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Mountain Fire Lookout Tower
The Mountain Fire Lookout Tower was built in 1935 by the U.S. Forest Service and the Civilian Conservation Corps. It was once a part of an extensive lookout tower network in the former Nicolet National Forest. The Mountain Fire Lookout Tower was the first tower in Wisconsin to be placed on the National Historic Lookout Register and the National Register of Historic Places. It also was the 41st lookout tower to be registered in the United States. The tower was taken out of service in 1970 and was restored in 1994.
The Mountain Fire Lookout Tower was restored again in 2015-2016 through a partnership between the Lakewood-Laona Ranger District of the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest with financial assistance from the Oconto County Economic Development Corporation, numerous local businesses, organizations, communities and residents. Employees from the Lakewood-Laona Ranger District spent more than 500 hours doing the restoration work. “This was a great partnership and community effort,” said Greyling Brandt, Recreation Program Manager on the Lakewood-Laona Ranger District. “Together we were able to restore the tower and now can open it to visitors again to get an up close look at a piece of Wisconsin’s history.”
Today, the 100-foot steel tower with a 7-by-7 foot cab is one of the few remaining lookouts on the east side of the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest.
The Mountain Fire Lookout Tower will open on May 1, 2020 (weather depending) for the season and close on November 1, 2020 Site hours are 8:00am till sunset. This site is free, but donations are always accepted. Directions: From Mountain, take Hwy 32 North, turn right onto Sparky's Lane, then left on Old 32 Road. 2 1/2 miles to entrance sign on the right hand side of the road. A gravel road leads you to the parking area on top.
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.
Quartz Hill Trail
Discover the breath taking Quartz Hill Trail located on the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest in Laona, Wis. This stunning trail cascades into two sections. One portion is located on the east and the other portion is located on the west side of Wisconsin State Highway 32. The east section leads across a boardwalk to the top of McCaslin Mountain. It has moderately steep sections, but the view from the top of this quartz rock outcrop is worth the climb.
There are no fees associated with the use of this site. The trail is open to use 24 hours/365 days. There is interpretive signage available at the site. There are no picnic tables, campsites or restroom facilities. Use caution going to the trailhead. It is located on the opposite side of State Highway 32. This is the most popular segment of the trail and crossing the highway is necessary to access the trail. Also, be mindful that the trail on the east side of the highway is heavily used All-Terrain Vehicles. Please note that this trail’s difficulty ranges from intermediate to difficult. The trail tread is somewhat rocky and uneven. You will see several short, moderately steep, sections which may have loose rock resulting in poor footing. Boardwalks are constructed over drainages while the rest of the tread is generally dry.
Lakewood Cross Country Ski Trails
Over 25 km of marked trails groomed for classic and skating in the Nicolet National Forest. Main parking is at Old 32 and McCauslin Brook Golf Course. View our trail map on-line, click here. All ski trails are maintained by the Lakewood Cross County Ski Club through Club memberships, business donations and trail donations from skiers. Join the Facebook group to share your experiences on the trail and get vital updates to the trail system, as well as club activities. Printed trail maps are available at each parking area along with local businesses. For skier hot line call 715-622-1754.
Bass Lake Beach
Bass Lake Beach is located in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest and is a peaceful spot to spend the Summer afternoon. There is a nominal carload fee for use of the park. The 145 acres of clear water provides a great swimming area for the family and includes picnic tables and a bath house. Directions: North of Mountain, go West on Hwy 64 approximately 6 miles to County T. Turn right or North on T and follow signs to Bass Lake.
Wheeler Lake Beach
Wheeler Lake is a 281 acre clear lake located in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. Visitors have access to the lake with a public boat landing and a sandy beach. There is a nominal carload fee for the use of the park. Wheeler Lake Beach is located off County Hwy F in Lakewood.