Learn about the area's rich lumbering history which began with the 1880 Pine Era where much of the white pine cut around Black Lake was floated down Fishtrap Creek and the Chippewa River to Chippewa Falls where it was sawn into lumber. The lumber was then rafted down the Chippewa and Mississippi Rivers to St. Louis where it was transported. The Hemlock and Hardwood Era lasted from 1909 to about 1924, which was by and large a second high grading of the forest. A secondary goal of the cut was to clear the land selling it to homesteaders for farm use. In the depression period of the 1930s much of the land was deeded to Sawyer County for back taxes. In 1933, the Chequamegon National Forest was created and by 1940 the Forest Service had purchased much of the land surrounding Black Lake.
A logging history of Black Lake is available from the Great Divide Ranger Station in Glidden. Begin your hike by walking west from the parking lot on the path near the trail sign. Although the trail can be hiked in either direction the interpretative brochure is written for hiking the trail clockwise. There are 9 interpretive stops indicated by numbered posts at the edge of the trail.
Most of the trail is a narrow path through the woods nearly always within sight of Black Lake. The trail is 4.0 miles long taking approximately 2 hours to walk at a leisurely pace.
Directions: From Hayward, WI, Travel east 26 miles on County B. Turn left (north) on Fishtrap Road at the County B and W intersection and drive 4.8 miles to the intersection with FR 172. Continue straight (north) 3.3 miles on FR 172 to FR 173. Turn left (north) on FR 173 and drive 0.5 mile to the campground road (FR 1666). Turn right (east) on the blacktop road and drive 0.5 mile to the trailhead, which is a parking lot on the left (west) side of the road.
Elevation: 1,500 feet
Elevation Gain: Minimal
Distance: 4.0 miles
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Great Divide Ranger District, Wisconsin
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