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Black River State Forest Current conditions

Candlelight Ski, Hike, and Snowshoe

Mark your calendars for Saturday, Feb. 2. The Black River Forest Trail Foundation will be holding their annual candlelight ski, hike and snowshoe event [PDF] from 6–9 p.m. at the Smrekar warming shelter. Food and refreshments will be available as well as a raffle with great prizes.

Cross-country ski trails

Trails are open to hikers and bikers until we get more snow.

Snowshoe trails

Trails are open to hiking.

Snowshoers can enjoy the 1-mile and 0.6-mile trails at the Smrekar parking lot, the three mile trail that connects Pigeon Creek to Smrekar Road or the 1.5-mile loop around Castle Mound. Snowshoers are allowed anywhere on the state forest that is not a groomed trail.
Black River State Forest snowshoe trails map [PDF].

ATV, UTV and snowmobile trails

ATV and UTV trails are open. Snowmobile trails remain closed due to lack of snow. Please ride with caution as some parts of the trails are icy, especially on corners and bridges.    A reminder that Jackson County has a temperature restriction of 28 degrees. If temperatures are above the 28 degree mark we ask that you stay off the trail system to ensure it will be in good condition for the entirety of the season.

UTVs are allowed on winter ATV trails, except for designated snowmobile only trails or any other trail that was previously closed to UTV use.

Jackson County Forestry and Parks maintains and grooms all of the state forest's snowmobile and winter ATV trails. Grooming updates are posted on the Jackson County [exit DNR] website.


Don't move firewood!

Don't move firewood!Due to the potential of carrying harmful tree pests and diseases, Wisconsin has restrictions for moving firewood.

Castle Mound and Pigeon Creek campgrounds are open on a first-come, first-served basis. East Fork campground and Outdoor Group camp are closed and will reopen on April 15. Next year, East Fork Campground will have an earlier closure date, most likely at the end of September. This change is due to the availability of sites at two other campgrounds.

Castle Mound campground is on the reservation system from May 1 through the second weekend in October. East Fork and Pigeon Creek campgrounds are reservable from the Thursday before Memorial weekend through Labor Day weekend. The outdoor group camp is reservable from April 15 through November 30. The indoor group camp is reservable year-round.

Backpackers can use our online permit [PDF] to register for camping.

For more information, go to Black River State Forest camping.

Additional resources

Last revised: Friday January 18 2019