RHINELANDER, Wis. (May 3, 2018) – The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest will be opening five campgrounds Friday, May 11 in Forest and Oconto counties, with the rest of the campgrounds opening Thursday, May 24. The opening of campgrounds and associated recreation sites were delayed due to the persisting snow pack this spring.

The five campgrounds that will be opening May 11 are Bagley Rapids, Bear Lake, Boot Lake, Laura Lake and Pine Lake.

“As the snow continues to melt, crews are getting out in the recreation sites mitigating hazard trees, clearing off campground pads, preparing water systems, and the like; all of which typically occurs throughout the month of April,” said Tim Vetter, Acting Lands & Recreation Program Manager for the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest.

The Forest has brought in additional crews through the Forest Service’s Job Corps program to assist employees with getting sites ready for business.

“They will be instrumental in removing hazard trees from the recreation sites which is a big part of preparing recreation sites for opening,” said Vetter.

In addition to the Forest’s campgrounds, motorized, bicycle and equestrian trail conditions in many parts of the Forest remain saturated. Due to these unstable soils, the Forest is continuing to monitor conditions and working with the clubs and counties to prepare trails for opening later this spring.

When campgrounds open May 24 there will be changes to recreation use fees at a majority of the Forest’s campgrounds.

This comes after the Eastern Region Recreation Resource Advisory (RRAC) Committee met in April to approve the proposed fee changes introduced in 2017.

This is the first time in more than a decade that the Forest has been able to make changes to recreation use fees. The proposed changes were based on the level of amenities and services provided, cost of operations and maintenance and market assessments. The fee changes are being implemented under the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act where 80-95 percent of the fees generated are returned to the Forest.

The fees will increase on average of $3 per night for single family sites and $6 per night on double sites. Group sites will increase $15 per night at Boulder Lake, $5 per night at Morgan Lake, and $20 per night at Picnic Point Campground.

The new fees will go into effect May 24 for all first-come, first-serve campsites. Sites available for reservations at will be updated as well on May 24. All existing reservations will be honored at the rate in which they were made.

Specific information on fee changes can be found here. Please note that some fees will not change until 2019 and possibly beyond. You will also notice sites that are closed and/or have reduced services on the fee change list. These were included in the fee proposal and any fee changes will be implemented if, and when, the site is reopened.

For more information about the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest please visit our website at or follow us on Twitter at or like us on Facebook at


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