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Northern Highlands American Legion State ForestCamping information

Overview

Campsite availability now online!

Northern Highland American Legion State Forest
Northern Highland American Legion State Forest

Want to know which campgrounds have available sites? Browse the campground availability page to view which campsites are currently available (along with which amenities are available per campground). Availability information is updated regularly, so feel free to check often.

Camping overview

The Northern Highlands American Legion State Forest (NHAL) provides a variety of modern, rustic, group and primitive camping opportunities. Some campgrounds offer accessible facilities. Firefly and Crystal campgrounds each have one accessible site with electricity. Clear, Crystal, Musky and Firefly campgrounds have accessible sites and shower facilities.

Firewood

Firewood is sold at the Crystal, Clear, Buffalo, North Trout, Sandy Beach, Big Lake, Upper Gresham, Starrett, Razorback and West Star campgrounds. Firewood is also able from private vendors in the area. Registered campers may gather wood from the forest for use in your campfire as long as it is both dead and on the ground. Chainsaws are not allowed within or near the campgrounds themselves. Firewood from more than 25 miles from the campground or from quarantined areas is strictly prohibited and will be confiscated.

Firewood restriction

Due to potential emerald ash borer infestation, firewood from out of state or from more than 25 miles away from a Wisconsin State Park or Forest property is not allowed. Also, firewood that has been in the Wisconsin emerald ash borer quarantined area [PDF, exit DNR] 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, 877-303-WOOD (877-303-9663) for information before packing for a trip.

Trailer dump station

Trailer dump stations are located at Clear Lake, Crystal and North Trout campgrounds. The dump stations are for holding tanks and a fresh water fill-up tower is available. Campers may not drain dish wastewater or sewage onto the ground.

Lost and found

A lost and found service is maintained at Crystal and Clear ranger stations. Found items may be turned in and lost items reported at these ranger stations. Please help us return items to their rightful owners.

Garbage pickup and recycling

Dumpsters and recycling stations are located in each campground. Please cooperate by taking garbage to the dumpster and recyclable items – e.g. glass, plastic, aluminum and tin – to the recycling station. Campers staying on canoe or remote-reservable campsites should plan to bag all trash and carry it home to dispose of. There is a carry in, carry out trash policy for all picnic areas, beaches and boat landings. Please leave your campsite cleaner than it was before you arrived. Be concerned enough to pick up after careless visitors. Never burn garbage in your campfire ring.

Generators

Generators are allowed on the Modern family and Rustic campground sites as long as the following rules are followed:

  • Campers may operate their generators between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. and only when they are present on the site.
  • Campers must let forest personnel know they will be operating a generator upon check-in.
  • Permission to operate may be revoked if generator is excessively noisy.

Additional information

Modern campgrounds

Modern family campgrounds

The NHAL State Forest has four modern family campgrounds. Crystal Lake, Big Musky, Firefly and Clear Lake campgrounds have a total of 351 sites. These campgrounds have paved roadways, flush toilets and showers but no electrical hookups. Generators are allowed by permit during certain hours of the day. Permits are free and can be obtained at check-in. There are also hand-pumped water and pit toilets throughout these campgrounds. Clear Lake and Crystal Lake campgrounds have dump stations. These sites may be occupied up to 14 nights per visit.

Generators are allowed on the Modern family campground sites as long as the following rules are followed:

  • Campers may operate their generators between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. and only when they are present on the site.
  • Campers must let forest personnel know they will be operating a generator upon check-in.
  • Permission to operate may be revoked if generator is excessively noisy.

Reserve campsites at Northern Highland American Legion State Forest or check current campground availability.

Clear Lake Campground

Clear Lake Campground, sites 701-801, is located in the southern portion of the forest. It is on the southwest corner of Clear Lake. This 846 acre, exceptionally clear lake provides excellent boating and good fishing. There are six vault toilet buildings, seven hand pumps for drinking water, one flush toilet building with showers, a sanitary dump station and dumpsters with separate recycling. This campground has a large sandy beach with a marked swimming area, water ski area, a boat landing and several boat trailer parking lots dispersed throughout the campground.

Modern family campground Sites reservable May 1 - Labor Day Sites reservable May 1 - Sept. 30 Sites always first-come, first-serve
Clear Lake 701-749, 751-766, 800(ADA) 767-787 788-799, 801

Sites 722-723, 737-738, 739-740 and 781-782 are double campsites. They accommodate up to 6 people and one wheeled camper on each side of the site. Campers choosing a double site are charged for both halves and a usable camping unit must be set up on each side of the site by 11:00 p.m. on check-in day.

Sites 704-710 and 732-733 are walk-to tent only sites where campers must hike a short distance from their cars to the campsite. Sites 705 and 726 are also designated for tents only.

Campers should register at the Clear Lake Ranger Station before setting up camp. There is also an on-site campground host for additional assistance during the busy season.

Directions to Clear Lake Campground: From the intersection of Highways 51 and 47 in Woodruff, follow Highway 47 south 3.5 miles, turn left on Woodruff Road and the Clear Lake entrance will be on the right.

Clear Lake Campground GPS coordinates: N45° 51.892’, W89° 39.037’

Clear Lake Campground map [PDF]

Crystal Lake Campground

Crystal Lake Campground (sites 401-501) is located in the central portion of the forest and is the most popular facility. The entire Crystal Lake shoreline is a designated beach so there are no pets allowed anywhere on the shoreline. There are also no motorized boats allowed on the lake. The campground surrounds most of the lake with access to Muskie Lake Campground. There are five vault toilet buildings, four hand pumps for drinking water, one flush toilet building with showers, a sanitary dump station and dumpsters with separate recycling. There is a carry-in boat landing within the campground. Sites 463 and 438 are designated ADA accessible.

