The Round Lake Logging Dam Interpretive Trail - Chequamegon National Forest (WI)

In the Chequamegon National Forest near Fifield, WI, the Round Lake Logging Dam interpretative trail is a half-mile trip through the area's history to a historic, restored logging dam. There is a special sense of place and history found here that is timeless. The dam is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Logging interests of the late 1800s made dramatic changes in the ecology of rivers and lakes like Round Lake. Restoration and re-vegetation efforts at Round Lake have healed the old wounds of log drives. At one time Round Lake Logging Dam blocked fish migration, cutting off key spawning and overwintering areas for walleye, smallmouth bass, and lake sturgeon but no longer.  In other words, the fishing is good. Round Lake Logging Dam stands today much as it looked during the log drives of the late 1800s.  The restoration required 401 logs, cut to a 12" X 12" dimension and in 16-foot lengths, each weighting 600 pounds. Round Lake Logging Dam with its "waste gates" up allowing free flow of water.  Originalyl built in 1878, the Dam was testimony to the area's logging boom.
This is the "sluicing" channel now used as a "fishway." Today, the noise and commotion of log drives has been replaced by the laughter of boaters and shouts of anglers. Otto C. Doering, officer of Sears Roebuck and Co, purchased the Round Lake Logging Dam and surrounding land in 1915.  He built an Adirondack Style camp with several summer lodges and other stone buildings.  This brick walkway and stone wall provided visitors a place to relax within sight of the Round Lake. The wetland or bog near Round Lake.  It has been here for thousands of years and critical to the ecology of the area.  Plants such as cottongrass, wiregrass and cranberry give way to labrador tea, bog laurel and meadowsweet that transistion to a stand of tamarack, black spruce, and white pine.
Patches of once domestic but now wild flowers can be found scattered along the Round Lake Logging Dam trail enhancing the specialness of this place.