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Rustic Campgrounds

Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest

Many people have come to associate the NHAL with smaller, quieter, traditional rustic-style campgrounds. Typically, these campgrounds range from about 20 to 70 campsites, usually having a wider spacing than modern campgrounds. They have only minimal facilities including hand-pumped water, pit toilets and no electricity. The NHAL has 14 rustic campgrounds totaling 505 campsites; 8 campgrounds are now reservable and 6 campgrounds will remain non-reservable through the 2020 camping season.

East Star Lake Campground within the forest is closed until further notice due to severe storm damage on Aug. 9. The other five non-reservable, first-come, first-served campgrounds (North Trout Lake, Razorback Lake, Starret Lake, Upper Gresham, West Star Lake) remain open.

Rustic campgrounds - Reservable campsites

All campsites within these campgrounds are now reservable.

Reserve campsites at Northern Highland American Legion State Forest.

Big Lake Campground

The Big Lake Campground, sites 1801-1870, is located in the northern portion of the forest on the northwest corner of Big Lake. This 835-acre lake is known for excellent fishing of walleyes, muskies and smallmouth bass. There are four vault toilet buildings, three hand pumps and separate trash and recycling dumpsters. There is a boat launch within the campground.

Big Lake Campground map

Get Directions - Big Lake Campground

Big Lake GPS coordinates: N46° 09.971’, W89° 47.284’

Buffalo Lake Campground

Buffalo Lake Campground, sites 2001-2052, is located in the southern portion of the forest and is on the southeast corner of Buffalo Lake. The 104-acre lake is known for panfishing and an excellent beach. There are three vault toilet buildings, three hand pumps and separate trash and recycling dumpsters. There is a boat launch within the campground. Buffalo Lake Campground is on Highway J which has bike lanes that go to St Germain and Woodruff.

Sites 2014-2015, 2021-2022 and 2023-2024 are double campsites. They accommodate up to 12 people and two-wheeled camping units.

Sites 2042 – 2045 are walk-to tent only sites where campers must hike a short distance from their cars to the campsite. Site 2050 is designated for tents only.

This campground opens the Thursday before the fishing opener and closes the Tuesday after Columbus Day weekend.

Buffalo Lake Campground map

Get Directions - Buffalo Lake Campground

Buffalo Lake GPS coordinates: N45° 52.581’, W89° 33.738’

Carrol Lake Campground

Carrol Lake Campground, sites 101-119, is located in the southern portion of the forest on the south-central part of Carrol Lake. This campground is well used because of the generally good fishing for both panfish and game fish on this 352-acre lake. There are two vault toilet buildings, two hand pumps for drinking water and separate trash and recycling dumpsters. Additionally, there is an ADA accessible fishing pier, boat launch and picnic area with an adjacent parking lot. There is a small swimming area inside the campground and a large sandy beach for swimming can be found across the road at the Clear Lake Picnic area.

Site 106-107 is a double campsite. It can accommodate up to 12 people and two-wheeled camping units. Campers choosing a double site are charged for both halves and a usable camping unit must be set up on-site by 11:00 p.m. on check-in day.

Sites 101-103, 110-111 and 118-119 are walk-to tent only sites where campers must walk a short distance from their cars to the campsite.

This campground is open and closed depending on snow conditions.

Carrol Lake Campground map [PDF]

Get Directions - Carrol Lake Campground

Carrol Lake GPS coordinates: N45° 53.305’, W89° 38.054’

Cunard Lake Campground

Cunard Lake Campground, sites 1101-1133, is a small, quiet facility located in the southern portion of the forest on the southwest corner of Cunard Lake. This 43-acre lake is an electric-motors-only, at slow-no-wake, speed lake. Cunard Lake and the creek from Cunard Lake into Sweeney Lake are ideal for canoe exploration. The campground has two vault toilet buildings and two hand pumps for drinking water. There are also separate trash and recycling dumpsters at the campground entrance and a nearby boat launch with a parking area located adjacent to the campground entrance.

Cunard Lake Campground is a designated quiet zone. Generators and other noise-producing devices are not allowed in the campground. 

Site 1110-1111 is a double campsite.  It can accommodate up to 12 people and two-wheeled camping units.

Site 1101 and 1120-1123 are walk-to tent only sites where campers must walk a short distance from their cars to the campsite.

This campground opens the Monday before Memorial Day weekend and closes the Tuesday after Labor Day.

Cunard Lake Campground map

Get Directions - Cunard Lake Campground

Cunard Lake GPS coordinates: N45° 50.822’, W89° 35.015’

Indian Mounds Campground

Indian Mounds Campground, sites 1-39, is located in the southern portion of the forest on the northeast corner of Lake Tomahawk. Lake Tomahawk is part of the Minocqua Chain of Lakes and offers excellent fishing and boating. The campground has three vault toilet buildings, three hand pumps for drinking water, separate trash and recycling dumpsters and access to the water. There is also an adjacent picnic area with tables, grills, a marked swimming area, vault toilet building, changing stalls, ADA accessible picnic area and boat launch. Three of the four vault toilet buildings are designated ADA accessible.

