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Hiking

Black River State Forest

There are many opportunities for hiking in the forest. Nature trails with interpretive signs can be found at Pigeon Creek and Castle Mound campgrounds.

There are also nature trails at the Perry Creek day use area and at the East Fork campground. These trails do not have interpretive information and the East Fork trail is less developed. Pets are not allowed on the Castle Mound, Pigeon Creek and East Fork nature trails.

The Wildcat and Smrekar trailheads provide parking access to the 24 miles of multi-use trail. Hiking is allowed on ski trails during the summer and in winter whenever the trails are not groomed for cross-country skiing. For a map of the trails and additional information, see the Hiking, Biking, and Skiing Trails brochure [PDF].

Visitors must have a vehicle admissions sticker on their vehicle when parked in the picnic area lots next to Castle Mound, Pigeon Creek and East Fork campgrounds. However, admission stickers are not required at either the Wildcat or Smrekar parking lots.

Trail safety

For your safety, please note that conditions differ along the trails. Not all trails are surfaced and may become slippery when wet or if covered with leaves or loose gravel. There are also several difficulty levels ranging from easy to difficult depending on the trail. The trails at Castle Mound in particular include stairways and steep climbs.

In addition, all trails are open during small game and deer hunting seasons. To ensure your safety during these times, avoid brown or white clothing. Instead, wear blaze orange or bright colors including a blaze orange hat. Visit the DNR hunting pages for season dates.