View current conditions for Wisconsin State Parks, Trails and Forests
Check out the Wisconsin Department of Tourism (exit DNR).
This weekend, June 1-2, is Free Fun Weekend in Wisconsin when no state park admission stickers or trail passes are required, and people may fish without fishing licenses or state trout stamps. Non-resident all-terrain vehicle operators do not need a non-resident trail pass to ride state ATV trails this weekend.
More than a dozen fishing clinics will be held at properties across the state, including one at Governor Dodge where you can learn to prepare your catch for a fish fry. Pike Lake is holding discovery day with geocaching, archery, kayak demos and more. There is a National Trail Day Celebration on the Red Cedar. On Sunday enjoy breakfast in the park at Harrington Beach and Richard Bong is holding a family fair along with a fish shocking demonstration, a method used by biologists to assess fish populations. With a new moon, this should be a great weekend to view the Milky Way at Wisconsin's only dark sky park, Newport in Door County.
Rivers are still running high so the waterfalls at northern state parks and forests are still spectacular. Staff at Pattison State Park counted almost 1,400 vehicles over Memorial Day with a lot of people enjoying the beautiful weather and waterfalls.
With the high amounts of rain and flooding this spring, trout and bass fishing on inland streams and rivers has been difficult. Fisheries crews are just finishing up spring electrofishing surveys in the Wautoma area and were finding bass are on their beds. Bluegills are starting to feel the warming waters and getting ready to start their spawning.
There was heavy fishing pressure over the weekend on Green Bay with many anglers prefishing for an upcoming walleye tournament. Early week weather included winds that increased wave action to rolling waves and whitecaps especially at the mouth of the Fox River.
There was little fishing pressure this week on the bayside of Door County. Anglers fishing from shore were catching smallmouth bass, including a few 5-pounders. Lakeside fishing pressure was focused out of Rowleys Bay, where anglers reported averaging 10 to 25 smallmouth bass caught per boat.
Lake Michigan again had some strong wind and waves over the last week but conditions improved for the holiday weekend. Although the weather was nice the fish did not want to work with the anglers. There were some lake trout caught out of Kewaunee and Two Rivers. Most boats out of Milwaukee were pleasure boaters, but the fishing boats that came in reported hit-or-miss success with lake trout, coho and steelhead.
Fawns are starting to be seen following after their mothers. Black bears and cubs are being seen along roads in the north. Turtles will soon be laying eggs.
Trillium are still in full bloom in Door County along with dwarf lake iris, bellwort and columbine and yellow lady slipper orchids are starting to bud. Juneberry and pin cherry are in bloom at the Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest.
The past week saw a shift in peak migration activity finally bringing big numbers of warblers to northern counties. Loon chicks are hatching, great horned and barred owls, sandhill cranes, Canada geese, mallards, wood ducks, and hooded mergansers are fledging young.
The past week saw a shift in peak migration activity across the state. Southern birders reported many migrants early in the week but these later moved northward, finally bringing big numbers of warblers to far northern counties. Feeders up north also hosted more indigo buntings and scarlet tanagers than in a typical year. Now, as May comes to an end, red-eyed vireos, alder, yellow-bellied, and great crested flycatchers, eastern wood-pewees, and mourning warblers have arrived in earnest. Farther south, late migrants like cedar waxwings, dickcissels, common nighthawks, and both cuckoos have moved in, while for the most part only straggling warblers remain. Feeder activity has slowed there a bit too, as some birds continue their migration, others begin nesting, and most find natural food supplies more plentiful now. Shorebird migration continues, however, including ruddy turnstones, sanderlings, black-bellied and semipalmated plovers, white-rumped and semipalmated sandpipers, and whimbrels in several locations statewide.
Breeding activity is picking up. Some species like great horned and barred owls, sandhill cranes, Canada geese, mallards, wood ducks, and hooded mergansers are fledging young, while many of the smaller-bodied, short-distance migrants have nestlings, such as robins, red-winged blackbirds, common grackles, kestrels, and house finch. Others that recently arrived, including warblers, thrushes, and orioles, may have eggs or begun nest building. Help many of these species successfully raise their young by incorporating native plants into your backyard!
