Date of Report: September 21, 2022
September 21, 2022, ATV Trail Report
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. And PLEASE, no burn outs or donuts at intersections – our township maintenance departments are reporting the need for excessive grading due to these activities.
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 rocky trail beds as well as sand and a few shallow water holes.
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 newer 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) leads to Hayward Powers Sports and dead ends at Black Iron Bar. It also had some recent bulldozing and grading work done to it.
PLEASE NOTE: Snowmobile Trail 5 at the intersection of Thannum and Phipps Fire Lane is NOT an ATV Trail as it dead ends at the swamp.
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, mud, and water. Dirt/sand/silt trails with very few rocks, and slightly 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 of the deeper ones can be driven around to avoid, but there is one that you cannot drive around – and it has deep ruts in it that will take you down. Lock in 4wd and drive carefully across the top of the ruts to get across. The rest of the water holes should be manageable for most riders.
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 cross a bridge and 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. A right on Gurno Lake Rd will lead you to Larson Rd to go to 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. And DON”T SPEED on Gurno Lake Rd – PLEASE!
Trail 9 – Off County Rd CC & Conger Rd you will find Trail 9. Close to Trail 9 and Boundary Rd (gravel) you’ll see where Tr9 heads south to 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. At Boundary Rd/Trail 9 – you can also keep straight to head over to Blueberry Lake restaurants/resorts, or take a right on Boundary all the way to Blueberry Ave-along the bottom of Blueberry Lake – a left on Gardner gets you to Sandy Point Rd/Chippewa Pines, or stay on Blueberry Ave to a right on Cty Rd H, left on Blueberry Fire Lane to get over to Helsing Rd and more Chippewa Flowage resorts to the north, or south to the Tuscobia.
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. *SEE UPDATE BELOW
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 ATV 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.
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. Trail 31 has been busy every time I’ve been on it. 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 repairing. 9-Mile Loop, off the Tuscobia is a fun trail with a large play water hole. We are going to remove some of the large breaker rock off the one trail section soon as it is not packing down like we expected it to do.
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).
PLEASE mind your speed and noise when riding our road routes! Recent complaints of speeding ATVs/UTVs on Small Rd near Nelson Lake as well as on Gurno Lake Rd between Lac Courte Oreilles and Chief Lake of the Flowage, may cause us problems trying to keep these roads open for use. Don’t be the LAST STRAW that breaks the camel’s back and closes these roads for all riders
Riders – please report any trail issues/downed trees to us right away! firstname.lastname@example.org or call/text Cathy directly at 715-558-8966
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 always operate with headlights on.
Sawyer County allows the use of Side by Sides on ALL ATV TRAILS, including those in the Chequamegon National Forest.
OFFICIAL STATEMENT ATV/UTV USE ON THE LAC COURTE OREILLES RESERVATION Recently a notice was published on the Lac Courte Oreilles Tribal Website and Sawyer County Record causing confusion and concern for non-tribal members utilizing routes/trails within the Lac Courte Oreilles Reservation. This notification will address the official position of the Lac Courte Oreilles (LCO) Band of Ojibwe and the use of recreational vehicles on reservation roads and trails. Over the last decade, the rising interest in ATV/UTV recreation has steadily increased and become a proven economic stimulus to the Sawyer County tourism market. While the benefit for the local economy is clear, the proposed expansion of ATV/UTV use on all County, Town, and Tribal roadways within the reservation merits meticulous thought and consideration that reflect and ensure health, safety, and welfare of all our Sawyer County visitors and community members alike. The Lac Courte Oreilles Tribal Governing Board is dedicated to avoiding rash decisions and seeking positive outcomes. The Lac Courte Oreilles Tribal Government is not opposed to providing access to all ATV/UTV guests or residents on the Lac Courte Oreilles reservation within the confines of maintaining road safety and rights of quiet enjoyment for LCO members and non-native community members alike. Attaining a balance for the Lac Courte Oreilles community is critical and the Tribal Governments final objective. Government-to-Government discussions with Town of Bass Lake and Hayward officials have been initiated and will be on-going into the future. The Tribe intends to open dialogue with the other four Townships that reside within the exterior boundaries of the LCO reservation soon to discuss this issue. In the meantime, the approved ATV/UTV trail/routes within the LCO reservation remain open for the enjoyment of everyone. Public notices will be disseminated at the conclusion of the Lac Courte Oreilles Tribal Governments analysis and decision. The Tribal Governing Board encourages safe and courteous operations on ATV/UTV marked routes/trails. The respect for our communities remains the highest priority of our tribe and our tribal land.