Located in Douglas County, Wisconsin and containing around 47,000 acres, Brule River State Forest is a great RV destination that offers exceptional recreational opportunities. Originally opened as a state park in 1907, the forest has a rich history in Wisconsin and is the second oldest park found within the state. Brule River State Forest contains all 44 miles of the famous Bois Brule River, which is known as one of the best rivers east of the Mississippi. Before becoming a state park, Native American tribes and French voyageurs later on used the river as a link between Lake Superior and the Mississippi.
Since the park is so large there are so many different activities that you can do during your stay. The park contains a 16-mile stretch of the North Country National Scenic Trail, eight miles of Lake Superior shoreline and 32 miles of snowmobile and winter ATV trails. The park also has four distinct habitats (coniferous bog, upland pine barrens, sand country and clay plain uplands) which is a haven for a very diverse range of animals.
There are two campgrounds found in Brule River State Forest that provide RV-friendly camping. Bois Brule campground has 17 non-powered sites and Copper Range campground has 15 sites available for you to use. Peak season in Brule River State Forest runs from May until mid-October.
RV Rentals in Brule River State Forest
Transportation in Brule River State Forest
Brule River State Forest is located in north-west Wisconsin around the town of Brule. Since the state park is so big there are multiple ways to access the park depending on where you want to go within the park. As the name implies, the town of Brule is in very close vicinity but due to the remote location of the park there are no other small towns within 25 miles. If you are looking for supplies you can stock up at Solon Springs (south of the park) and Superior (around 30 miles west).
For those coming from the south you can use Country Road 27, from the east or the west you can take U.S. Highway two and from the north WI-13 will get you there. All of these roads are very well maintained and there shouldn't be any problems for larger RV's to navigate any of them. The roads are quite flat and usually there won't be overhanging branches that could cause damage to your RV. During the winter time the area is prone to a lot of snow. If you plan on coming to the park during winter make sure you call ahead to make sure that you will be able to have access to the park.
There is plenty of parking available in Brule River State Forest.
Unfortunately there are no public transport options available to get to Brule River State Forest.
Campgrounds and parking in Brule River State Forest
Campsites in Brule River State Forest
Bois Brule Campground
Bois Brule Campground is the largest of the two campgrounds that are found within Brule River State Forest. Located one mile south of Highway Two on Ranger Road, Bois Brule Campground is a very popular summer camping destination. There are 22 sites in the campground, with 17 RV-suitable pull-in sites and five walk-in sites. All of the sites are non powered, however there are other amenities that include vault toilets, water collection points, a wheelchair accessible site, picnic tables, benches, fire grates, and a canoe landing. For the hiking lovers you are also located near the Stoney Hill Nature Trail that is across Ranger Road from the campground.
If you are looking for a site that is located close to the river we recommend site number 13. Reservations are available during the peak season. All campers must register at the office or by self-registration when they arrive. Pets are allowed by must be on leash at all times.
Copper Range Campground
The Copper Range Campground is the smallest of the two available at Brule River State Forest. The campground is a 17-unit facility that visitors can reach by traveling around four and half miles north of Highway Two on County Highway H and then west on Park Road. This spot is located near some really great fishing holes and canoe routes. It is the more popular campground during the spring and fall months.
All 17 sites in Copper Range Campground are non-powered this campground is popular with anglers in the spring and fall. A canoe landing is located a short walk from the campground other amenities including restrooms, picnic tables, benches and fire grates are all centrally located. If you are looking for a site that is located close to the river we recommend site number 38. Reservations are available during the peak season. All campers must register at the office or by self-registration when they arrive. Pets are allowed by must be on leash at all times.
Set up a camp of any kind in the woods of northern Wisconsin. Whether you’re traveling as a couple, group, or family, there’s plenty of space at the Hayward KOA. Don’t fret if you don’t have an RV or a tent, you’ll find lovely cabin and lodge accommodations. For a once in a blue moon experience, sleep inside a historic teepee. RV sites offer hookups with up to 50-amp service. Float down the pristine Namekagon River or paddle down in a canoe. Anglers have a chance to catch another record setting Musky at the local lake. Land lovers can peddle a rental bike, putt a golf ball or two, or lounge in a lawn chair with the pooch! Other amenities include basketball and volleyball courts, a jumping pillow, Wi-Fi and a Kamping Kitchen.
Seasonal activities in Brule River State Forest
Love to fish? The Bois Brule River is a naturally reproducing fishery for resident and migratory trout and salmon. It has been known as an exceptional trout fishing stream for more than 100 years and is considered one of the best streams in the region. There is also a lake-run fishery with trout (brook, brown and rainbow) and salmon (coho and chinook) migrating from Lake Superior up the river for spawning. The river can be accessed by a series of parking lots and you can also launch kayaks if you want to fish within the stream.
Along with being a great fishing destination, the Brule River has some great terrain for kayaking. The river contains sections of calmer water that is perfect for beginners and long rapids and ledges for the advanced paddlers. If you are a beginning stick to the upper river from Stones Bridge to Pine Tree Landing as it is relatively calm with several Class I rapids. From Pine Tree to the mouth, the river becomes increasingly faster and paddlers will encounter numerous rapids that will provide a lot of enjoyment, including Class II-III rapids at Mays Ledges and Lenroot Ledges. The forest has 10 canoe landings that include vehicle parking areas. Rental canoes and shuttle services are also available from a local private company.
Fancy going out for a picnic during your stay at Brule River State Forest? There are three picnic areas available for you to enjoy that all have their own unique features and amenities. The Brule Picnic Area sits on a bluff overlooking the gorgeous Lake Superior. Bois Brule Picnic Area is the closest area to the Bois Brule Campground and will also give you canoe access to the river. St. Croix Picnic Area and boat landing is located on Lake St. Croix near the village of Solon Springs. This location also provides parking and access to the North Country Scenic Trail.
There will be plenty of hunting opportunities for you to enjoy during your stay at Brule River State Park. All of the forest lands are available to hunt on during the designated seasons, besides the developed recreation areas and the Waterfowl Refuge. The forest also contains more than 60 miles of hunter walking trails. Common game species include bear, deer, grouse, woodcock and small game. There are also trapping opportunities for beaver, otter, bobcat and fox.
One of the advantages of having such a large park is that there are multiple hiking trails available for people of all skill levels. There are numerous short trails in the park. The Stoney Hill Nature Trail loop begins at the Bois Brule Campground, the two and a quarter-mile Historical Bayfield Road Hiking and Snowshoe Trail and the two-mile Brule-St. Croix Portage Trail that offers an opportunity to see the headwaters of the Bois Brule River. If you are looking for more hiking opportunities there is also 23 miles of the North Country Scenic Trail pass to be found in the park.
Once the snow starts to fall in Brule River State Forest the recreational opportunities shift to those that involve the snow. There are 32 miles of snowmobile and winter ATV trails that can be accessed from a parking area on Highway 27 just south of Brule. Along with ATV and snowmobile riding, there is also a 17-mile Afterhours Ski Trail that is groomed for classical and skate skiing. This trail has restrooms and a warming shelter that is maintained by both the Brule Valley Ski Club and the state forest.