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Camping

Chippewa Flowage

There are 18 primitive island campsites, shown on the Chippewa Flowage map [PDF], available for public use. Some are available on a first-come, first-served basis and some are available by making a reservation. Each public campsite is marked with a sign and has a fire ring, picnic table and open-air box latrine. Camping is allowed in designated campsites only. You may NOT establish new campsites or camp at undesignated sites.

All campsites are accessible by water only, and due to the remoteness of the campsites, it is recommended that campers leave an itinerary with friends or relatives.

Campsites may be closed or relocated to allow the vegetation to recover and/or to protect threatened, endangered or sensitive species and their habitats. Camping is also available at private resorts on the flowage.

DNR and USFS campsites

Of the 18 total campsites on the flowage, 11 are on DNR islands and one is on an island under USFS ownership, with the remainder on LCO tribal-owned islands. DNR and USFS campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. One campsite, Cedar Tops West, has been improved with accessible facilities and can be reserved by persons with disabilities by contacting the Hayward DNR Office: (715) 634-7433. If not being occupied by a reservation, this campsite is also open on a first-come, first-served basis.

LCO campsites

Currently, the Lac Courte Oreilles Conservation Department provides island camping by reservation and fee on six island campsites. The fee for camping is $35 for one to two nights, $45 for three to four nights, and $60 for five nights. The fee is payable to the LCO Conservation Department. The maximum stay at LCO campsites is five nights, with an arrival/departure time of 11 a.m. Reservations may be made by calling 715-634-0102 starting April 1.

Tribal islands have great cultural and historical significance to the Lac Courte Oreilles Tribe. The Ojibwe people have great respect for these waters that now cover areas of their tribal homeland and wish for you to share their respect. While camping on these islands please do not cut wood for fires. Even if a tree is dead, it may not be cut for firewood. Each campsite comes with a picnic table, primitive toilet, fire ring and steel grate for cooking. Please practice leave-no-trace camping.

Fires and Firewood

Firewood can harbor pests such as gypsy moths, emerald ash borer and oak wilt that threaten the local forest. Regulations regarding the transport of firewood are aimed at stopping the threat. It is illegal to bring firewood to this or any other state property from more than 10 miles away. It is also illegal to bring firewood from out of state.

You should consider purchasing locally harvested firewood to bring to your campsite. There are several local businesses that sell bundled campfire wood. For added assurance against introducing forest pests, please burn all your firewood. Do not leave it for the next camper and do not transport it away from the area. 

Camping rules

These simple rules are enforced to provide you with a clean, quiet, and safe experience on the Chippewa Flowage. Please enjoy your outing on the flowage!

  1. Camping is allowed only at designated, signed island campsites. No new campsites may be established.
  2. No unattended camping gear may be left to save a campsite overnight. Sites must be occupied the same day that they are set up.
  3. Camper maximum stay is 10 days.
  4. Please use the pit toilet provided at each campsite.
  5. Campsites are to be kept free of litter, rubbish and other flammable materials.
  6. Fire safety: Please burn only paper products and wood in fire pits and extinguish fires completely using water or clean soil. Do not leave a fire unattended.
  7. All plastic, cans, glass and trash must be carried out and disposed of properly when leaving. Trash receptacles are provided at public landings.
  8. Please do not cut, carve or deface trees, tables or benches, or drive nails into trees. Please do not hang lanterns from trees.
  9. Chainsaws, generators and fireworks are prohibited.
  10. Please be considerate of others. Keep noise to a minimum. Please clean up after your pet. Leave the campsite cleaner than you found it.

Bears

Black bears are occasionally known to visit some campsites on the islands. Do not leave food items on picnic tables or store in tents. Please keep a clean campsite and deposit all garbage in receptacles located at the public boat landings.

Driftwood

Driftwood provides valuable fish and wildlife habitat and adds to the unique character of the flowage, as well as providing stabilization for banks and lake bottom. It is rapidly disappearing through natural processes and from illegal harvest.

State law prohibits the removal of driftwood from the property. We also ask that you not try to burn driftwood. Generally, driftwood is water-logged and does not burn well (even if it appears dry on the outside).