Explore the most popular lake trails in Chequamegon National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

7 months ago

Not quite as advertised. I enjoyed the trail but it was considerably more difficult than I expected. Several wide sections were completely flooded and required a lot of bog walking in deep mud and shallow water. The trail is clearly unkept and appeared to not have been worked on in any serious way for several years. many many downed trees block the trail in many spots. I expected a stroll in the park but got a hard slog in the muck. Loads of fun but not what I was expecting so beware.

Trail is impassable from the start due to vegetation growth.

10 months ago

I took my 7 yr. old and 10 yr. old around the loop as a weekend backpacking trip. This is the first overnight backpacking trip they've ever been on. We camped at the site right off of the Ice Age Trail the first night, as we didn't get to the trail until around 7:00 PM. The campsite is just south of the western junction and has a good water source right across the trail, though it does require you to walk on some logs across a bog to get to open water.
The next morning we walked down to the southeast corner of the loop and the beaver pond campsite. This hike took us about 2 hours, with a lot of climbing over and around downed trees that cross the trail. There were also several areas where the trail was underwater and there was plenty of deep mud for us to navigate around. At one point the trail crosses a logging road and we saw a blaze off to the west, but when we got down there and followed what we thought was the trail we lost it and ended up off trail for about half a mile until we found the trail again.
The second night we camped at the beaver pond, which is just a beautiful site. There is a pit toilet just to the south of the campsite. There are also log benches to sit on and a cooking grate. Somebody had left a pile of logs, so we had a nice toasty fire.
The hike back out to the road took us about 3.5 hours. There was quite a bit less downed trees and swampy areas to navigate, but it was a longer hike. It did rain during the night when we were at the beaver pond, so there were some muddy areas that we don't think would have been quite so bad on a dryer weekend.
Overall, I think that this loop pushed my kids to their limit, but not over the limit to where they weren't having fun anymore. For adults it's a challenging, but not overly difficult hike. It would probably more pleasant and less challenging in the fall or winter when there isn't so much moisture to deal with. The trail doesn't appear to get much use, as many parts were overgrown or on the verge of being overgrown.
We didn't see anybody from the time we left the IAT until we got back to the truck. We had a great weekend and my kids are already asking about taking another trip. I'd highly recommend it for a quick weekend getaway. I don't think I'd enjoy trying to tackle this one in a single day, though it's definitely doable if you're so inclined.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Very pretty trail. Be sure to wear water proof shoes. Less than half of the needed bridges are usable. This trail is in bad need of repair.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Disclaimer: I'm from New England and most accustomed to hiking in western Maine and the White Mountains in New Hampshire. This was my first overnight trip in the Midwest.

My dog and I camped at the primitive campsite near the trailhead on a Friday night, planning to spend an extended weekend in the woods. Parking was just off the road, and the campsite, just minutes from the road, was available--and very quiet! I would not count on getting water from the lake, though, as it's more of a mucky pond with no easy access from shore.

Heading out on Saturday morning, the sound of dogs grew louder as we moved along the trail. I didn't think it was hunting season (other than open season on coyotes), so maybe they were hunting dogs in training, but I was hesitant to encounter a bunch of off-leash dogs with my own leashed dog in tow, so we turned around and headed in the other direction, toward the Lake Eleven segment.

The Jerry Lake segment, from what I experienced, seemed nice enough, and not too overgrown, but I didn't get far before turning around and opting for the Lake Eleven segment. That trail turned out to be quite overgrown, with downed trees obstructing the trail in several places. It's also quite marshy in places, and there were lots of bugs--so be prepared with bug spray if you go in the summer! Between the bugs and the brambles, my dog couldn't handle it, so we headed home early.

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Went and did some fishing on Pigeon Lake and decided to check out the trail. It is a nice hike with plenty of vegitation to see. Saw deer, squirrels, grouse, and a variety of birds. It's a gorgeous hike and would recommend it to anyone.

Thursday, November 15, 2012


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Have walked this trail many times as I lived in winter Wi and spent m as by summers in the black lake campground

Thursday, May 03, 2012

I'm pretty new to backpacking so this is an amateur look at hiking. I found the trail to be challenging but not difficult. The Chippewa Lobe loop is very clearly marked and very easy to follow, the blue markers are used very well and frequently kept me going in the right direction. The only confusion was where it met up with the Ice Age Trail on the north east corner. There is a sign on the Ice Age Trail to mark where Chippewa Lobe splits off but it was turned and confused me for a moment until I thought about where I was and checked my compass. It can get very muddy in parts and some standing water was present but with trekking poles it was very easy to cross all parts. The bridges over water are very nice and sturdy.
There are two campsites on the loop. The first is about 1 mile from the loop trailhead sign going anti-clockwise around the trail. It has quite a few spots for tents and there is water near by. The second campsite is at the southern most part of the trail near a pond/lake formed by a beaver dam. The campsite is beautiful and really stands out from the rest of the trail. There is a fire pit and logs for seating around it. There is also a very nice bench to sit on and relax. The lake nearby makes for a beautiful sunset.
I really enjoyed hiking this trail for my first solo hike. It was a nice quick overnight trip that took me about 5.5 hrs to complete. It was about 2.5hrs to the second campsite from FR 108 and about 3hrs out. I'm not very fast.

11 months ago