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Wisconsin State Parks and ForestsBlack River State Forest
The Black River State Forest offers many recreational opportunities, including camping, hunting, hiking, skiing and ATV riding. But the Department of Natural Resources also manages this property to meet a host of other objectives, including maintenance of wildlife habitat, native biological diversity, soil and water quality, aesthetics and timber production.
Elk coming to the Black River State Forest
After many years of planning, wild elk are coming to the Black River State Forest. Up to 28 elk will be transported to the property this year from the state of Kentucky. Initially, elk will be in a closed quarantine until early June so they can be tested for disease and acclimated to the area, after which time they will be released on the property.
This release is the first stage in a multi-year project to bring up to 150 wild Kentucky elk to Wisconsin with half of these coming to the Black River area (and the other half going to the Clam Lake area where a herd was established in 1995). Learn more about elk and their reintroduction to Wisconsin.
Annual work plan released
The Black River State Forest's annual work plan has been released for public comment along with a map showing proposed timber sales . If interested, please review the plan and provide comment by March 20 using the directions provided in the document.
New and improved opportunities for hunter camping
The Black River State Forest has some great new opportunities for fall camping. The Castle Mound campground reservation season has been extended, with reservations now being taken through the second weekend in October. More electric sites have also been added at Castle Mound, bringing the total to 14.
The outdoor group camp is open from April 15 through November 30. This rustic camping area accommodates up to 50 people and eight wheeled camping units. Amenities include a vault toilet building, water, picnic tables, firewood, a barbeque grill and a large open recreation area. Reservations can be made at Reserve America.
New contact station at the Black River State Forest
The Black River State Forest is located in the heart of west central Wisconsin near the city of Black River Falls. It is approximately 2 hours southeast of Minneapolis and 2 hours northwest of Madison, near I-94.
Visitors can reserve campgrounds and get directions to the individual campgrounds online through the DNR.
- Castle Mound campground: 44.283922, -90.828786
- East Fork campground: 44.421398, -90.678685
- Pigeon Creek campground: 44.214579, -90.616790
- Indoor Group camp: 44.415329, -90.688319
- Outdoor Group camp: 44.417475, -90.675101
Maps and brochures
Management and business
Black River State Forest master plan
Completed in January of 2010, the Black River State Forest master plan reflects years of planning and public input. The final plan, maps, variances and amendments are included in the plan, as well as documents used during the plan's development.
Public involvement in state forest management, operations and monitoring is part of sustainable forestry. We seek public involvement because we believe people, communities, organizations and businesses realize the potential public benefits of state forests and are willing to work to further the goals of sustainable forestry.
Timber sale program
The state forests are managed sustainably for multiple uses. Active timber management is a part of that overall effort on many parts of each forest. Timber sales are advertised for sale typically from one to three times annually, depending on the size of the forest. Learn more about timber sales in Wisconsin.