Other Wilderness lakes Northern Highlands-American Legion state forest, Wisconsin

Hope someone can help
Camped and did some day paddles in the NHAL
Day Lake was amazing. Really wild and quiet

We are going up soon and are looking for suggestions. Just put in and paddle. No portaging.
Lakes that are wilderness or electric only with interesting shores. Smaller

Why not go a little farther to Sylvania? Otherwise pull out Google Earth and you’ll probably find a lot of lakes in NHAL. I know some but you’d have to portage a long way with no trail to get there. :wink:

Well, Sylvania is a mighty busy place (I just got back from there, and even in mid-September there are always other paddlers in sight). “Wilderness” lakes (with no shoreline development whatsoever) in NHAL and nearby Chequamegon will be completely empty of other paddlers the vast majority of the time, and some of those lakes probably only see a few boats in a year, and some, no boats at all in a year. I have a long list of lakes in that area that I want to check out, but as yet I have not been up there to see any of them first-hand. So, I have no real advice, but I certainly understand the OP’s interest in the area.

Thanks for the warning, I’ve always wanted to go to Sylvania and now I don’t want to. I generally avoid the well-known areas like parks and preserves in favor of equally good places right next to them where you can actually find solitude or duotude. I think it should be easy to find either in the NHAL or Cheq-Nic this time of year.

Don’t be totally scared away from Sylvania. You may still find it to be worth experiencing. One thing I really, really liked was that it is all old-growth forest, because that is something that is virtually impossible for most people to have access to nowadays. For example, I’ve seen patchy hemlock groves in Wisconsin that cast incredibly dark shade, but the trees are tiny in comparison to those in Sylvania. To walk around in a very, very dark forest of big hemlocks with a thick and spongy mat of cast needles underfoot (there are no earthworms to get rid of the leaf litter - and how many people even know that these worms are invasive species and that their absence is another quality feature of these old woods?), is really amazing, the first time you do it. And on our last day there, we took part of a morning to hike a trail where a particularly helpful ranger told us we could find the largest white pine he had ever seen. We found that tree, and also a great many others that were almost as big.

I might also mention that trying to camp with a tent in a truly undeveloped northern forest of lesser maturity often can hardly be done without leaving a mighty big footprint - literally - in clearing/flattening a place for your tent, so Sylvania with its designated campsites has that advantage. It’s fun to read about old-time northwoods camping, and the way people built thick beds of balsam boughs to sleep on, pitching canvas tents right over the top, but nowadays we can’t afford to be that destructive. I guess that makes a good case for ditching the tent and learning to sleep in a hammock (screened and roofed, of course).