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part ofChequamegon-Nicolet NF, US Forest Service
Status: Open through Tue Sep 08 2015   Season Dates


Franklin Lake Campground is one of the most popular camping spots within the Nicolet National Forest of northern Wisconsin. Its unique structures land it on the National Register of Historic Places. The campground is in a beautiful setting, among tall pines and hemlocks, perched on the edge of the clear blue waters of Franklin Lake. In addition to its scenic landscape, the campground offers access to a variety of hiking trails and educational programs.

Natural Features:

The campground is situated in a lush stand of mature pine and hemlock spruce trees, at an elevation of 1,700 feet. Historic stone and log structures, built by the Civilian Conservation Corps, are scattered throughout the campground. The adjacent Franklin Lake is 892 acres and boasts a beautiful sandy beach.


The lake provides visitors with ample opportunities for boating, fishing and swimming. Anglers can expect a catch of walleye, northern pike, large and smallmouth bass, rock bass, perch, bluegill and trout, among others. The lake is open to all types of boating, motorized and non-motorized.

Numerous trails exist in the area, with some beginning within the campground, including a 6-mile hike to nearby Anvil Lake. The 1-mile Franklin Lake interpretive trail is partly accessible and tours the forest of trees, with some over 400 years old. It leads to the 13-mile Hidden Lakes Trail, which loops south, around Butternut Lake, passing several small lakes with scenic vistas and a remarkable stand of old hemlock trees, then back to the campground.

A variety of wildlife make its home in the area and visitors are encouraged to keep watch. Educational programs are offered at the campground through summer months.


The campground offers dozens of single-family campsites, available for tent and RV camping. The vast majority of campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Sites are equipped with tables and campfire rings with grills. Accessible flush and vault toilets, as well as drinking water, are provided throughout the campground.

Nearby Attractions:

The city of Eagle River is located about 15 miles west of the campground. A variety of services are offered there.

Activities and Amenities

Within Facility
  • Accessible Flush Toilets
  • Accessible Vault Toilets
  • Boat Ramp
  • Boating
  • Campfire Rings
  • Canoeing
  • Drinking Water
  • Educational Programs
  • Fishing
  • Grills
  • Hiking
  • Historic Sites
  • Interpretive Trails
  • Kayaking
  • Lake Access
  • Picnic Shelters
  • Swimming
  • Tables
  • Trailheads
  • Wildlife Viewing
Within 10 Miles
  • Firewood Vendor
Know Before You Go
  • Hookups are not available
  • Click here for more information on the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest
  • Don't move firewood: To limit the spread of invasive tree-killing pests, firewood from outside the area is not permitted. Some states have quarantines and may confiscate your firewood. Please help protect our forests from invasive species by obtaining your firewood at or near your camping destination and burning it on-site. Visit dontmovefirewood.org for more information.

Getting There:

GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
45.92472, -89.00806
45°55'29"N, 89°0'29"W

Drive approximately 10 miles east from Eagle River on Highway 70. Turn onto Military Road/Forest Road 2178 and continue about 2 miles, to Butternut Lake Road/Forest Road 2181, and continue to the campground.

Contact Information:

Mailing Address:


Phone Number:

Information:  (715)479-2827
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