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Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest

Master Plan Variance

The Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest Master Plan was approved by the Natural Resources Board in 2005 and amended in 2017 to meet the public’s changing recreation needs. The 2017 Amendment allowed for the planning of 202 miles of designated ATV/UTV routes on DNR roads, trails, and short stretches of new construction. 42 miles of ATV/UTV routes were planned and approved in 2017.

This website serves as a resource for following the progress of planning the remaining 160 miles of ATV/UTV trails authorized in the 2017 amendment.

Planning Update

DNR has initiated a master plan variance process for the Northern Highland – American Legion State Forest Master Plan related to ATV/UTV route planning. The variance proposes planning 1.4 miles of ATV/UTV routes on existing DNR roads. Of the 1.4 miles proposed in this variance, 0.9 miles are a relocation of routes planned in 2018.

Read the 2020 ATV/UTV Route Variance [PDF]

Maps of the proposed routes can be viewed in the variance document or using the interactive map below. If approved, the 2020 ATV/UTV Route Variance will bring the total miles of ATV/UTV routes planned to 70.7 miles.

The public input period for this variance closed September 11, 2020. Thank you to those that submitted input! The department will now review and summarize the comments received. The summary will be incorporated into the variance document.​

To receive email updates regarding the Northern Highland – American Legion State Forest 2020 ATV/UTV Route Variance, please click the link near the red envelope above to subscribe to the email distribution list.


Wisconsin DNR
Attn: Phil Rynish, Property Planning Section Chief
P.O. Box 7921
Madison, WI 53707-7921
(608) 977-0286

Planning Document Miles Planned of the 202 Total Miles Authorized
2017 Recreation Amendment 42
2018 Variance 9.3
2019 Variance 18.9
Proposed 2020 Variance* 0.5
Remaining miles that may be planned 131.3

*The 2020 Variance designates 1.4 miles of ATV/UTV routes. However, approximately 0.9 miles of this length represents a relocation of approximately the same length of route designated in 2018. This 0.9 miles remains included in the 2018 Variance for the purposes of this table to avoid double-counting of the route lengths.

The interactive web map below shows the location of proposed and approved ATV/UTV routes on DNR roads and routes on local and county roads. Local and county roads are a major contributor to the NHAL ATV/UTV route network, however they are not owned or managed by DNR. Zoom in to a section of trail to see its surroundings or click on it to learn more.


Planned routes are not necessarily open for ATV/UTV use. Follow all on the ground signs for determining if certain routes are open or closed.


The following are planning documents for Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest related to ATV/UTV Route Planning.

Contact Information

Phil Rynish
Property Planning Section Chief


For information on the variance to the NHAL master plan, contact
Sara Pearson
Northeast District Parks Supervisor