August 17th ATV Trail Report:
Report Provided by Cathy LaReau-Sawyer County Trails
A few days back, our eastern area has some substantial rainfall – expect some still-wet trails, especially through the woods. Fall riding is approaching! Plan your ATV trip in Sawyer County to experience our beautiful fall scenery!
Seeley Hills (Trails 31, 8, 77, 15, 63): These trails are connected by a series of gravel fire lanes/roads (Thannum, Phipps, Rock Lake Rd) that are part of the trail system overall. We are always hoping for regular cloud bursts to keep the dust down on these sections. Keep in mind, these fire lanes are open to other vehicle traffic and users – stay in your lane to avoid problems.
Trail 31 Parking, restroom, and trailhead off Chippewa Trail Rd. Sections north from Chippewa Trail all the way to Thannum Fire Lane – Trails wind through the rolling County Forest land and offer some hard-packed dirt and rock trail beds as well as sand and a few shallow water holes. There is a fat-tire bike races on Saturday August 20, 2022, and racers may use short sections of the ATV trail – the ATV trail does not close for this but please be watchful for bike racers
Trail 8 from Nelson Lake heading north to Seeley Fire Lane – always a fun trail but slower going unless you want to test your suspension components. When we have substantial rainfall, this trail can be pretty wet, with many smaller and deeper holes along the way as well as a few larger, but shallow, water holes. Most water holes are rocky or harder bottom. Deep water can cover some of the large rocks at the bottoms of these water holes, so use caution going through them.
ROUTE CLOSED NOTE: the one-lane bridge on Tagalder is being replaced and the road closer to the bridge is closed. Road routes to get around the closure – Simons from Tagalder, right on Peterson, right on Larson – will take you to cross Hwy 63 and into Seeley Hills areas.
Trail 8 NE from Thannum Fire Lane all the way to Bayfield County – a winding trail through rolling, wooded terrain, crosses several roadways. The first section off Thannum Fire Lane has some rough sections of washout, washout tiles and rock, the rest is a mix of hard pack dirt and rock, with some re-habed gravel sections. Trails need a good haircut the closer to Bayfield County, and our Trail Boss has ordered this work for late fall. This trail continues onto Rock Lake Road.
Trail 77 – Actually, Phipps Fire Rd is considered a part of Trail 77 as well as when the trail darts off into the woods near Hwy 77 and heads northeast towards Bayfield County. This is another trail that is mostly wooded and winds through the Sawyer County Forest in several sections/road crossings. Trail is dotted with a few water holes, none of which should cause problems for most riders.
Trail 63 – running parallel to Hwy 63, this railroad bed can use a good grading to smooth it out a bit. Be aware that ATV use is not approved on this trail as you get closer to Hayward.
Trail 15 – this short trail section off Phipps Fire Lane (Trail 77) dead ends at Black Iron Bar. It also had some recent bulldozing and grading work done to it.
PLEASE NOTE: Snowmobile Trail 5 from Phipps Fire Lane/Thannum Fire Lane, over to Black Iron Bar, is NOT an ATV Trail. We just recently installed another NO ATV sign as we have been getting complaints of ATV use on this trail.
LCO Loop (Trails 30, 29, 3, 777, 9):
Trail 30: Catch this trail from the Casino on Hwy B/Hwy K and head south for adventure. Hard-packed dirt trails with very few rocks, some sandy areas and lightly rolling terrain. Trails wind through the woods and cross a few roads. The first wooded section of trail has some fairly deep-water holes, a few you can choose to drive around, the others should be easy to get through for most.
Trail 29- off Trail 30, heads over to the Round Lake area and dead ends there at a few restaurants/bars. This trail has some deeper water holes closer to the lake.
Trail 3 – Trail 30 hooks into Trail 3. If you continue straight on Trail 3, you will wind through a moderately hilly area with some water holes and end up over on Hwy K by the Little LCO Casino and gas station. From there you can road-ride in three directions; South on Hwy E along Lac Courte Oreilles, to Gurno Lake Rd, Southwest on Hwy K into the Northwoods Beach areas, or Northwest on Hwy E to get back into Hayward.
Trail 777 – if, at the intersection of Trail 30 and 3, you head Southeast on Trail 3, you will head to Green Lake Rd and then right onto the first section of Trail 777; a steep, wet, and rocky section that ends up at the top of Indian Lake Rd. Turn right and drive down Indian Lake Rd then left onto the second section of Trail 777, an even rockier/hillier section than the first. At Gurno Lake Rd, you can head South on Larson Rd, towards the Tuscobia, or left on Gurno to a right on Hwy NN takes you towards resorts south of the Chippewa Flowage. Some of this is road riding, but there are short stretches of trail as well. DO NOT randomly drive down logging roads in this area- the Tribe has some areas here that they regard as sacred, so please stay on the trail.
Trail 9 – Off Conger Rd you will find Trail 9, and if you take it south you will end up on Ashegon Fire Lane, Devil’s Lake Rd then South on Smith Rd, cross Hwy 70, left on Jos Chafer and then to the Tuscobia. The first part is fairly level and grassy with some rocky areas, the southern part of this trail is hilly, rocky, and very wet.
NOTE: It is critical to our trail system within the LCO Reservation boundaries that you remain ON the trails and obey traffic regulations while on road routes. We are one complaint away from some of these being closed.
Eastern Sawyer County – I recently rode down Fire Rd 203 in the Chequamegon Forest, south to Trail 21 and then down to the Moose Lake area. 203 is a gravel fire road, but it’s scenic, and of course, Trail 21 is one of my favorites- a narrow dirt trail through the woods between Teal Lake and Ghost Lake. I took the newly approved ATV route on Highway S, just south of Hwy 77 to get down to Moose Lake. Louies Landing has gas and food plus down the road on Hwy S there is a newer place, JB’s Moose Lake Shack for food as well.
Trail 5 – I hooked into Trail 5 at Moose Lake. This trail had some recent grading work done for a long stretch, which dislodged some rocks from its dirt-base. This trail winds through a few sparsely treed flatter areas as well as heavily-wooded forests A few trail sections, before you hit Barker Lake Rd, are fairly challenging; steeper hills with larger rocks and muddy/stagnant water pits.
Southwest area– Trails near Birchwood and those in the Spider Lake Loop are reported to be in good condition, some banked trails observed in the Spider Lake Loop areas. Ed’s Pit Stop in Birchwood just recently changed ownership and they have been redoing the parking lot and store.
Tuscobia – This gravel railroad bed runs from Price County line down to Birchwood in Sawyer County. Many different places to stop along this trail; gas is available in Winter as well as Radisson and Birchwood. Due to recent rains, there are a few minor washouts in the Ojibwa area – that we are working on.
Re-Routes in the area: Trail 5 -Wolf’s Eagle Lodge permanent re-route (watch for signs). Trail 25/Connor’s Creek – temporary re-route until this bridge is replaced early fall- ATV Trail expected to be open during October. Trail 8/Tagalder Bridge near Nelson Lake- temporary reroute while bridge is replaced (watch for signs).
Over Labor Day Weekend there is a huge ATV Event centered around the Heartwood Resort in Trego WI.
Please contact the Chequamegon National Forest’s District Recreational Info at 715-634-4821 for additional questions. For the Flambeau State Forest call 715-332-5271.
Non-Resident Trail Passes are required for ATVs. (WI residents do not need a trail pass, but are required to display their registration sticker.)
State law requires ATVs to operate with headlights on at all times.
Sawyer County allows the use of Side by Sides on ALL ATV TRAILS, including those in the Chequamegon National Forest.