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Northern Highland-American Legion State ForestCurrent conditions

As of Thursday, May 21

Ring-necked duck (image courtesy Kimberly Krawczyk)
Ring-necked duck (image courtesy Kimberly Krawczyk)

Get ready for some cute factor, because there are goslings and ducklings all over the place!

Everything is popping out now after our recent rain. You’ll see trilliums, yellow downy violets, marsh marigolds, wood anemones, sweet white violets and barren as well as wild strawberries. A few patches of trailing arbutus are still blooming. June berries, pin cherries, blueberries and bush honeysuckle are blooming which is great since the ruby throated hummingbirds started showing up on the 8th. Warblers are starting to move through and loons are on their nesting platforms. The soft pastel colors of all of the new spring growth in the forest are beautiful.

Warm weather and sunshine are in the forecast, so we hope to see lots of visitors this weekend.

Campground conditions

All campgrounds on the forest are now open, basic spring preparations have been completed, campground hosts and managers are onsite and we are ready for a busy weekend! Most reservable sites are booked for the weekend but several of our outlying rustic campgrounds do not take reservations and there are always available sites to be found. The NHAL trails are in good shape for the upcoming weekend as well.

Don’t forget to leave your firewood at home if you are traveling more than 10 miles to your chosen campground.

We still have volunteer campground host opportunities available at Carrol Lake, Cunard Lake and South Trout Lake campgrounds. Please contact Joe Fieweger at 715-385-3355 ext. 113 for more information.

Boat landings

The installation of boarding docks on the state forest boat landings continues with only six left to install out of 44 total.

The docks left to install are Sweeney, Carrol, Nebish, Starrett, Big Lake campground and the Boulder Lake accessible canoe campsite. These will most likely be installed in the order they are listed (there may not be time to complete all six but three should be complete before the amount of boats launching make the installation difficult). A closer to normal time for ice out and a two person sports fish restoration crew made completion of this task possible. The Trout Lake DNR operations crew also helped make this sizeable project successful.

There are 16 boarding docks that are left in year-round as they are protected from ice in bays or in moving water. With these 16 permanent docks there are currently 60 docks to maintain from now until October when 44 docks will once again be removed to avoid ice damage.

In the coming weeks the state forest operations staff will be resetting the concrete planks on ramps that are useable but not in great shape. North Trout was reset earlier this week and White Sand Lake is on the schedule for next week. Forward reports to us if there are ramps that could use straightening or resetting.

Roads and facilities

The Crystal Lake Nature Center will open Saturday, May 23. Nature Center hours:

  • Monday through Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Sunday: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Ranger station hours

Both ranger stations are open 8 a.m. to 10:45 p.m. daily until Labor Day.

  • 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: Thursday May 21 2015