All ATV trails and routes on County Forest land are now open; however, a few of the USFS ATV trails remain closed due to damage from the summer storms. (See Forest Order, Closure Map and Trail Reroute Map links below).
Please note that there is a new connector route on County Hwy D from Porcupine Lake Rd to Club Lake Rd (Ordinance No. 2016-20).
The USDA Forest Service has updated their closures in Bayfield County. There are two closure orders affecting our area:
Forest Order & Closure Map (Southern Bayfield County)
Forest Order & Closure Map (Northern Bayfield County)
USFS CNNF News Release: (12/5/16)
The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest in conjunction with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and Bayfield County has completed repairs to the Drummond Connector Trail (Trail 63) from the Town of Drummond to Arnie Carlson road.
“I want to extend a huge thank you to our partners and our employees who worked on the Drummond Connector Trail – restoring a trail that is vitally important to the social and economic vitality in northern Wisconsin,” said Gordie Blum, acting Forest Supervisor on the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest.
The work was completed and final inspections took place last week.
“We are very appreciative of everyone’s patience and support while we worked to get the trail repaired,” said Michelle Davalos, District Ranger on the Washburn Ranger District of the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. “A big thank you to the Town of Drummond and trail clubs for helping identify temporary reroutes for ATV trails and looking in to possibilities in case the trail work was not completed in time for snowmobile season.”
While the trail itself has been repaired, the rain and melting snow have saturated the trail.
“In an effort to keep the trail tread intact and free of rutting or other damage, the gates will remain closed and the closure order in effect until the trail freezes down,” said Davalos. “We really don’t want to chance ruining the hard work that was just completed.”
There is a signed reroute from Drummond to Grandview where riders can access the trails on Bayfield County lands.
In addition to the Drummond Connector Trail, repairs to Trail 90 on the Great Divide Ranger District were completed last week. ATV and snowmobile trails north of Highway 2 on the Washburn Ranger District have also been cleared. The Forest contracted with six different logging companies to complete the work during the last three months.
“Not only did we clear the trails in time for snowmobile season we also contributed to the local economy through the timber sales and adding more fiber to the mills,” said Davalos.
The Forest is working on a few finishing touches, including the clubs replacing signs and posts along the trails.
“Trails are open on the Washburn Ranger District for the most part until freeze up,” said Davalos. “The recent rain and snow has left ground conditions really wet in many areas. Riders are cautioned to avoid the wet areas to avoid damaging the trails. We are also seeing trees coming down due to the wet soils, please use caution and take it slow.”
Clean-up at Birch Grove Campground, one of the hardest hit areas, is also underway through a timber sale. The Washburn Ranger District is currently looking for feedback on the future of the campground due the severity of damage it received.
“We recently received input from tribal leadership on the importance of reopening the campground as soon as possible,” said Davalos. “We are interested in hearing from our visitors on what they would like to see at Birch Grove in the future. Please contact our office if you have thoughts, ideas or suggestions.”
A few closures remain in effect from the blowdown event on the Washburn Ranger District. To see the latest listing, please visit www.fs.usda.gov/CNNF and click on Thunderstorm Damages Washburn Ranger District link in red. You may also call the Washburn Ranger District at 715-373-2667.
In addition to the blowdown, there are nine portions of roads closed where emergency repairs were not possible given the size and scope of damage from the Flash Flooding Event that damaged the southern portion of the Washburn Ranger District and northern portion of the Great Divide Ranger District. The Forest Service has placed berms and signage at these locations notifying visitors of the closures. To see the listing of closures, please visit our website at www.fs.usda.gov/CNNF/ and click on Flash Flooding Affects Forest. You may also call the Great Divide Ranger District at 715-264-2511.
Please use extra caution when operating on the trails and report any trail issues to the Forestry and Parks Department (715) 373-6114.
Emergencies should be reported to 9-1-1.
As always, riders should use caution when out on the trails. Please stay on the designated trails and routes and follow the trail signs. Be aware that there may be grooming equipment on the trails.
Trail maps can be found at area businesses and can also be viewed and ordered online.
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To report unsafe trail conditions contact the Forestry and Parks Department by or call 715-373-6114.
For visitor information or to receive a current Bayfield County ATV / UTV map, contact the Tourism Department via email.