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Whisker Lake Wilderness

General Maps Contacts Area Management Wilderness Laws
Photograph taken in  the Whisker Lake Wilderness


The United States Congress designated the Whisker Lake Wilderness (map) in 1978 and it now has a total of 7,270 acres. All of this wilderness is located in Wisconsin and is managed by the Forest Service.


Located on the Michigan-Wisconsin border, this area takes its name from the large trees near the shoreline of Whisker Lake. These old pines were called "chin whiskers" by locals. Surprisingly, they were unscathed by logging and wildfires, both of which ravaged the region in the early 1900s. Here you'll find rolling uplands falling away to wetlands flooded by beaver activity. Six small lakes and three major streams provide trout fishing that can be worth the effort, most notably Riley Lake, Edith Lake (which is split by the eastern boundary), Wakefield Creek, and the Brule River. The Brule forms the northern boundary and separates Nicolet National Forest from Michigan. Hiking and camping, as in the other forestland Wildernesses of Wisconsin, are unrestricted. Six trails enter from the western side, and two of them exit from the eastern side. The Whisker Lake Trail crosses the entire Wilderness in an east-west direction, a distance of approximately 2.5 miles, with access to the lake itself. There are roughly 9.5 miles of maintained system trail in the Whisker Lake Wilderness. Deer hunting is allowed in season, and winter brings cross-country skiers.

Planning to Visit the Whisker 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 Whisker 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.

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