Clam Lake, Wisconsin is located in the heart of the 860,000 acre Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest at the intersection of Ashland, Bayfield and Sawyer counties. Clam Lake is the only town located in this 725 square mile district of the Chequamegon. This section of the national forest is roughly equal in size to the Minneapolis-St.Paul metropolitan area. Clam Lake is located in the heart of an abundance of activities. These include the elk capital of Wisconsin, some of the best fishing in the country, the best bear, deer and ruffed grouse hunting around, championship cross country ski trails, the finest downhill skiing in the upper midwest, thousands of miles of top notch groomed snowmobile trails, the mecca of disc golf courses, the golf capital of Wisconsin, numerous casinos, fantastic local festivals, the best mountain biking in the midwest, many museums and cultural attractions, not to mention the peace and relaxation of this truly wonderful area.
Elk Capital of Wisconsin - In 1995 25 captive elk were released just south of Clam Lake. As of summer 2012 the herd consisted of 169 elk. Tourists come from all around for a glimpse of these majestic creatures. To hear the bulls bugling during the fall breeding season is truly a wondrous moment. The elk are frequently seen near the Clam Lake Lodge.
Heart of the National Forest - Located in the center of the 860,000 acre Chequamegon forest makes for endless recreational opportunities. Fish, boat, swim, canoe, kayak, stand up paddle or just explore the dozens of lakes and streams in the Clam Lake area. Hunt, hike, ski, snowshoe, snowmobile, atv on the hundreds of miles of trails. Clam Lake is the perfect base location for discovering the special qualities of the Chequamegon.
Fishing - the Clam Lake area is located near high quality fisheries. Upper Clam Lake is a class "A" musky lake. The world record musky came out of the Chippewa Flowage, just 20 miles away. The Chippewa Flowage is an impoundment of the Chippewa River, the same river that flows through many of the Clam Lake area lakes. The Namekagon River 15 miles west is a blue ribbon trout stream and is known to be one of the best trout fisheries in the midwest. Chequamegon Bay on Lake Superior in Ashland is world renowned for its smallbouth bass. Saxon Harbor and Bayfield offer fishing charters for chasing Lake Superior lake trout and king salmon. The Bois Brule River has tremendous steelhead fishing. The local lakes offer great fishing for panfish, crappies, bass, walleye and musky. There are many local streams that offer great brook trout fishing. The variety of fishing in the area is hard to beat.
Snowmobile Trails - Ashland County offers 280 miles of groomed trails, Bayfield County offers 600 miles of groomed trails, and Sawyer County also has 600 miles of groomed trails. Clam Lake sits at the intersection of all 3 counties. State Corridor Trails 8 and 25 pass through our area. Besides the nearly 1,600 miles of groomed trails are 1,000's of miles of forest roads to explore. Ride from Clam Lake to the famous Lakewood's Resort on Lake Namakagon only 12 miles away. Ride north to explore the glorious vistas at St. Peter's Dome. Ride east toward Hurley/Ironwood and explore the Western Upper Peninsula of Michigan. You can ride for a week and almost never cross your tracks.
Golf Capital of Wisconsin - The Hayward/Cable area is known as the golf capital of the state. Clam Lake is close to many championship courses. Forest Ridges and Teal Wing are both less than 15 minutes away. Telemark, Spider Lake and Big Fish are within a 30 minute drive. Skye Golf at Whitecap Mountain is 40 minutes away. You can stay for a week and play a different championship course each day.
Mountain Biking - The CAMBA (Chequamegon Area Mountain Bike Association) trails are the premier system of trails in the Midwest. The CAMBA off-road bike system consists of over 300 miles of marked and mapped routes through a near wilderness area of striking beauty and peaceful solitude. The CAMBA system is quickly becoming the singletrack Mecca of the midwest. The Namakagon cluster trail head is located 8 miles west of Clam Lake. The Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival takes place each September with nearly 3,000 riders taking part in the race.
Hunting - The Clam Lake area is blessed with tremendous hunting. Upland bird hunters come from all over the USA for the tremendous Ruffed Grouse and Woodcock hunting. The Park Falls area of the southern Chequamegon is known as the Ruffed Grouse Capital of the World. The world record Black Bear was shot just east of Clam Lake near Glidden. Bayfield County is known as one of the best counties in the world for Boone & Crockett black bears. The elusive Whitetail deer is always a challenge in the wild big woods. With dozens of lakes and streams in the area, Clam Lake is popular with duck hunters.
Cross Country Skiing - The world famous American Birkebeiner ski race takes place just west of Clam Lake. Numerous groomed ski trails are nearby, including Rock Lake, Penokee Mountain and Mukwonago. The forest offers trails and two track logging roads to explore on your backcountry skis or snowshoes.
Birding - The Clam Lake area offers some of the best boreal birding in the entire state. With breeding populations of Evening Grosbeaks, Spruce Grouse and Gray Jays and wintering visitors such as Boreal Chickadee, Pine Grosbeak, Red Crossbills the Clam Lake area has much to offer the winter birder. During summer an impressive number of warblers nest here. The hemlocks at Clam Lake Lodge have nesting Blackburnian Warblers. Black Throated Blue Warblers are found in the maple uplands.Palm Warbler, Lincolns and LeContes Sparrows nest in the plentiful bogs. The song of White Throated Sparrows and Hermit Thrushes during a summer evening are an ethereal reminder of the wildness of this land.
