Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest
A partnership project between the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the Manitowish Waters Historical Society and the Frank B. Koller Memorial Library has created the Camp Mercer Interpretive Trail within the Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest.
Camp Mercer Interpretive Trail
The Camp Mercer Interpretive Trail meanders along the Manitowish River, allowing visitors to explore the site of an administrative Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camp and two river drive logging camps. The trail is about 3 miles long, with mostly flat terrain. The trailhead is accessible from the Manitowish River access road off State Highway 51, just over a mile west of the Vilas/Iron County line. Parking lots are available on the Manitowish River access road across from River’s Edge Outfitters. The State Highway 51 wayside also provides trail access.
Two trail loops lead hikers to cultural sites with over 24 interpretive signs. Expanded content from the signs regarding Camp Mercer is also available on the Manitowish Waters Historical Society website.
Please respect this area, as this trail explores numerous cultural sites and archeological features. Deep holes, pits, berms and mound areas are to be observed, but not disturbed.
- Modern Camp Mercer Trail Map
- Historic Camp Mercer Trail Map
- 1934 Camp Mercer Map
- Interpretive Trail Map with labels: Camp-Mercer-Trail-Map.pdf (mwhistory.org)
- Camp Mercer Interpretive Trail: Know before you go video: Camp Mercer Interpretive Trail: What you need to know before you go - YouTube
- Camp Mercer Interpretive Trail: History of Camp Mercer and other cultural discoveries: Camp Mercer Interpretive Trail: History of Camp Mercer and other cultural discoveries - YouTube
- Camp Mercer logging camps: River Drive Logging Camps - Clio (theclio.com)
- Camp Mercer mystery moonshine caches: Probable Moonshine Cache Sites - Clio (theclio.com)
- Manitowish River Historic kayak/canoe trip: Manitowish Waters Historic Kayak/Canoe Trip - Clio (theclio.com)
- Camp Mercer historical seasonal work details: Camp Mercer Interpretive Trail: Seasonal Work Details - YouTube