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Flambeau River State ForestCurrent conditions

Conditions as of Monday, November 20, 2017:

Grazing elk

Grazing elk

Trail conditions

Hiking trails are open throughout the forest. Lake of the Pines Nature Trail, Little Falls/Slough Gundy Scenic Area, Bass Lake Wilderness Area, 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. 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 and well worth exploring. Come hike with us! Be sure to wear blaze orange when hiking during the gun deer season.

Campground conditions

Lake of the Pines Campground is open. Lake of the Pines is a very beautiful rustic (no electricity), 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. Connors Lake Campground is closed for the season. Both campgrounds offer a wonderful camping experience. If you are interested in reserving sites for 2017, all but 6 of the sites at Lake of the Pines Campground can be reserved by going on [exit DNR] or calling 1-888-947-2757 to register.

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 three 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. Keep in mind that glass is not allowed on the river within the Flambeau River State Forest boundaries. There are several locations on the state forest that you can purchase firewood for campfires. Have you ever gone winter camping? No bugs, cold nights, sitting around the campfire and drinking hot chocolate with lots of peace and quiet. Pack your long johns and visit Lake of the Pines!

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. Fishermen have been fishing the Flambeau River in hopes of catching musky, walleye, northerns and bass. Musky activity is definitely on the upswing. Some adventurous people have been floating the river and enjoying the river experience, even with the cold weather. The water levels are moderate on the Flambeau River. If you need more information about the Flambeau River State Forest, call us at 715-332-5271 ext. 111 or email

Nature conditions or observations

Marshes, ponds, and shallow lakes have a ½” to 1” thin layer of ice on top. Mornings have been cold but days have been warming up. There is just a patch of white snow here or there with no snow in our forecast accept for a bit possibly Friday night. The deer and elk have been busy grazing in open fields and roadsides, filling up for the long winter months. The deer have been very active during all hours of the day and night. The bucks are in the rut. When hunting on the Flambeau River State Forest be aware that elk calves are about the same size as an adult deer. Hunters are cautioned to be sure of their target in order to insure the safety of the protected elk. Hunters have reported seeing groups of elk around the State Forest. Bird migration is still in progress as we have been seeing purple finches and snow buntings on the move and trumpeter swans on open water. Bears are denned up and the weasels have turned white. Beaver and muskrat are starting to prime-up so it seems that all indications imply that we will be having a normal winter. There are seven timber sales cutting on the Forest. Most logging operations are waiting for freeze up.

Be sure to drive safely as the roads are full of critters and be sure to dress up warm, wear blaze orange, and enjoy nature!

The weather forecast for the remainder of this week, according to the National Weather Service, indicates Wednesday being mostly sunny with a high of 28 and low of 18, Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, will be mostly sunny with a high of 34 and low of 21 and Friday, with a chance of snow/drizzle with a high of 44 and a low of 28. Saturday, will be partly sunny and a high near 29 and a low of 15. Sunday, mostly sunny with a high near 26 and a low of 19.

If you are traveling north this weekend, Friday night we are supposed to expect some freezing rain. Drive carefully and stay safe.

Facilities closed

Connors Lake Campground and the Connors Lake Picnic Area. ATV/UTV Trail will be closed as of November 15th.

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: Tuesday November 21 2017