Governor Earl Peshtigo River State Forest
Twenty five miles of river, 3,200 acres of water and 9,200 acres of forest await you on the Governor Earl Peshtigo River State Forest, the natural gem of Marinette County. This long, linear state forest borders some of the most beautiful and exciting sections of the Peshtigo River.
A small portion of the Woodland ATV Trail runs through the state forest. Other than the snowmobile trails that ATVs may use in winter, this is the only location open to ATVs on the state forest. It is your responsibility to know where you can legally ride. Illegal ATV use is strictly prohibited.
The state forest provides two systems of trails. Numerous rustic roads and volunteer-maintained hunter walking trails on the forest are also open to hikers.
Spring Rapids Trail
The 5-mile Spring Rapids Trail can be accessed by driving 5 miles west of Crivitz on County Road W to Kirby Lake Lane. This hiking and skiing trail system includes various loops that provide some extremely steep hills, breathtaking views, several distances and quiet serenity broken only by the rush of the Peshtigo River.
During ski season, the trails are groomed for classical and skate skiing. Pets, hiking and snowshoeing are not permitted on groomed ski trails.
Seymour Rapids Trail
This 3-mile trail is 9.5 miles west of Crivitz, off Bushman Road and Marinette County Road 1634. Although smaller than the Spring Rapids Trail, this system provides some steep hills and beautiful scenery. This trail is open to hiking, and trails are not groomed at this time for cross-country skiing.
Horseback riding and mountain biking
There are no designated equestrian or mountain bike trails on the state forest, however, the forest is open to these activities. Except during the winter months, snowmobile trails and angler access roads are open to equestrian riders and mountain bikers. In addition, horseback riders and bikers can use the many volunteer-maintained hunter walking trails throughout the forest. Together, these trails provide over 35 miles of trail riding.
There are several native communities within the state forest that are prohibited to horseback riding because they contain sensitive and endangered plant species. These areas are posted closed to horseback riding. Please visit the forest office for further information.
Horseback riders and bikers should exercise caution as other users may be on the trails at the same time. Also be aware that many trails cross private land. Please respect private landowners and do not trespass.
For a safe trail riding experience, mountain bikers should yield the right of way to let horses pass. Equestrian riders are also encouraged to let other trail users know when it safe to pass.
All ground blinds and elevated devices must be removed from the property at the close of hunting hours each day, unless ground blinds are constructed entirely of dead vegetation found on the forest. You must have the appropriate licenses and please review Wisconsin's regulations before you hunt or trap on the state forest.
The Governor Earl Peshtigo River State Forest offers ample opportunities for hunters and trappers seeking all types of game. The majority of lands within the state forest are open to hunting during the scheduled seasons. The exception is a 100-yard buffer around the campground in Old Veteran's Lake Campground. White-tail deer, small game, black bear and migratory birds are the primary game species. Trappers can find beaver, muskrat, raccoon, fisher and mink on the property.
The forests surrounding the Peshtigo flowages offer abundant food, water and shelter for a variety of animal species such as songbirds, turkeys, white-tail deer, black bears and butterflies. In addition, the waters of the flowages provide habitat for bald eagles, sandhill cranes, ospreys, common loons, great blue herons and many species of waterfowl. The flowages are also home to many furbearers and various species of amphibians and reptiles.
There are numerous opportunities to observe and enjoy wildlife in a remote and wild setting, but please remember to observe from a distance. In particular, make sure to stay at least 100 yards away from eagle and osprey nests to minimize disturbance.