Near the campground, there is a large marked swimming beach, picnic area and enclosed reservable shelter. The facility also features access to a paved bike trail which goes to Firefly Lake Campground and on to Boulder Junction in one direction, and past St. Germain in the other. There is also a nature center and a hard-surfaced nature trail for the mobility impaired.

Modern family campground Sites reservable May 1 - Labor Day Sites reservable May 1 - Sept. 30 Sites always first-come, first-serve
Crystal Lake 401-437, 439-441, 443-449 438(ADA), 463(ADA), 464-501 450-462

Sites 439-440, 484-485, 497-498 and 499-500 are double campsites. They accommodate up to 6 people and one wheeled camper on each side of the site. Campers choosing a double site are charged for both halves and a usable camping unit must be set up on each side of the site by 11:00 p.m. on check-in day.

Sites 415-418 and 421-423 are walk-to tent only sites where campers must hike a short distance from their cars to the campsite.

Campers should register at the Crystal Lake Ranger Station before setting up camp. There is also an on-site campground host for additional assistance during the busy season.

Directions to Crystal Lake Campground: From the intersection of Highways 51 and 47 in Woodruff, travel Highway 51 north 6.2 miles to Highway M. Turn right on Highway M and drive 2.7 miles to Highway N. Turn right on Highway N and travel 2 miles, the Crystal Lake Ranger Station entrance is on the left.

Crystal Lake GPS coordinates: N46° 00.129’, W89° 37.355’

Crystal Lake Campground map [PDF]

Firefly Lake Campground

Firefly Lake Campground, sites 201-271, is located in the central portion of the forest on the north side of the lake. This 27-acre lake is great for trout fishing and has excellent swimming due to the clear water and fine-sand beach. No boat motors are allowed. The campground has five vault toilet buildings, six hand pumps for drinking water, one flush toilet building with showers, dumpsters with separate recycling and a carry-in boat landing. This campground is only about one-half mile from the Crystal Lake Picnic Area and is accessible by the paved bike trail at the campground entrance. Site 271 and 222 are ADA accessible.

Modern family campground Sites reservable May 1 - Labor Day Sites reservable May 1 - Sept. 30 Sites always first-come, first-serve
Firefly Lake 201-225, 256-270 226-247, 271(ADA) 248-255

Sites 202-203, 223-225, 226-227, 245-247 and 267-268 are double campsites. They accommodate up to 6 people and one wheeled camper on each side of the site. Campers choosing a double site are charged for both halves and a usable camping unit must be set up on each side of the site by 11:00 p.m. on check-in day.

Campers should register at the Crystal Lake Ranger Station before setting up camp. There is also an on-site campground host for additional assistance during the busy season.

Directions to Crystal Lake Campground: From the intersection of Highways 51 and 47 in Woodruff, travel Highway 51 north 6.2 miles to Highway M. Turn right on Highway M and drive 2.7 miles to Highway N. Turn right on Highway N and travel 2 miles, the Crystal Lake entrance is on the left.

Firefly GPS coordinates: N46° 00.169’, W89° 37.848’

Firefly Lake Campground map [PDF]

Musky Lake Campground

Musky Lake Campground, sites 301-382, is located in the central portion of the forest on the southeast corner of Big Muskellunge Lake. The campground is located adjacent to Crystal Lake and the Crystal Lake Campground. There are three accessible vault toilet buildings, three hand pumps for drinking water, and one flush toilet building with showers, dumpsters with separate recycling and a boat launch. A sanitary dump station can be found near the entrance to the Crystal Lake Ranger Station area. A sandy beach for swimming can be found at nearby Crystal Lake Picnic Area. Site 318 is designated ADA accessible.

Modern family campground Sites reservable May 1 - Labor Day Sites reservable May 1 - Sept. 30 Sites always first-come, first-serve
Muskie Lake 316-317, 318(ADA), 319-323, 325, 327, 339-373 301-315, 328-338 374-382

Sites 336-337 and 362-363 are double campsites allowing up to 12 people and two trailers. Campers choosing a double site will be charged for both halves of the campsite and a usable camping unit must be set up on each side of the double site by 11:00 p.m. on check-in day.

Campers should register at the Crystal Lake Ranger Station before setting up camp. There is also an on-site campground host for additional assistance during the busy season.

Directions to Crystal Lake Campground: From the intersection of Highways 51 and 47 in Woodruff, travel Highway 51 north 6.2 miles to Highway M. Turn right on Highway M and drive 2.7 miles to Highway N. Turn right on Highway N and travel 2 miles, the Crystal Lake Ranger Station entrance is on the left.

Muskie GPS coordinates: N46° 00.456’, W89° 36.557’

Musky Lake Campground map [PDF]

Rustic campgrounds

Rustic family campgrounds

Many people have come to associate the NHAL with smaller, quieter, traditional rustic-style campgrounds. Typically, these campgrounds range from about 20 to 70 campsites, usually having a wider spacing than modern campgrounds. They have only minimal facilities including hand-pumped water, pit toilets and no electricity. Many campers feel offering this traditional style of camping is a special niche for the state forests. The NHAL has 14 rustic campgrounds totaling 513 campsites. These sites may be occupied up to 14 nights per visit. Indian Mounds is the only rustic family campground that has reservable sites.

