Spectacle Lake Recreation Area

Area Status: Closed
This area is Closed

If you are looking for a base camp to explore area trails or enjoy a variety of water activities with the family, try Spectacle Lake Recreation Area off Highway 70 east of Eagle River.

The Spectacle Lake Recreation Area on the Eagle River District consists of a convenient campground with 34 campsites equipped with fire rings, grills, picnic tables, accessible vault toilets and drinking water.

Day use site include a 174-acre lake that is extremely clear, and its 500-foot beach provides a great swimming area great for enjoying a refreshing dip in Spectacle Lake. There is a boat landing, year round fishing and a variety of water activities enjoyed at Spectacle Lake Recreation Area.  Take a pleasant hike on the two and one-half mile trail that connects with Kentuck Lake Campground. Keep your eyes open and listen carefully! You are likely to see and hear lots of wildlife while you're here!

Did you forget something? Don’t sweat it! The small town of Eagle River can meet your camping supply needs ranging from groceries to firewood, as well as a souvenir or two.


So, If you like to swim. Boat, fish, hike, picnic or enjoy viewing scenery and wildlife, then the Spectacle Lake Recreation Area is the place for you, conveniently located 15 minutes east of Eagle River. Spectacle Lake Recreation Area is dog friendly; See our restrictions below for more information.

Click here to print an information sheet including a map about Spectacle Lake Campground.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: The campground closed Oct. 9 for the season.
Reservations: 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 www.recreation.gov or by calling Reserve America 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.
Area Amenities: Accessible,Boat ramp,Tent camping,Camping trailer,Picnic tables,Toilets,Drinking water
Fees Individual campsite fee is $18/night for lakeshore family sites; $15/night for off-lake family sites.  Nightly fees are half of price shown with use of Interagency Senior or Access Pass. Interagency Pass discounts apply only to the fee for the campsite physically occupied by the pass holder.
Usage: Heavy
Busiest Season: Memorial Day - Labor Day
Restrictions: Campsite Capacity
  • Maximum of 8 people and 4 vehicles at each camp site.
  • 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: Eagle River, WI.   Visit the Eagle River Chamber of Commerce!
Water: Drinking Water
Restroom: Accessible vault toilets
Passes: The USDA Forest Service honors all four Interagency Recreation Passes that may be applied at National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation and U.S. Fish and Wildlife sites charging recreation use fees. Visit http://www.fs.fed.us/passespermits/rec-fee.shtml to decide which pass is right for you.
Operated By: U.S. Forest Service
Information Center: Eagle River - Florence Ranger District

General Information


From Eagle River travel 7.6 miles to FR 2178 (Military Road). Turn left (north) and continue 2.9 miles to Kentuck lake Road (FR 2465). Turn right (northeast) on FR 2465 and continue 1.7 miles to FR 2196. Turn left (north) and continue 2.2 miles to Spectacle Lake Road (FR 2572. Turn right (east) and travel 1.2 miles to the campground.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Camping & Cabins

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Day Hiking

Cooks Run Trail Head consists of several miles of trails that take you through aspen, hardwood and conifer stands. The majority of the trail is flat with some small slopes to walk up. The trails go on for many miles with the option to loop back around to the main gate. Motorized vehicles of any kind are prohibited. Click here for more information.

Enjoy hiking the Spectacle – Kentuck Lake Trail, this trail is a good option for anyone staying at either recreation sites. It's a one-way trail so you'll return over the same route. You can imagine you've stepped back in time as you walk parts of this trail which follow the old Thunder Lake Railroad bed, used in the early 1900's to haul hardwood logs to the sawmill. Click here for more information.


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Nature Viewing

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Other Activities

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Scenic Driving

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Water Activities

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Picnic tables Picnic table at each site.
Drinking water Well water
Toilets Vault toilets.
Boat ramp
Tent camping
Camping trailer 25 foot: site 28; 30 foot: site 22, 23; 35 foot: 19, 27, 29, 31, 32, 34; 40 foot: 1-12, 14-18; 20; 21; 24-26; 30-33
Areas & Activities


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174 Acre Lake

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