Outdoor Recreation

Spirited waters. Inspiring wildlife.

While only 1.5 hours from the hustle and bustle of the Twin Cities, as you cross over the flowing waters of the St. Croix River in Wisconsin, you’ll feel like you’re a world away

Whether you find yourself in Burnett County in winter, spring, summer or fall, there are plenty of outdoor activities to keep you and your family busy making memories. Silent sport enthusiasts will enjoy miles of trails and riverways, perfect for cross country skiing in the winter, or biking in the summer.

 

While silent sport enthusiasts will enjoy miles of trails and riverways, those looking for a more adventurous experience will appreciate boating on one of our 508 lakes, or traveling the well-groomed 300 miles of snowmobile trails in the winter. With our extensive natural resources, public lands, wildlife acreages, lakes and riverways, trailways and more, come to Burnett County to enjoy the pinnacle of outdoor recreation.

With our extensive natural resources, public lands, wildlife acreages, lakes and riverways, trailways and more, come to Burnett County to enjoy the pinnacle of outdoor recreation.

Participate in one of our 5 or 10k running races or take part in a bicycle tour. However you like to relax outdoors, there is something for you here.

Use the navigation to the left to learn more about some of the world-class outdoor recreation opportunities available in Burnett County.

ATV / UTV

ATVing

For folks looking for a faster-paced experience, enjoy 50 miles of summer trails, approximately 80 miles of frozen ground ATV/UTV trails (and 120 miles of winter usage ATV/UTV trails), Burnett County is a great place for motor sport enthusiasts.

In addition, our trails are connected to Douglas and Washburn Counties in Wisconsin, as well as Pine County in Minnesota. As one part of an incredibly extensive regional trail system, we know you’ll have a blast exploring all day long.

Triple check that you are aware of all of the rules and regulations for each township you'll be riding in.

Not all Burnett County townships allow ATVing/UTVing. 

The Burnett County Government website is a great, up-to-date resource.

Birding

Birders from all over the country flock to Burnett County to capture images of rare and elusive bird species at one of Burnett County’s 11 wildlife areas to explore.

If you’re looking for a guided birding experience, our very own wetlands gem, Crex Meadows Wildlife Area encompasses 30 thousand acres and is home to over 270 species of birds, including a number of endangered species. A haven for birding and wildlife enthusiasts, Crex Meadows’ unique topography of marshland, prairies, flowages and forests creates the ideal home for many migratory birds like the Sandhill crane.

Rare birds, including LeConte’s sparrow and yellow rail call the area just north of Grantsburg home, and entice birders from all over the region with the promise of a sighting. It is also the beginning of the Lake Superior Northwoods Region of the Great Wisconsin Birding & Nature Trail.

The Crex Meadows Visitor Center welcomes guests seven days a week from March through November. Travel the boardwalk and nature trail to the visitor center to listen to the history of Crex Meadows and experience museum quality artifacts including a replica of a 1930s hunting shack. Stop in the gift shop to get field guides, t-shirts and other souvenirs. Nature classes and events are offered year round by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Be sure to attend their Spring Bird Festival in May and Crex Crane Festival in October.

Follow the geese painted on Grantsburg’s throughways and be inspired by the wildlife at Crex Meadows.

11 Wildlife Areas

  • Crex Meadows 
  • Fish Lake Wildlife Area 
  • Amsterdam Sloughs Wildlife Area
  • Namekagon Barrens Wildlife Area
  • Keizer Lake Wildlife Area
  • Danbury Wildlife Area 
  • Sand Creek Wildlife Area
  • Sand River Wildlife Area
  • Goose Lake Wildlife Area
  • Clam Lake Widlife Area

Canoeing / Kayaking / Tubing

Hundreds of Miles of Riverway

There is nothing like spending the day on the St. Croix, Namekagon or any of the other beautiful streams in Burnett County. Outfitters scattered throughout the area offer tube, canoe and kayak rentals as well as pick up and drop off services so you can enjoy a fun and relaxing float down the river with friends and family. Float lazily past the Sandrock Cliffs and through wooded passages, or get a glance of a majestic bald eagle and other wildlife. The fish are plentiful too – cast a line into the peaceful waters and patiently await your trophy catch. Campsites, available through the National Park Service, line the banks of the river, letting enthusiasts spend days, not hours, on these beautiful scenic rivers.

Our Rivers

  • St. Croix River
  • Namekagon River
  • Yellow River
  • Clam River
  • Wood River
  • Chase Creek
  • Hay Creek
  • Loon Creek
  • Sand Creek
  • Wood Creek
  • Logging Creek
  • North Fork Flowage
  • Upper North Fork Flowage
  • South Refuge Flowage

Find an Outfitter

Fishing

Fishing is a favorite pastime for residents and visitors alike, no matter the season. Cast your line into our abundant waters and reel in bass, musky, northern pike, bluegill, walleye and other pan fish. Seek the massive, prehistoric sturgeons that swim the waters of Yellow and a few other lakes.

State Record Catches...

record_sturgeon

Hook and Line Sturgeon

79"  |  170 lbs. 10 oz. 

Yellow Lake, 1979

photo submitted by: Jake Holmstrom | Warner Lake

Catch and Release Muskellunge

53"

Warner Lake, 2017
Jake H.

An area tradition, ice fishing in Burnett County is a sport all of its own. Bring the family and friends out for a day on the frozen lake and try your luck at catching that evening’s dinner. Keep an ear out for one of the many area ice fishing contests, designed both to test your skill and bring the community together.

Golfing

Hit the Links...

Grab your friends and hit the links! Burnett County is home to a full range of golf courses, from a par 3 to championship-level courses.

In the heart of downtown Grantsburg, you’ll find the municipal course with rolling hills, tall oaks and small greens.