Wisconsin's great run of rare birds continues, this week including Lewis's woodpecker in Oneida County, lark bunting in Kenosha, white-winged dove and western tanager in Dane, another painted bunting in Milwaukee, several northern mockingbirds north to Bayfield, glossy ibis in Dodge, and a variety of rare gulls, best being California gull in Sheboygan and laughing gull in Milwaukee among Franklin's gulls at various locations. The week ahead will feature the last major migration push before a significant shift to nesting season. Get out there to enjoy it, and report your finds to www.ebird.org/wi. Good birding! - Ryan Brady, conservation biologist, Ashland
June 1-2 is Free Fun Weekend in Wisconsin when no state park admission stickers or trail passes are required and people may fish without fishing licenses or state trout stamps. Non-resident all-terrain vehicle operators do not need a non-resident trail pass to ride state ATV trails this weekend. More than a dozen fishing clinics will be held at properties across the state, including one at Governor Dodge where you can learn to prepare your catch for a fish fry. Pike Lake is holding discovery day with geocaching, archery, t-shirt painting, kayak demos, telescope viewing and more. There is a National Trail Day Celebration on the Red Cedar. It's also a musical weekend with Kohler-Andrae hosting Brett Hall, Merrick hosting Milana Shira, Pike Lake hosting Big City Bluegrass and Devil's Lake kicking off it's summer of Big Band Concerts all on Saturday. On Sunday enjoy breakfast in the park at Harrington Beach, Richard Bong is holding a Family Fair along with a fish shocking demonstration, a method used by biologists to assess fish populations, and there will be a guided tour of Aztalan.
Click on the links below for highlighted programs this weekend or click on Get Outdoors," for a complete listing of events.
Saturday, June 1, 2019
Sunday, June 2, 2019
For all events search Get Outdoors
Superior DNR Service Center area
Amnicon Falls State Park - The big news this week was the completion of the most recent Eagle Scout service project at the park. An Eagle Scout candidate led a group of volunteers and other scouts from Troop 212 in Poplar.
The project was the renovation of the ADA accessible campsite, including rebuilding the picnic table and bench, installing a new ADA compliant fire ring, and regravelling the site's driveway. The project was completed just in time for the busy Memorial Day weekend. Other recent Eagle projects have included renovating a playground, constructing a foot bridge, creating a community fire ring, and constructing a walkway. In other news, the river is still running high so the falls are spectacular but the fishing is slow.
Pattison State Park - A great start to the holiday weekend. Pattison State Park counted almost 1400 vehicles over Memorial Day weekend (Friday through Monday). A lot of people wanted to be outside enjoying the beautiful weather and waterfalls. Our resident Killdeer family has expanded. Park staff discovered two Killdeer chicks that have recently hatched, and two that are still waiting to hatch. One of the chicks is mobile and is hard to pick out because it blends into its surroundings so well. - Gervase Thompson, ranger
Spooner DNR Service Center area
Crex Meadows State Wildlife - The Grantsburg area has been booming with wildlife activity within the last couple of weeks! We are seeing many different species of warblers coming through the area, including several that are uncommon or rare in our area: blue-winged, Tennessee, northern Parula, magnolia, black-throated blue, blackpoll, and northern waterthrush. Cygnets have started to hatch, the first family seen at Crex on Tuesday, May 28 on Upper North Fork Flowage. Other spots to keep an eye on for trumpeter swan families may be Phantom Lake, Refuge Extension Flowage, and Dikes 4 & 5. Sandhill crane colts are also being seen around the area. One family was seen on the L-dikes, and one south of Grantsburg near Grettum Refuge. Many black bear families have been spotted within the past couple of weeks around the area. Try taking a drive on East Refuge Road, or up on the north end of Crex Meadows. Other highlights this week were: Whimbrels seen flying over Crex, Caspian tern, the arrival of the black terns, Henslow's sparrow, orchard oriole, semipalmated plover, and yellow rail. - Lauren Finch, wildlife educator
Park Falls DNR Service Center area
