Bittersweet Wild Lakes Area

Arbor Vitae, WI Wilderness Area
Bittersweet Wild Lakes Area

5 Backcountry Camp Sites Allowed up to 14 Days

Canoeing / Kayaking


Reservable Sites

DNR Website
Make a Reservation(Select Northern Highland,
then South Campgrounds)

The Bittersweet Wild Lakes Area is a lesser-known designated wilderness area located just to the East of Arbor Vitae, Wisconsin. This 2,553 remote wilderness provides an excellent opportunity for remote camping that can only be reached by canoe or kayak. The area is completely motor free, so you will be sure to enjoy the solitude and serenity of this beautiful area.

The Bittersweet Wild Lakes Area is surrounded by a forest that is made up of the oldest stands of hemlock, red pine and white pine in the entire Northern Highlands-American Legion State Forest. This provides a unique wilderness feel even though you are relatively close to the town of Arbor Vitae.

The area is comprised of four lakes. Bittersweet, Prong, Oberlin,
and Smith are small, scenic, undeveloped and connected by the following portage trails:

A - Prong Lake to Bittersweet Lake .............. 300 ft.
B - Bittersweet Lake to Smith Lake ......................... 300 ft.
C - Smith Lake to Oberlin Lake ...................... 600 ft

Bittersweet Lake has two sites located on it, whereas the other lakes have one site each. The road to access these lakes isn't super well maintained. The DNR recommends using a four wheel drive vehicle with decent clearance to reach the two available access points.

We hope the following resources are helpful and make your next wilderness excursion into the Bittersweet Wild Lakes Area a pleasant and enjoyable vacation!

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