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Turtle-Flambeau Scenic Waters Area

The Turtle-Flambeau Scenic Waters Area offers 66 remote campsites accessible by water only. The family campsites and two of the group sites do not require registration, a fee or a camping permit. Six of the group sites are available by reservation only and require a fee.

Camping is allowed in designated campsites only. Designated sites all have a steel fire ring and an open air pit toilet and are identified with a site number. You MAY NOT establish new campsites or camp at undesignated sites. There is a 10-day limit on camping at all campsites on the property. In addition, when you set up camp you must occupy the site the first night and you may not leave it unoccupied for more than one night thereafter (you may not leave unattended camping equipment to "save" a site).

Family campsites

Fifty-eight sites scattered throughout the property are designated family campsites. All are accessible via boat only. These sites are limited to a single camping party only. A single camping party consists of an individual, a family (parents, dependent children and not more than two guests), or a group not exceeding six unrelated persons. Seventeen of the family campsites include a picnic table as well as the fire ring and open air pit toilet. These sites are designated with a letter "F" as the prefix to the site number.

One of the family sites includes facilities that make it more accessible to persons with physical disabilities. This is site number "A1" on the map above. This site can be reserved by persons with disabilities at no charge by contacting the Mercer Ranger Station at 715-614-5120. If not being occupied by a reservation, this campsite is also open for free on a first-come, first-served basis.

Forty of the family sites are more rustic and do not include a picnic table. The site numbers for the rustic sites have a letter "R" prefix.

Group Campsites

There are eight group campsites in total. All group sites are accessible via boat only.

Two of these (G1 and G2) are on a first-come, first-served basis (non-reservable).These sites include two fire rings, two pit toilets and a picnic table. These sites accommodate groups of 7 to 15 persons.

Six other group sites (B3 through B8) are available by reservation only from April 15 to Oct. 30. These six sites are divided into two groups of three sites clustered together sharing one toilet building. All of these sites are water access only and each one allows wheelchair access from the water.

These sites accommodate seven to 15 persons. A picnic table, three benches and a fire-ring also occupy each site. These primitive sites have no running water or garbage disposal available. Please pack your garbage and recyclables out to the boat landing where dumpsters and recycling bins are available.

There is a fee associated with these six sites: $40 per night per site for the general public; $10 per night per site for a Wisconsin nonprofit youth group. Your stay is limited to 10 days. No check-in is required, campers should place their printed reservation details on the campsite post.

Reserve a group campsite online.

Camping Tips

Because there is no camper registration, you should leave your planned itinerary with friends or family so that you can be located in case of an emergency.

It is highly recommended to carry and use a battery-operated weather band radio to receive National Weather Service warnings or tune into WCQM 98.3 FM for local weather warnings. Staff are not on duty 24 hours a day.

In case of an emergency, call 911. You may want to bring a cell phone; however, cell phone coverage can sometimes be unreliable.

Bringing a GPS unit may be helpful for reporting the location of an emergency or for locating a campsite or boat landing using GPS Coordinates for Boat Landings and Campsites [PDF].

Sound carries long distances over water. Please be respectful of others and keep noise to a minimum. You may not operate any sound truck, loudspeaker, generator, chainsaw or other device that produces excessive, loud or unusual noise. Possession or discharge of any type of fireworks is illegal.

Bring water for drinking and cooking from home or use the hand pump at Springstead Landing. Consuming water from any lake or stream is not safe unless it has been properly treated.

Always store food securely out of the reach of animals. Never bring food into your tent. Problems with bears at campsites have been infrequent. Visits by raccoons and red squirrels are a more common problem, and these animals can do a lot of damage. If food is not available, unwanted visits will be minimized.

Garbage and waste

Garbage service is not provided at the campsites. All refuse must be carried out with you. Do not leave items "for the next campers to use"; these things are generally not appreciated by others and tend to detract from the rustic setting.

Dry paper may be burned, but do not put plastic, cans, glass or other waste in the fire ring. Please reduce waste by packing supplies in reusable containers.

The open air pit toilets at the campsites rely on composting action to reduce waste volume. Periodically pouring some water into the toilet will promote the composting action. DO NOT put refuse, chemicals or disposable diapers in the toilets; this will significantly reduce the life span of the toilet and could force closure of the campsite.

Dumpsters and recycling receptacles are provided at Springstead, Sportsman's, Fisherman's and Murray's Landings. Please recycle! NOTE: The garbage and recycling receptacles are provided for waste generated on this state property only  you may not dispose of waste from your home or cabin here.

Fires and firewood

You are allowed to gather wood that is "dead and down" for your fire; however, available dead and down wood is becoming scarce. You should consider purchasing locally harvested firewood to bring to your campsite. There are several local businesses that sell bundled campfire wood.

As added insurance against introducing forest pests, please burn all your firewood; do not leave it for the next camper and do not transport it to other properties.

You MAY NOT cut standing trees whether they are live or dead. Standing dead "snag" trees provide valuable wildlife habitat. You MAY NOT use a chainsaw to cut firewood.

Prevent forest fires by confining your campfire to the steel fire ring provided at each campsite. Keep campfires small and burn only wood and clean paper. Make sure your fire is dead out before you leave.

Additional opportunities

Because camping in the Turtle-Flambeau Scenic Waters Area is first-come, first-served, there is always the possibility you will not find an available campsite when you arrive; therefore, you should have a contingency plan.

Camping is available at Lake of the Falls County Park located on the north end of the Flowage off County Highway FF. Smith Rapids Campground, Twin Lakes Campground and Emily Lake Campground in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest [exit DNR] and Sandy Beach Campground in the Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest are also nearby.

For information on private campgrounds, resorts and motels in the area. contact:

Mercer Chamber of Commerce [exit DNR]
5150N Hwy 51
Mercer, WI 54547
(715) 476-2389

Turtle-Flambeau Flowage Association [exit DNR]
2974 N. Hiawatha Road
Butternut, WI 54514