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Contact information
Property Superintendent
Governor Knowles State Forest
325 State Road 70
Grantsburg, WI 54840

Wisconsin State Parks and ForestsGovernor Knowles State Forest

Gentle river rolling through Governor Knowles State Forest

The Governor Knowles State Forest is located in northwestern Wisconsin in Burnett and Polk Counties. It lies along the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway and encompasses approximately 34,000 acres (of which about 21,000 acres are state owned). The property's headquarters is located in the Village of Grantsburg.

The forest is perhaps most well-known for its proximity to the St. Croix River. Most of the 55 mile length of the long and narrow property lies along the St. Croix which is designated a National Scenic Riverway. The National Park Service manages the majority of the recreational facilities directly along the river.

Hunters will find whitetail deer, ruffed grouse, black bear, snowshoe hare, squirrel and woodcock on the forest. For visitors more interested in watching wildlife, the varied habitat on the forest afford opportunities to see a wide variety of animals, including sharp-tailed grouse, common yellow throat, bald eagles, pocket gopher, mink and muskrat. This state forest also provides a variety of trail-based activities such as hiking, horseback riding, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling, both a family and equestrian campground, and other nature based activities such as nature study and wildlife viewing.

Property info

Activities and resources

A variety of trail-based activities are provided such as hiking, horseback riding, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling. The primary draws to the property are hunting, fishing and the equestrian trails and campground.

In total, Governor Knowles provides:


A vehicle admission sticker is required for all family campgrounds. A trail pass is required for biking and skiing trails. Hunting and fishing licenses apply. Camping fees are updated annually.

Certain groups and individuals may be eligible for waivers on vehicle admission, trail pass or camping fees.

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Management and business

Governor Knowles State Forest master plan

Completed in September of 2012, the Governor Knowles 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.

Planning documents

Public involvement

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 Governor Knowles State Forest timber sales.

Last revised: Monday June 20 2016