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Tourism/Recreation

Below are descriptions of places to visit or see in the Lakewood area.
Click here to view the Oconto County Discovery Guide On-line.

Nicolet National Forest
In 1993, the Nicolet National Forest and the Chequamegon National Forest were combined to form the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest (CNNF). Together, the two forests cover more than 1.5 million acres in Wisconsin’s “Northwoods”. Our communities are fortunate to be part of the 661,400 acre patrons of the great outdoors. The CNNF has much to offer patrons of the great outdoors. Here are a few highlights: over 2,000 lakes, 51 campgrounds, 119 boat landings, and over 48,000 acres of “wilderness areas”.

The Nicolet National Forest is the starting point for the Nicolet State Trail. The trail starts in Gillett and meanders 89 miles through the forest all the way to the Michigan state line. The trail is open to ATVers, hikers, bikers, equestrian riders, and snowmobilers, snowshoers, and cross-country skiers in the winter months. The trail does not allow hunting or trapping. All in all, the trail is one of the top recreational amenities in the area and in Northeast Wisconsin.


Cathedral Pines Trail - Townsend
In the early 1900’s, Lucy Rumsey Holt brought her children here – the pines and hemlocks seemed to her a sacred place. She named it Cathedral Woods and persuaded her husband, the president of Holt Lumber Company to preserve it. Because of her this stand of virgin timber was never logged.

Stands of hardwood trees as well as the pine and hemlock make this area a beautiful place to hike, explore, or just imagine what the early forest was like.

Many of the large white pine in this area contain nests of the great blue heron. These are nearly 100 nests in this area called a rookery. You would be amazed at the noise these birds makes during the nesting season which lasts from May through July. To reduce human disturbance we ask that you stay at least 300 feet away from the nesting area.

The trail has easy grades that are below 8 percent for accessibility.

When to go: The best time to visit this site is May Through October.

Directions: From the intersection of Archibald Lake Road (FR 2121) and Highway 32 on the north end of Lakewood drive southwest 1.4 miles on FR 2121. Turn right (northwest) at the sign for Cathedral Pines and drive 0.4 miles on a dirt road to the trail.


Mountain Fire Lookout Tower - Mountain
This is one of the last fire towers standing on its original location in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. It was built in 1935 and was one of a series of 20 towers that were built in the Forest during the 1930’s. By the early 1970’s, forest fire spotting was being done by airplane, and almost all of the fire were dismantled. The Mountain Fire Lookout Tower was left standing because it was used as a Forest Service for the Oconto County Sheriff’s office.

Many towers had ladders on the outside of the tower, however the Mountain Tower has a series of steps inside the tower frame that are relatively easy to climb just as tower men did in the past. At the top is a panoramic view of the surrounding countryside. Interpretive signs explain the fire detection methods and how networks of these towers were constructed.

There is parking for 5 vehicles and a picnic area that the site. The exhibits at the base of the tower are accessible.

When to go: The best time to visit this site is May through October.



Chute Pond Overlook Trail
This short, moderately steep trail leads to the top of a rock outcrop that features five vistas. ​Three of the vistas overlook Chute Pond, one looks over a Forest Service tree plantation, and one looks north along State Highway 32 with Bagley Rapids on the west and Green Lake on the east. At the northernmost vista, look north to see the last remaining Forest Service fire lookout tower almost six miles away at Mountain. Looking south from the southernmost vista you can see the radio tower on Suring Hill, about eight miles away. Be sure to bring your binoculars on this hike.

Directions: From the Town of Mountain, take State Highway 32 south for 2.5 miles to Parkway Drive and turn right (west). Follow the signs to Scenic Overlook.

Click here for a map!


Jones Spring Area Trail
You are bound to see wildlife on this trail. Jones Spring is a 2,000 acre area managed for non-motorized use and offers several loops of hiking and groomed cross-country ski trails (for traditional style skiing) The area features three lakes. Fanny Lake has five walk-in campsites on the shore. On an overlook between Upper and Lower Jones Lakes you’ll find an Adirondack-style shelter for a quick rest while skiing or a place to picnic when hiking. The trail traverses a variety of landscapes and forest types which also means a variety of wildlife. Look for the wood duck boxes which have been placed here to increase the wood duck population. Jones Spring Area is also managed as a wildlife area for hunting.

Trail Length: 4 loops of varying lengths with a total of 11 miles.

Directions: From Townsend, take County Highway T southwest for 5 miles to Fanny Lake Road (FR 2938). Turn right and follow Fanny Lake Road west to parking area.
Click here for a map!