Generators are allowed on the Rustic campground sites as long as the following rules are followed:

  • Campers may operate their generators between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. and only when they are present on the site.
  • Campers must let forest personnel know they will be operating a generator upon check-in.
  • Permission to operate may be revoked if generator is excessively noisy.

Reserve campsites at Northern Highland American Legion State Forest or check current campground availability.

Big Lake Campground

The Big Lake Campground, sites 1801-1872, is located in the northern portion of the forest on the northwest corner of Big Lake. This 835-acre lake is known for excellent fishing of walleyes, muskies and small mouth bass. There are four vault toilet buildings, three hand pumps and a dumpster with separate recycling. There is one boat launch.

All campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

From mid-May through September campers should set up on an available campsite and the resident manager will register you on their daily rounds. All off-season campers are required to self-register at the campground entrance prior to setting up camp.

This campground is open and closed [PDF] depending on snow conditions.

Directions to Big Lake Campground: From the intersection of Highways 51 and 47 in Woodruff, travel Highway 51 north 6.2 miles to Highway M. Turn right on Highway M then go 9 miles to Boulder Junction. Turn left on Highway K west out of Boulder Junction, go 10 miles, then turn right onto Highway P. The campground is 1.2 miles on the right.

Big Lake GPS coordinates: N46° 09.971’, W89° 47.284’

Big Lake Campground map [PDF]

Buffalo Lake Campground

Buffalo Lake Campground, sites 2001-2052, is located in the southern portion of the forest and is on the southeast corner of Buffalo Lake. The 104-acre lake is known for panfishing and an excellent beach. There are three vault toilet buildings, three hand pumps and one dumpster with separate recycling. There is one boat launch. Buffalo Lake Campground is on Highway J which has bike lanes that go to St Germain and Woodruff.

All campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Sites 2014-2015, 2021-2022 and 2023-2024 are double campsites. They accommodate up to 6 people and one wheeled camper on each side of the site. Campers choosing a double site are charged for both halves and a usable camping unit must be set up on each side of the site by 11:00 p.m. on check-in day.

Sites 2042 – 2045 are walk-to tent only sites where campers must hike a short distance from their cars to the campsite. Site 2050 is designated for tents only.

From mid-May through September campers should set up on an available campsite and the resident manager will register you on their daily rounds. All off-season campers are required to self-register at the campground entrance prior to setting up camp.

This campground opens the Thursday before fishing opener and closes the Tuesday after Columbus Day weekend.

Directions to Buffalo Lake Campground: From the intersection of Highways 51 and 47 in Woodruff, turn right (south) and travel 1.3 miles on Highway 47 to Highway J. Turn left and follow Highway J east (towards St. Germain) 6.0 miles to campground entrance on the left.

Buffalo GPS coordinates: N45° 52.581’, W89° 33.738’

Buffalo Lake Campground map [PDF]

Carrol Lake Campground

Carrol Lake Campground, sites 101-119, is located in the southern portion of the forest on the south central part of Carrol Lake. This campground is well used because of the generally good fishing for both panfish and game fish on this 352-acre lake. There are two vault toilet buildings, two hand pumps for drinking water and one dumpster with separate recycling. Additionally, there is an ADA accessible fishing pier, boat launch and picnic area with adjacent parking lot. There is a small swimming area inside the campground and a large sandy beach for swimming can be found across the road at Clear Lake Picnic area.

All campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Site 106-107 is a double campsite. It accommodates up to 6 people and one wheeled camper on each side of the site. Campers choosing a double site are charged for both halves and a usable camping unit must be set up on each side of the site by 11:00 p.m. on check-in day.

Sites 101-103, 110-111 and 118-119 are walk-to tent only sites where campers must walk a short distance from their cars to the campsite.

Campers should register at the Clear Lake Ranger Station before setting up camp. There is also an on-site campground host for additional assistance during the busy season.

This campground is open and closed [PDF] depending on snow conditions.

Directions to Clear Lake Ranger Station where you must register before setting up camp: From the intersection of Highways 51 and 47 in Woodruff, follow Highway 47 south 3.5 miles. Turn left on Woodruff Road and the Clear Lake entrance will be on the right.

Carrol Lake GPS coordinates: N45° 53.305’, W89° 38.054’

Carrol Lake Campground map [PDF]

Cunard Lake Campground

Cunard Lake Campground, sites 1101-1133, is a small, quiet facility located in the southern portion of the forest on the southwest corner of Cunard Lake. This 43-acre lake is an electric-motors-only, at slow-no-wake, speed lake. Cunard Lake and the creek from Cunard Lake into Sweeney Lake are ideal for canoe exploration. The campground has two vault toilet buildings and two hand pumps for drinking water. There is also a dumpster with separate recycling at the campground entrance and a nearby boat launch with parking area located adjacent to the campground entrance.

Site 1110-1111 is a double campsite.  It accommodates up to 6 people and one wheeled camper on each side of the site. Campers choosing a double site are charged for both halves and a usable camping unit must be set up on each side of the site by 11:00 p.m. on check-in day.

Site 1101 and 1120-1123 are walk-to tent only sites where campers must walk a short distance from their cars to the campsite.

Campers should set up on an available campsite and the Buffalo Lake resident manager will register you on their daily rounds. There is also an on-site campground host for additional assistance during the busy season.

This campground opens the Monday before Memorial Day weekend and closes the Tuesday after Labor Day [PDF].

