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Chippewa Flowage
15,300 acres of premier fishing in Sawyer County.
Lower Wisconsin State Riverway
over 92 miles of natural and scenic roverway.
Turtle-Flambeau Scenic Waters Area
scenic beauty and wild character in Iron County.
Willow Flowage Scenic Waters Area
an island studded reservoir with truly wild flavor.
Wild Rivers
protected free-flowing rivers.
location in Wisconsin
Contact information
For information on the Turtle-Flambeau Scenic Waters Area, contact:
Property Manager
Dept of Natural Resources
5291 N. Statehouse Circle
Mercer, Wisconsin 54547
715-476-7846 (office)
715-614-5120 (cell)

Turtle-Flambeau Scenic Waters AreaHiking / Nature trails

The Turtle-Flambeau Scenic Waters Area offers five trails designated for hiking; there are also many miles of old logging roads if you care to explore the back country.

The Hidden Rivers Nature Trail is a 2 mile interpretive trail located off Fisherman's Landing Road. Big Island Trail, Wilson Hills Trail and Deadhorse Trail are hunter walking trails that are great for hiking any time of year. Little Turtle Trail is also a hunter walking trail and is a favorite of bird watchers - this trail is closed to hiking between December 15 and April 15 if the ground is snow covered because it is part of the MECCA Cross Country Ski Trail system.

nature trail

nature trail

Big Island Trail
This trail begins at the bridge to Big Island. From County Highway FF go south on Popko Circle West approximately 3.6 miles and turn right on a woods road heading west towards Big Island. There is a grass parking area for 2 - 3 vehicles about 100 yards before the bridge. There are 8.8 miles of trail on the Island. Big Island Trail Map [PDF]
Deadhorse Trail
The Deadhorse Trail is located in a special management unit dedicated to intensive management for ruffed grouse. Property owners wanting to manage their property specifically for grouse should check out the seven new interpretive signs at various points on this 4.6-mile trail explaining ruffed grouse management techniques. All of the management practices can be applied by private landowners with as little as ten acres. Access is off Popko Circle West, approximately 2.0 miles south of County Highway FF. Deadhorse Trail Map [PDF]
Hidden Rivers Nature Trail
Much like beauty, wilderness is in the eye of the beholder. Many people come to the Turtle-Flambeau Flowage seeking a sense of wilderness. What visitors often do not see is that humans have played a vital role in shaping the natural systems of the Flowage. Enjoy a leisurely walk on the Hidden Rivers Trail, take in the natural beauty of the area, and learn how humans have transformed the Turtle and Flambeau Rivers into the environment you experience today.   Hidden Rivers Trail Map [PDF]
Little Turtle Trail
There are 5.2 miles of mowed trail in the Little Turtle Waterfowl Management Area. To access the trail take Popko Circle East south from County Highway FF approximately 1.1 miles to Joe's Shack Road. At the end of Joe's Shack Road turn right to the trail head parking area on the north edge of the Little Turtle Flowage.

NOTE: Between the dates of December 15 and April 15 this hunter walking trail is designated part of the MECCA Cross Country Ski Trail. You may not walk or hike on the groomed portion of this trail any time the ground is snow covered between these dates. Little Turtle Trail Map [PDF]
Wilson Hills Trail
There are 5.5 miles of maintained trail in two segments between Wilson Lake and the Bonies Mound area of the Turtle-Flambeau Flowage. To access the trails from County Highway FF go south on Popko Circle East approximately 3.6 miles to Wilson Lake Road East. Take Wilson Lake Road East 1.1 miles to a woods road heading east. There are several access points along this woods road. Wilson Hills Trail Map [PDF]

Auto Tour

The Turtle-Flambeau Scenic Waters Area Auto Tour is a self guiding tour illustrating the interactions of humans with our native flora and fauna. This tour will give you a glimpse of the spectacular resources of the area. Management programs that will insure the future of these resources are explained. The tour is 24 miles long and has fifteen stops.

Turtle-Flambeau Scenic Waters Area Auto Tour booklets [PDF] PUB-LF-0016 are available at the Mercer Ranger Station and can also be found in the literature box on the kiosk at the Little Turtle Waterfowl Management Area parking lot – this site is the first stop on the tour.

Last revised: Friday March 20 2020