Flambeau River State Forest - Folks are out enjoying the summer like weather, camping, fishing, kayaking and canoeing. Our advice to everyone is to be prepared with bug repellant or appropriate clothing. It's that time of year! The Connors Lake Picnic Area and boat launch will get very busy on those hot days. People will be enjoying the 425 foot beach, picnic tables and grills. The North and South Fork of the Flambeau has seen some sporadic fishing. The river level is high but definitely navigable. Muskie season is open. On some of the area lakes people have been catching bass, crappies and sunfish. There hasn't been a lot of activity on the area lakes but it is certainly picking up now. It's free fishing this weekend so be sure to get tackle and poles ready and invite family and friends to join you. It's almost June, so get ready to pick some strawberries! Loon chicks are hatching, turtles will be laying eggs, songbirds nesting, fireflies will be coming. Geese and ducks are nesting and groups of goslings are being seen. Song birds are defending their territories where the females are sitting on the nests and youngsters are appearing. Robins, mourning doves, yellow finches, phoebes, tree swallows, house wrens, owls, woodcock, sandhill cranes, swans, red breasted grosbeaks, orioles and Myrtle's warblers, are all being seen. The deer and elk have been birthing this years' young. The elk cows have been making calf scouting moves, looking for a safe and quiet area to have their calves. The gnats and tics are out and mosquitoes are just starting. Bears and bear cubs are being seen along the roadsides. - Diane Stowell, forestry technician advanced and visitor services associate
Woodruff DNR Service Center area
Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest - Spring has sprung on the state forest at last! June berry and Pin cherry are in bloom and the pastel colors of spring in the landscape is breath taking. The leaf out will be fast with the upcoming warm weather and the spring wildflowers are making their appearance. Barren and wild strawberries, wood anemones, hepaticas and the bog bloomers are there for the curious. - Rosalie Richter, visitor services associate
Northern Lake Michigan fisheries team report
Marinette County - Walleye fishing in the bay this week was slow overall. Heavy fishing pressure was seen over the weekend as anglers were prefishing for the upcoming walleye tournament. No reports from the Menominee River on walleyes but the Peshtigo River was producing fish. Both jigging and trolling were producing fish in the lower part of the river. Musky anglers were out with fishing taken place in the Menominee and Peshtigo Rivers. A few smaller fish were reported caught in the Menominee early in the week and a 53 incher was reported out of the Peshtigo River over the weekend. - Scott Poquette, fisheries technician, Peshtigo
Oconto County - Walleye fishing in the bay was slow early in the week with a little better fishing by the weekend. Fishing pressure increased over the weekend as prefishing for next week's walleye tournament was taking place. Shore anglers were fishing for walleyes, perch, and pike with little success. Some perch were seen caught at Oconto Park II (North Bayshore Recreation Area) but size was small. Upstream on the Oconto River had a few bass anglers with only a few bass caught. - Scott Poquette, fisheries technician, Peshtigo
Brown County - Early week weather included winds that increased wave action to rolling waves and whitecaps especially at the mouth of the Fox River. Water levels were high with flooding at Metro boat launch. Angler effort was steady yet low throughout the week until the holiday weekend, which showed a large increase in boater traffic. Weekend weather was clear, sunny and reached mid 70s. Fishing success was low all week despite the increased effort. A successful party was using crankbaits. Shore angler effort increased with Voyageur Park a popular destination; however the catch rate was low. Debris blockages and flooding was common at many of the west shore access points. Geano Beach and the Suamico River launch were steadily used all week with increased holiday use and anglers reporting low success. Bass anglers were working the Suamico River upstream to the highway J bridge. A few parties were bow fishing, launching from Duck Creek and Longtail Point access. Angler effort showed an increase at Duck Creek; however, success has remained low. - Riley Schultz, fisheries technician, Green Bay
