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Northern Highland-American Legion State ForestCurrent conditions

As of Wednesday, October 19

Common Merganser (Photo by Kim Krawczyk)
Common Merganser (Photo by Kim Krawczyk)

The fall continues to be an extremely wet one in the NHAL. With several more inches of rain in the past week, one needs waterproof boots to get around! The oaks still are showing some color, and although most of the leaves are down, there are still trees here and there that are showing their fall splendor. The understory shrubs are starting to drop their leaves, so the grouse will be surprised to see the hunter and or dog walking through their turf. Juncos and sparrows are starting to move through so bird feeders are starting to see action. Dramatic light is worth the early morning or late evening walk, hunt or canoe paddle. The stillness is starting to settle in!

Trail conditions

The State Forest offers five nature/interpretive trails for visitors to explore. Four of the nature trails have interpretive signs along the trail routes designed to teach a little about our State Forests history, forest wildlife and plants, and the cultural history of the area. The Tom Roberts Memorial Interpretive trail, located at the Crystal Lake Campground, is paved and wheelchair accessible.

In addition to our five nature trails, there are seven other trails designated for hiking. There are also hundreds of miles of old logging roads, less traveled town roads, forest access roads and snowmobile trails that offer good hiking. Conditions are great at this time and be sure to bring along necessary protection from ticks and insects, if used.

Campground conditions

South, Plum, Cunard, Sandy Beach, East Star, Starrett, Upper Gresham and Buffalo campgrounds are closed for camping until spring of 2017. Water has been shut off and buildings winterized in all shower buildings on the property. Dump station water has been turned off, but campers may still dump their camping waste but will not be able to flush their systems. A state park sticker is still required to use the dump stations. Most hand pumps and vault toilets remain open well into the winter until snow closes the remaining campgrounds. Firewood is still available for purchase during open hours of the Ranger Stations.

Facilities open and closed

Crystal Lake Nature Center closed until springtime.

Roads to and in the property

Highway 47 near the Hwy 182 intersection is still be worked on with a possible completion date of mid-November. Detours are posted.

Ranger station hours

Crystal Lake Ranger Station will be open when staff are available. Please call ahead at 715-542-3923. Self-registration for camping is available at the front of the building. Clear Lake Ranger Station is open 7 days a week, from 9am-3pm, and most days until 5pm when staff is available. 715-356-3668. Drinking water for camping is available at the front of the building. Self-Registration is available at the front of the building also. Instructions and maps are posted on the kiosks next to the self-registration envelopes.

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: Thursday October 20 2016