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Northern Highland-American Legion State ForestActivities and recreation

ATV All terrain vehicles

All-Terrain Vehicles are not allowed anywhere on the Northern Highland American Legion (NHAL) State Forest. For riding opportunities, please see the DNR ATV information.

Bicycling Bicycling

Except for the nature trails, Fallison [PDF], Trout Lake [PDF], Star Lake [PDF] and Raven's [PDF] yellow loop, biking is allowed on all roads and trails. This amounts to hundreds of miles of biking opportunities.

Designated mountain bike trails require a state trail pass which can be purchased by self-registering at the trail heads. Trails designated for biking are McNaughton [PDF], Madeline [PDF] and Lumberjack [PDF] and Raven [PDF].

There are two trails on or near the forest that have suitable surfaces for all bikes. The Bearskin State Trail has trail heads in Minocqua and on Highway K near Highway 51. Also, the surrounding area towns maintain a paved bike trail that runs from the Boulder Junction, through Crystal, Firefly, Muskie, North Trout and South Trout campgrounds and on to St. Germain.

Boating Boating

The NHAL supports the highest concentration of lakes in Wisconsin. With over 900 lakes and more than 300 miles of rivers and streams water-based recreation is often one of the primary reasons people visit the NHAL. Motors are not allowed [PDF] on several lakes in the NHAL.

Camping Camping

Camping at NHAL State Forest

Canoeing and Kayaking Canoeing and kayaking

The forest offers canoeists and kayakers many places to explore on day trips. For quiet recreation seek out lakes with "No Motor" or "Electric Motor Only" designations. There are also many opportunities to camp along rivers and lakes at one of the over 70 designated canoe campsites. The property has six suggested overnight paddle trips. See maps and pubs.

Cross-Country Skiing Cross-Country Skiing

The NHAL has four beautifully tracked and wonderfully scenic cross-country ski trails: Escanaba [PDF], Madeline [PDF], McNaughton [PDF] and Raven [PDF]. State trail passes are required for these trails. Because they are tracked, snowshoes, hiking and pets are not allowed on these trails in winter.

The Lumberjack [PDF] and Powell [PDF] trails are great for skiing. These trails are not groomed, but because they are popular, many times a trail may have already been broken.

Hiking Snowshoeing Hiking and snowshoeing

Hiking is a good way to get close to nature and understand your natural environment a little better. In addition to our four nature trails, the NHAL has seven other trails designated for hiking. There are also hundreds of miles of old logging roads, less traveled town roads, forest access roads and snowmobile trails that offer good hiking.

In addition to our winter trails, Lumberjack [PDF] and Powell [PDF], the parking lots at Fallison [PDF], North Trout [PDF] and Star Lake [PDF] Nature Trails are kept plowed to provide ample opportunities. For those that don't require a trail, the possibilities are endless. But please remember, no snowshoeing on groomed and tracked ski trails.

Horse Equestrian trails

There are no designated equestrian tails on the state forest. However, there are many places people can ride within the property such as public roads, old logging roads and snowmobile trials when not snow covered.

There are a few things to keep in mine when horseback riding in the NHAL. Horses are not allowed in any campground, beach, designated hiking or nature trail or contrary to other posted notices.

Hunting Hunting

Hunting is permitted on the forest and hunters are reminded to check their regulations for open seasons and contact forest headquarters to confirm open areas. Hunting is not allowed within 100 yards of any state campground, picnic area or other special use area designated by posted notice.

nature Nature trails

The five nature trails on the property are shorter, between 1 and 2.5 miles, are at a use level most would consider easy to moderate and are self-contained loops. Please see the trail descriptions for details on the North Trout [PDF] Nature Trail, Fallison [PDF] Nature Trail, Raven [PDF] Nature Trail, Star Lake [PDF] Nature Trail and the Tom Roberts [PDF] Memorial Nature Trail.

picnic Picnic areas

There are many picnic areas [PDF] on the NHAL.

snowmobile Snowmobiling

The NHAL has nearly 400 miles of marked snowmobile trails that connect with an extensive network of county and local snowmobile club trails. These trails are all maintained and groomed by the local snowmobile clubs.

The opening and closing of snowmobile trails is at the discretion of each county. Snowmobile trails which cross DNR lands are opened and closed consistent with the surrounding county (or counties). Whenever possible, the opening and closing of snowmobile trails is done on a county-wide basis, however localized conditions may require localized trail opening and closing. It is the responsibility of the county to provide notification about the status of snowmobile trails. The Travel Wisconsin Snow Conditions Report [exit DNR], and local club and county snowmobile web pages [exit DNR] and telephone hotlines will provide the most current information.

Last Revised: Friday February 01 2019