Date of Report: August 12, 2022
August 12th ATV Trail Report:
Report Provided by Cathy LaReau-Sawyer County Trails
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 – had some bulldozing and grading work done a few weeks ago, plus some addition of rock on the bad sections of trail bed below Hwy 77. 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 active logging in the section just south of Mosquito Brook Rd.
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. Relentless horse flies have decided to call this trail section home. If we get 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.
ROAD 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 summer or 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. The bulldozers and graders had been out on portions of this trail as well and I’ve found areas of large rock dislodged from the trail bed from the machinery. Trail is dotted with a few water holes, none of which should cause problems for most riders. I love this trail for night riding though – on a clear, moonlit night with a little breeze, the younger popple tree leaves, in the post-logging sections, shimmer beautifully.
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 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 throughout.
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 rock 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. If you make it to Gurno Lake Rd, you can head South on Larson Rd to the Tuscobia or take Gurno to a right on Hwy NN to 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.
NOTE: Snowmobile Trail 9 heads south off Devil’s Lake Rd but this is NOT approved for ATVs, and we’ve had many complaints of ATVs using it. This trail is on private land – if ATVers keep trespassing on it, we may lose this trail, so STAY OFF IT!
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 route on Highway S, just south of Hwy 77 to get down to Moose Lake. Louie’s 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.
Tuscobia – Of course I ran the Tuscobia from Winter to Birchwood, although this trail stretches further. Not much to report – the usual gravel-base railroad bed but it does offer many different places to stop along the way; gas is available in Winter as well as Radisson and Birchwood.
Re-Routes in the SE 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.
I’ve personally seen many riders running up State Hwy 27, and on State Hwy 63 recently. Trying to save you all some ticket money here – it is not legal to ride on any State Highway, (only a few short sections have been approved and signed for usage). We’ve also had complaints of riders on County Road B east of the Casino – now, there are a few areas legal and signed as routes on Hwy B, but don’t ride unless you see the route signs! Just warning you all-enforcement has been out due to the complaints.
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.
The Hayward Lakes Area of Sawyer County in Northwestern Wisconsin is a popular year-round vacation destination that has become a favorite with ATVers in the know. With an inviting small town atmosphere, Hayward makes ATV vacations easy and fun. The area offers hundreds of miles of brushed and groomed trails. There are twisting, curvy trails for wicked turns and hills and valleys for hair-raising descents. Combined, this “pleasure potpourri” satisfies virtually everyone’s definition of a perfect ATV riding experience. Come take a wild ride in the wilderness.
Trail info-The Hayward Lakes Area of Northern Wisconsin is blessed with very challenging ATV trails. A growing number of enthusiasts have made this area one of the top ATV destinations in Wisconsin and the Midwest.
For the ATV and motorcycle enthusiast, the Chequamegon National Forest contains over 140 miles of trails. Three separate trail systems with adjoining loops, offer an exciting scenic tour of the Forest. Trails wind over rolling terrain, with towering forests and panoramic views of meadows and wetlands. Unique to the state of Wisconsin, the forest’s ATV trails offer an unparalleled touring experience of the Chequamegon National Forest.
Where can I ride my ATV in Sawyer County?
1) Seeley Hills Loop: Trailhead is at the fire tower off Hwy. B – approximately 3 miles east of the junction with 27. It’s on the north side of the highway and there is parking available. Another trailhead at Hayward Power Sports, 10 miles east of Hayward on 77. Approximately 30 miles of marked trials extends from the trailhead toward Seeley. For more information, contact the Sawyer County Forestry Department, P.O. Box 880, Hayward, WI 54843 or call 715-634-4839.
2) Dead Horse Trail: For experienced riders seeking a challenge, 56 miles of trail from Loretta north into Ashland County to Clam Lake through the Chequamegon National Forest. Trailheads at Camp Loretta and east of Clam Lake on the north side of Hwy. 77. For more information, contact the Chequamagon National Forest at P.O. Box 896, Hayward, WI 54843 or call 715-634-4821.
3) Flambeau River State Forest: 40 miles of trails through the forest, open May 15 – November 15. Trailheads on County W, 1 mile west of Connors Lake, Tower Hill Road, just north of W and Fisherman’s Landing on County M. Contact Flambeau River State Forest at W1613 County Road W, Winter, WI 54896 or call 715-332-5271.
4) Tuscobia Trail: From Birchwood to Park Falls, on an abandoned railroad grade. Camping available halfway along trail at Ojibwa Park. Trail is open from April 15 to November 15, and opens to the Dead Horse Trail north, the Flambeau Trail south. Contact DNR Ranger Station, P.O. Box 187, Winter, WI 54896 or call 715-266-3511. The Chequamegon National Forest currently provides for unlimited ATV access to national forest land – unless roads and/or trails are signed, bermed, gated or posted closed. Areas designated as wilderness or semi-primitive are non-motorized and illegal to operation of ATVs. The 30 townships within the Chequamegon each have their own rules/laws concerning forest roads which are maintained by the townships. Townships have jurisdiction over maintenance and law enforcement and decide whether the road will be legal for ATV travel, in which case the road must be posted with route signs. Forest roads that are NOT maintained by the townships, and are NOT posted as “closed” are legal for ATV use and do not have to be signed. For more information, contact the Chequamegon National Forest at P.O. Box 896, Hayward, WI 54843 or call 715-634-4821.
Sawyer County ATV Policy: ATVs are not allowed off road on self-made trails through the timber or lowland areas. ATV’s may travel on snowmobile trails, fire lanes, logging roads, and trails that are not specifically closed to ATV’s or other motorized travel. Closed trails are: The Birkie Trails and marked hunter/walking trails. ATV’s are not allowed to travel on snowmobile or other trails that cross privately owned property unless the trails are marked as an ATV trail or the operator has permission from the landowner. Stay on marked ATV trails/routes – just because snowmobiles use certain trails, it does not make it legal for ATV’s. If you don’t know if the trail is legal, don’t use it.
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