What to do in Brule River State Forest

The Brule River State Forest was initiated in 1907. Mr. Frederick Weyerhauser deeded 4,320 acres to the state of Wisconsin for forestry purposes. The boundaries of the forest now include about 50,000 acres, of which about 41,000 acres are under state ownership.

The Bois Brule is one of the best-known rivers east of the Mississippi. For over a hundred years it has been known as an exceptional trout stream. The Brule River contains resident brook, brown and rainbow trout. Lake brown and rainbow (steelhead) trout along with coho and chinook salmon migrate up the Brule annually from Lake Superior.

The river itself has two distinct personalities. The upper river (the southern portion) flows through miles of coniferous bog and is fed by numerous springs. When the river crosses the Copper Range, it begins a fall of 328 feet in the eighteen miles to Lake Superior. Here, flashing cascades tumble over rocks and ledges; between steep river bluffs forested with aspen and balsam fir.

This state forest is used by more diverse species of birds and mammals than any other northern Wisconsin acreage of similar size. The forest has many distinct landscapes that allow for the wide range of species such as deer, ruffed grouse, geese, bald eagles, osprey and songbirds. A majority of the public lands within the forest boundaries are open to hunting and trapping in season.

Enjoy exciting whitewater canoeing, kayaking, and fishing as well as camping and wilderness solitude. Hiking and nature trails in the summer offer cross-country skiing and snowmobiling in the winter. The park provides two primitive campgrounds along with backpacking opportunities. Several picnic sites provide grills and tables. Off-road bikes, ATVs and snowmobiles are permitted on the forestland as well as the nearby Tri-County Corridor Trail.

Recreations enjoyed at Brule River State Forest include canoeing, camping, fishing, paddling, swimming, hiking, hunting, and off-road vehicular use. In winter, snowmobiling and cross-country skiing are pursued.

Brule River State Forest is found in the northern region of the state near Lake Superior. The forest headquarters can be found half a mile west of Brule off U.S. Highway 2.

Northwest Wisconsin has four distinct seasons with warm summers and long winters. Great Lakes Michigan and Superior tend to make summers cooler and winters milder close to shore. January's average temperature is in the single digits F (-teens C). During summer, temperatures can climb to above 90 degrees F for several days (32 degrees C). Nighttime summer temperatures occasionally dip below freezing. The area's average yearly precipitation ranges from 32-34". Annual snowfalls in the Northwest Region have a wide range; the southern areas may receive 20" while the northern areas may receive in excess of 200". Dressing in layers is a good way to remain comfortable in Wisconsin.

6250 South Ranger Road
Brule, WI 54820-0125

Phone: 715-372-5678

Email: petersp@dnr.state.wi.us
  • Brule River State Forest Travel Q&A