Welcome to the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest! This special place in the northern woodlands of Wisconsin affords a genuine opportunity to enjoy the wild and scenic wonders of its diverse landscapes. Characterized by gently rolling terrain, this sparsely populated rural region offers a unique opportunity to "get away from it all". Its tradition of low visitor use invites a feeling of seclusion; a place to escape from the congested metropolitan cities of the midwest, to rest, reflect, and revive weary spirits. The Chequamegon leaves an impression of tranquillity and inner peace.
Bountiful with lakes, rivers, and streams, the Chequamegon is amidst an ever-changing forest of northern hardwoods, pines and meadowlands. A community of several hundred wildlife species have also chosen to make their home in this special part of the world. The scenic charm of the Chequamegon is punctuated by several highlands overlooking surrounding landscapes. Accented with rock outcroppings and scenic overlooks, these bluffs are visible evidence of earth-forming volcanoes, earthquakes and glaciers long past.
Nearly 850,000 acres await discovery ... and can be explored during any season of the year. Like many National Forests, seasonal changes create a scenic beauty all it's own with a variety of recreational opportunities. Spring announces the return of colorful wildflowers and birds, as sightseers and photographers flock to the Chequamegon region. Summer is the most popular season for camping, hiking, picnicking, boating, fishing, and biking. Refreshing lakes and shaded forest paths in the Chequamegon promise opportunities of scenic enjoyment for boaters and hikers. As the summer warmth fades, the emerald green forests become flushed with autumn hues of scarlet and gold. A popular activity, leaf watchers actively hike and drive Forest trails and roads to view the contrast of colors. Ushered in, by a thick blanket of snow, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, and snowshoeing are popular ways to explore the crystalline beauty of the Chequamegon.
Adding to the seasonal charm of this northern woodland is a wealth of colorful history. Indians, voyageurs, missionaries, and loggers once traveled these lands, leaving behind visible signs of their former presence. Opportunities to explore and discover historic sites left by former inhabitants in this region await Chequamegon visitors today. Once a dominant influence throughout the area, these people touched and helped to shape this special place in northern Wisconsin.
Highlighted by its unique forest landscapes and abundant wetlands, the Chequamegon National Forest is a hiker's paradise. There are approximately 200 miles of trails developed for non-motorized use within the Forest. Two of these traits have national significance. The North Country National Scenic Trail reaches from eastern New York to central North Dakota. A 60-mile section crosses through the Chequamegon. The eastern portion of this trail is highlighted by the scenic beauty of the Penokee Mt. Range. On the western segment, visitors discover the peaceful solitude of the Porcupine Lake and Rainbow Lake Wilderness. The Ice Age National Scenic Trail stretches across Wisconsin with a 40-mile section passing through the Chequamegon. This trail follows the edge of the most recent glacial advance accented with scenic views of glacial wetlands.
The Nordic winter winds bring a thick mantle of snow to the Cheguamegon region. Cross-country skiing is a popular winter activity and the Chequamegon provides numerous opportunities to enjoy the snow-covered landscapes of the northern woodlands. Over fifty miles of trails are groomed on a weekly basis. One of these trails has national significance. The Rock Lake National Recreation Trail is divided into loops of varying lengths offering challenges for the beginning to advanced skier. A popular trail system, visitors to Rock Lake traverse glacial terrain cloaked with northern hardwoods and islands mature white pine. Up to date Trail Information can be found at www.norwiski.com
The Chequamegon offers some of the finest camping opportunities, with spacious campsites nestled amidst trees beside a lake or stream. A wide variety of facilities and activities can be found at the 24 campgrounds, dispersed throughout the Forest. Campsite fees vary, depending upon site locations and lake accessibility. Water pumps and outhouse toilet facilities are provided at 23 of the Forest's campgrounds. The Chippewa Campground in the Medford District is the only camping area that has warm water showers and flush toilets. In addition, the Chippewa Campground and Mondeaux Recreation Area have travel trailer dumping stations. Special sites suitable for disabled camping are also available at two of the Chequamegon campgrounds. Reservations for these special sites should be made in advance. For those that really want to get away from it all, backcountry camping is permitted throughout the Forest as long as the site is located at least 50 feet away from any trail or water's edge
Visitors seeking a secluded outdoor experience, can find nearby 11,000 acres of wilderness in the Porcupine Lake and Rainbow Lake Wilderness areas. These quiet places are reserved for foot travel alone and only the plaintive call of the loon breaks the silence and tranquillity.
Some of Wisconsin's best hunting opportunities for - black bear, ruffed grouse, and white-tailed deer are in the Chequamegon National Forest. Populations of black bear vary from one year to the next, but on the average, more bears are harvested in and near the Chequamegon than any other part of the state. Park Falls has also been proclaimed the "Grouse Capital of the World" and offers yet another challenging pursuit for many visitors to the Forest. White-tailed deer populations are less in the Forest than in the southern part of the state, however, the Chequamegon is known for its trophy sized animals.
Hundreds of Forest area lakes and streams provide quality fishing for such species as Muskellunge, Northern Pike, Large and Smallmouth Bass, Walleye, panfish and trout. The Chequamegon is ideally suited and best known for it's "Musky" fishing.
An additional 5,200 acres have been set aside as semi-primitive, non-motorized areas. Visitors who are looking for peace and solitude can find solace in these special places as well These areas differ from those designated as wilderness in that they occasionally permit motorized equipment in for administrative and maintenance purposes and allow mechanized equipment including bikes.
More information about specific campgrounds, trails, and other recreational activities can be obtained by contacting:
1170 4th Avenue South
Park Fall, WI 54552