Jerry Lake

Medford, Wisconsin 54451

Jerry Lake

Jerry Lake Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"This woodland hike takes you through national forest without requiring a trip far up north.It’s pristine,it’s secluded, and the length gives you a full day far from civilization."

Jerry Lake Trip Reports

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Challenging and frequently somewhat wet hike of about 13.6 miles from the trailhead (which is a little difficult to find)at the Southeast endpoint, to the campsite located along a small lake close to the Northeast endpoint. The last 5 miles or so were fairly soggy after several days of rain, and some additional trail maintenance is needed in several spots for marshy areas and several downed trees. However, the backpacking was still well worth it, for beautiful and very wooded hiking with large stands of colorful maple and poplars as well as many pine stands.

You are required to ford a fork of the Yellow River about 2 miles in from the Southeast Endpoint of the trail, which was a little cold in October, but the River is only about 15 feet wide and about 3 feet deep and is easy to cross, even with heavy packs. Excellent campsites overlooking the crossing of the River and also a pretty spot overlooking secluded Jerry Lake.
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This is a lovely, wooded, solitary trail. However, if you read the trail guide carefully you'll note the words "bog" and "marsh" and "wet spots", which you should interpret as "prime mosquito habitat". We saw another car, but no other hikers. It's marked difficult because it's easy to lose the trail in spots (but it's very well marked with yellow diamonds) and there are some touchy crossings of smooshy wet spots if you try not to get wet and walk on the logs. 3/4 of us had wet feet at least once.

We hiked in on Saturday afternoon, about 10 miles to the river, where there is a very nice camp site, with water and a tolerable number of bugs. We were mobbed for a couple miles a couple of times by bugs. On the way out, a Sunday morning, we experienced little mosquito activity (it was breezy) until the last mile and a half, which was rather heavy - especially intolerable since we were pretty tired by then.

Overall, the four of us decided it was worth it. Solitude, wildlife galore (snakes, toads, frogs, birds, deer, wolves howling), beautiful weather, great campsite. What's a couple of bug bites?

Also, don't forget to check for ticks. I was our tick magnet. I had about eight, the others just had two between the three of them, mostly wood ticks, which are easy to spot.

Jerry Lake Photos

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Trail Information

Nearby City
Trail Type
Skill Level
5 hours
April - October
Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, Medford-Park Falls Ranger District, 850 N. 8th, WI 13, Medford, 54451; (715) 748- 4875; Ice Age Trail Alliance, 2110 Main St., Cross Plains, 53528; (800) 227-0046;
Local Contacts
USGS Mondeaux Dam, Jump River Fire Tower, Perkinstown; Chequamegon - Nicolet National Forest Ice Age National Scenic Trail Map
Local Maps