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Franklin Lake, Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest
Franklin Lake Campground is one of the most popular camping areas of the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. The campground sits in a gorgeous hemlock, mixed-pine and hardwood forest next to the scenic, 881-acre Franklin Lake. The crystal-clear waters of the lake offer excellent opportunities for swimming, canoeing, kayaking, boating and fishing. There are boat launches on both Franklin and Butternut lakes. A beautiful, day-use area along the lakeshore features picnic tables, grills and a nice, sandy swimming beach. Tall pines provide plenty of shade.
A massive hiking trail system connects with the Franklin Nature Trail and the Franklin Lake Campgrounds. Connecting trails include: the Hidden Lakes Trail (15 miles), Luna-White Deer Trail (4 miles), Nicolet North Trail (26.5 miles) and the Anvil National Recreation Trail (12 miles). The Anvil Trail also features fun mountain bike trails. Miles of smooth-paved side-roads run through the area, excellent for hybrid and road bicycling.
An interpretive center and naturalist programs operate throughout the summer. The presence of several historic log and stone buildings, 400 year-old hemlocks, and ancient archeological sites have placed this area on the National Registers of Historic Places.
The Campground at Franklin Lake has 77 campsites and is split into two sections; North and South. Both campgrounds have sites with lake views, although a majority are in the North CG. Nearly all the sites offer plenty of shade. 75 of the sites can accommodate tents and/or an RV up to 24-to-40 feet (max length varies). Each site has a tent pad, parking spur, picnic table and fire ring. Amenities include drinking water, vault toilets and accessible flush toilets. There are no electric hookups. 14 of the sites are reservable, 63 are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Overall, the facilities are well-maintained.
Other Local Campgrounds in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest
If you arrive and the Franklin Lake Campground is full, there are nine other National Forest campgrounds in the vicinity. Two recommended family campgrounds are:
Luna-Whitedeer (37 campsites) - Campground Guide
Spectacle Lake (34 campsites) - Campground Guide
Website: Franklin Nature Trail, US Forest Service
Phone Contact: 715.479.2827
Trail Access Fee: Yes, Forest Pass from US Forest Service required. Pay station at trailhead. Daily or annual.