The hardest hit campground from the severe windstorm last July is set to reopen this week on the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. The popular Boot Lake Campground on the Lakewood-Laona Ranger district opens Thursday.
Assistant Ranger in Recreation, Greyling Brandt, says the Forest contracted to remove the damaged trees....
"All in all, our estimates show they took out about 1,000 trees out of the interior of the campground. After the contract finished, it was up to Forest Service personnel to get it up to National Health and Safety Standards and we've been working on that...."
He says the campground is still attractive but has a different feel with many of the trees gone. Brandt says it's not quite as polished as it usually is for the holiday. He says there's more views of the lake. Some non-motorized trails are still closed, including 11 miles of the Jones Spring area and the 18-mile Popple Ridge horse trails. Brandt says they have contracts to clear more trees and the goal is to get the closed trails opened in the next year. He says things are moving toward returning to normal...
"All of our developed campgrounds are open. There's still a few dispersed sites that are closed. Hopefully if everything keeps going as it's going, we should have those restored by the end of summer...."
Visitors are reminded to check the website to learn more about what recreation areas are opened and closed.
The windstorm on July 19 last year impacted roughly 1,800 miles of road and 2,000 miles of trail on the Forest and led to the closure of three developed campgrounds and multiple dispersed camping sites.
More information is on the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest website.