Rainbow Lake Wilderness

View of Reynard Lake and shoreline with northern hardwoods and pines

Rainbow Lake was one of the first eastern wildernesses designated in 1975. The total area encompasses 6,583 acres, located 4 miles north of Drummond, Wis., in Bayfield County. Among the unique features of this wilderness are the numerous narrow gauge railroad grades that were used for log hauling in the early 1900s. The North Country National Scenic Trail, which runs the length of the wilderness (north to south), and the Anderson Grade Trail (east to west) follow parts of these old grades. These trails provide access to a variety of lakes that are great for fishing.

Interspersed throughout the wilderness are several scenic lakes and bogs, many of which can be accessed from old grades and the North Country National Scenic Trail.

The terrain in the area is mostly flat to gentle rolling, with some steep hills. Wildlife is abundant, so bring your binoculars and cameras!

At a Glance

Restrictions: The possession or use of motorized or mechanized equipment is prohibited. This includes all motor vehicles, bicycles, outboard and electrical motors, and any wheeled devise for transporting canoes, boats, or equipment. Camping within 200 feet of water or the North Country National Scenic Trail is prohibited. Camping is limited to 14 consecutive days. All State of Wisconsin fishing and hunting regulations and license requirements apply in wilderness areas. Erecting permanent hunting tree stands or ground blinds is prohibited. Storing or leaving a boat, canoe, equipment, personal property, or supplies is prohibited. Disposing of debris, garbage or other waste, is prohibited. Please pack out what you pack in. 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.
Closest Towns: Drummond
Information Center: Washburn Ranger District

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Lake and Pond Fishing

There are numerous lakes in the wilderness area that support fish populations. You can also carry-in a canoe or kayak to access the lakes.

Day Hiking

There are several opportunities to hike and backpack along the trails in the wilderness area.


There are several opportunities to hike and backpack along the trails in the wilderness area.

Viewing Wildlife

Wildlife viewing opportunities are plentiful in the wilderness.

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


  Area/Length : 
6,583 Acres

  Latitude : 

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