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Hammocking and Slacklining

Wisconsin State Park System

Hammocks and slacklines are a great way to enjoy Wisconsin state properties. Hammocking is hanging a bed or couch made of canvas, netted cord, or similar material with cables attached to supports at each end. Slacklining is the activity or sport of balancing on a strip of webbing fixed above the ground but not stretched tight.

Hammocking in Wisconsin State Parks
Hammocks and slacklines are a great way to enjoy Wisconsin State Park System properties.

Overview and Guidelines

The following rules apply to hammock and slackline use to provide a meaningful experience to both users and other property visitors.

  • Hammock and slackline use is permitted in public areas (campsites, picnic areas, state trails and other day-use areas).
  • Hammocks and slacklines are not permitted in any designated State Natural Areas.
  • Hammocks and slacklines must be hung over flat, mowed and maintained areas, clear of obstructions. 
  • Hammocks and slacklines may not be left unattended and must be installed and removed within the same day (except for hammocks in designated campsites for overnight camping).
  • Participants and spectators assume all liability and risk for these activities.
  • Installers are responsible for the safety of equipment and ensuring it meets the guidelines for the entire duration it is installed.

Hanging a Hammock or Slackline

Hammocks and slacklines may only be attached to trees. They may not be connected to other objects or fixtures, including picnic tables and grills.

To protect trees and users:

  • Trees must be greater than 1 foot in diameter at the attachment point and greater than 5 feet tall.
  • Trees should be alive.
  • Hammocks and slacklines may not be attached to Oak trees.
  • Trees may not be altered in any way (no cutting branches, no use of anchors, screws, nails, etc., and no tree bracing).
  • Padding must be used around the tree trunk at the anchoring point.
  • Anchoring straps (webbing) must be a minimum of 1 inch wide and lay flat against the protective padding. No rope or paracord should be used.

Only one hammock per tree is allowed. Hammocks may not be stacked above each other, or where multiple hammocks are tied to one tree and set up in different directions.

Hammocks and slacklines may not be more than 25 feet in length and may not be more than 3 feet off the ground.

Hammocks and slacklines may not impede other property users and may be removed by property staff if deemed dangerous to property users or harmful to natural resources.

Hammock Camping

In addition to the above requirements, the following rules apply when using a hammock or slackline for overnight camping:

  • Hammocks and slacklines are permitted only in designated campsites and dispersed camping areas.
  • Hammocks and slacklines should be hung in a way that hangs over the gravel pad of the campsite or the maintained portion of the site (hammock stands may be used in these locations).