Directions to Cunard Lake Campground: From the intersection of Highways 51 and 47 in Woodruff, turn right (south) and drive 1.3 miles on Highway 47 to Highway J. Turn left and follow Highway J east (towards St. Germain) 6.0 miles to Highway E. Turn right on Highway E and go 1.8 miles to Frederick Road. Turn right to get to the campground entrance.

Cunard Lake Campground GPS coordinates: N45° 50.822’, W89° 35.015’

Cunard Lake Campground map [PDF]

Indian Mounds Campground

Indian Mounds Campground, sites 1-39, is located in the southern portion of the forest on the northeast corner of the Lake Tomahawk. Lake Tomahawk is part of the Minocqua Chain of Lakes and offers excellent fishing and boating. The campground has three vault toilet buildings, three hand pumps for drinking water, a dumpster with separate recycling and access to the water. There is also an adjacent picnic area with tables, grills, a marked swimming area, vault toilet building, changing stalls, ADA accessible picnic area and boat launch. Three of the four vault toilet buildings are designated ADA accessible.

Rustic campground Sites reservable May 1 - Labor Day Sites reservable May 1 - Sept. 30 Sites always first-come, first-serve
Indian Mounds 026-039 007-025 001-005

Sites 9-10 and 17-18 are double campsites. They accommodate up to 6 people and one wheeled camper on each side of the site. Campers choosing a double site are charged for both halves and a usable camping unit must be set up on each side of the site by 11:00 p.m. on check-in day.

Sites 24-27 and 29-31 are walk-to tent only sites where campers must walk short distance from their cars to the campsite.

Campers should register at the Clear Lake Ranger Station before setting up camp. There is also an on-site campground host for additional assistance during the busy season.

This campground is open and closed [PDF] depending on snow conditions.

Directions to Clear Lake Campground where you must register before setting up camp: From the intersection of Highways 51 and 47 in Woodruff, follow Highway 47 south 3.5 miles. Turn left on Woodruff Road and the Clear Lake entrance will be on the right.

Indian Mounds campground GPS coordinates: N45° 49.542’, W89° 38.126’

Indian Mounds Campground map [PDF]

North Trout Lake Campground

North Trout Lake Campground, sites 1401-1448, is located in the central portion of the forest on the northeast corner of Trout Lake. The 3,816-acre lake provides good swimming and excellent fishing and boating. This campground has three vault toilet buildings - all ADA accessible, three hand pumps for drinking water, a sanitary dump station, dumpsters with separate recycling, a large area to access the water and a boat launch with parking. Also available is access to a nature trail and the hard-surface bike trail that runs from North Trout Campground to nearby Boulder Junction, Sayner, St. Germain and the Crystal Lake Campground.

All sites in this campground are on a first-come, first-served basis.

Sites 1403-14044, 1407-1408, 1435-1436 and 1437-1438 are double campsites. They accommodate up to 6 people and one wheeled camper on each side of the site. Campers choosing a double site are charged for both halves and a usable camping unit must be set up on each side of the site by 11:00 p.m. on check-in day.

Sites 1415-1419 and 1446-1448 are walk-to tent only sites where campers must walk short distance from their cars to the campsite.

From mid-May through September campers should set up on an available campsite and the resident manager will register you on their daily rounds. All off-season campers are required to self-register at the campground entrance prior to setting up camp.

This campground is open and closed [PDF] depending on snow conditions.

Directions to North Trout Lake Campground: From the intersection of Highways 51 and 47 in Woodruff, travel Highway 51 north 6.2 miles to Highway M. Turn right and stay on Highway M for 6.8 miles to North Trout Lake Campground on the left.

North Trout Lake Campground GPS coordinates N45° 03.920’, W89° 38.780’

North Trout Campground map [PDF]

Plum Lake Campground

Plum Lake Campground, sites 1201-1218, is located in the central portion of the forest on the southwest corner of Plum Lake. The 1,108-acre lake offers good boating, swimming and fishing. The campground has one vault toilet building, one hand pump for drinking water and dumpster with separate recycling. A fishing pier and access to the water are located adjacent to the campground.

All sites in this campground are on a first-come, first-served basis.

Sites 1215-1217 is a double campsite.  It accommodates up to 6 people and one wheeled camper on each side of the site. Campers choosing a double site are charged for both halves and a usable camping unit must be set up on each side of the site by 11:00 p.m. on check-in day.

Sites 1208-1209 are walk-to tent only sites where campers must hike a short distance from their cars to the campsite.

This campground opens the Monday before Memorial Day weekend and closes the Tuesday after Labor Day [PDF].

Campers should register at the Crystal Lake Ranger Station before setting up camp. There is also an on-site campground host for additional assistance during the busy season.

Directions to Crystal Lake Campground where you must register before setting up camp: From the intersection of Highways 51 and 47 in Woodruff, travel Highway 51 north 6.2 miles to Highway M. Turn right on Highway M and drive 2.7 miles to Highway N. Turn right on Highway N and travel 2 miles, the Crystal Lake entrance is on the left.

Plum Lake GPS coordinates N45° 59.586’, W89° 33.316’

Plum Lake Campground map [PDF]

Razorback Lake Campground

Razorback Lake Campground, sites 2101-2154, is located in the central portion of the forest on the southwest corner of Razorback Lake. This popular campground is great for swimming, boating and fishing. The campground has three vault toilet buildings which are all ADA accessible, three hand pumps for drinking water, dumpster with separate recycling, a large area to access the water and a boat launch.

All sites in this campground are on a first-come, first-served basis.

Sites 2125-2126 and 2132-2136 are walk-to tent only sites where campers must hike a short distance from their cars to the campsite.

