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Northern Highland-American Legion State ForestCurrent conditions

Conditions as of Wednesday, March 22, 2017:

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

Stop and go seems to describe the season at the moment. Spring tempts the north, sap starts to run, then winter grabs back at us with single digit temperatures. The snow pack that is in the woods is very hard, making for great long walks to enjoy the silent landscape on the NHAL. As we await the signs of pussy willows, grouse drumming, woodcock peenting and spring migrant songs, at least our resident chickadees and nuthatches brighten our days with song!

Trail conditions

Conditions as of Tuesday, March 7, 2017:

The recent weather has taken its toll on snow conditions in the north woods. We are suspending grooming of the trails, most likely for the rest of the season. The high winds occurring today have left many branches and debris on the trails

Conditions vary from poor to good on all trails

  • Escanaba Trail
    Not grooming – ski in new snow on existing tracks.
  • Raven Trail
    Not grooming – ski in new snow on existing tracks.
  • McNaughton Trail
    (as of 03/01/2017) Skaters loop groomed. All other loops tracked.
  • Madeline Trail
    (as of 03/01/2017) All loops tracked.

Read the NHAL trail descriptions for more information.

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 the history of the state forest, 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

As forest roads accumulate more snow, vehicular access gets limited. After snowmmobile trails are groomed and opened for the season, vehicular traffic is not allowed on groomed trails.

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 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and most days until 5 p.m. 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: Wednesday March 22 2017