Sites 9-10 and 17-18 are double campsites. They accommodate up to 12 people and two-wheeled camping units. Campers choosing a double site are charged for both halves and a usable camping unit must be set up on-site by 11:00 p.m. on check-in day.

Sites 24-27 and 29-31 are walk-to tent only sites where campers must walk a short distance from their cars to the campsite.

Indian Mounds Campground map

Get Directions - Indian Mounds Campground

Indian Mounds GPS coordinates: N45° 49.542’, W89° 38.126’

Plum Lake Campground

Plum Lake Campground, sites 1201-1218, is located in the central portion of the forest on the southwest corner of Plum Lake. The 1,108-acre lake offers good boating, swimming and fishing. The campground has one vault toilet building, one hand pump for drinking water and separate trash and recycling dumpsters. A fishing pier and access to the water are located adjacent to the campground.

Sites 1215-1217 is a double campsite. It can accommodate up to 12 people and two-wheeled camping units. Campers choosing a double site are charged for both halves and a usable camping unit must be set up on-site by 11:00 p.m. on check-in day.

Sites 1208-1209 are walk-to tent only sites where campers must hike a short distance from their cars to the campsite.

This campground opens the Monday before Memorial Day weekend and closes the Tuesday after Labor Day.

Plum Lake Campground map

Get Directions - Plum Lake Campground

Plum Lake GPS coordinates N45° 59.586’, W89° 33.316’

Sandy Beach Lake Campground

Sandy Beach Lake Campground, sites 1901-1933, is located in the northwest portion of the forest on the southeast corner of Sandy Beach Lake. The campground has three vault toilet buildings, three hand pumps for drinking water, separate trash and recycling dumpsters and a large picnic and beach area with parking. A boat launch is located near the campground entrance.

Sites 1914-1916 are walk-to tent only sites where campers must hike a short distance from their cars to the campsite.

This campground opens the Monday before Memorial Day weekend and closes the Tuesday after Columbus Day.

Sandy Beach Campground map

Get Directions - Sandy Beach Lake Campground

Sandy Beach Lake GPS coordinates N46° 06.106’, W89° 58.085’

South Trout Campground

South Trout Lake Campground, sites 1001-1023, is located in the central portion of the forest on the southeast corner of Trout Lake. This 3,816-acre lake is very deep and offers excellent boating and fishing. Swimming is limited because of the stony beach. The campground has one vault toilet building, one hand pump for drinking water, separate trash and recycling dumpsters, a boat launch and access to the hard-surface bike trail which goes to Crystal Lake and St. Germain in one direction and Boulder Junction in the other. A sanitary dump station is available at the North Trout Lake Campground.

Sites 1003-1004 and 1006-1007 are double campsites. They accommodate up to 12 people and two-wheeled camping units. Campers choosing a double site are charged for both halves and a usable camping unit must be set up on-site by 11:00 p.m. on check-in day.

Sites 1013-1016 are walk-to tent only sites where campers must walk a short distance from their cars to the campsite.

This campground opens the Monday before Memorial Day weekend and closes the Tuesday after Labor Day.

South Trout Campground map

Get Directions - South Trout Lake Campground

South Trout Lake Campground GPS Coordinates: N46° 01.367’, W89° 39.299’

Rustic campgrounds - Non-reservable campsites

All campsites within these campgrounds are non-reservable (first-come, first-served) through the 2020 camping season.

East Star Lake Campground

East Star Lake Campground, sites 1601-1630, is located in the central portion of the state forest on the southeast corner of Star Lake. The 1,206-acre lake is well known for excellent fishing and swimming. The campground has two vault toilet buildings, two hand pumps for drinking water and a large area to access the water. There are separate trash and recycling dumpsters near the campground entrance. The boat landing is adjacent to the main camping loop with a vault toilet building, hand pump for water and a parking area. Two of the vault toilet buildings in this campground are ADA accessible.

Sites 1614-1615 and 1619-1620 are double campsites. They accommodate up to 12 people and two-wheeled camping units. Campers choosing a double site are charged for both halves and a usable camping unit must be set up on-site by 11:00 p.m. on check-in day.

Sites 1627-1630 are walk-to tent only sites where campers must hike a short distance from their cars to the campsite.

Upon arrival, campers should find an available campsite and register at the self-registration station located near the campground entrance.

This campground opens the Monday before Memorial Day weekend and closes the Tuesday after Columbus Day.