From mid-May through September campers should set up on an available campsite and the resident manager will register you on their daily rounds. All off-season campers are required to self-register at the campground entrance prior to setting up camp.

This campground is open and closed [PDF] depending on snow conditions.

Directions to Razorback Lake Campground: From the intersection of Highways 51 and 47 in Woodruff, travel Highway 51 north 6.2 miles to Highway M. Turn right on Highway M. Travel 2.7 miles and turn right onto Highway N. Continue on Highway N for 4.9 miles to Razorback Road, next to McKay’s Corner Store. Turn left and continue for 4 miles. Campground entrance is on the right.

Razorback Lake Campground GPS coordinates: N46° 01.445’, W89° 31.914’

Razorback Lake Campground map [PDF]

Sandy Beach Lake Campground

Sandy Beach Lake Campground, sites 1901-1933, is located in the northwest portion of the forest on the southeast corner of Sandy Beach Lake. The campground has three vault toilet buildings, three hand pumps for drinking water, a large picnic and beach area with parking. A boat launch is located near the campground entrance.

All sites in this campground are on a first-come, first-served basis.

Sites 1914-1916 are walk-to tent only sites where campers must hike a short distance from their cars to the campsite.

Campers should set up on an available campsite and the resident manager will register you on their daily rounds.

This campground opens the Monday before Memorial Day weekend and closes the Tuesday after Columbus Day [PDF].

Directions to Sandy Beach Lake Campground: From the intersection of Highways 51 and 47 in Woodruff, follow Highway 47 north 22.3 miles through Lac Du Flambeau. Sandy Beach is on the right.

Sandy Beach Lake Campground GPS coordinates N46° 06.106’, W89° 58.085’

Sandy Beach Campground map [PDF]

South Trout Campground

South Trout Lake Campground, sites 1001-1023, is located in the central portion of the forest on the southeast corner of Trout Lake. This 3,816-acre lake is very deep and offers excellent boating and fishing. Swimming is limited because of the stony beach. The campground has one vault toilet building, one hand pump for drinking water, a dumpster with separate recycling, a boat launch and access to the hard-surface bike trail which goes to Crystal Lake and St. Germain in one direction and Boulder Junction in the other. A sanitary dump station is available at the North Trout Lake Campground.

Rustic campground Sites reservable the Monday before Memorial Day - Labor Day Sites always first-come, first-serve
South Trout Lake 1001, 1003-1004, 1005, 1006-1007, 1008-1020 1021-1023

Sites 1003-1004 and 1006-1007 are double campsites. They accommodate up to 6 people and one wheeled camper on each side of the site. Campers choosing a double site are charged for both halves and a usable camping unit must be set up on each side of the site by 11:00 p.m. on check-in day.

Sites 1013-1016 are walk-to tent only sites where campers must walk a short distance from their cars to the campsite.

This campground opens the Monday before Memorial Day weekend and closes the Tuesday after Labor Day [PDF].

Campers should register at the Crystal Lake Ranger Station before setting up camp. There is also an on-site campground host for additional assistance during the busy season.

Directions to Crystal Lake Campground where you must register before setting up camp: From the intersection of Highways 51 and 47 in Woodruff, travel Highway 51 north 6.2 miles to Highway M. Turn right on Highway M and drive 2.7 miles to Highway N. Turn right on Highway N and travel 2 miles, the Crystal Lake entrance is on the left.

South Trout Lake Campground GPS Coordinates: N46° 01.367’, W89° 39.299’

South Trout Campground map [PDF]

East Star Lake Campground

East Star Lake Campground, sites 1601-1630, is located in the central portion of the state forest on the southeast corner of Star Lake. The 1,206-acre lake is well known for excellent fishing and swimming. The campground has two vault toilet buildings, two hand pumps for drinking water and a large area to access the water. There is a dumpster with separate recycling near the campground entrance. The boat landing is adjacent to the main camping loop with a vault toilet building, hand pump for water and a parking area. Two of the vault toilet buildings in this campground are ADA accessible.

All sites are on a first-come, first-served basis.

Sites 1614-1615 and 1619-1620 are double campsites. They accommodate up to 6 people and one wheeled camper on each side of the site. Campers choosing a double site are charged for both halves and a usable camping unit must be set up on each side of the site by 11:00 p.m. on check-in day.

Sites 1627-1630 are walk-to tent only sites where campers must hike a short distance from their cars to the campsite.

From Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day campers should set up on an available campsite and the resident manager will register you on their daily rounds. All off-season campers are required to self-register at the campground entrance prior to setting up camp.

This campground opens the Monday before Memorial Day weekend and closes the Tuesday after Labor Day [PDF].

Directions to East Star Lake Campground: From the intersection of Highways 51 and 47 in Woodruff, travel Highway 51 north 6.2 miles to Highway M. Turn right on Highway M. Travel 2.7 miles to Highway N. Turn right on Highway N and travel 12.8 miles to East Star Lake Campground. Be sure to stay on Highway N, which jogs to the right through Sayner and goes to the left after Sayner.

East Star Lake Campground GPS coordinates N46° 01.528’, W89° 27.914’

East Star Lake Campground map [PDF]

West Star Lake Campground

Star Lake West Campground, sites 1701-1718, is located in the central portion of the forest on the northeast corner of Star Lake. The lake provides excellent swimming and there is a large area to access the water within the campground. Star Lake is also known for quality fishing and boating experiences. The campground has two vault toilet buildings, one of which is ADA accessible, two hand pumps for drinking water, dumpster with separate recycling, a boat launch and a nearby nature trail.

