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Northern Highland-American Legion State ForestCurrent conditions

Conditions as of Thursday, May 18, 2017:

NHAL lake

The drenching rain of the last few days is helping everything growing to suddenly explode with lovely spring green colors. June and pin cherry are blooming, adding to the pallet of green pastels. Regular and barren strawberries are blooming, trilliums are starting to bloom and wood anemones are on the downward cycle. Rose-breasted grosbeaks and indigo buntings are joining the warblers and hummers that are starting to arrive. The woods is full of song! The hermit thrushes and loons are serenading into the night. What a lovely time of year to get out and enjoy the north. Please be aware of all the high water!

Trail conditions

Spring storms produces a lot of wind damage on area trails, so please use caution when climbing over/under downed trees or hanging branches.

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.

Read the NHAL trail descriptions for more information.

Campground conditions

Thirteen campgrounds are open for the season. Self-registration is set up for the outlying campgrounds and at the visitor stations when staff is not available. Cunard, East Star, Plum, Sandy Beach and South Trout campgrounds will open May 22nd. All three dump stations are open with the water for flushing, and water for drinking all available. Firewood is available at the visitor stations during open hours. Operations crews are diligently working to clean, clear and prepare all campgrounds, picnic areas and trails for the busy summer season. The Clear Lake shower station is now open after undergoing shower restoration. Firefly station is now open and will be redone in the fall. Crystal Lake shower station is now open. Muskellunge shower station are now under major shower restoration and will not be open until closer to the Memorial Day weekend.

Facilities open and closed

Crystal Lake Nature Center will open closer to the Memorial Day holiday. The Art Oemke Fish Hatchery in Woodruff will open for tours after the Memorial Day holiday.

Roads to and in the property

County Highway M is undergoing major renovations this summer and campers are urged to check the DOT website for work progress and current detours into and out of the Crystal Lake Visitor Station and area campgrounds.

Visitor station hours

The visitor stations are open daily from 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. until May 24th. Hours after that will move to 8:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m. daily. Camping and self-registration information is located on the kiosks at the front of the stations after 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: Thursday May 18 2017