Round Lake Logging Dam

Location


Round Lake Logging Dam is located N15296 Logging Dam Road, 2.5 miles north from State Highway 70 in the Pike Lake region, which is east of Fifield and west of Minocqua. From Fifield travel east on State Highway 70 for 18 miles or from Minocqua travel west on State Highway 70 for 20 miles, to Forest Road 144. Turn north and travel 2.5 miles to Forest Road 535. Turn right and continue to the road leading to the parking lot area. There is a fee to access this facility. A pay station is located near the parking lot.  
 

History


The Round Lake Logging Dam is the only one of its kind remaining in Wisconsin. Most log driving dams of the 1800's have disintegrated, or were replaced with concrete dams to create lakes. It stands as testimony to Wisconsin’s lumber boom era.
IMG_1818 - Round Lake Logging Dam closeup
Log Drives
Originally constructed in 1878, the wood dam was the site of numerous spring log drives. During the winter months lumberjacks cut huge timbers and hauled them via ice roads upon horse-drawn sleighs to Round Lake for storage. In the spring the dam was opened and the logs were sluiced through the dam on their long journey to sawmills along the Chippewa and Mississippi Rivers.

Modern Restoration
In 1992, restoration and reconstruction of the dam began with assistance from the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, the Friends of the Round Lake Logging Dam, the Price County Historical Society, and numerous volunteers. The dam was carefully dismantled and information was recorded to serve as a basis for restoration plans. In 1995, the dam was completely rebuilt using the historic timbers and original iron hardware. Only the most deteriorated or missing materials were completely replaced.
 
Dam Amenities
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Round Lake Logging Dam allows visitors to acquire a sense of what logging dams were like during the long past era of lumberjacks and river men. A one-half mile hiking trail with interpretive displays will introduce you to some of the site's unique natural and cultural features. The logging dam is located on a 13-mile loop of road that winds through the scenic Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. The route was designated as Wisconsin Rustic Road 105 in October 2007.  Along Rustic Road 105, the traveler will pass through the beautiful Smith Rapids Covered Bridge, forests and  scenic farmland with views of the rambling South Fork of the Flambeau River.  
 
Contact
For more information about the Round Lake Logging Dam or other recreational opportunities in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, contact the forest headquarters at:
Park Falls Ranger District
1170 4th Avenue S.
Park Falls, WI 54552
Ph: 715-762-2461
Ph: 715-762-5701 (TTY)
Fx: 715-762-5179.