All sites in this campground are on a first-come, first-served basis.

Sites 1708 and 1709 are double campsites. They accommodate up to 6 people and one wheeled camper on each side of the site. Campers choosing a double site are charged for both halves and a usable camping unit must be set up on each side of the site by 11:00 p.m. on check-in day.

From mid-May through September campers should set up on an available campsite and the resident manager will register you on their daily rounds. All off-season campers are required to self-register at the campground entrance prior to setting up camp.

This campground is open and closed [PDF] depending on snow conditions.

Directions to West Star Lake Campground: From the intersection of Highways 51 and 47 in Woodruff, travel Highway 51 north 6.2 miles to Highway M. Turn right on Highway M. Travel 2.7 miles to Highway N. Turn right on Highway N and travel 13.6 miles to Highway K. You will pass East Star Lake. Turn left on Highway K and go 1.3 miles to Statehouse Road on the left. Follow the road to the campground. Be sure to stay on Highway N, which jogs to the right through Sayner and goes to the left after Sayner.

West Star Lake Campground GPS coordinates N46° 02.003’, W89° 26.254’

West Star Lake Campground map [PDF]

Starrett Lake Campground

Starrett Lake Campground, sites 1301-1344, is located in the central portion of the forest on the southeast corner of Starrett Lake. This 66-acre lake allows electric motors only with slow-no-wake speed. Swimming is good with fair fishing for bass, panfish, northern pike and even walleye are taken occasionally. This campground has three vault toilet buildings, three hand pumps for drinking water, a dumpster with separate recycling and a boat launch. There are two large areas to access the water.

All sites in this campground are on a first-come, first-served basis.

Sites 1309-1311 and 1326–1328 are walk-to tent only sites where campers must hike a short distance from their cars to the campsite.

From mid-May through September campers should set up on an available campsite and the resident manager will register you on their daily rounds. All off-season campers are required to self-register at the campground entrance prior to setting up camp.

This campground opens the Thursday before fishing opener and closes the Tuesday after Columbus Day weekend [PDF].

Directions to Starrett Lake Campground: From the intersection of Highways 51 and 47 in Woodruff, travel Highway 51 north 6.2 miles to Highway M. Turn right on Highway M. Continue 3.7 miles to North Muskellunge Road. Turn right on North Muskellunge Road and go 4 miles, the campground will be on the left.

Starrett Lake Campground GPS coordinates: N46° 01.440’, W89° 34.524’

Starrett Lake Campground map [PDF]

Upper Gresham Lake Campground

Upper Gresham Lake Campground, sites 1501-1526, is located in the central portion of the forest on the northeast corner of Upper Gresham Lake. This lake is better known for good fishing and boating than swimming, however, there is a large area within the campground to access the water. There is also an ADA designated fishing pier located adjacent to the boat launch area as well as parking and a hand pump for drinking water. Within the campground, there is one vault toilet building which is ADA accessible, two hand pumps for drinking water and a dumpster with separate recycling.

From mid-May through September campers should set up on an available campsite and the resident manager will register you on their daily rounds. All off-season campers are required to self-register at the campground entrance prior to setting up camp.

All sites in this campground are on a first-come, first-served basis.

Site 1508-1509 is a double campsite. It accommodates up to 6 people and one wheeled camper on each side of the site. Campers choosing a double site are charged for both halves and a usable camping unit must be set up on each side of the site by 11:00 p.m. on check-in day.

Sites 1520–1522 are walk-to tent only sites where campers must walk a short distance from their cars to the campsite.

This campground opens the Thursday before fishing opener and closes the Tuesday after Columbus Day weekend [PDF].

Directions to Upper Gresham Lake Campground: From the intersection of Highways 51 and 47 in Woodruff, travel Highway 51 north 13 miles turning right on Highway H. Continue for 1.4 miles to North Creek Road and turn right. Travel 1/4 mile to the campground on the right.

Upper Gresham Lake Campground GPS coordinates N46° 04.593’, W89° 43.646’

Upper Gresham Lake Campground map [PDF]

Group

There are two group campgrounds on the NHAL, there is space for up to 80 campers at each location. These campgrounds, at Jag Lake and North Muskellunge Lake, are equipped with pit toilets and hand pumps for drinking water. Group campgrounds provide an important camping opportunity for large groups such as Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and church groups to have a rustic camping experience while not affecting other campers. Jag Lake is a tent only group camp. These sites may be occupied up to seven nights per visit, and only seven nights within any 21 day period.

These facilities are only available through the reservation system.

Reserve campsites at Northern Highland American Legion State Forest or check current campground availability.

Jag and North Muskie Lake group campgrounds are open from April 1 to October 31, snow conditions allowing.

The gates to these campgrounds are locked unless the site is occupied by registered campers. Campers who have reserved these facilities should go directly to the campground and a resident manager from a nearby campground will have the gate unlocked and will register you on their daily rounds.

All vehicles on the site must have a properly attached Wisconsin State Park and Forest Vehicle Admission Sticker, which may be purchased from the campground manager or at the Crystal or Clear Lake ranger stations.

Campers who have more people in their group than indicated on their reservation information will be asked to go to the Crystal Lake Ranger Station to pay for those extra people.

Directions to Jag Lake Tent Only Group Campground: From the intersection of Highways 51 and 47 in Woodruff, travel north on Highway 51 approximately 13 miles to County Highway H. Turn right on County Highway H, go about 1.5 miles to North Creek Road. Turn right on North Creek Road. Go approximately 1 mile, the Jag Lake group camp is on the left.

