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Northern Highland-American Legion State ForestCurrent conditions

As of Wednesday, January 28

Crystal campground road within the NHAL State Forest

Crystal campground road
(image courtesy Kimberly Krawczyk)

Conditions couldn’t be better on the Northern Highland. Come and enjoy the “Winter wonderland” whether it be snow shoeing, cross country skiing, hiking, fishing, scouting, bird watching or snowmobiling.

Among the usual winter fare of chickadees, gold finches, nuthatches and wood peckers, one will see red poles and pine siskins from the north, and if you're lucky, a snowy owl.

Grouse can be spotted budding in the trees at dusk, and turkeys and an occasional deer are visiting area bird feeders. And where there are many birds, keep your eyes open for an occasional shrike or sharp shinned hawk. It’s a great time to be out and observe the silent landscape and the creatures that inhabit it.

The new 2015 stickers are now available. The Clear Lake ranger station has plenty of NHAL logo sweatshirts, fleece and gifts for sale at 75 percent off. We also have the newly updated and revised NHAL State Forest map for only $2.

Campground conditions

The lower loop of the Clear Lake campground is plowed and ready for winter camping. All other campgrounds are closed for the season.

Ski trails report

Small tree debris, pine needles and fine branches are starting to accumulate in areas on the trails. Call 715-385-3355 ext. 121 or go online at SkinnySki.com [exit DNR] for the latest information.

  • Escanaba Trail (January 30) – All loops cut and tracked. Very good conditions.
  • Madeline Trail (January 27) – All loops tracked. Very good conditions.
  • McNaughton Trail (January 27) – Skaters loop groomed. All other loops tracked. Very good conditions.
  • Raven Trail (January 27) – All loops tracked. Very good conditions.

Roads and facilities

The Crystal Lake Nature Center is now closed.

Ranger station hours

The Clear Lake ranger station is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily and when staff are present. The Crystal Lake ranger station is open only when staff are present.

  • Crystal Lake ranger station: 715-542-3923
  • Clear Lake ranger station: 715-356-3668

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 January 30 2015