The Pike Lake Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest is in the middle of the Kettle Moraine, a strip of glacial landforms which extends through southeastern Wisconsin to Lake Winnebago. The forest is named after the 522-acre, spring-fed kettle: Pike Lake. Powder Hill, a large glacial kame, provides the opportunity for a great hike and view. Visitors can enjoy camping, swimming, hiking, fishing, picnicking and much more within the forest.
Activities and recreation:
Nine different hiking trails provide you with a variety of topography and scenery. Summer is a great time to view wildflowers while walking the forest trails. Pets must be on a leash 8 feet or shorter at all times.
Bikes are allowed on all roadways and on the designated bike trail within the forest. This bike trail begins at the beach and picnic area and ends at the northwest property boundary of the forest. The City of Hartford maintains the bike trail that continues from the Forest into Hartford.
There are 32 campsites, 24 wooded and eight open. Eleven campsites have electricity. All sites except #22 (campground host site) and #32 are reservable, but if a campsite is not reserved it can be registered on a first-come, first-served basis.
Dumping station (A $10 fee is required for non-registered campers at the Pike Lake Unit.)
A picnic table, fire pit and tent pad at each campsite.
Pike Lake has three backpack campsites along the Ice Age Trail.
The state forest has a swimming beach. Lifeguards are not provided.
Boating, canoeing and kayaking
Pike Lake provides a great place for boating and fishing for the entire family. There is not a boat launch within the state forest boundaries. However, there are one public and two private landings across the lake from the state forest. A kayak/canoe launch is located just north of the beach area.
The Pike Lake Unit has picnic tables and grills available throughout the picnic area. Two enclosed shelters can be reserved for group activities by calling the forest office at 262-670-3400.
Pike Lake was named for its excellent walleye pike fishing, but there are also several other types of game fish in the lake. Anglers can either fish from boats or from shore, outside the marked swimming area (tall white buoys).
Hunting and trapping
The Headwaters Recreation Management Area of the Pike Lake Unit - Kettle Moraine State Forest's 74 acres are open to hunting during established hunting seasons. Some seasons are subject to change. Special disabled permits can be obtained by contacting the forest office. Consult the hunting and trapping regulations before going hunting.
There is private land surrounding this section of property. It is the hunter's responsibility to be sure to stay on state-owned property and not trespass on adjacent private lands.
There are 2.5 miles of cross-country ski trails groomed for both traditional and skate skiing. The groomed ski trails are east of Powder Hill Road. Use the Nature Trail Parking Area for cross-country ski trail access. Winter hiking and snowshoeing are allowed on all trails west of Powder Hill Road and the Ice Age Trail. A snowmobile trail crosses part of the property.
The opening and closing of snowmobile trails is at the discretion of each county. Snowmobile trails which cross DNR lands are opened and closed consistent with the surrounding county (or counties). Whenever possible, the opening and closing of snowmobile trails is done on a county-wide basis, however localized conditions may require localized trail opening and closing. It is the responsibility of the county to provide notification about the status of snowmobile trails.
The lake freezes over for about three months each winter. The forest does not monitor or measure the thickness of the ice on the lake. Ice thickness and safety can vary from day to day and from location to location. Use your best judgment about the safety of the ice.
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