, word came down that in fact it will be restored!  A wonderful surprise for the park and for FORI!  It will be that much more special when it is rejuvenated and once again the icon of Rock Island that it once was!


2015 Docent Opportunities

Docents have been selected to serve this summer at Rock Island.  Watch here next Fall to learn about opportunities for docenting in 2016.

Summer Picnic 2014 Best Yet!

The FORI Summer Picnic was the most successful event in five years of picnics on the July 4th holiday weekend!  The weather was fabulous and the money raised from food and merchandise sales as well as silent auction bids outpaced previous years' fundraising efforts.


Volunteers besides Board members made setup and operation of the concessions a snap.  Thanks go out to Tina and Gary Jacoby and the Bowman family for their expert assistance at the food concession and with the balloon launch game on the lawn.  Kudos to Greg Koelpien , Rick Simmons and Jude Koehn who assisted with setup of the silent auction in the Boathouse.


FORI has set the date for the 2015 picnic for Saturday, July 4th.  Plan to visit the park that day to take part in a fun time on Rock Island.


New Rock Island Merchandise

FORI is offering new items at Rock Island's contact station and at the Pottawatomie Lighthouse.  Hiking staffs and Rock Island medallions were added to the inventory along with aluminum water bottles with the FORI logo.  Fill one up at the well for the walk back to the boat dock or campground.  Backpacks that are perfect for carrying supplies and snacks for hiking around the island can be purchased at the Lighthouse shop too.  White T-shirts with a sun-sensitive colored lighthouse drawing will continue to be available.  Checkout more details on our Memberships and Merchandise page.  Don't forget to bring your wallet and/or checkbook when you visit Rock Island!


Membership Fees

Fees to join FORI have been increased $5 for both individual and family memberships.  A new Friend for Life membership option is now available.  See our Membership & Merchandise page for more information.


Oh, Ranger! ParkFinder knows Rock Island State Park

Got an iPhone or iPod Touch?  Download the free Oh, Ranger! ParkFinder app from the Apple iTunes App store or from and keep info about Rock Island really close at hand. 


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