Smith Rapids Recreation Area

Area Status: Open

If you are looking for a base camp that is popular for Horse Riding and Camping or a destination campground with a rustic atmosphere, try the Smith Rapids Recreation Area off State Highway 70 east of Fifield.

The Smith Rapids Recreation Area on the Park Falls District consists of a campground with 10 sites and is located on the South Fork of the Flambeau River. It provides an ideal focal point for hiking, river fishing, and horseback riding (campsites are equipped with tie stalls and trailer parking designed for horse camping) and canoeing. Seven campsites are designed to accommodate horse trailers with extra-long parking spurs (campsites: 5-11), hitching rails, picnic tables, and fire grills. All campsites may be reserved through

Day use facilities include a carry-in boat access, vault toilets, drinking water and day use picnic area are also provided. There is also an additional parking lot across the road from the picnic area for equestrian use. A special feature near this campground is the Smith Rapids Covered Bridge.

If you like horse riding, stream fishing, hiking, picnicking or enjoy the convenience of being close to town, then the Smith Rapids Recreation Area is the place for you, conveniently located 15 minutes east of Fifield. Smith Rapids Recreation Area is pet friendly; see restrictions below for more information.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: The open season typically starts the Thursday before the May fishing opener, which is the first Saturday in May.
Reservations: There are no reservable sites at this campground. All sites are available on a first-come-first, first-serve basis.
Area Amenities: Toilets, Drinking water, Parking
  • $15 per night for camping. $7.50 with the use of an Interagency Pass (access or senior).
  • Day use is $5 per day for non-campers.
Open Season: May 2 - October 31
Usage: Light
Busiest Season: Memorial Day - Labor Day
Restrictions: Campsite Capacity
  • A maximum of eight people and four vehicles are allowed at each campsite, to include cars, trucks, wheeled camping units, and trailers.
Pets and Animals
  • Pets must be crated, caged, or on a leash less than 6’ in length while in developed recreation areas.
Firewood Closure Order
  • The firewood closure order prohibits possessing, storing, or transporting any firewood that originates more than 25 miles from your campsite. For more information, click here.
  • For current fire danger, check the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources burn restrictions website. Any prohibitions in place, including fire bans, will be posted on our website and site bulletin boards.
Quiet Hours
  • Quiet hours are from 10 pm to 6 am.
  • The use of generators is not allowed during quiet hours.
Occupancy & Use Restrictions ATV & UTV operation is prohibited in the campground.
Closest Towns: Fifield, WI.  
Water: Hand pump for drinking water
Restroom: Vault toilet
Passes: A variety of recreation passes are accepted. More information is available on our Passes and Permits page.
Operated By: USDA Forest Service
Information Center: Medford - Park Falls Ranger District

General Information

Directions: Travel east from Fifield, on State Highway 70 for 12.5 miles and turn left (north) on Forest Road 148 for 2 miles. 

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Campground Camping

The rustic Smith Rapids Recreation Area is located next to the South Fork of the Flambeau River. Each site is equipped with a picnic table and a fire ring. Garbage and recycling dumpsters are available in the campground for campers only. Most sites are openly spacious with some shade, and some are over 45’ long. Sites 1-3 can accommodate a tent or truck camper but not a pull-behind camper.

No. of Sites 11

RV Camping

All sites are back-in and not specifically designed for RVs. Hookups and dump stations are not available.

No. of Sites 10
Reservation Info 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 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.
Size Restrictions

Maximum RV/ Trailer Length of Campsites at Smith Rapids Campground:

(Back in sites unless indicated below) Tent Only: 2, 3, 4
25 Foot: 10, 11
40 Foot: 5
45+ Foot: 6, 7, 8 , 9

Pavement Type of Parking Gravel and grass

River and Stream Fishing

The South Fork of the Flambeau River is available for fishing by wading or floating the river in a canoe or kayak. A carry-in landing is located in the picnic area. Some rivers have special fishing regulations, so check regulations for the area you are fishing.

Fish Species Smallmouth bass, musky, northern pike, lake sturgeon, and redhorse sucker

Viewing Scenery

The Smith Rapids Covered Bridge is near the recreation area entrance. The bridge is a unique scenic feature on the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest and is a popular place for pictures.


A designated picnic area is located at the entrance to the campground. A shelter is located inside the campground as well.

Boating - Non-Motorized

Smith Rapids is on moving water. A carry-in landing is located in the picnic area. The river can be difficult to navigate during prolonged dry weather due to shallow water. The South Fork of the Flambeau River is popular for a day float trips and has small rapids to navigate.

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


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