Reports - Trail and Recreation
Fall Color -10/16/17
Overall, color change throughout the county is at peak to past peak, but there is still a lot of nice color, mainly yellow, red and rust. Many trees and the underbrush still have colorful leaves, and the roads and trails are scattered with the pretty fallen leaves. Also, some trees are still green or just beginning to change. Many Poplar/Aspen trees are just starting to turn yellow and the tamarack are beginning to turn a golden hue. We've had several frosty mornings the past week and the leaves are falling. Grouse hunters will have better luck now that there are less leaves to hide their target and recreational trails are colored with fallen leaves making for a crunchy hike, bike or ATV/UTV ride. The Hwy. 182 Bridge in downtown Park Falls is closed for construction with a tentative reopening date of November 3, 2017. Follow the local detour as described below. Directions for the detour - From Hwy 182 on the east side of the river, take Case Avenue/Old 13 Road south/left, then go west/right on Grunerwald Road, then go north/right on Hwy 13 to Park Falls. Reverse these directions if you are on the west side of the river. Historically, peak color in Price County is during the first week of October
Paddling/Flambeau River Report - 10/17/17
It is a great time for a paddling adventure with fall leaf colors reflecting in the river and colorful leaves floating on the water! Paddling is good on the North Fork of the Flambeau River. Water levels are near or slightly above normal levels. The South Fork is above normal levels. Cold water gear is recommended at this time of year. Anglers have reported good success catching musky, walleye, northern and bass on the river.
The Flambeau River in Price County, Park Falls, Phillips, and the neighboring regions was featured in a recent episode of Discover Wisconsin. View the episode “Northwoods Fun on the Flambeau River”.
The North Fork of the Flambeau River is controlled by dams and it generally remains near the ordinary high water mark throughout the summer. The South Fork of the Flambeau and other rivers in the area can become quite low at times during the summer months if our area does not receive consistent rain. Whenever planning a paddling trip, always check with an area rental/shuttle/guide service for the most current conditions and to select a suitable stretch of river based on your experience.
ATV, UTV & Off-Road Motorcycle Trail Report - 10/17/17
City of Park Falls - BRIDGE CLOSURE - The Hwy 182 Bridge (ATV & UTV route) in Park Falls is CLOSED for construction with the anticipated reopening date of November 3, 2017. According to the Price County ATV Association there will be no alternate route available for ATVs and UTVs to cross the Flambeau River in the City of Park Falls. Riders who are planning to ride both the Flambeau Trail System (located in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest east of Park Falls) and the Tuscobia State Trail (located west of Park Falls) will need to trailer their machines. Directions for the detour - From Hwy 182 on the east side of the river, take Case Avenue/Old 13 Road south/left, then go west/right on Grunerwald Road, then go north/right on Hwy 13 to Park Falls. Reverse these directions if you are on the west side of the river. Click here for a map. This detour is for autos/trucks hauling trailers and is NOT a legal route to ride an ATV or UTV. Check back for updates on the reopening date.
- Tuscobia State Trail (62 miles) ~ OPEN in Price County; Sawyer County OPEN with Detours - The section of trail from Park Falls west to the Price County line is open. In Sawyer County (to the west of Price County), there are closed sections with detours in place. See the DNR webpage, http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/parks/name/tuscobia/, for more information.
- Flambeau Trail System (70 miles) ~ OPEN - Trails are in great shape with minimal dust due to some recent rains. We currently are finished with all contract brushing and dozer work on the trails. Active logging may be encountered on trail 118-111 by FR 144, just to the west of Round Lake. Beavers have been busy on the trails and have plugged a few culverts. If you encounter a plugged culvert and or water flowing over the trail please contact Brady Howe at email@example.com or 715-762-5104.
- Solberg Trail (9.5 miles) ~ OPEN - Repairs are being made on the bridges. The trail remains open and can be ridden.
- Georgetown Trail (18.8 miles) ~ OPEN - The trail is in good condition. There is a logging operation underway from the Carpenter Creek parking lot and continuing for the first ½ mile of the trail. Riders should slow down and watch for equipment and trucks through this stretch.
- Flambeau River State Forest Trail (38 miles) ~ OPEN - There is a 1/2 mile detour on the north end of the trail (north of Feleen Road) between Hwy E and Hwy 70. This detour is about 200 yards.
- Pine Line / Price-Taylor Rail Trail ~ Closed - This trail is only open to ATV & UTV use in the winter when the trail is officially open to snowmobile use.
DNR Fishing Report - 10/16/17Water temperatures are now on the low 50s and still cooling with the frosty nights this past week. Even with the cooler weather, there are still a good number of anglers making it out on the water. Most of them are walleye and muskie fisherman. Muskie fisherman have been having action on a wide variety of baits this past week and it has been difficult to nail down a specific pattern. Bucktails, top water, jerk baits, and rubber baits have all had action. Suckers have been the best bait for catching the fish this week and have been good for catching fish that follow other lures to the boat. Walleye fisherman have been having success fishing drop offs in 6-12 feet of water with the best bite being in the evening. Minnows fished near the bottom are usually the bait of choice this time of year. Inland trout season has closed as of October 15th on many of the local rivers and streams. Some lakes and spring ponds such as Patterson Lake are still open through the general fishing season, refer to the trout regulation booklets for season dates on specific waters.