Door County - There was little fishing pressure this week on the bayside. However, as the weekend rolled around fishing pressure picked up, especially at the Stone Quarry. Walleye fisherman didn't have much luck at all this weekend. More road construction will be occurring shortly on Hwy. 42 between Fish Creek and Sister Bay. So if traveling up Hwy. 42 plan ahead and expect some delays. Anglers fishing from shore in Ephriam were catching smallmouth bass on live bait. Ephriam was the best place for catching smallmouth bass from shore this week. A few 5-pound smallmouth bass were caught in Ephriam as well. Lakeside fishing pressure was focused out of Rowleys Bay. The high winds forced anglers to fish around Rowleys Bay and in the Mink River. Anglers said they were averaging 10 to 25 smallmouth bass caught per boat. Multiple different baits caught the fish this week. Some anglers had more success using stick baits, while others had better luck using plastics. Anglers targeting smallmouth bass in the shipping canal had a rough weekend as well. The vast majority of the boats had single digit catches. There were a few boats that managed to catch 10-plus smallmouth bass. Water temps were around 62 degrees on Sunday so hopefully the water temps will continue to increase and so will fishing. - Cody Flavionl, fisheries technician, Mishicot
The Little Sturgeon Bay launch was slightly busy during the middle of the week, but by the end of the weekend it really picked up due to the nice weather. On Saturday the May 25, anglers had success catching smallmouth bass, but they had to work for them. A few muskies were being caught while anglers were trying for walleye and smallmouth bass. Average size range for the smallmouth bass were between 15 and 17 inches. On the weekend there were quite a few recreational boaters out there enjoying the weather and water. Sawyer Harbor: boat launches at both sites were packed. There were quite a few non-resident anglers using this launch. The bite was very slowly and anglers had to work the smallmouth spawning beds to catch anything. On the average 1 to 2 smallmouth bass were caught. The walleye bite was slow as well. Quite a few recreational boaters and kayakers were launching off of this site. Chaudoir's Dock launch was lightly used in the beginning of the week. A few walleye were being caught; with it averaging out to about 1 to 2 fish only. - Brandon Wagester, fisheries technician, Green Bay
Kewaunee County - There was very little fishing effort from anglers in Algoma or Kewaunee. There were no anglers out on the lake in Algoma. The only fishing effort came by Olson Park, which the results were mixed. An angler in the morning managed to hook into two steelhead and landed one of them. A northern pike was also caught in the morning; however when anglers returned in the afternoon they couldn't manage to buy a bite then. Everything came off of a spoon that they were casting. Over the weekend shore anglers were taking advantage of the nice weather. Although the weather was nice the fish did not want to work with the anglers. There were some lake trout caught out of Kewaunee this weekend bouncing the bottom. With more rain in the forecast this coming week if anyone decides to use the Kewaunee ramp they may want to bring along knee high boots or even hip waders as the water is still in the parking lot. - Cody Flavionl, fisheries technician, Mishicot
Manitowoc County - Anglers were catching lake trout by the nuclear plant in Two Rivers. The lake trout were being caught bouncing the bottom. Some boats reported catches upwards of 6 lake trout. - Dave Allen, conservation warden, Mishicot
Sturgeon Bay DNR Service Center area
Newport State Park - With warmer temperatures in northern Door County, the spring wildflowers and trees are putting on a show. Because of our cooler climate, there's a few spring beauty still around. Ramps can still be found in the woods. Clintonia is starting to bud out, and several violet species are blooming, including the threatened long spur violet. Also spotted recently are gay wings, dwarf lake iris, bellwort and columbine. Yellow lady slipper orchids are starting to bud. The trillium are in full bloom, making the woods a magical place. There have been reports of many bird sightings as migrating birds move through. Visitors have seen many kinds of warblers, Baltimore orioles, rose breasted grosbeaks, hummingbirds, indigo bunting, pelicans, mergansers, eagles, turkey vultures, bluebirds, phoebes and woodcocks. Our local woodpeckers have been putting on a show at our feeders near the nature center, particularly the pileated woodpeckers. There is a red headed wood pecker visiting daily too. Porcupines have been seen toward dusk, as well as coyote. Western fox snakes seem large for this time of year, as many startled visitors can attest to! Trails and campsites are in good shape, except for Fern Trail and parts of Europe Bay trail, which are currently under water. Alternate routes are available. The weather is supposed to be cooperative this weekend. With a new moon, it would be a great time to view the Milky Way at Wisconsin's only dark sky park! - Beth Bartoli, naturalist
Peninsula State Park - The majority of the off road mountain bike trails have reopened, but the Orange Loop remains closed due to standing water. - Jessica Doell, visitor services associate
