Date of Report: July 15, 2022
July 15, 2022, ATV/UTV Trail Report:
Report provided by Cathy LaReau-Sawyer County Trails
Over the past few days, Sawyer County’s dry snap ended with the arrival of some greatly needed rain showers and thunderstorms. We are forecasted for sporadic rainfall over the next several days and moderately warm temps.
I’ve rode several trails these past few days and here is a report on what you can expect:
Seeley Hills (Trails 31, 8, 77, 15, 63): The rain has certainly helped to keep the dust down, especially on the gravel fire roads that connect these trails together.
Trail 31 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. The rest of the trail is just fun as always, although the heavy machinery has dislodged some of the buried rocks, resulting in a few to dodge while riding. 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. Trail sections cross a few roads.
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. The recent rain has filled in the deeper holes with water and for some reason the relentless horse flies have decided to call this trail section home. It might be inviting to slam through some of the larger water holes on this trail but use caution as some of the holes are carved out deeply without sloping sides and contain large rocks covered by the water.
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 rehabilitated 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 poplar 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, muddy 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, 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. These 2 sections are not well marked and are not for beginner riders. 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 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: 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 pretty 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 many a rock from its dirt-base. This trail winds through fields, swampy areas, and woods. A few trail sections, before you hit Barker Lake Rd, are fairly challenging: steep hills with larger rocks and muddy/stagnant water pits.
Tuscobia – Of course i ran the Tuscobia from Winter to Birchwood. 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.
I’ve attended many township meetings this week – and dealt with many resident complaints about ATV riders driving TOO FAST on the road routes we have in Sawyer County. PLEASE mind the speed limits and be respectful when driving in any residential area- It seems a constant battle to keep our road routes open and I’d appreciate my fellow riders making my job a little easier!
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.