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Flambeau River State ForestCurrent conditions

Conditions as of Friday, July 19, 2017:

Black bear

Game camera photo of bull elk 305.

Trail conditions

The Flambeau Forest ATV/UTV trail is a 40 mile segment of trail that runs north from Fisherman's Landing to junctions with the Tuscobia State Trail and the Dead Horse Run, combining nearly 160 miles of continuous ATV/UTV trail. There is a detour on the north end of the forest trail between Hwy E and Hwy 70. This detour is about 200 yards. Due to large amounts of rainfall be sure to call ahead if planning to use the Tuscobia State Trail (Cameron Bump, 715-839-2786) or the Dead Horse Run (US Forest Service, Park Falls).

Hiking trails are open throughout the forest. Lake of the Pines Nature Trail, Little Falls/Slough Gundy Scenic Area, Bass Lake Wilderness Area and Sobieski Wildlife Area and the Old Oxbo Ski Trail are just to name a few. Some of the trails can be a real challenge. If you choose to go to Lake of the Pines Nature Trail or Little Falls/Slough Gundy Scenic Area, there are map containers on the entrance posts of the trails, just grab a map.

When hiking Lake of the Pines, you can enter this trail at Lake of the Pines Landing or across from the registration station for the campground. This trail runs along the bluffs on the west bank of Lake of the Pines and into some rolling hills containing some large white pines and hemlocks. The trail takes you past an ephemeral pond that is filled with croaking and peeping of frogs. This pond is about 1/10th of an acre in size and is located at DM Lat. 45 47.188855; DM Long. of -90 42.421156. Well worth exploring. This is a very interesting trail and you can see the succession of trees and forestry practices. When hiking Little Falls/Slough Gundy be sure to read the signs carefully, and if you are able to traverse boulders and cross a rocky river bed, try crossing to Slough Gundy. Once across the river bed just follow the path and you will see some large white pines, cedars, hemlocks and also some unusual rock formations. There are cliffs on the north end of Slough Gundy, and it's a great place to watch and listen to the wild world around you. These are just a couple of the many unique and wonderful places here on the Flambeau River State forest. Come hike with us!

Campground conditions

Lake of the Pines Campground and Connors Lake Campground are open. Lake of the Pines is a very beautiful rustic, quiet and very well maintained campground. It is located on a bluff overlooking Lake of the Pines. Many of the sites are on the lake side, where you can watch the early morning sunrise. It has a very nice nature trail connected to the campgrounds where you can hike and explore the flora and fauna of the area. In the near future, Lake of the Pines is first come first serve. Connors Lake Campground also has a number of sites located on the lake, and all the sites are just a few steps away from a beautiful little sandy beach and it also is very well maintained. Both campgrounds will offer a wonderful camping experience. If you are interested in reserving sites for 2017, all of the sites are reserveable at Connors Lake Campground by going on www.reserveamerica.com [exit DNR] or calling 1-888-947-2757 to register.

There are only 4 sites that are electric at Connors Lake Campground and will be charged accordingly. The Flambeau River State Forest operates and maintains 14 river sites on the North Fork of the Flambeau River that are free for public use. These river sites have up to 3 camping units at each river site. The sites include a picnic table, fire ring and toilet facilities. These sites are only accessible by watercraft. Individuals, families, small parties and groups are all welcome at the Flambeau. There are several locations on the state forest that you can purchase firewood for campfires. Make the Flambeau River State Forest a destination in your summer plans! Let's go camping!

Swimming, boating and fishing conditions

The Flambeau River and the surrounding lakes in the state forest such as Connors, Lake of the Pines (walleye, bass, musky, northerns and panfish), Bass Lake (largemouth bass, panfish), Swamp, Pelican, Mason and Evergreen Lakes are great places to fish, paddle and explore. Walleye and bluegills have been biting. Fishermen have been fishing the Flambeau River in hopes of catching musky, walleye and bass, with some success and folks are enjoying the river experience. The water levels are moderate. Connors Lake picnic area and boat launch are busier on those hot sunny days and people are enjoying the 425 foot beach, grills and picnic tables. The pavilion is reservable for parties and reunions. If you need more information about the Flambeau River State Forest, call us at 715-332-5271 ext. 101 or 111 or email us at: judy.freeman@wisconsin.gov or diane.stowell@wisconsin.gov. Check your tackle and poles, buy some bait and a fishing license and visit the Flambeau!

Nature observations

July is Half Way Through the Summer Moon on the phenological calendar. Eaglets fledge, jewelweed pods ripen, blueberries and raspberries ripen. Blooming plants are everywhere. Especially the yellow and white blossoms. Horse flies and mosquitoes are out so be prepared. The dragonflies are filling up on those pesky mosquitoes. Grouse coveys have been seen by staff and visitors—a good indicator of the grouse population. The deer and elk have been busy grazing on green shoots. New wobbly elk calves and deer fawns are out and about following their mothers, soon to be gallivanting around like teenagers. Cow and calf groups, and young bulls have been seen often on some of the main roads. Our biggest bull elk in the area was seen feeding off the side of the road in the southeast part of the forest. He is drawing lots of attention. Bears are out and about, though quite elusive. This year's bear cubs are getting big already.

Be sure to drive safely as the roads are full of youngsters like elk calves, deer fawns, bear cubs, fox pups, birds and turtles, just to name a few. Water levels on the river and lakes are moderate. Just a reminder, to check and renew your annual licenses and vehicle stickers.

The weather forecast for the remainder of this week, according to the National Weather Service, indicates Thursday being mostly sunny with a high of 83 and a low of 59 Friday has a 40% chance of T-storms in the afternoon with a high of 80 and a low of 62. Saturday has a chance of showers and t-storms with a high of 80 and low of 58, and Sunday, has a slight chance of t-storms with a high of 72 and low of 52. Monday will be mostly sunny with a high near 71 and a low of 52. Come see us at the beautiful Flambeau River State Forest and get out and enjoy nature. Have a great week!

Coming Events to Note:

2017 summer programs


Campfire Cookout: Join us at Connors Picnic Area on July 29th at noon for some cooking fun. Our staff will be demonstrating how to cook different foods over a campfire and coals, and you can enjoy the results!

Smokey Bears' Birthday Party: Another year has passed and our lovable friend is another year older. So come join us at Connors picnic area on August 12th at noon to make sure Smokey has the best birthday party ever. There will be games, cake and maybe even a surprise visit from Smokey himself! A great program for kids.

The Singing Forest, 2017 Elk Bugling: Get up early on September 15th and accompany the Wisconsin DNR's elk biologist Laine Stowell as he checks for bugling bull elk on the Flambeau River State Forest. Maybe, we will see or hear one! Learn about Wisconsin elk management. Join us at 6:00 a.m. at the state forest headquarters. To RSVP and more information call the state forest office at 715-332-5271 ext. 101 or 111.

Facilities opened and closed

Lake of the Pines Campground and Connors Lake Campground are open. Connors Lake Picnic Area is open.

Roads to and in the forest

All in good condition.

Firewood notice: As of June 1, 2014, firewood from more than 10 miles away is not allowed on Wisconsin State Park or Forest properties. Also, firewood that has been in an emerald ash borer quarantined area is not allowed on properties outside of the quarantined area. Please buy firewood at or near the park or forest where you are going. Call the DNR toll-free Firewood Hotline, 1-877-303-WOOD (1-877-303-9663) for information before packing for a trip. For more information, see firewood facts, rules and advice or ask the park or forest office. Maps are available to view the 10-mile radius of allowable firewood on state properties.

Last revised: Friday July 21 2017