Camping opportunities abound in our County of Trail, with more expansions ahead
August 24, 2022
Refreshing water, a cool breeze, a crackling campfire, and time to unwind with family and friends.
It’s close to Heaven, and it’s all available in our “County of Trails.”
Langlade County is home to many one-of-a-kind campgrounds, ranging from those catering to all-terrain vehicles or horseback riding enthusiasts to primitive, walk-in venues designed for lovers of silent sports, or, of just silence in general.
Here’s a sampling of our favorite public campgrounds:
Jack Lake Campground Located at Veterans Memorial Park 15 miles north of Antigo, Jack Lake has been welcoming campers for decades, and it remains a favorite year after year with residents and visitors. It is situated on the 85-acre lake’s southwest sides, nestled among mature maple, birch, oak, and pine trees.
“A big draw of Jack Lake is that it is non-motorized,” Al Murray, Langlade County forest administrator, said. “And it is located in a huge block of county forest. There is just so much you can do at that site.”
Recreational opportunities abound. There are boat rentals, playground equipment, volleyball and basketball courts, a 22-hole disc golf course, three pavilions, including one that can be fully enclosed with a fireplace perfect for large group gatherings, fishing piers, and one of the nicest sandy beaches you could find anywhere. The entire area is crisscrossed with miles of mountain biking and hiking trails, including connections to the Ice Age National Scenic Trail.
The campground opens in early May and closes in mid-October, with the exact dates weather dependent. It has 48 individual campsites, three rustic, one-room cabins, two hike-in/boat-in sites, several group sites, and an additional five-site primitive campground located on High Lake.
Amenities include three flush restroom facilities, one containing four private coin-operated showers, a RV dump station, freshwater fill station, firewood, and ice sales.
For camping, reservations are required and are taken starting the first business day after the new year. For cabin reservations please call the campground office at 715-623-6214. All other reservations can be made through the website, jacklakecampground.com.
Antigo Lake RV Park and Campground First developed as a modest facility, the city of Antigo’s RV Campground has quietly grown in popularity and stature.
“We started filling for the ball tournaments,” Sarah Repp, Antigo park and recreation director, said. “Each time we would add a few sites, they would fill.”
There are now 13 padded RV sites with 50-amp and 30-amp electrical services along with water and sewer. There are also seven overflow RV sites with 50 and 30-amp services and four sites suitable for small RVs with 15-amp standard outlets. Several tent-only sites are also available.
Nestled in the midst of Antigo’s expanding park system, the campground offers easy access to Springbrook Trail along Antigo Lake, the ball fields, trail system, playgrounds and downtown amenities.
The in-city campground also includes a restroom/shower facility, dump station, water, fire rings and picnic tables. Firewood is stocked from trees removed from city parks, cemeteries, and boulevards. Wi-Fi is available along with bikes and games.
Chequamegon Nicolet National Forest Eastern Langlade County is home to sections of the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, with two popular public campgrounds maintained by the U.S. Forest Service. Details are available at www.recreation.gov or on our website by clicking here.
Ada Lake Recreation Area is tucked away from the hustle and bustle of some of the more popular recreation sites in the Lakewood-Laona District. At 75 acres, Ada Lake offers clear water, a sandy beach, and a boat landing. Electric motors are allowed, and canoes and kayaks are popular.
The campground is located 35 miles northeast of Antigo off Highway 52. The 19 sites are available on a first-come, first-serve basis and are not reservable. The majority can accommodate RVs 30 feet and longer. Drinking water and vault toilets are available.
If Ada Lake offers quiet serenity, Boulder Lake Campground offers a bit more bustle. It is the forest's largest campground, located 30 miles east of Antigo off Highway 64.
Boulder Lake provides ample opportunities for power boating, water skiing, fishing, and swimming. Nearby streams are good for trout fishing and in addition, the Wolf River offers whitewater rafting, tubing, paddling, and canoeing opportunities. Educational programs may be offered sporadically at the campground's amphitheater.
Located around the southern end of 362-acre Boulder Lake, the campground offers dozens of accessible, single-family sites for tent and RV camping. Ten accessible group sites are also available for reservation. All are equipped with tables and campfire rings with grills. Accessible vault toilets, showers, and drinking water are provided. Some sites offer electric hookups. A dump station is located within the campground. Some campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Private campgrounds Langlade County also offers 10 private campgrounds, including four that are ATV-friendly. Details, maps, and links to individual websites can be found by clicking here.
Expansions ahead Langlade County’s abundance of campgrounds is growing even larger, with plans to open Perch Lake Campground at the Charles de Langlade Memorial Recreation Area now under development.
Formerly known as The Scout Camp, the campground is being developed at the former Robert S. Lyle Scout Reservation off Perch Lake Road east of Elcho. The area is now owned by Langlade County and is under the supervision of the Forestry and Recreation Department.
“We’re trying to work off the infrastructure at the site,” Murray said. “We’re hoping to start major construction this summer.”
He said the recreation area, with a mix of buildings, trails, and two lakes, brings exciting opportunities for recreation and camping, with the two small, nonmotorized lakes, Perch and Aninnan, “offering beautiful paddling.”
Initially, Murray said the campground will have 59 sites, the majority suitable for RVs. There will be showers and flush toilets within the facility, a dump station, a water filling station, and a mix of clearings and grassy areas. Access to water and privies will be within a short walking distance of all campsites. The opening is likely for the 2023 camping season, with the exact date determined by this fall’s construction timing.
With Langlade County putting an increased focus on recreation opportunities, Murray said more recreational areas may be defined and campgrounds developed in the future, suggesting improvements may be coming to the Highway T ATV trailhead, Crocker Hills, and Sherry Road, among others.
“The activities we are seeing now are just the beginning,” Murray said. “The forested acreage we have and the number of trails available are just amazing. We can spread that economic opportunity across the whole county.”