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Franklin and Butternut Lakes Area

A wonderful 1,000-acre site for the hiker/birder. A 13-mile loop of trail winds around a number of beautiful and remote lakes. A one-mile interpretive nature trail (brochures available on site) takes you through a 400-year-old hemlock and pine forest. A boardwalk crosses an open bog. Birds in these forest communities include: Woodpeckers, Wood Pewee, Winter Wren, Blackburnian Warbler, Cape May Warbler, and Ovenbird. Waterfowl on and near the lake include Loon, Great Blue Heron, Mallard, Spotted Sandpiper, and Willow Flycatcher.

Directions: From Eagle River travel east 7.5 miles on Hwy 70, turn south 2.5 miles on Forest Road 2178 (Military Road), then east on Butternut Lake Road (FR 2181) to the parking area at the Franklin Nature Trail trailhead. You’ll find a parking lot for about 10 cars.

Gazetteer: Page 89, A-8 (prior to 10th edition). | Page 37, B-7 (10th edition).

Amenities: Restrooms, drinking fountain, gravel trails, boardwalks.

Franklin and Butternut Lakes Area map

Phone: 715/479-2827 (US Forest Service).

Web site: Franklin Nature Trail

Signature species: Bald Eagles.

Rarities: Red-shouldered Hawk.

Admission: Parking fee sticker required at the trailhead - $3/daily or $10/annually.

Hours: 24/7. Campground open May- Oct.

Accessibility: A short loop at the beginning of the nature trail is accessible by wheelchair.

Nearest food & lodging: Eagle River, 12 miles west.