Jag Lake Group Campground GPS coordinates: N46° 04.943’, W89° 42.742’

Jag Lake Group Campground map [PDF]

Directions to the North Muskie Lake Group Campground: from the intersection of Highway 51 and 47 in Woodruff, travel north on Highway 51 6.2 miles to County Highway M. Go right on County Highway M approximately 3 miles to Big Muskellunge Lake Road. Turn right on Big Muskellunge Lake Road. Go approximately 2.5 miles, the group camp is on the right.

Muskie Group GPS coordinates N46° 01.538’, W89° 35.930’

Muskie Group Campground map [PDF]

Primitive

Campers who are looking for a more secluded experience on their camping trip may choose between two types of primitive campsites, canoe or remote-reservable, or skip a developed campsite altogether and do a little backcountry camping. Primitive campsites are generally widely dispersed with a minimal clearing and a primitive soil surface. Facilities at primitive campsites are limited to a tent clearing, fire ring, box wilderness latrine and a picnic table. See individual types below for length of stay, reservation information and what fees may be required. The rules for backcountry camping are also below.

Canoe campsites

The NHAL offers canoeists the opportunity to camp along rivers and lakes at designated canoe campsites. There are currently 74 canoe campsites located on more than 20 lakes and rivers across the NHAL. To use these sites, campers must access them by watercraft. Stays are limited to one night only with no more than six people to a site. Sites are marked with yellow signs displaying a tent. No campsites reservations accepted. No fee is required. Trash must be packed out. A maximum of six people are allowed per campsite.

Canoe route maps

Remote-reservable campsites

The NHAL has 17 remote-reservable primitive campsites. They are on Allequash, Day, Nebish, Clear Lakes and in the Bittersweet Wild Lakes Area. They are accessible only by water. These sites may be occupied up to 14 nights per visit. Regular nightly camping fees apply. These sites may be reserved from May 1 through Labor Day. After Labor Day these sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. A maximum of six people are allowed per campsite.

Reserve campsites at Northern Highland American Legion State Forest or check current campground availability.

Allequash Lake remote-reservable campsites

Allequash Lake is found between Minocqua and Boulder Junction east of Highway M in Vilas County. There is no development on this lake except for the boat landing.

Sites here are large enough for two small tents each, and are far apart from each other. Each site has a picnic table and stone fire ring. An open-air toilet is located nearby.

The Allequash sites are on the reservation system under "Northern Highland American Legion State Forest - Crystal Lake Area"

Campers should register at the Crystal Lake Ranger Station before heading out to their campsite.

Directions to Crystal Lake Campground: From the intersection of Highways 51 and 47 in Woodruff, travel Highway 51 north 6.2 miles to Highway M. Turn right on Highway M and drive 2.7 miles to Highway N. Turn right on Highway N and travel 2 miles, the Crystal Lake entrance is on the left.

GPS coordinates
Site Coordinates
611 N46° 01.961’ W89° 38.304’
612 N46° 02.202’ W89° 37.581’
613 N46° 02.750’ W89° 37.776’
614 N46° 02.163’ W89° 37.083’

Allequash Lake remote-reservable campsites map [PDF]

Bittersweet Wild Lakes Area remote-reservable campsites

There are five sites on four different lakes, Prong Lake, Smith Lake, Oberlin Lake and Bittersweet Lake, which are referred to as the "Bittersweet Wild Lakes Area." The largest of the four, Bittersweet, is found northeast of Minocqua, north of Highway 70. Use caution, the road to the boat launch parking lot is rough and a four-wheel drive vehicle is recommended.

"Sunken Rowboat" site is on Prong Lake. "Big Rock" and "Trappers Cabin" sites are on Bittersweet Lake. "Loon Song" is on Smith Lake and "Sunset Point" is on Oberlin Lake. All campsites have a tent pad, picnic table and stone fire ring.

The Bittersweet sites are on the reservation system under "Northern Highland American Legion State Forest - Clear Lake Area."

Campers should register at the Clear Lake Ranger Station before heading out to their campsite.

Directions to Clear Lake Campground: From the intersection of Highways 51 and 47 in Woodruff, follow Highway 47 south 3.5 miles. Turn left on Woodruff Road, the Clear Lake entrance will be on the right.

GPS coordinates
Site Coordinates
Prong Lake - Site #651 (Sunken Rowboat) N45° 55.315’ W89° 35.682’
Bittersweet Lake - Site #652 (Big Rock) N45° 55.709’ W89° 36.311’
Bittersweet Lake - Site #653 (Trapper’s Cabin) N45° 55.710’ W89° 35.932’
Smith Lake - Site #654 (Loon Song) N45° 56.145’ W89° 36.406’
Oberlin Lake - Site #655 (Sunset Point) N45° 56.415’ W89° 35.776’
Clear Lake remote-reservable campsites

Clear Lake, in Oneida County, is approximately four miles east of Minocqua off Highway J. Campers can access the sites from the boat landing at Clear Lake Campground off Woodruff Road, or from the boat landing near the Clear Lake Picnic Area off Highway J. A vehicle admission sticker is required.

All four sites are along the east shore of the lake. Tent pads for several small tents, picnic tables and stone fire rings can be found at each site. An open-air toilet is located along a path adjacent to each site. A hand pump for drinking water is available near site 642, the northern most site. Both Clear and Little Bass lakes have special fishing regulations. Consult fishing regulations for details.

