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livestoride 04-28-2011 04:28 PM

Camping destinations
I finally have my summer schedule and have a 4 day weekend the middle of July. Now that we have a trailer, I want to go camping with the horses for the 1st time that weekend. They travel well (now that the gelding actually gets in the stupid thing) and have been on numerous day trail rides, just never camping.

Anyway....I live in western Wisconsin on the Mississippi River and was wondering if anyone has any suggestions on where to go? I really want to go to the Blackfoot wildlife area in Montana, but I think it is just a little too far for the time frame I have. Anyone been anywhere they would recommend?


tinyliny 04-28-2011 04:41 PM

Durn! Wish you were in MY area. I'd go camping with you in a heartbeat!

Seattle, WA

SailorGriz 04-28-2011 07:52 PM

Somewhere east of Cable, WI, is a hike in "wilderness area" that may be open for horses. I'm not sure that it is, but it might be worth checking into. I wanted to do a backpack trip into it when I lived in Wisc but never got it done.

Another option would be the State Forest in Vilas County over on the east side of the state. It's closed to most motorized use which means that beyond a few hundred yards from the paved roads it doesn't get used much at all. It's been logged in the past so there are a bunch of old logging roads you could ride. At least, there used to be a bunch of them. I think there's a good map of the Forest if you contact them. Seems like it's called the American Highlands and Something Or Other State Forest. But I can't remember the name for sure.

Last I heard, the Nicolet National Forest in north central Wisconsin was still closed to most motorized use. Again, it's been logged in the past and there should be a ton of old logging roads you can ride. If you contact them (or check their website) you can probably get an access map that has all the major, minor, and almost non-existant roads and trails on it.

If you draw a line from LaCrosse to Wisconsin Dells and on across the state, north of the line you need to check to see if ATVs are allowed on county forest land. South of the line it's a pretty sure bet that they are not. So, county forests in the southern part of the state might be an option. There are not as many as Up Nort, but there should be some.

If you want to travel to mountains I'd suggest the Black Hills in South Dakota. They are 10 hours from Hudson. Not sure where you live, but that'll give you an idea of distance. I've done a ton of ATVing in the Hills and know many parts of them quite well. The recently changed the ATV rules and the Hills are now much more restrictive--bad of ATVers, good for equestrians. There are some heavy use ATV areas you'd want to stay away from but there are also a million or so acres that don't get much ATV use that would be a great horse camping area. If you're interested I can get out the maps and give you some ideas of where to go. The Forest Travel map is available on the Black Hills National Forest website. That will give you a general idea of the areas where ATVs, motorcycles, etc., are legal but won't tell you where they actually are used. I might be able to help with where they are actually used.

Hope this helps!

livestoride 04-29-2011 09:34 AM

Sailor - Thanks so much :) I will look into the Black Hills area and if that won't work will start looking around WI. I have heard good things about the Black Hills area for riding. I can't wait :)

SailorGriz 04-29-2011 01:47 PM

Seems like there's a big area around and north of Deerfield Reservour that is off limits to motorized use. I've ATVed quite a lot south of the lake but not north. I suspect the reason we never went north is because we couldn't. It's fairly steep, heavily tree'd country and would be a gas to ride in. Dispersed camping is allowed but I think you have to get a permit. Fires may, or may not, be allowed depending on how dry it is.

Deerfield is smack in the middle of the Hills. Check the FS online maps and you'll be able to tell if the area around and north of the lake is closed to motorized. It's REALLY pretty country! You'd like it there!

Deej 05-01-2011 03:52 PM

Hello from West Central Wisconsin, Livestoride! I live in Jackson County. I go to a place called Wild Rock. Its awesome. I ride almost everyday. Where exactly do you live? Perhaps I could recommend more places for you to explore. I am going to ride the Buffalo River Trail in sometime this month if it ever warms up around here! Sheesh. Its cold and very windy today... AGAIN!! Ah anyway, That ride will be my first over night of the season. Its only 36 miles but a good one to start out on. Let me know where you live and I'll direct you to some great places. Ooo, Wild Cat Is a good one to. Kinda hilly if you like that sort of thing..

livestoride 05-01-2011 04:30 PM

Deej - I live in La Crosse. We just moved here last June, so i am not very familiar with the state and all it has to offer. We go for day rides in the Experimental Forest which is only 10 minutes from us. Thanks for any suggestions! I am also hopeful to find a riding buddy. Maybe we can run into each other sometime.

Deej 05-02-2011 02:18 PM

Hi! I live in Black River Falls. Its about 60 miles from LaCrosse. I'm looking at my Wisconsin Horse Trails book and have a list of trails near you...
#1.. The Kickapoo Valley Reserve. 10 camp sites and 15 more sites that are primitive with no vehicle access. 40 miles of trails.
#2..Wildcat Mountain State Park. 24 camp sites. 15 miles of trails. No electric.
#3..The Coulee Experimental Forest, which you have already been too.
#4..Hoeth Forest; Day use trail.340 acres with fire trails.
#5..Buffalo River State Trail. 36 mile trail. Its the one I'm doing this month IF it ever warms up!! No Camping so will have to make camp wherever..
#6.. Wild Rock Park. One of my Favorites. 25 camp sites, 10 with electric. or you can camp wherever out of the camp area. Some ATV traffic, but I have found that the ATVers are respectful. 41 miles of trails. 5 loops. Shoes recommended. Some easy some difficult. all fun!
#7.. Black River State Forest. I have ridden ALL over this area. 67,000 acres of state forest land border by another 100,000 acres of county land. Most all accessible to horses. 20 miles are marked and loops.
Wisconsin is broken up into 5 areas with horse trails. Northwestern, Northeastern, West Central{Thats us}... East Central and South. go one line to the "Wisconsin State Horse Council" and they have these great books of maps. And yes if you are interest in meeting up somewhere let me know! However things are depending on the gas prices this year! Have fun and be safe!
Happy Trails!!!!!! Deej.

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