whisker lake wilderness area national forest iron mountain mi


Whisker Lake Wilderness Area


The Whisker Lake Wilderness area was designated a Wilderness on October 2, 1978, when President Carter signed Public Law 95-494.


This 7,500 acre tract is located 11 miles west of Florence, Wisconsin, 26 miles from Iron Mountain Michigan. The wilderness is located off State Highway 70. There are no signs - take forest road 2150, marked with a small brown and white sign, once you have entered the Nicolet. If possible, stop at the Florence Natural Resources and Visitor Center at the intersection of Highways 70/101 and US 2 and get some maps. There are no developed sites or facilities. All camping gear must be carried in. There is no fee for camping in this wilderness area.

This area got its name from the large pines around the shore of Whisker Lake. Old timers called these pines "chin whiskers". These "chin whiskers" escaped being burned by wildfires that ravaged the area in the early 1900's.

The main features of the area include six small lakes, three streams, and the Brule River on the northern boundary. Topography ranges from rolling upland to beaver flooded wetlands.

The area is rarely used and offers the ultimate in backpacking-hiking-camping. Some people carry in canoes to aid in the enjoyment of the peaceful lakes. There is a parking area at the edge of Whisker Lake Wilderness on Forest Road 2150.

iron mountain mi nicolet national forest

Wilderness Users Guide

(from the National Forest Service)

Protect Your Forest

Please stay on designated trails to help prevent erosion and damage to vegetation.

Please pack out all you pack in. "Leave no trace"

No motorized vehicles are allowed on trails.

Bicycles and other mechanized vehicles are not allowed in wildernesses.

Take care to avoid disturbing plants and animals.

Be considerate of others and remember that solitude is also a resource to protect.

Collecting plants and other natural, historical and archaeological items is not permitted. Some edible fruits and mushrooms may be collected in limited quantities for personal use.

Safety Tips

When going into the wilderness, hike with a companion or notify someone of your route and expected return

Carry adequate food and water. Water from lakes and streams is not safe to drink unless boiled for at least 10 minutes.

Carry a map and compass.

Dress for the weather.

Know symptoms and treatment for frostbite, hypothermia, and sunstroke.

Be prepared for mosquitoes and ticks.

Be careful of your footing. Trails include uneven ground, exposed roots, etc.

Deer gun season is in late November. Other hunting seasons span the period of mid-September through February. Wear hunter orange for visibility. Better yet, if you don't hunt, stay out of the woods during deer-gun hunting season

Keep your pet under verbal or physical constraint at all times. Pets can be a nuisance to cross-country skiers. Please leave your pet at home during ski season or use non cross-country ski trails for winter pleasure.

When encountering horse riders, step off the trail on the lower side and let them pass. Keep noise levels down as horses are easily frightened.

When meeting other skiers, pass on the right. The downhill skier has the right of way.

What to Expect

Weather in Wisconsin's Northwoods is usually comfortable throughout the summer. Temperatures range from 60s to 80s (sometimes 90s) in the day and can get down to the 40s at night. Winter temperatures average from the 10s to 30s in the day. Below zero is not uncommon for winter nights.

Annual snowfall is between 50 and 60 inches. December through March are usually the best times for skiing and snowmobiling.

Best time for fall color viewing is mid-September to the first or second week in October.

Spring and early summer are the times when mosquitoes and ticks are most prevalent. Deer ticks which may carry Lyme disease are more common in grassy areas of the Forest.


Chipmunk Rapids

Lost Lake

Morgan Lake

Perch Lake

Assessor's Trail

Lauterman Trail

Nicolet National Forest Main Page

E-Mail for more information




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