East Star Lake Campground map

Get Directions - East Star Lake Campground

East Star Lake GPS coordinates N46° 01.528’, W89° 27.914’

North Trout Lake Campground

North Trout Lake Campground, sites 1401-1448, is located in the central portion of the forest on the northeast corner of Trout Lake. The 3,816-acre lake provides good swimming and excellent fishing and boating. This campground has three vault toilet buildings - all ADA accessible, three hand pumps for drinking water, a sanitary dump station, separate trash and recycling dumpsters, a large area to access the water and a boat launch with parking. Also available is access to a nature trail and the hard-surface bike trail that runs from North Trout Campground to nearby Boulder Junction, Sayner, St. Germain and the Crystal Lake Campground.

Sites 1403-14044, 1407-1408, 1435-1436 and 1437-1438 are double campsites. They accommodate up to 12 people and two-wheeled camping units. Campers choosing a double site are charged for both halves and a usable camping unit must be set up on-site by 11 p.m. on check-in day.

Sites 1415-1419 and 1446-1448 are walk-to tent only sites where campers must walk a short distance from their cars to the campsite.

North Trout Campground map

Get Directions - North Trout Lake Campground

North Trout Lake GPS coordinates N45° 03.920’, W89° 38.780’

Razorback Lake Campground

Razorback Lake Campground, sites 2101-2154, is located in the central portion of the forest on the southwest corner of Razorback Lake. This popular campground is great for swimming, boating and fishing. The campground has three vault toilet buildings which are all ADA accessible, three hand pumps for drinking water, separate trash and recycling dumpsters, a large area to access the water and a boat launch.

Sites 2125-2126 and 2132-2136 are walk-to tent only sites where campers must hike a short distance from their cars to the campsite.

This campground is open and closed depending on snow conditions.

Razorback Lake Campground map

Get Directions - Razorback Lake Campground

Razorback Lake GPS coordinates: N46° 01.445’, W89° 31.914’

Starrett Lake Campground

Starrett Lake Campground, sites 1301-1344, is located in the central portion of the forest on the southeast corner of Starrett Lake. This 66-acre lake allows electric motors only with slow-no-wake speed. Swimming is good with fair fishing for bass, panfish, northern pike and even walleye are taken occasionally. This campground has three vault toilet buildings, three hand pumps for drinking water, separate trash and recycling dumpsters and a boat launch. There are two large areas to access the water.

Starrett Lake Campground is a designated quiet zone. Generators and other noise-producing devices are not allowed in the campground. 

Sites 1309-1311 and 1326–1328 are walk-to tent only sites where campers must hike a short distance from their cars to the campsite.

Upon arrival, campers should find an available campsite and register at the self-registration station located near the campground entrance.

This campground opens the Thursday before the fishing opener and closes the Tuesday after Columbus Day weekend.

Starrett Lake Campground map

Get Directions - Starrett Lake Campground

Starrett Lake GPS coordinates: N46° 01.440’, W89° 34.524’

Upper Gresham Lake Campground

Upper Gresham Lake Campground, sites 1501-1525, is located in the central portion of the forest on the northeast corner of Upper Gresham Lake. This lake is better known for good fishing and boating than swimming, however, there is an area within the campground to access the water. There is also an ADA designated fishing pier located adjacent to the boat launch area as well as parking and a hand pump for drinking water. Within the campground, there is one vault toilet building which is ADA accessible, two hand pumps for drinking water and separate trash and recycling dumpsters.

Site 1508-1509 is a double campsite. It can accommodate up to 12 people and two-wheeled camping units.

Sites 1519–1521 are walk-to tent only sites where campers must walk a short distance from their cars to the campsite.

Upon arrival, campers should find an available campsite and register at the self-registration station located near the campground entrance.

This campground opens the Thursday before the fishing opener and closes the Tuesday after Columbus Day weekend.

Upper Gresham Lake Campground map

Get Directions - Upper Gresham Lake Campground

Upper Gresham Lake GPS coordinates N46° 04.593’, W89° 43.646’

West Star Lake Campground

West Star Lake Campground, sites 1701-1718, is located in the central portion of the forest on the northeast corner of Star Lake. The lake provides excellent swimming and there is a large area to access the water within the campground. Star Lake is also known for its quality fishing and boating experiences. The campground has two vault toilet buildings, one of which is ADA accessible, two hand pumps for drinking water, separate trash and recycling dumpsters, a boat launch and a nearby nature trail.

Site 1708-1709 is a double campsite. It can accommodate up to 12 people and two-wheeled camping units. Campers choosing a double site are charged for both halves and a usable camping unit must be set up on-site by 11:00 p.m. on check-in day.

Upon arrival, campers should find an available campsite and register at the self-registration station located near the campground entrance.

West Star Lake Campground map

Get Directions - West Star Lake Campground

West Star Lake GPS coordinates N46° 02.003’, W89° 26.254’