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Outside in Wisconsin

Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest

evergreen trees reflected on glass-smooth lakeJONATHAN KULT

There’s open space aplenty at Wisconsin’s Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest. Spread across three Northwoods counties — Iron, Oneida and Vilas — the sprawling and spectacular NHAL property covers 232,000 acres, making it by far the largest state forest in the Wisconsin. Recreation features something for everyone and every season including paddling, skiing, snowmobiling, boating, hunting, snowshoeing, horseback riding and hiking on more than 75 miles of trails such as the Star Lake Nature Trail, with dazzling views like the one pictured above. Camping, when open, includes modern, rustic and primitive family and group opportunities at numerous campgrounds. The Crystal Lake Campground also includes a nature center, usually open Memorial Day through Labor Day weekends. Within the forest are several State Natural Areas plus the remote and stunning Willow Flowage Scenic Waters Area. Established in 1925 to protect the Flambeau, Manitowish and Wisconsin river headwaters, this mighty state forest is celebrating 95 years of safeguarding the state’s outdoors.