- Check in: After 1PM
- Check out: Before 12PM
- Cancellation policy: Moderate
- On arrival: Go straight to camp
- Minimum nights: 1 night
- Accepts bookings: 6 months out
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Offered on the Host's property or nearby.
Natural features you'll find at Whispering Willows Ranch in Wisconsin.
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Abhorrent experience/deceptive host
Review? I'm simply going to paste what I sent Hipcamp support about this host/sham. I've spent enough energy and lost enough time. Tried Hipcamp once, and because of a lying scam artist, will never do it again. Hipcamp gave me my money back because of this experience, if that tells you anything. And I still feel 10 times more robbed than that based off of how this host behaved and how Hipcamp sanctions such behavior. Here-
On Aug 31st, I booked a stay for Sept. 5-6th for 2 at "Whispering Willows." The site belongs in quotes because it doesn't actually exist. The grounds are actually an unattended backyard, with no toilets, tables or firepits as *described*, it clearly wasn't ADA accessible (as listed) and there were no other campers or people there at all, just a large, neglected back yard. This is a clear problem because the host, Kathleen, said that she thought she spoke to us in person (she never did nor has since) and that there were other campers there, which there weren't. The listing said there were only a couple sites left, and out of 35 sites per the Whispering Willows listing, there should have been at least 33 others there. Again, we were absolutely alone. Nobody. And we were at the right place (as confirmed by Kathleen's message).
When we arrived to the area around 540PM, we had trouble finding the location ("Whispering Willows"). We drove up and down Colbo Rd and kept rereading the directions, which weren't worded very well. We kept driving by the address in the listing, 7119 Colbo Road, Burlington, WI 53105, which was a house with nobody around it (outside) and no signs. Just a gravel driveway littered with debris, and a backyard with decorations, debris, an abandoned bus(?) and a tiny meadow I assume was the "camp sites.” After 6, still driving around looking for what *the listing described* or a sign, I tried calling Kathleen, which went directly to a FULL voicemail. I messaged her through Hipcamp, at 6:05pm, asking if 7119 Colbo was the right place. No replies. We were making one last drive along the road trying to locate anything about a hay field or gravel roads (not driveways), when a neighbor walking her dog spoke with us. We explained things and asked for any help, since there are no signs for "Whisper Willows" and the sun was setting. The neighbor explained she was previously hosting events such as camping & weddings out of a barn, and wasn't licensed/zoned to do so, for business/safety reasons, and was in local trouble for it. She said that the house listed as 7119 Colbo Rd (again, this was later confirmed by Kathleen as the correct location) was likely up for foreclosure or abandoned at this point and that we were likely scammed. Her first advice, as a local, was to even take Kathleen to small claims court.
At this point we took pics of "Whispering Willows" and left, knowing we were taken advantage of and would need to dispute it with Hipcamp or my bank. Then, later that night at 10:25pm I finally received a reply to my message (from ~6pm) to Kathleen, reading, "Hi Kathleen we are at the address and we do not see the campsite, is it 7119?" Again, at 1025pm, after having her phone off and her VM full, I get a reply: "Yes.. back in the woods or set up where ever you want"... That was all. She confirmed that 7119 was the correct location and to just set up (at almost 1030pm, mind you).
The next morning, after already being home and giving up on it all, I reply back. I laid out the facts of what was listed, what was encountered, and cited the timeline. Kathleen's immediate response was to on one hand explain that she was out for the weekend and with a dead phone (and couldn't be reached), but also that she believed she met me there at the address. There was nobody there- except the neighbor w/ a dog. She cannot be both out of town/away and cut off from her phone (this claim came second), while she also believes to have met me there (this response came first). This is the first contradiction. The second is that she mentioned other campers there. There were none (see pics). There were no other people.
We paid $50 for an abandoned, unsafe, clearly unsuitable yard as "35 camp sites" and $10 more for unlimited firewood. That's $60, plus the fees/taxes. At this point, we'll be requesting a full refund, or I will speak with my bank for an easy dispute. I understand emergencies happening, bad weather, miscommunication, accidents or just bad luck, but NONE of those were involved, and Kathleen--after not being available until 10:25pm the night of the stay-- responded with multiple, conflicting replies, which went first from "didn't I meet you there?" to then "sorry, I was gone and away and my phone didn't work" and "other people were there and enjoyed themselves" at a CONFIRMED location where only a neighbor and her dog were at. No other campers, no campsites and no camping. I'll definitely have a story to tell about my one and likely only Hipcamp "experience."
Excellent campground, helpful host!
Kathleen was helpful in responding to my questions about the campground. She communicated very well. I did not have any questions unanswered by the time we arrived to the campground. We did use the fire pit. It had rained most of the day, so it was hard to keep our fire going and the wood never really caught. There were some mosquitoes when we stayed. For the most part, they stayed away with insect repellent (we used Picardin). If you're looking for something with a lot of other campers, then I would look elsewhere. It was secluded and a good escape from "reality." I would definitely recommend this campground to a friend!
Easy get away
Great spot to stay for a camping get away weekend! Such a cool area where you’re removed but a close drive into a town if needed. Nearby a cool state park. It is close to a highway road so you can hear some cars but overall a nice simple place to stay.
Lovely rustic stay for a night
Beautiful and rustic campsites that each have their own flair. A cute property to walk around and some easy hiking as well. We were the only campers on the night we stayed so our dog was able to run around and had so much fun exploring the woods (make sure to check for tics, though!). We picked a site close to the one trash can we found and were able to fit our Subaru Outback and hatchback tent and still had some space. No toilets or showers so make sure you’re prepared for a truly rustic camping experience. Each site has its own “terrain” and feel, some with a mulch/woodchip floor and some were more grassy. It’s also very close to the nearby highways (you can hear cars during the day but it’s pretty quiet at night), but still completely isolated in the woods.
FYI for directions, we only found the property when we typed the address into Maps. Clicking through Hipcamp took us a little out of the way!
Lovely, secluded spot for such a quick drive from Chicago. It was tricky to find the place but that was the only drawback. I was able to watch the stars in the field and then wander back to the forest for the campfire and tent. We had the whole place to ourselves so our puppy was able to run around. Thank you!