Fall trout anglers will enjoy a longer harvest season and good opportunities for trophy-sized trout due to cooler and wetter summer conditions, according to state fisheries officials.NOTE - Phillips Chain of Lakes draw down: The maintenance/construction on Jobes Dam in Phillips, WI is complete. The draw down effected the Phillips Lake Chain: Long Lake, Wilson Flowage, Elk Lake and Duroy Lake. As of October 13, normal water levels have been re-established but boaters need to proceed with caution and be on the lookout for floating debris and stumps that are now upright.
Guide & Hunter Reports10/17/17 - Muskie fishing slowed this past week. Water temps began to drop. As of Sunday I had water temps averaging 54 degrees. Many muskies began leaving the shallows. There were still some muskies tight to shore but many fish where of the breaks suspended in 15 ft of water. Suckers saw the most activity but fish were not aggressive and many dropped baits before the hook set. Suicks were the go to bait casting as the fish seemed to want that back up action. More unseasonably warm weather is forecasted this week but it looks to get back to normal next week. Anglers should begin to see a good sucker bite from some of the bigger fish soon. Joe Brezinski, Northland Guide Service
10/11/17 - Hunted about 15 hours over the past 3 days. Found more ticks than birds and found more out of state hunters than ticks. TX, IL MN IA hunters all in Price county this week. Had great weather and heavy frost this morning. Dog and I could find grouse only in the darndest, thickest brush where you could hardly swing a gun and never near a trail. Water seemed to be the key. Dog did a great job of locking up on scent. This is her second season and Ive been pleased. Now if I could just connect on more birds.....Killed one grouse and 2 woodcock this week, numbers and opportunities are down from last year. Timberdoodles are migrating; tree colors are peaked right now.
10/10/17 - Back Forty Guide Service experienced another 100% success on black bear harvested by our clients. Fall colors remain good overall, and leaves will probably last one more week. Grouse numbers are low from what was expected this fall. It appears that the cold rains may have killed many of the little chicks this spring. Many song birds are moving through the area. Lots of water in the woods, watch where you park. Pete Jesunas, Back Forty Guide Service
Outdoor Report - 10/13/17
WDNR Outdoor Report - Preliminary harvest numbers for archery/crossbow and the Youth Deer Hunt seasons numbers are looking strong throughout the state, with more than 8,000 deer harvested statewide by youth hunters last weekend. Similarly strong numbers are coming in for duck and goose hunters, particularly as corn is harvested. Anglers on the Flambeau River are reporting an uptick in musky activity. Keep your eyes peeled as you drive, the deer are also becoming more mobile as the rut approaches and temperatures continue to drop. Migrant geese are still flying south and sandhill cranes are still flocking up in large groups. A forecast for cool northwesterly winds on Sunday, Oct. 15, holds promise for a good raptor migration day with raptors shifting from smaller species such as sharp-shinned hawk and American kestrel to larger ones like red-tailed hawk and bald eagle.
Flambeau River State Forest - The Flambeau forest tree canopies are getting thinner and the under laying brush in the forest is less and less prominent. The tamaracks are turning yellow and soon to drop their needles. Snakes are on the move, soon to disappear into winter dens. Acorns and hickories are dropping. Ripe hawthorn fruits are being eaten by birds and other wildlife. If you plan on collecting seeds for planting wild flowers or plants, now is the time to collect them. The deer and elk have been busy grazing in open fields and roadsides, filling up for the winter months. Elk Bulls are still with the cows, but it is still too early for the deer rut. Temperatures are dropping with a few scattered frosts in the area. Ruffed grouse season is open in zone A and Archery & Crossbow deer hunting season is open. The turkeys are still on roadsides eating grasshoppers, leaves and grasses. Bird migration is in progress. The young fox of the year and other young predators are dispersing from their parents. Be sure to drive safely as the roads are full of critters and be sure to get out and enjoy nature! Bear Hunting season ended October 10. A few weeks ago a woman captured a couple of bull elk sparring on video that is available on the DNR Facebook page.
Check on burning and campfire restrictions on the WI DNR website at http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/ForestFire/restrictions.html.
Help track the migration and find out what others are seeing at www.ebird.org/wi.
Snowmobile Trail Report
Trails will open mid-December 2017. To pre-order your 2017-2018 Price County Snowmobile Trail Map, click here and enter LOVE to SLED in the subject line and include your name and mailing address in the body of the message.
NOTE: The Association of Wisconsin Snowmobile Clubs (AWSC) wants to notify anyone that purchased a Resident Trail Pass for 2017-18 to verify that they were not inadvertently sent a Non-Resident Trail Pass. On Mon., September 18, it was brought to the AWSC's attention that the sticker vendor that was hired to send out the passes sent the wrong one(s) to several individuals. If you received the wrong pass(es), please call the WI DNR – 888.936.7463. The passes sent in error will need to be returned to obtain the correct pass, so do not throw them out.
Cross-Country Ski, Snowshoe & Fat Bike Trail Report
Trails will open in December 2017.