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Flambeau River State ForestCurrent conditions

Grazing elk

Grazing elk

The Flambeau River State Forest has a plethora of hunter/walking trails and some very beautiful scenic hiking and nature trails. Lake of the Pines Nature Trail, Little Falls,/Slough Gundy Scenic Area, Sobieski Wildlife Area and Bass Lake Wilderness Area are just to name a few. 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 hiking 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 loaded with large white pines and hemlocks. This trail takes you past an ephemeral pond that is filled with croaking and peeping frogs. This pond is about 1/10th of an acre in size and is located at DM Lat. 45 47.1888855: DM Long. Of 90 42.421156. Well worth exploring. When hiking 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 just 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. This time of year during the spring thaw, the water level is high and running very fast. These are just a couple of the many unique and wonderful places here on the Flambeau River State Forest. Come hike with us!

Campground conditions

Lake of the Pines Campground is open. Connors Lake Campground is closed until Memorial Day weekend. 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 so think “camping”!

Swimming, boating and 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 and Connors Lake have reported to have approximately 15+” of ice. Folks are still ice fishing. Learn more about ice safety. The South and North Fork of the Flambeau River is completely open, high and running fast. Some enthusiasts enjoy running the river with all the whitewater. There has been some success fishing for redhorse. 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

Wildlife can be seen readily along the roads where vegetation is becoming visible and snow is fading out of the landscape. Elk cows and deer does have entered their third trimester of pregnancy and we’re hoping for some large and feisty youngsters. Bear and bear cubs are coming out of their dens. Kestrels and hawks have been hovering on roadsides and open areas looking for prey, and eagles for prey and carrion. Tom turkeys are gobbling and displaying for the hens and turkey hunting is in the second season. Tundra swans and geese are flying overhead and no doubt many heading more north. Robins, wood peckers, finches, kingfishers, swallows, blue jays, grouse, ducks of many species, woodcock and sandhill cranes are just a few of the birds being viewed by area residents and forest staff. Pussy willows are coming out and the silver maples are budding. Chorus frogs can be heard in the warm low spots and some peepers and wood frogs also. The Flambeau River is such a precious resource. Its banks are high with water and animal life. Nesting, playing of furbearers and a haven for ducks and geese. Sap is being collected and cooked for maple syrup, though seemingly coming to an end. Frost is coming out and soon a green hue will me more apparent on the countryside.

Keep vigilant watch over the daily phenological changes because they happen so fast. Take time and quietly go out and see the splendor that nature offers. Have a good rest of the week and weekend!

The weather forecast for the remainder of this week and weekend, according to the National Weather Service, indicates that Thursday will be a 30% chance of rain with a high of 57 and low of 27. Friday will be mostly sunny, with a high of 57 and low of 28. Saturday, will be sunny, with a high of 55 and a low of 30. Sunday will be sunny, with a high of 66 and a low of 47. Be safe, and come see us at the Flambeau!

Facilities closed

Connors Lake Campground and the Connors Lake Picnic Area are both closed. The ATV/UTV trail is closed.

Roads to and in the forest

Most of the roads are muddy with some frost issues.

Coming events to note

Informational Flambeau River State Forest Friends group meeting on Saturday, April 28th at 3:00 p.m. Treats and drinks provided.

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: Wednesday April 25 2018