A short six-mile drive north of Iron River, through fields and forest, brings you to the Iron River National Fish Hatchery. Situated on 1,200 acres of the picturesque headwaters of Schacte Creek, several miles of trails are maintained for public use for bird-watching, hiking, hunting, snowshoeing, and skiing. Located on the edge of the Chequamegon National Forest, the hatchery is home to over a million coaster brook trout and lake trout ranging from eggs to adults, which are used to stock local rivers and the Great Lakes. Aquifers in the surrounding land provide over 4,000 gallons of water per minute from springs and streams for habitat in the hatchery.
In addition to this state-of-the-art facility, the area is home to a diverse group of habitats supporting innumerable plants, amphibians, mammals, and birds. A skier or hiker might spy white tail deer, owl prints in the fresh snow, water cress floating in the river, or grouse clucking in the brush.
The hatchery holds an open house in late summer and volunteer opportunities abound during fall spawning. Self-guided tours are available from dawn to dusk, 365 days a year, and staff guided tours can be arranged.