Black River State Forest (Formerly NCT Porcupine Wilderness trip)

This is an intermediate level trip due to mileage just over 10 miles per day. I will however accept beginners who have successfully completed 1 trip with this group.

Friday May 17

We'll head up to Hatfield WI and meet at East Fork campground Friday evening and get campsites. These sites are available on walkup basis only, so there is a chance we'll have to hike into the woods and camp primitively Friday Night. Sean will arrive early in the day to secure a site for us, and if he us unsuccessful, will find a spot, setup camp, and return to the parking area to direct group members toward our site.

Saturday May 18

We'll get an early start and shuttle people over to the North Settlement Road parking area on Hwy O at the south end of the park. We'll hike a mixture of marked trails, snowmobile trails, and wilderness toward the flowages (Battle Point, Seventeen, Partrige Crop) at the northeastern end of the forest, about an 11 mile hike, where we'll find a spot to setup camp (not a campground).

Sunday May 19

It's another 11 mile hike out to the East Fork campground,  where where we can retrieve vehicles and head home. We'll find some lunch along the way.

General Info

There are no trail alerts at this time. This trip may include backcountry, off trail hiking and offers remote primative camping. The meetup cost will be $5 for Saturday night and we'll split the costs of campsites and firewood etc. for Friday night. This area is nowhere near the proposed site of the worlds largest open pit Taconite mine.

A free Special Camp permit [PDF] is required and can be picked up at the Castle Mound Campground or the Black River Falls DNR Service Center.

A map of the forest is here.

Backpackers must camp at least one mile away from your vehicle and 100 feet from any designated trail or road. You may park your vehicle in any trail or picnic area parking lot.

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  • Brian P.

    Great time - aside from he ticks - just that time of year I suppose

    May 19, 2013

  • Sean

    wonderful time. Rain Friday stopped as we pulled into the campground and didn't come back. Good mils in beautiful, undervisited state forest... we saw 6 people other than ourselves the whole weekend. camped on a flowage with only ourselves and a few gangs of ticks and mosquitos, but Brian kept all of the bugs to himself. excellent site for future trips, at beginner and intermediate levels.

    1 · May 19, 2013

  • Brian P.

    Sean and Gary - I took the day off Friday and can leave as early as necessary. Do we want to carpool at all -- I have a lot of room with my truck. Understand we will likely want two vehicles to shuttle down to the Cty O trailhead and leave one at the East Fork campground.

    May 12, 2013

    • Sean

      I'm up for a carpool too. Am off work fri. Can leave around noon. We could make one car work if we want. No reason we can't hike a loop bt sat and sun.

      May 12, 2013

    • Brian P.

      When is early afternoon Gary? 3:00p ? Looks to be a 2.5 hour drive to the campground.

      May 12, 2013

  • Brian P.

    Sounds like a practical change -- I am a little fuzzy on the details but we have two weeks I guess -- hope the NCT gets rescheduled for June or July or this Fall.

    May 3, 2013

    • Sean

      probably because the details are a bit fuzzy. the forest is basically camp where you want, with a few real campsites that are all walk in. Hopefully Friday night we'll be able to get one of those spots, but there is a chance we'll have to trek in a ways to camp.

      May 3, 2013

  • Gary

    Just got news on the trails (thanks to Sean) Chequamegon doesn't expect to open campgrounds and trails til May 17th because of the snow-pack. I think we need to look for an alternate hike. If anyone has any suggestions please let me know. If anyone would like a refund we can do that as well. Thank you

    April 24, 2013

  • Michael S.

    Sorry I cannot make it because I'll be building trail over in Copper Fall at the same time. However, for anyone else who cannot make this event, you may want to check out the backpack trip through both the Rainbow and Procupine Lakes Wilderness areas on the NCT over Apr 25-28. Check out the meetup at
    We'll start at Hwy A and hike the trail east to Hwy D.

    April 2, 2013

    • Gary

      Thanks for the info.

      April 3, 2013

  • Melanie

    As much as I'd like to join, Randall and I are hosting a beginner workshop that weekend. Have lots of fun!

    April 2, 2013

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Your organizer's refund policy for Black River State Forest (Formerly NCT Porcupine Wilderness trip)

Refunds are not offered for this Meetup.

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