Hiking - The North Country Trail traverses 61 miles in the Chequamegon National Forest on it's way to Copper Falls State Park. The Chequamegon Chapter’s sections of the NCT are great examples of natures mix that truly makes the NCT a premier hiking trail. Enjoy the beauty of a quiet peaceful lake or the gurgling sound of a river or the babbling of a small creek or the roaring of water falls. The North Country Trail crosses or passes by many of these on it’s journey through the Chequamegon National Forest and Copper Falls State Park. There are some beautiful overlooks to pause and enjoy and history to explore including abandoned logging camps and an old Swedish settlement. And then there is the chance meeting with wildlife, the sounds of natures woodland creatures and the wondrous smells unique to a woodland setting. We have two designated “Wilderness” areas within the Chequamegon Forest for an exceptional natural experience, the Porcupine Lake Wilderness (4,446 acres) and Rainbow Lake Wilderness (6,583 acres). What better way to enjoy these great natural resources than with a hike! In the winter you can enjoy snowshoeing, cross country skiing, exploring animal tracks, winter camping or just inhale the unique quietness that only winter offers. There are many other interpretive hikes near Clam Lake. Day Lake has a wonderful nature trail along the shore. Lynch Creek has an interpretive trail. Black Lake has an interpretive trail through the remains of an old logging camp.
Waterfalls - The Chequamegon area has an abundance of beautiful waterfalls. The most popular are at Copper Falls State Park 21 miles northeast of Clam Lake. The Potato River offers falls in Upson and Gurney. The Tylers Forks River has many falls on it's course to meeting the Bad River at Copper Falls. The Montreal River near Hurley has some very impressive waterfalls. Step across the border into the U.P. and enjoy the falls on the Black River and the Presque Isle River in the Porcupine Mountains State Park.
Disc Golf - Highbridge Hills - In the summer of 2004, disc golf was born in the "Hills of Highbridge"! Some 400 acres of pristine property in the Penokee Mountains became home to the largest disc golf complex in the world. Built and managed "certified organic", it has become the "Mecca" to those who visit the "hill", has hosted the World's in 2007 and now has set out to host an exciting event called the Highbridge Hills Adventure Sports Summer Games. It will become an annual event and expand into winter games in 2016. Highbridge Hills will be opening 21 miles of turf, road and mountain trails for running, biking, hiking, walking and skiing in September. The 400 acre property will uniquely become home to athletes to train and compete on a trail system that is mowed daily, 6-10' wide and wider in numerous areas. Running on a turf trail, mixing it up with mountain trails and roads will be an option. The "mega trail" system will be open to barefoot runners also. A "Highbridge Tough Mudders" course to train and compete on is also in the works. Sites along the trails have up to 50 mile views, rolling and great turf and soil conditions. Bicycle tours and group rates offered. Bring your bike, shoes, and legs to have a blast!
ATV's - The Clam Lake area is blessed with very challenging ATV trails. A growing number of enthusiasts have made this area one of the top ATV destinations in Wisconsin and the Midwest. For the ATV and motorcycle enthusiast, the Chequamegon National Forest contains over 140 miles of trails. Three separate trail systems with adjoining loops, offer an exciting scenic tour of the Forest. Trails wind over rolling terrain, with towering forests and panoramic views of meadows and wetlands. Unique to the state of Wisconsin, the forest's ATV trails offer an unparalleled touring experience of the Chequamegon National Forest. The Dead Horse Run Trail located just east of Clam Lake is known to be one of the most challenging trails in the state.
Downhill Skiing/Snowboarding - Clam Lake lies roughly 40 minutes from Wisconsin's best skiing at Whitecap Mountain. Other top skiing/snowboarding resorts are just across the border near Besssemer, Michigan. Powderhorn, Blackjack and Indianhead all are less than an hours drive from Clam Lake. The area is known to have the best slopes in the upper midwest.
Casinos - Many casinos are a short drive from Clam Lake. LCO Casino in Hayward lies to the west. Lake of the Torches is located east of Clam Lake. Bad River Casino is north near Ashland. North of Bayfield is Legendary Waters Casino.
Area Festivals - Clam Lake is surrounded by communities with very popular festivals. Hayward has Musky Fest and Lumberjack World Championships. Ashland has Bay Days. Cable has Fall Fest. Bayfield's Apple Fest is tremendously popular, as is Stone Lake's Cranberry Fest. The LCO reservation has the annual Honor the Earth Pow Wow each July.
Museums/Cultural Sites - The Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center in Ashland is always worth a visit. The Cable Natural History Museum is tremendous. The Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame and Museum in Hayward should be visited by every fisherman/woman. Big Top Chautauqua near Bayfield has top notch musical entertainment under the big tent overlooking Lake Superior on the grounds of Mt. Ashwabay. Wilderness Walk in Hayward is a fun animal park to take the kids.
Why Clam Lake?