Whitefish Dunes State Park - This is a great time of year for birding at the park. A lot of birds at the bird feeder by the office. Indigo buntings, rose-breasted grosbeaks, downy and red-headed woodpeckers have been spotted. Trillium and trout lilies are starting to bloom along the trails. All trails open to hiking except the Brachiopod Trail. At this time beach access is open at second beach and third beach if you have pets. Due to high water levels the best beach access is at the third beach. There currently isn't a lot of shoreline to hike along at this time. The suggested trail at this time is the Red trail which is almost a 3-mile loop hiking to the tallest sand dune Old Baldy. Please pick up a map or stop by the Nature Center for guidance. Leashed dogs are allowed on hiking trails. - Jaclyn Moeri, visitor services associate
Wautoma DNR Service Center area
Waupaca County - Recent electrofishing surveys on the Waupaca Chain O' Lakes showed good numbers of smallmouth and largemouth bass. Bass and panfish fishing should pick up on all lakes and reservoirs in the area as water temperatures warm up. Given the high amounts of rain and flooding this spring, trout and bass fishing on local streams and rivers has been difficult. - Jason Breeggemann, fisheries biologist, Shawano
Anglers are starting to catch bluegills/crappies and bass as the fish move closer to shore. Anglers have been catching these fish on many inland lakes in central Wisconsin. Anglers have had the best success using worms, minnows and plastic baits worked slowly. Fawns are now on the landscape. Please, if you should see a baby wild animal, keep your distance and give the animal some space. Mother deer leave their fawns alone for long periods of time and will not return to their young. Remember - Keep wildlife wild. - Ted Dremel, conservation warden, Wautoma
In the Wautoma area fisheries crews are just finishing up two spring electrofishing surveys and finding bass are on their beds. Bluegills are starting to feel the warming waters and getting ready to start their spawning. Remember to check your regulations if fishing waters in Waushara County. There are a handful of lakes with special regulations. - Scott Bunde, fisheries technician, Wautoma
A nice buck was seen with a set of antlers as wide as his ears already. First sandhill crane colt of the year. Grouse still drumming a bit. Given all the rain, trout fishing has been a daunting task at best as river levels have been crazy. All trees except oaks are fully budded out. We are set up for a terrible mosquito season with all the standing water, has been a super easy tick season - they are very scarce. - Karl Kramer, wildlife technician, Wautoma
Oshkosh DNR Service Center area
Outagamie County - Boating and fishing season is upon us. It is important that boaters take the time to read the regulations—they are also avail online. Prior to heading to the lake inspect the boat (bow to stern) and ensure all required items are in the boat: registration (valid), safety certificate (If born on or after Jan. 1, 1989) life jackets (proper size, fit and serviceable), throwable (Type IV for vessels 16 feet or longer), flares (if required), fire extinguisher, etc. Make sure the battery terminals are covered and the navigational lights are in working order. More importantly, double check the battery to ensure it is charged prior to leaving home and the gas tank is full. Don't forget to put the hull plug in the boat before launching or hopefully the bilge pump works! Also, life jackets are required for kayaks, canoes and paddle boards. Lastly, the water is cold, levels are high and the rivers and streams have strong currents. - Tom Sturdivant, conservation warden, Appleton
Milwaukee DNR Service Center area
Southern Lake Michigan fisheries team report
Sheboygan County - There was no angling effort seen along the shoreline and very few anglers seen on the pier during the week. It was windy, cold, and waves were crashing over the piers so hard that it was not safe to fish on. The water was dirty near shore and turbid. Water temperatures started around the low 50s but warmed up to the high 50s as the weekend came around. Those anglers seen on the pier over the weekend were mostly targeting browns but had no success. Most anglers reported catching many alewives. The Sheboygan Ramps were slow during the week, most likely due to the cold, rainy weather. However, it started to pick up over the weekend as the weather became nicer and the water temperatures became a little warmer. There were some anglers out trying their luck for salmon and trout but reported no success. There was one boat that went fishing during the night and had a successful trip catching a good number of catfishes, rock bass, and white bass in the last of the cold water. Many of the anglers mentioned seeing lots of bait fish out on the lake as well. The Cleveland Ramp is still not put in.
