Black Lake Recreation Area

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

Black Lake Recreation Area is a family-favorite on the Great Divide Ranger District. It is spread along the eastern shores of its namesake, Black Lake. The calm waters beckon to adventurers, offering fishing, boating, and swimming. 

Bring your trailer with your OHVs and access the Fishtrap Motorized Trail from the nearby Camp Loretta Trailhead just 12 miles away. OHV use in the campground is prohibited.

Fishing draws the attention of many anglers seeking musky, walleye, bass and panfish. Kayaking and canoeing are also enjoyed by visitors, as the water is usually peaceful and calm. A variety of wildlife, including elk, deer, loon, fox and others, make their homes in the area and are often spotted by visitors. The Black Lake Trail offers a 4-mile leisurely hike around the lake, with interpretation about the logging history and the Civilian Conservation Corps heritage of the area.

The campground is located within the birch, pine, and spruce forest surrounding this beautiful 129-acre lake. Most of the 29 sites are lakefront, some on the reservation system.  All campsites provide hardened parking area, picnic table, and fire ring and some can accommodate up to a 45-foot trailer. Recycling and trash dumpsters are provided. Vault toilets are provided throughout campground and day-use area. A grassy beach provides ample space to run and play, as well as a spot to relax.

So, if you like to swim, boat, fish, hike and picnic, then the Black Lake Recreation Area is the place for you, located just 30 minutes east of Hayward. Don’t forget your canine friends. Black Lake is one of our dog friendly recreation areas.


At a Glance

Current Conditions: Opening June 12 on a first-come, first-served basis; reservations honored starting June 15.
Reservations: Reservable sites include 1, 2, 6, 8, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 22, 24, 25, and 29. The reservation system provides visitors the opportunity to reserve their favorite spot during specific times, ensuring a place to stay, which will be beneficial to local users as well as users traveling from afar. Sites can be reserved at or by calling Recreation.go at 1-877-444-6777 or TDD 1-877-833-6777. The campground will still have first come first served sites available for those who prefer a more spontaneous adventure. 
Fees Individual campsite fee is $15/night, payable at the fee envelope tube at the site. Camping fees are $7.50 with use of Interagency Senior or Access Pass. Pass discounts apply only to the fee for the campsite physically occupied by the pass holder.
Usage: Heavy
Busiest Season: Camping: June - August
Restrictions: Restrictions for all National Forest System lands can be found by visiting Title 36 Code of Federal Regulations 261 by clicking here. The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest specific restrictions can be found in the Occupancy and Use Restrictions for the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest please click here. Campsite Capacity
  • Maximum of 8 people and 4 vehicles at each camp site (as space allows).
  • Vehicle capacity limit includes vehicles, wheeled camping units and trailers.
Pets and Animals
  • Pets must always be restrained or on a leash while in developed recreation areas.
  • Pets (except guide dogs) are not allowed in swimming areas.
  • Saddle or pack animals are allowed in recreation sites only where authorized by posted instructions.
Firewood Closure Order
  • Our firewood closure order prohibits the possession, storage, or transport of any firewood that originates from more than 25 miles from your campsite. Firewood certified by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Transportation and Consumer Protection can originate from more than 25 miles from National Forest destination.
  • Both certified firewood and Kiln-dried, untreated/unpainted/unstained/construction/dimensional lumber that is free of any metal or foreign substance is approved. Pallet boards are not approved.
Operation of all ATVs & UTVs are prohibited in campground.
Closest Towns: Hayward, WI
Water: Drinking water
Restroom: Vault toilets
Operated By: Forest Service Volunteer Campground Hosts help manage the area and can provide visitor information.

General Information


From Hayward, drive east on County Highway B 23 miles to the intersection with Highway W. Turn left (north) onto Barker Lake Road and drive 4.7 miles to intersection with Fishtrap Road. Continue straight on FR 172 for three miles, turn left (north) onto FR 173. Go 0.4 miles and turn right (east) on the paved campground road (FR 1666).

From Loretta Draper drive north on County Highway GG 8 miles. Turn left onto Forest Road 172 for 5 miles and then turn right onto the paved campground road (Forest Road 1666). 

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


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