Bear Lake Recreation Area

Area Status: Closed
This area is Closed
 

The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest has an abundance of outdoor recreation opportunities at the Bear Lake Recreation Area including camping, fishing, swimming, kayaking and canoeing. Only electric motors are allowed on Bear Lake providing a quiet and relaxing environment. The Rat River trail is a good nearby hiking opportunity and popular with grouse hunters and fall color enthusiasts.

The Bear Lake Campground sits on the southwest corner of 68-acre Bear Lake with some sites located along the wooded shore and ridge with outstanding views of the lake. The campground is a mix of hardwoods and pine.

Bear Lake Campground has 27 sites. A majority of campsites can accommodate campers as long as 30 feet and longer. The campground also has five tent-only walk-in sites on a wooded peninsula jutting into the lake. Drinking water, vault toilets, swim beach, picnic area, and a boat landing are also provided at this location. All roads are paved with blacktop.

Bear Lake is in close proximity to the Rat River Hike and Bike Trail. Trout fishing opportunities are also nearby on the Peshtigo and Rat Rivers. Explore here!

At a Glance

Current Conditions: The campground closed Nov. 26.
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. 
Fees Individual campsite fee is $15/night, payable at the fee envelope tube at the site. 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: Camping: June - October
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: Wabeno
Water: Drinking water
Restroom: 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: Forest Service Volunteer Campground Hosts help manage the area and can provide visitor information.
Information Center: Campground hosts greet visitors as they arrive, inform them of the campground regulations and assist them with their campsite. Lakewood-Laona District

General Information

Directions:

From Wabeno, drive north 5.5 miles or from Laona drive 3.0 miles to County Road T. Turn east and drive 3 miles to County Road H. Turn right (north) drive 0.75 miles to Goodman Park Road (FR2136). Turn right (east) and drive 4.1 miles to FR3770. Turn right (south) on FR3770 and drive 0.4 miles to the campground.


General Notes:

Use at this campground is heavy during summer holiday, so come early in the week.

There are no electric site hook-ups at this facility.

Bear Lake is restricted to electric boat motors use only.

Some of the sites are first-come, first-served.

All firewood brought into the campground must be harvested within 10 miles of the campground.


Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information

Activities


Bicycling

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Camping & Cabins

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Fishing

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Nature Viewing

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OHV Riding & Camping

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Other Activities

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Picnicking

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Rocks & Minerals

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Scenic Driving

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Water Activities

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Windsurfing

Canoeing, kayaking, paddling and windsurfing are some of the popular non-motorized water activities on Bear Lake.  Bear Lake only allows electric motors.  There is a boat landing at Bear Lake Campground.

Peshtigo River – Launch your canoe or kayak at Big Joe Landing on Highway 139 just north of Cavour and observe wildlife on this seven-mile section of the Peshtigo River. Quietwater enthusiasts will enjoy the segment where the river winds through dense northern lowland forest. Wildlife is especially abundant in this stretch. Watch for beaver, otter and white-tailed deer along with the occasional black bear. This is a fun run for novice whitewater enthusiasts that features several long stretches of class I and class II rapids.

Swimming

Enjoy the beautiful sandy beach at Bear Lake, which is great for swimming and snorkeling.

Bass Lake Swim and Picnic Area – Beautiful clear water awaits you at Bass Lake. This area offers a large sandy beach with a picnic area that has grills and picnic tables. A beautiful rest room facility is provided. Area is open from 6:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m.  Located on Bass Lake Road in Townsend.

Wheeler Lake – A beautiful hidden gem tucked away in the Forest on 281-acre Wheeler Lake includes a shaded picnic area and sandy beach. There is a paved boat ramp at the south end of the lake. Wheeler Lake is also popular with other water sports such as water skiing and tubing. Located three miles east of Lakewood off Wheeler Lake Road (FR 3850).

Boating - Non-Motorized

Canoeing, kayaking, paddling and windsurfing are some of the popular non-motorized water activities on Bear Lake.  Bear Lake only allows electric motors.  There is a boat landing at Bear Lake Campground.

Peshtigo River – Launch your canoe or kayak at Big Joe Landing on Highway 139 just north of Cavour and observe wildlife on this seven-mile section of the Peshtigo River. Quietwater enthusiasts will enjoy the segment where the river winds through dense northern lowland forest. Wildlife is especially abundant in this stretch. Watch for beaver, otter and white-tailed deer along with the occasional black bear. This is a fun run for novice whitewater enthusiasts that features several long stretches of class I and class II rapids.


Winter Sports

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Areas & Activities

Location

 
  Latitude : 
45.51232

  Longitude : 
-88.51368

 



https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/cnnf/recreation/hiking/recarea/?recid=27927&actid=82