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Northern Highland-American Legion State ForestCurrent conditions

Conditions as of Thursday, October 12, 2017:

NHAL lake

The fall colors are still hanging on depending what part of the forest you are in. Lots of golds, yellows and maroons still dot the landscape despite the really early reds of stressed trees which are bare now. There is still plenty of understory with leaves, so the grouse are still protected from the hunter’s eyes! Dramatic morning and evening light paint a lovely color pallet for the eyes of the beholder! It is a great time to be out in the woods!

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 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. Be sure to bring along necessary protection from ticks and insects, if used. Trail crews have been busy brushing and mowing the trails to prepare for the winter use season.

Read the NHAL trail descriptions for more information.

Campground conditions

South Trout, Cunard, Plum, Starrett, Upper Gresham, Buffalo, Sandy Beach and East Star campgrounds are all closed for the season. Clear Lake is open year around and the others are open until the snow keeps campers out. Beach erosion control work has been completed at Cunard and Carol Lakes, with trees still needing to be planted next spring at the Buffalo Lake campground. Out houses (15) are being installed through November. Wells have been drilled and well pads are being poured. Crews have started to remove the 51 docks on the forests area lakes and will continue for the next three weeks.

Facilities open and closed

Trout Lake Forestry Headquarters no longer maintains regular open hours to the public. Crystal Lake Nature Center is closed for the season. All other facilities are open.

All shower buildings and flush toilets are closed for the season. Water has been shut off at the three dump stations, but campers can still dump camper contents with no water to flush systems. Drinking water is available at the front entrance of the Clear Lake Visitor Station.

Firefly shower building will close on 9/28/2017 for major maintenance. Firefly bathrooms will close Monday October 9th. Musky shower and bath will close on Monday, October 2nd. Crystal and Clear Lake showers and baths will close Monday October 9th. The water at the dump stations will also close on the 9th, if not sooner, weather dependent. Campers will still be able to dump their waste, just not flush their tanks.

Visitor station hours

Clear Lake Visitor Station is open daily 9AM to 5PM if staff is present. Crystal lake visitor Station is open Wednesdays 9AM to 5PM. Self- registration for camping is set up near the front door at both stations for campers wishing to register during closed hours.

Phone numbers
Crystal Lake: 715-542-3923
Clear Lake: 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: Monday October 16 2017