Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest covers more than 230,000 acres in northern Wisconsin. This huge property protects the headwaters of the Wisconsin, Manitowish, and Flambeau rivers and is home to several modern, rustic, and primitive campgrounds.
Clear Lake Campground is a modern family campground in the southern region of the forest. With 95 sites for tents and RVs, this camping area sits on the shores of Clear Lake and offers excellent boating and fishing.
There are no electrical hookups available, but there is one building with flush toilets and showers. Six vault toilet buildings and six drinking water hand pumps are spread around the campground, while a dump station is also provided.
The Clear Lake Campground is clean and reasonably spacious, but it can get quite busy during peak periods. There's also limited privacy between sites, so if you're looking for a tranquil and secluded getaway, you might want to consider one of the smaller rustic or primitive campgrounds throughout the forest.
Camping fees are $20 a night for Wisconsin residents, or $25 a night for out-of-state visitors. You'll also need to purchase an $8 vehicle entrance pass, which rises to $11 for out-of-staters. Dogs are permitted in Clear Lake Campground but must be kept on a leash and cleaned up after at all times. You'll also need to take note of any posted rules about where you can and can't take your dog -- for example, pets are not allowed on any cross-country skiing trails in winter.
Much of the activity in this campground centers on the 846-acre lake. Its cool, clear waters are popular with swimmers during the summer months, with a large sand beach at the heart of the campground and another water access area further south. There's also a boat landing area and a number of boat trailer parking lots for those who want to go fishing or water skiing.
Hikers can enjoy easy access to the 11-mile Raven Trail, which passes by Clear Lake and Inkpot Lake. Pets are permitted on the trail, but they're not allowed on the nature trail section or on any part of the trail covered by snow.
Looking further afield, Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest features 900 lakes, 300 miles of rivers, and a dozen hiking and nature trails. There's plenty to see and do, in other words, and Clear Lake is a great base from which you can explore the best outdoor experiences this huge forest has to offer.