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    Consider a winter visit to Fort McCoy’s Pine View Recreation Area

    Fort McCoy's Pine View Recreation Area

    Photo By Scott Sturkol | A scene of Suukjak Sep Lake at Pine View Campground in the Pine View Recreation Area...... read more read more

    Fort McCoy’s Pine View Campground may have mostly closed Dec. 1, 2023, but there’s still plenty to do in the overall Pine View Recreation Area through the rest of winter 2024, said Recreation Specialist Alex Karis with the Fort McCoy Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation.

    Now an active outdoor recreation area for more than 50 years, Pine View Recreation Area includes hundreds of acres of publicly accessible land with miles hiking trails, the La Crosse River that’s home to several species of trout, Trout Falls on the La Crosse River, Suukjak Sep Lake and Suukjak Sep Creek, Pine View Campground, Whitetail Ridge Ski Area, and Sportsman’s Range.

    “Pine View Recreation Area offers four-season, year-round activities to include camping, hiking, fishing, and more,” Karis said. “In winter, the ski area becomes its own fantastic recreation activity, but we also want people to know that around the entire Pine View Recreation Area there’s opportunities to enjoy some fantastic outdoor recreation opportunities.

    One activity includes participating in Wisconsin’s early inland trout waters catch-and-release fishing season, which prospective anglers can partake in along the La Crosse River in the Pine View Recreation Area near the campground. Anglers must have the required Fort McCoy fishing license and related Wisconsin fishing license and trout stamp to be able to fish on the installation.

    The early inland trout waters catch-and-release fishing season takes place from 5 a.m. on the first Saturday in January to the Friday preceding the first Saturday in May at midnight. In 2024, that meant the season started on Jan. 6. Learn more about fishing rules and requirements for Fort McCoy by visiting the Fort McCoy iSportsman page at

    “Suukjak Sep Lake also offers a place for anglers to try their hand at ice fishing,” Karis said. “As long as there is enough ice, the lake is easily accessible from our cabins at the campground which are available to rent all winter long.”

    The lake was formerly known as Squaw Lake. The new name, Suukjak Sep, translates to “black wolf” in the Ho-Chunk language and was renamed recently. The lake is a man-made impoundment on Suukjak Sep Creek which was also recently renamed. The creek itself was named Squaw Creek sometime in the mid-1800s.

    Every spring the lake is stocked with hundreds of rainbow trout, and it has a natural population of other species of fish to include bluegill and bass. Fort McCoy fishing rules also apply for Suukjak Sep Lake and all permits and licenses are required. Refer to the Fort McCoy iSportsman website,, for more information.

    And another great outdoor recreation opportunity for the public to see and visit are the Pine View Recreation Area hiking trails, Karis said.

    “If you want to see something incredibly beautiful in the winter, then come see Trout Falls in the winter,” Karis said. “When we have some snow cover, you can rent some snowshoes or cross-country skis from Whitetail Ridge and ski your way to the falls along our many hiking trails. Or if there’s little or no snow, go see the falls anyway. They are a sight to see.”

    The hiking trails also follow along the La Crosse River above and below the falls along both sides of the river and there are bridges that cross over the river.

    “If you’ve stayed at our campground before, then you know how nice our hiking trails are, and they are just as nice to hike on in the winter,” Karis said. “And on weekends, when you’re done being outside, you can head on over to the Whitetail Ridge Ski Area chalet and warm up and maybe get yourself a meal.”

    Karis said guests can also rent cross-country skis and snowshoes from Recreational Equipment Checkout, and more.

    “Overall, we have three miles worth of cross-country trails for those who just kind of want to get out,” Karis said. “Those are open seven days a week and its all-natural snow when they are covered. So, if you’re looking to go cross-country skiing or snowshoeing, we advise you to call so you can get conditions on the trails.

    “But even if there isn't snow, and people just want come out and get some fresh air and go for a walk, and of course the hiking trails,” Karis said. “There’s a great chance to see some beautiful, wooded areas, the wildlife within, and so much more.”

    So even as winter begins, the fun doesn’t stop, Karis said.

    See more about the Pine View Recreation Area by visiting or by calling the Pine View Campground office at 608-388-3517.

    Fort McCoy’s motto is to be the “Total Force Training Center.”

    Located in the heart of the upper Midwest, Fort McCoy is the only U.S. Army installation in Wisconsin.

    The installation has provided support and facilities for the field and classroom training of more than 100,000 military personnel from all services nearly every year since 1984.

    Learn more about Fort McCoy online at, on Facebook by searching “ftmccoy,” and on Twitter by searching “usagmccoy.”

    Also try downloading the Digital Garrison app to your smartphone and set “Fort McCoy” or another installation as your preferred base. Fort McCoy is also part of Army’s Installation Management Command where “We Are The Army’s Home.”



    Date Taken: 02.02.2024
    Date Posted: 02.03.2024 00:17
    Story ID: 463097
    Location: FORT MCCOY, WI, US

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