Popple Ridge Horse Trail
The Popple Ridge Horse Trails are located on gently rolling terrain. The trail tread is a mix of sand and some stones. All but one section is wide enough for 2 horses to ride side-by-side. These wooded trails are cool and shady even in the middle of the summer.

Trail Length: 26 miles of marked trails.

Nicolet Nordic Ski Trail
The Nicolet Nordic Ski Trails are cross-country trails groomed by volunteer efforts of local ski club members and friends in cooperation with the Forest Service. Most of the trails are double tracked. A trail map is located at the trailhead.

Directions: From the Town of Mountain follow County Highway W west for 1 miles to McComb Lake Road (FR 2311). Turn left and go south 2 miles to parking area on left (east) side of the road.



Fall Color Roads – Lakewood & Laona
Fall color in the Lakewood Laona area of the Nicolet peaks in the mid to late September with the brilliant orange hues of sugar maple along with the reds of sumac and red maple. Later in October there is a second peak with the yellow of aspen, paper birch, and tamarack. Also in October the oaks turn rich shades of red, and bronze.

Quartz Hill Trail
This trail has two sections, one located on the east and one on the west side of State Highway 32. The east section has moderately steep sections, but the view from the top of this quartz rock outcrop is worth the climb. Along the trail to the top, you will pass a quartz crystal deposit with an informational sign which describes how early Indians came here to quarry quartz to create their tools.

The west portion of this trail leads to the site of the Carter Fire Lookout Tower. Once used to spot forest fires, all that no remains are the tower footings and roadway. Most fire towers on the Nicolet were erected in the 1930’s and have since been discontinued as aerial surveillance took over.

When to go: The best time to visit this site is April through October.

Boulder Lake Cultural Site
Throughout the centuries, this site has been used first by American Indians, and now is part of the Boulder Lake Campground. A trail leads from the boat landing parking lot to the site. Interpretive signs give you a glimpse in to the life ways of the people who once lived in this woodland lake setting. While no visible signs remain from those people who lived here 500 to 1,000 years ago, you will be able to see remnant logging camp structures from early 1900’s.

When to go: The best time to visit this site if from May through October

Oconto River Fishing Trail
This barrier free trail is located along a portion of the South Branch of the Oconto River, a top quality brook and brown trout fishery. Adjacent to it are two rustic campsites. Boardwalks lead you to several fishing platforms over the river, where you can fish or just take a rest and enjoy the scenic river as it ripples by.

When to go: The best times to visit this site are April through October.

Directions: From Mountain drive north 1.5 miles on Highway 32 to Highway 64. Turn left (west) on Hwy 64 and drive 5 miles to Highway T. Turn left (south) on T and drive 2 miles to the entrance on your right.


Bagley Rapids
Bagley Rapids, set among the pines, has millions of gallons of water rushing down the rapids on the Oconto River. You can walk out to a rock ledge to observe the rapids. The best time to view this site is spring.

Directions: From Mountain, follow State Hwy 32 south about 2 miles. Turn right (west) on Bagley Rapids Road. Signs will direct you to the parking area.

Facilities: Parking lot for 6 vehicles, restrooms, campground adjacent. The site is 1/8 mile from the parking lot and is not accessible to persons with disabilities.

Lakewood Cross Country Ski Trails:
The Lakewood Ski Trails are set in a wooded area with rolling hills. The hills offering the greatest challenge are found in the northern section of the trail. The 25 kilometer main trail, known as the Blue Trail, is continuous between McCauslin Brook Country Club and Highway F. Several secondary loops or cut-offs connect to the Blue Trail.

Trails are marked according to degree of difficulty. There are approximately equal trail distances for beginning, intermediate, and expert skiers. Trails are groomed in accord with snow conditions.

Parking Areas located throughout the trail system provide easy access to the trails. Skiers using these trails assume total responsibility for their own personal safety and welfare.

Directions: Take County Highway F east from Lakewood. Trail access points are at McCaslin Brook Country, Old Highway 32 (FR 2106), Smyth Road (FR 2101), Sullican Springs Road (FR 2330), and County Highway F at Riverside Road.

TRAIL CONDITIONS: 715-622-1751, Click here for a map!


Slippery Rock:
This is a natural water park located in Chute Pond campground. Slippery rock is an area that many have found fun through the years, it is a short hike across the dam and back to a natural rock formation that forms a slide.
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