Ozaukee County - During the week there were very few anglers seen on both the pier and shore during survey time. The water was dirty, and the waves were crashing up on the pier making it difficult to fish. Surface water temperature remained around 60 degrees in Port. Those that were fishing the Utility were mostly using spawn sacs or alewives and targeting brown trout and coho salmon but unfortunately had no luck. As the weekend came around there were a few more anglers out trying their luck and targeting browns and coho using spoons. There was only a report of two browns that were caught. Other angers were targeting carp and were having success. Very few trailers were seen at the Port Washington Ramp during the week; however, it started to pick up during the weekend. Many of the anglers out were targeting lake trout or coho. There were a few boats who had success during the evening, one boat reporting eight lake trout and another reporting three. Unfortunately, there were other anglers who reported catching nothing at all. Not even any bites. Many anglers mentioned seeing a lot of bait fish and with the cold temperatures still this week could be a reason for the little success anglers have been having. The Amsterdam Ramp is still in the process of being put in. - CJ Usadel, fisheries technician, Plymouth
Milwaukee County - McKinley Marina: McKinley saw a ton of action this weekend - thanks to the beautiful weather. Most boats were pleasure boaters, but the fishing boats that came in reported hit-or-miss success with lake trout, coho and steelheads. Most boats only brought in a fish or two and reported few hits. Very few anglers were seen fishing the north city shoreline during survey times and no success was reported. The South Shore Ramp and Bender Ramp were relatively busy this weekend and boats were coming in with lakers and coho. Success was reported near south metro and the power plant. The pier at the Oak Creek Power Plant saw some modest effort this week, but little success. - Jessica Grace Jenkins, fisheries technician, Milwaukee
Racine County - Fishing activity on the piers and shores in Racine has still been relatively low. Early in the week there was almost nobody fishing the piers or shorelines due to the harsh weather. On one of the days nobody was seen fishing. Later in the week the weather improved, which brought more people out to fish. The weather wouldn't matter though as no fish were reported caught throughout the week. The majority of the people fishing were hoping to catch some coho salmon, but they mentioned they would have been happy to catch anything given how slow the fishing has been. Fishing activity at the ramps was very similar to the activity on the piers and shores. It was very low and nonexistent early in the week due to the large amounts of rain. Later in the week many of the boats going out on the lake were fishing vessels, with a few pleasure boaters as well. The fishing boats coming in had very limited success though. Very few fish were caught, with most of the fish caught being coho salmon. The constant rain has left the water very cloudy and murky, which has made fishing difficult both on boats and on shore. The temperature at the boat launch fluctuated from the high 50s to low 60s. - Andrew Krecak, fisheries technician, Sturtevant
Kenosha County - Very few anglers tried their luck at the harbors and piers early in the week due to the inclement weather. Later in the week though, a few more anglers were out and about trying to find out where the fish are. Fishing has been very tough the past several weeks. Nobody has been able to catch a fish from land. Various methods have been tried including spawn sacs, spoons, crankbaits, and live alewives. Nothing has been successful as no fish have been reported in quite some time. The murky water and large amounts of baitfish available in the lake could be reasons for limited success. There very few boat trailers spotted at the ramp early in the week, again due to the poor weather. Later in the week though, the boat launch parking lot was full of trailers. Most, if not all, of the fishermen going out were targeting coho salmon. Some coho were brought back on some of the boats, along with a few steelhead and lake trout. Fishing success is still very inconsistent though as some boats are still coming back from their trips empty handed. Water levels are very high at the boat ramp with water flooding into the parking lot frequently. The water temperature here was also in the low 60s. - Andrew Krecak, fisheries technician, Sturtevant
Plymouth DNR Service Center area
