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Flambeau River State ForestCurrent conditions

Grazing elk

Grazing elk

Trail conditions

Cross-country ski trail conditions

Cross-country skil trails

The Flambeau Hills Cross Country Ski Trail is in good condition and snow is in the forecast. The Birkebeiner in Hayward is coming up and there is always an increased amount of use on the Flambeau for folks that are preparing for the competition. This trail winds through a mixture of hardwoods and conifers, crosses three bridges and provides occasional glimpses of the Flambeau River. It has a three-sided shelter and picnic area off of the Pinery Grade segment of the trail. There are “You are Here” map signs posted at most intersections and maps at the south (Hwy W) and north (Snuss Blvd, off of Hwy 70) ends of the trail. Call ahead for conditions (715-332-5271 ext. 111 or 101).

Snowmobile trail

The snowmobile trails are in very good condition. The groomers are out almost daily. There are 55 miles of snowmobile trails on the forest and it links up to the Tuscobia State Trail and to the Sawyer, Rusk and Price County trail systems. In Sawyer County, trail 25 has two logging operations occurring. Be sure to yield to logging equipment and be aware of deer and elk, especially in those areas. They have been seen regularly by the logging crews.

Snowshoe trails

Snowshoe trails are open throughout the forest. There is no better way to get great exercise and enjoy close encounters with the wildlife in the area. Lake of the Pines Nature Trail, Little Falls/Slough Gundy Scenic Area and Sobieski Wildlife Area are just to name a few. The snow depth varies throughout the forest from 18" to 22" depending upon the location. Get those snowshoes out! Some of these trails can be a real challenge. If you choose to go to Lake of the Pines Nature Trail or Little Falls/Slough Gundy Scenic Area, there are map containers on the entrance posts of the trails, just grab a map. When snowshoeing Lake of the Pines, you can enter this trail at Lake of the Pines Landing or across from the registration station for the campground. The trail runs along the bluffs on the west bank of Lake of the Pines and into some rolling hills looaded with large white pines and hemlocks. This is a very beautiful trail. When hiking or snowshoeing Little Falls/Slough Gundy be sure to read the signs carefully, and if you are able to traverse boulders and cross a rocky river bed, try crossing to Slough Gundy. Once across the river bed, follow the path and you will see some large white pines, cedars, hemlocks and also some unusual rock formations. There are cliffs on the north end of Slough Gundy, so be cautious. These are just a couple of the many unique and wonderful places here on the Flambeau River State Forest.

Campground conditions

Lake of the Pines Campground and Connors Lake Campground are closed for the season. Both campgrounds offer a wonderful camping experience. If you are interested in reserving sites for 2018, Lake of the Pines Campground and Connors Lake Campground can be reserved by going on www.reserveamerica.com [exit DNR] or calling 1-888-947-2757 to register. Both campgrounds are little gems.

Fishing conditions

The Flambeau River and surrounding lakes in the state forest, such as Connors, Lake of the Pines (walleye, bass, musky, northerns and panfish), Bass Lake (largemouth bass, panfish), Swamp, Pelican, Mason and Evergreen Lakes are great places to fish and explore. Lake of the Pines is reported to have approximately 20"+ of ice and fishermen are catching crappies and rock bass. Connors Lake ice depth is reported to be about 20" and fishermen are catching walleye. Ice shacks are being placed in strategic positions on the lakes especially Lake of the Pines. Come join in on the fun. Learn more about ice safety. If you need more information about the state forest, call us at 715-332-5271 ext.111 or email us at: diane.stowell@wisconsin.gov

Nature conditions or observations

Logging operations on the Forest are going full speed ahead. Conditions are perfect for good logging practices and loggers are working diligently to get as much done before break-up.

We have a snow covered world around us here at the Flambeau River State Forest and more snow in the forecast. The deer and elk are conserving their energy and aggressively browsing in the logging areas. Many of the loggers and Forest staff are viewing groups of deer and elk daily and it’s a thrill for them to view the majestic bulls that wander in. Activities of bobcats, otters, turkeys, grouse and birdlife galore seems to have picked up in the warmer temperatures. Ravens and eagles are actively courting in February and the Great Horned owls are making their nests now. Usually by early to mid-March there are owlets in the nests. Wolves and coyotes are mating. Days are noticeably getting longer and when you are out of the wind, the February sun feels warmer. Take time and quietly go out and see the splendor that winter offers. It is amazing out there and we are so lucky to be part of it.

The weather forecast for the remainder of this week, according to the National Weather Service, indicates that Friday will be sunny, with a high of 17 and a low of 6 with a slight chance of snow. Saturday, there is a 30% chance of snow, then partly sunny with a high of 30 and low of 6. Sunday, there is a chance of snow, with a high of 27 and a low of 13. Monday, Washington’s Birthday, snow, 5” to 8”, and 1” to 3” at night, with a high of 24 and low of 6. Snow, snow and more snow. Be safe, and bundle up if going outside and come see us at the Flambeau!

Facilities closed

Lake of the Pines and Connors Lake Campground and the Connors Lake Picnic Area. ATV/UTV trail closed.

Roads to and in the forest

Most of the roads are plowed and open for travel.

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 February 15 2018