The Chequamegon (sho-wah-magon) National Forest is located in
northwest Wisconsin and has over 839,000 acres. There are 25
developed campgrounds, 20 of which meet the selection criteria.
The Chequamegon National Forest describes itself as a "Forest for all seasons." Shaped principally by glaciers some 10,000 years ago, the Forest's rolling landscape offers a variety of recreation opportunities, such as hiking, auto tours featuring brilliant fall colors, cross-country skiing, wildlife viewing, and car, tent, recreation vehicle (RV) and motorhome camping, and so much more. The Forest also features some examples of the excellent work done by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and Work Projects Administration (WPA).
Two premier hiking trails in the Chequamegon National Forest are the National Park Service's North Country Scenic Trail and the Ice Age Trail. The North Country Scenic Trail stretches from the state of New York through Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota to North Dakota. Sixty of this Trail's 3,240-miles are in the Chequamegon. The Forest Service's Beaver Lake campground is conveniently located near the North Country Scenic Trail and popular with through-hikers or those who just want to explore a portion of this magnificent trail.
Although still under construction, the Ice Age Trail will wind through Wisconsin roughly following the maximum extent of the ice during the last part of the Wisconsin Glaciation. Like the North Country Scenic Trail, the Ice Age Trail appears to have been designed for the "hard-core" hiker. However, this Trail does crisscross several Forest roadways, and is located near Westpoint and Spearhead Point campgrounds, making parts of it accessible to the day hiker.
Along with North Country and Ice Age trails, the Chequamegon National Forest has over 200 miles of hiking trails. A few are: the 4-mile Black Lake Trail, out of Black Lake campground, provides a tour through the area's rich logging history; interpretive trails featuring trees and plants found around Day Lake and Namekagon campgrounds; St. Peter's Dome Trail, near Mineral Lake campground, that leads to the highest point in the Forest; and, then, there are hiking trails into and through Porcupine Lake and Rainbow Lake Wilderness areas. Off-road enthusiasts will find an equal number of trail miles through scenic and challenging forest terrain. Plus there are 100 miles of mountain bike (pedal not motor) trails. That's close to 500- miles of trails! And do not overlook 632 miles of rivers and streams in the Chequamegon offering outstanding canoeing opportunities.
The Chequamegon National Forest has a rich history with many places available for forest visitors to explore. Perhaps the most accessible historic site is Mondeaux Flowage Recreational Area. Construction on the Mondeaux Dam, associated buildings, and campgrounds began in 1937. Built as CCC and WPA projects, the Mondeaux Flowage Recreation Area displays the trademark quality workmanship of these organizations. With three campgrounds (Eastwood, Spearhead Point, and West Point), a 416- acre lake offering swimming, boating, and fishing, and several trails, the Mondeaux Recreation Area has something for everyone.
The Chequamegon National Forest's many campgrounds are closed by the time winter blankets the area with snow. But the Forest does not go into hibernation. This is the time when the crystalline beauty of the Forest is enjoyed by cross-country skiers, snowmobile enthusiasts, and snowshoers. And, don't be surprised to see a dog sled or two pass by.
The Chequamegon National Forest, with its rolling landscape, healthy forest and abundant wildlife, offers a change of pace to visitors from the congested metropolitan cities of the Midwest. With excellent and varied recreational opportunities, visitors can quickly shed the stress of modern life by enjoying the quiet tranquility found here. This impression stays with visitors long after they depart and is a primary reason visitors to the Chequamegon National Forest return time and again.
500 Hanson Lake Rd.
Rhinelander, Wisconsin 54501
RANGER DISTRICT ADDRESSES
10650 Nyman Ave.
Hayward, Wisconsin 54843
850 N 8th, Hwy. 13
Medford, Wisconsin 54451
1170 4th Ave. S.
Park Falls, Wisconsin 54552
113 East Bayfield St.
Washburn, Wisconsin 54891