In recognition of its biological richness and rarity. the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources established the 8,850-acre Spread Eagle Barrens State National Area in 1995. The site provides recreational opportunities including viewing, fishing, hunting, trapping, and berry picking. In addition the Barrens project provides opportunities for research on ecosystem level management and community restoration techniques that are unavailable on many state natural area sites.
Come and explore our wild rivers. The Pine and the Popple are state-designated Wild Rivers with very different personalities. The upper Pine River above LaSalle Falls varies between deep, slow meandering rapids and falls. The lower river is generally calm with a few mild rapids. Most rapids on the Pine River are rated Class 1-11. The Popple River is canoed less frequently due to the low water conditions and the portages around its 4 waterfalls. The upper Pine has rocky rapids and many shallow spots, while the lower section of the river is more difficult and recommended only for experts. Both the Pine and the Popple Rivers provide scenic canoeing and camping. Campsites along the rivers can be accessed only by canoe and add unique experiences for visitors. Enjoy every part of the season from the fast spring water to the colorful autumn days. Whether you just need time away from the daily routine in the big city, or just wish to try something different, a river trip down the wild rivers allows you to enjoy beautiful scenery and spectacular wildlife.
In 1978 President Carter officially declared 7,500 acres of the Nicolet National Forest a federally designated wilderness. Whisker Lake Wilderness Area, located in northern Florence County, is the second largest wilderness area in the state. The name is derived from the majestic pines near the shoreline of Whisker Lake. Timber cruisers from days gone by dubbed these pine “chin whiskers”. These “chin whiskers” miraculously escaped the Wildfires that ravaged the area after logging in the early 1900’s. The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest features a number of trails through six distinctly different areas of the forest including the Whisker Lake Trail, a network of old logging roads and railroad beds.
In Winter there’s groomed cross-country trails, downhill skiing, great snow shoeing and a highway of snowmobile trails to get you to your destination. Summer offers lake fishing, biking, golf, water sports, hiking or just relaxing on the beach. The area features designated wild rivers, ideal for wilderness canoeing, fly fishing or tubing. With 110 lakes and 165 miles of rivers, Florence County will keep even the most ambitious adventurer busy with its rugged waterfalls and rock walled rapids. Florence County will both excite and comfort your soul as you explore this natural wonderland full of forestland, fish, bird, game, wildlife and outdoor activities to please everyone!