"Backpack camping is allowed anywhere on the forest, with the exception of Hawk's Island, provided you camp at least one mile away from your vehicle and 100 feet from any designated trail or road. We encourage first-time backpackers to use the Wildcat, Red Oak or Ridge trails. You can obtain a state forest map at campground ranger stations and purchase topographic maps from the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey.

Backpackers must obtain a Special Camp Registration Permit before heading out to camp. The permits are free and camping reservations are not required. You can obtain a permit at the Castle Mound Campground or the Black River Falls DNR Service Center. To receive a permit application by mail, write to the Black River State Forest, 910 Hwy 54 East, Black River Falls, WI 54615.

You may park your vehicle in any trail or picnic area parking lot. Water is available at the Adirondack Shelter on the Central Trail, the Wildcat Trail parking lot and at each designated campground. Please observe the forest's "Carry In/Carry Out" policy by packing your trash and recyclables out with you. You may use dead and downed wood as firewood, but do not cut live trees or brush. Make sure your campfire is out before you leave." Backpacking and camping info by WDNR

The Black River State Forest is located in the heart of west central Wisconsin near the city of Black River Falls. It is approximately 2 hours southeast of Minneapolis and 2 hours northwest of Madison, near I-94.

Castle Mound
Castle Mound serves as the recreational headquarters of the property. Castle Mound campground is located on Highway 12. From Interstate 94 take exit 116 and head west on Highway 54, take a left turn onto Highways 12 and 27 and head south, followed by another left turn onto Highway 12 east. The entrance to Castle Mound will be on the right.

East Fork/Group Camp/Horse Camp
These three campgrounds are located in the northern tip of Jackson County. From Interstate 94 take exit 116 and head east on Highway 54. Turn left (north) onto Cemetery road and follow it to a T intersection and turn right onto Old Highway 54. After a short distance turn left onto campground road. Signage will be evident for all three campgrounds.

Pigeon Creek
The Pigeon Creek campground is located just off of North Settlement road close to the town of Millston. From Interstate 94 take the Millston exit and head east onto County road O. Turn left onto North Settlement road and watch for signage for Pigeon Creek campground.

Wildcat Mound - Black River State Forest

Located in west central Wisconsin backpacking at Black River State Forest offers several trails and loops as well as diverse wildlife (ever see a porcupine fall 25 feet out of a tree, pretty wild). We were also lucky to witness a nearby lightening storm perched upon an established but small campsite on the Wildcat Trail. The camping is dispersed meaning anywhere 100 feet from the trail or water. Pigeon Creek trail offers 5 additional miles of hiking options, just call ahead and let the rangers know you'll be out there.

"The area's geology helps make the Black River State Forest unique among the state forests. The property lies at the edge of the glaciated central plains, east of the "driftless" area of Wisconsin. Hiking to the top of Castle Mound provides views of the former bed of glacial Lake Wisconsin, as well as the unglaciated buttes, sandstone hills and castellated bluffs that dot the vast forest landscape." State Forest info by WDNR

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