Kettle Moraine State Forest, Northern Unit - The forest has been busy with activity. Last weekend brought comfortable weather which helped fill all the campsites. This Saturday will be our annual Fish Fest taking place this year at Long Lake Fishing Pier. Learn about fish, their adaptations, and how to impede the spread of aquatic exotics. Even drop a line in the water to try to catch a fish or two. Fishing poles, tackle, and bait will be on hand for those intrigued to give it a try. The event is open to all ages and will occur from noon-4 p.m. It's also Free Fishing Weekend...so give our forest lakes [PDF] a try! Our volunteer Trail Stewards report good conditions throughout the forest; they've been ecstatic about the spring wildflowers in bloom right now. Three short sections of trail still remain closed from last fall's storm damage: a section of the Ice Age Trail, a section of the Summit Nature Trail, and a section of the Lake-to-Lake bike trail. The horse trails are open but users are cautioned that wet areas on the trail remain. Mountain bike trails are open but riders are asked to refrain from using the trails within 24 hours of a rain event, to allow time to dry and stabilize. The Tamarack Nature Trail still has some wet spots where 1-2 inches of water is covering the trail tread. Local avian enthusiasts reporting through ebird.org (exit DNR) have been seeing many species throughout Northern Unit's 30,000-plus acres of diverse habitat. On Saturday night, June 1, the Ice Age Visitor (1/2 mile west of Dundee on Hwy 67) will be hosting "Nature's Cuisine: Wild Edibles" with presenter Jackie Scharfenberg from 7-8:30 p.m. The program will help you understand that nature can provide a whole smorgasbord of food. Find out what plants are safe to eat and let your taste buds decide which are "good" to eat. This program is most appropriate for people over the age of 8 years old. On Sunday, June 2, the state forest will host "Tour de Forest" from 11am to 4pm. Pick up your challenge sheet at the Long Lake Rec Area Entrance Booth, or the Ice Age Visitor Center, or the Mauthe Lake Rec Area Entrance Booth and then begin your Tour de Forest. Travel from New Fane to Greenbush and several sites between; solving puzzles, acquiring clues, and making memories. Prizes awarded for those teams which complete the Tour by 4 p.m. and a grand prize for the team that finishes the fastest. Now that summer is nearly upon us, the Henry S Reuss Ice Age Visitor Center is open weekdays from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. and weekends 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Come out to the state forest and enjoy the beautiful conditions! - James Enigl, park ranger
Black River Falls DNR Service Center area
Black River State Forest - The State Forest is alive with signs of Spring. Trilliums and other wildflowers are blooming. Fawns are starting to be seen following after their mothers. Goslings (baby geese) and colts (baby Sandhill cranes) have been seen along roadsides and near flowages. Unfortunately, mosquitoes, flies and ticks have also made an appearance, so remember to bring bug spray. The section of ATV/UTV trail that runs from Oak Ridge Road, to the 7th Street parking lot is closed due to flooding, and may remain closed for the weekend.- Emily Alf, visitor services associate
Eau Claire DNR Service Center area
Lake Wissota State Park - Recent rain has water levels rising. Species of birds seen or heard include: rose-breasted grosbeaks, loons, robins, red polls, a variety of wrens, phoebes, Canada geese, northern juncos, pileated woodpeckers, and belted kingfishers. The great blue herons, green herons, barred owls, ravens, osprey and bald eagles are on their nests. The cherry species and wild plumbs are in bloom. The ferns are in the process of unfurling. Miterwort, spring beauty, common and wood strawberry, dog violet, marsh marigolds, trillium, wild columbine, bellworts, and the false rue anemones are in bloom. Area open water game fish and pan fish action has been moderate with some people doing well and others not catching anything.- Nathan Fries, ranger
Wisconsin Rapids DNR Service Center area
Buckhorn State Park - All campsites are now open and reservable up to two days in advance. The park now has 11 more sites with electric in the campground! Sites 55, 56, 59, 61, 63, 66, 68, 69, 103, 104, 105 are now electric and reservable. Canoes, kayaks, and bikes are available to rent. Fishing pier and boat boarding piers are in! People have been fishing by boat or on shore. There was a cancellation and the park is looking for a camp host at the beach site for June, July and in August in the campground. Central Sands Nature Trail - the section along the lake is currently closed for replacement of 2 boardwalks (thanks to a Friends of Buckhorn grant) and campers for sites 4-7 and 13-15 have been rerouted to follow the trail to the left to their sites. - Heather Wolf, park manager