The Clear Lake remote sites are on the reservation system under "Northern Highland American Legion State Forest - Clear Lake 641 loop."

Campers should register at the Clear Lake Ranger Station before heading out to their campsite.

Directions to Clear Lake Campground: From the intersection of Highways 51 and 47 in Woodruff, follow Highway 47 south 3.5 miles. Turn left on Woodruff Road, the Clear Lake entrance will be on the right.

GPS coordinates
Site Coordinates
641 N45° 52.249’ W89° 36.799’
642 N45° 52.076’ W89° 36.856’
643 N45° 51.890’ W89° 36.956’
644 N45° 51.747’ W89° 37.118’

Clear Lake remote-reservable campsites map [PDF]

Day Lake remote-reservable campsites

Day Lake is an electric motors only lake located south of North Creek Road between Highways M and H in Vilas County.

There are two campsites on this lake approximately 150 yards apart. Each site has a tent pad large enough for two small tents and a picnic table. Open-air toilets are located nearby. The motor restriction and distance from a paved road make these sites quiet and isolated.

The Day Lake sites are on the reservation system under "Northern Highland American Legion State Forest - Crystal Lake Area."

Campers should register at the Crystal Lake Ranger Station before heading out to their campsite.

Directions to Crystal Lake Campground: From the intersection of Highways 51 and 47 in Woodruff, travel Highway 51 north 6.2 miles to Highway M. Turn right on Highway M and drive 2.7 miles to Highway N. Turn right on Highway N and travel 2 miles, the Crystal Lake entrance is on the left.

GPS coordinates
Site Coordinates
621 N46° 03.940’ W89° 42.444’
622 N46° 03.855’ W89° 42.404’

Day Lake remote-reservable sites map [PDF]

Nebish Lake remote-reservable campsites

Nebish Lake in Vilas County is approximately three miles east of Highway M. Entrance to the campsites is on Nebish Lake Road found directly across from the Trout Lake Forestry Headquarters on Highway M.

There are two sites on Nebish. Both sites have picnic tales, stone fire ring and an open-air toilet located nearby. There is no development on Nebish Lake except for the boat landing.

This lake is an experimental research lake so visitors must register at the fish checking station at the Escanaba Lake boat landing before and after each fishing day. See fishing regulations for more details on the special rule.

The Nebish Lake sites are on the reservation system under "Northern Highland American Legion State Forest - Crystal Lake Area."

Campers should register at the Crystal Lake Ranger Station before heading out to their campsite.

Directions to Crystal Lake Campground: From the intersection of Highways 51 and 47 in Woodruff, travel Highway 51 north 6.2 miles to Highway M. Turn right on Highway M and drive 2.7 miles to Highway N. Turn right on Highway N and travel 2 miles, the Crystal Lake entrance is on the left.

GPS coordinates
Site Coordinates
631 N46° 03.161’ W89° 35.853’
632 N46° 03.128’ W89° 35.770’

Nebish Lake remote-reservable campsites map [PDF]

Backcountry camping

Your interest in backcountry camping indicates you enjoy nature, seek solitude and enjoy the challenge of roughing it. As one who appreciates the forest environment, you are cordially welcome to the state forest.

The NHAL is a "working forest," managed for scenic beauty, recreation, wildlife, clean water and timber. You may come upon timber sales or other management activities during your trip. If you would like more information on these activities, please don’t hesitate to ask questions of any of our staff.

Backcountry camping regulations
  1. You must have a permit prior to setting up camp. To obtain a free camping permit you must complete a special camping permit application. Permits are issued at the Clear and Crystal Lake ranger stations.
  2. Camping is limited to 14 nights and no more than six individuals or one family. Juvenile groups are an exception. You must move your camp every night.
  3. Have an idea where you would like to camp before applying for your permit. Camping is not allowed within sight of any trail or body of water. Campsites must be at least one half mile from your vehicle.
  4. Practice Leave No Trace low impact camping:
    • Plan ahead. An unprepared camper creates a higher risk for impact.
    • Travel on durable surfaces. Avoid stream banks and wetlands.
    • Dispose of waste properly. Pack out what you bring in. Wash dishes and answer nature's call at least 200 feet from the trail, camp or any water source. Cover solid human waste with forest duff.
    • Minimize fire impact. Keep fires small and make sure they are dead out before leaving the campsite.
    • Respect wildlife. Observe animals from a distance and never feed them. Once a squirrel or bear gets a taste for human food, they actively seek them out, which can lead to dangerous behavior.
    • Be considerate of other visitors. Keep noise levels down. Remember we’re all trying to enjoy a finite resource.
    • Good campsites are found, not made. Altering the campsite should be unnecessary.

Back country camping map [PDF]

Deer hunter camping

A unique and primitive camping opportunity is offered during the nine-day gun-deer season in November. Deer camps have been a tradition on the NHAL for decades. Hunter camping is allowed only along certain roads in the forest. Both tents and camper units are allowed. Hunters must obtain a permit from the Trout Lake Headquarters to camp during the gun-deer season. For questions about deer hunter camping, contact Marci Jahns at the Trout Lake Headquarters at 715-385-2121.

Reservations

Don’t give up! If you are not successful on your first attempt to reserve a campsite, check back periodically. We have many reservable sites and availability changes daily. If you still are not able to reserve a site, the NHAL has 13 campgrounds containing all non-reservable sites. Always check in at Crystal or Clear Lake ranger stations when you arrive on the forest, even some prime lake sites open up at the last minute.

How to reserve a campsite

Last Revised: Thursday January 23 2014