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Porcupine Lake Wilderness

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A black and white photograph of a small stream flowing through open forest.
Library image #562: Porcupine Creek

Introduction

The United States Congress designated the Porcupine Lake Wilderness (map) in 1984 and it now has a total of 4,074 acres. All of this wilderness is located in Wisconsin and is managed by the Forest Service.

Description

The North Country National Scenic Trail carves a path for approximately eight miles through the very heart of this forest, half of which is rich with sugar maples, red maples, and yellow birches, while the other half supports aspen, red oak, hemlocks, white pine, balsam fir, cedar, spruce, and tamarack. Touching the northern tip of Porcupine Lake itself, the trail is part of the proposed system that will eventually reach from New York to North Dakota. Within the Wilderness, only two other short trails, entering from the northern boundary, are maintained, and both join the North Country Trail. During the ice age, glaciers covered this area, scouring it into mild to moderate hiking terrain: rolling hills in the west dropping to swampland in the east. Black bears are frequently seen; store your food off the ground and well away from campsites. Many lakes dot the area--six of them larger than five acres. Most of them are located in the western portion. Fishing and paddling attract visitors to Porcupine Lake, which is filled with northern pike, largemouth bass, and bluegill. All of the major streams in this area contain trout. Cross-country skiers enjoy this Wilderness in winter.

Planning to Visit the Porcupine Lake Wilderness?

Leave No Trace

How to follow the seven standard Leave No Trace principles differs in different parts of the country (desert vs. Rocky Mountains). Click on any of the principles listed below to learn more about how they apply in the Porcupine Lake Wilderness.
  1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
  2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
  3. Dispose of Waste Properly
  4. Leave What You Find
  5. Minimize Campfire Impacts
  6. Respect Wildlife
  7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors
For more information on Leave No Trace, Visit the Leave No Trace, Inc. website.