To the east is Siren National, arguably one of the most scenic courses with over 100 feet of elevation change. This beautifully manicured 19-hole course proves both challenging and exciting. Remember to make a quick stop in the Village of Siren for a round at Moose Mulligan’s miniature golf with your smallest family members.

North of Webster you’ll find three more courses. Whitetail Wilderness provides a fun round on their executive course. Fox Run offers two courses, a par 3 and regulation 9-hole, both with tree-lined fairways. They are a must for golfers, no matter their skill level. Sand Greens, just off County Road U, features Wisconsin’s only sand greens.

Head northeast for a round at Voyager Village, an 18-hole championship course nestled comfortably in our Wisconsin landscape.

Plan your next golf getaway in Burnett County.

Hiking and Biking

Hiking and Biking

The true beauty of Burnett County lies on back roads and trail heads. There is no better way to experience the great outdoors than biking or hiking down a secluded path. No matter the season, our trails do not disappoint.

For the silent sport enthusiast, our seven scenic trails offer something for every skill level. In the warmer months, try hiking the Hay Creek Trail in Grantsburg and enjoy the observation platform where you’ll see all types of wildlife.

Arguably, our most famous trail is the Gandy Dancer State Recreational Trail, which follows the path of an old rail line. The limestone surface stretches for 98 miles across multiple counties and is the perfect biking trail, stretching from south of Siren through Danbury.

A new mountain bike trail is being developed in the Keizer Lake Wildlife Area. This network includes logging roads, double and single track trails thus far, with more to be added in the future.

Trail SystemLocationMap More Info
Brant PinesGrantsburg MapWI DNR : 715-463-2898
Forts Folle AvoineDanbury Map Website
Sand Rock CliffsGrantsburgMapPDF
Nordic Ski TrailGrantsburg Map
Phantom Lake TrailsGrantsburgMapWebsite
Webb Lake Ski TrailsWebb LakeMap
Grettum Ski TrailsGrantsburgMapWebsite
Timberland HillsCumberlandMapWebsite
Hay CreekGrantsburgMap
Voyager VillageDanburyMapWebsite

Hunting

You’ll find some of the best hunting in Burnett County. With over 185 acres of public land, 13 rivers and streams and over 500 named lakes, this is a destination for visitors with a passion for the great outdoors.  With storied history, Burnett County is home to the world-famous, record-breaking Jordan Buck, the Wisconsin record black bear, and the state record Hook and Line sturgeon. But these trophies aren’t just tales to tell around a fire at the hunting cabin - hunters and fishermen are still pursuing trophies. In 2017 alone, two bowhunters harvested once-in-a-lifetime bucks which were covered in local and regional news. Additionally, the state record catch-and-release musky was reeled in last year.

Hunters can take part in various seasons throughout the year including black bear, Canada geese, ducks, ruffed grouse, whitetail deer and wild turkey. 

Find your trophy in Burnett County.

 

Questions?

DNR Customer Service
Toll Free 1-888-WDNRINF 
(1-888-936-7463)

150,000 Acres of Public Land

Public Land Available to Hunt

  • Burnett County Forest
  • Governor Knowles State Forest
  • 11 wildlife areas
  • St. Croix National Scenic Riverway

Lake Fun

photo by: Maria Erickson | North Sand Lake

Go Jump in a Lake...

No really, you won't regret it. With over 500 lakes in the county, many with public access, it’s no wonder the most popular summer pastimes take place at the lake. From family picnics and reunions to afternoons with just your lawn chair and a book, there is a way for everyone to enjoy our scenic lakes.

Picture yourself at the end of a wooden dock, toes in the water, sunshine on your neck – this is what vacations are made of. Take a swim at one of our many public landings, and feel your stress melt away. Exciting afternoons of boating and waterskiing make way for relaxing evening of sunset pontoon rides and stargazing.

Snowmobiling and Winter-Use ATV/UTV

Winters in Burnett County are arguably the most exciting and refreshing time to be an outdoor enthusiast. With over 300 miles of groomed trailways, an entire day spent snowmobiling the county is not unheard of. With many restaurants located along the trail system, stop- ping in for a hot chocolate or bite to eat couldn’t be more convenient. Bring your own sled or stop by one of our sports outfitters for a rental sled.

If you’ve somehow found your way through over 300 miles of trails in Burnett County, our trail system connects to all surrounding counties, including Pine County, Minnesota.

When Can I Ride?

From December 1st thru March 31st, when 4 inches of groomed snow is present. Be sure to check the County's Trail Updates or follow the Burnett County Snow Trails Association on Facebook for the latest information. 

Snowshoeing and XC Skiing

For the silent sport enthusiast, spend some time on any one of our seven scenic trails found throughout the county. With trails for every skill level, you’ll be able to find the perfect stretch of trails.

Cross country skiers are encouraged to meander along the Yellow River on the Forts Folle Avoine trail, or head to Timberland Hills for adventurous night skiing.

Trail SystemLocationMap More Info
Brant PinesGrantsburg MapWI DNR : 715-463-2898
Forts Folle AvoineDanbury Website
Sand Rock CliffsGrantsburgMapPDF
Nordic Ski TrailGrantsburg Map
Phantom Lake TrailsGrantsburgMapWebsite
Webb Lake Ski TrailsWebb LakeGrettum Ski TrailsGrantsburgMapWebsite
Timberland HillsCumberlandMapWebsite
Hay CreekGrantsburgMapVoyager VillageDanburyMapWebsite

Get Social

#burnettcountywi

Information

Burnett County Tourism Coalition
burnettcountyfun@gmail.com

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For County Tourism related inquiries:
Burnett County Tourism Office
715-349-5999 or 800-788-3164
bctour@sirentel.net

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For County Government related inquiries:

BurnettCounty.com

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