Forestry and Outdoor Recreation

The Oneida County Forest, located in the north-central part of the state, lies primarily within the Northern Highlands physiographic region of Wisconsin. The topography of the forest and surrounding area has glacial origin. The glaciers eroded hilltops and filled valleys, thus reducing relief. Elevations range from 1,460 feet in the southwest (Little Rice) part of the county forest to 1,750 feet in the southeast (Enterprise). The terrain ranges from flat in the west (Lynne/Little Rice Block) to hilly in the central (Woodboro Block) and the southeast (Enterprise Block) part of the forest.

Oneida County has 68,096 acres of open water involving 406 named lakes and 830 miles of streams of which 192 miles are classified as trout streams. Within the County Forest boundaries, there is a variety of fishery resources.

Approximately 23 named and another 22 unnamed lakes have all or portions of their shoreline under county ownership. Additionally, the county owns frontage on over 10 named and 13 unnamed trout streams totaling over 49 miles.

Within the Oneida County Forest boundary, there are also 12 streams classified as Outstanding and Exceptional Resource Waters.

Mission Statement

Natural resources, such as those provided by the County Forest, are the base for addressing the ecological and socioeconomic needs of society. The mission of the County Forestry Department is to manage, conserve and protect these resources on a sustainable basis for present and future generations.  County Forest resources should be protected from natural catastrophes such as fire, insect and disease outbreaks, and from human threats such as encroachment, over-utilization, environmental degradation and excessive development. While managed for environmental needs including watershed protection, protection of rare plant and animal communities, and maintenance of plant and animal diversity, these same resources must also be managed and provide for sociological needs, including provisions for recreational opportunities and the production of raw materials for wood-using industries.

Management must balance local needs with broader state, national and global concerns through integration of sound forestry, wildlife, fisheries, endangered resources, water quality, soil, and recreational practices.  Management will provide this variety of products and amenities for the future through the use of sustainable forest management practices.

Documents & Links

Services & Duties

Maps and information on recreational facilities, aerial photographs for viewing purposes, seasonal firewood gathering permits, group picnic facility reservations, and camping opportunities on the County Forest.

The Forestry Department manages approximately 83,000 acres of Oneida County Forest, including timber harvesting, forest protection (fire and disease), reforestation, and wild life habitat. Recreational trails include: snowmobile, all terrain vehicle (ATV)/utility terrain vehicle (UTV), cross-country skiing, mountain/fat tire bike, hunter/hiking, and nature. The department also maintains 37-miles of county forest roads, county parks, picnic areas, swimming beaches, disc golf course, boat landings, fishing bridges, and scientific areas.