Monday ยท July 17, 2023
Horseshoe Lake Horse Camp: Exploring Wisconsin's Scenic Trails on Horseback
Author: Admin
Horseshoe Lake Horse Camp in Wisconsin | Top Horse Trails

Nestled in the picturesque landscape of northern Wisconsin, the Horseshoe Lake Recreation Area offers a haven for equestrians seeking an ideal base camp to explore the region's stunning trails. With its gently rolling terrain, sandy loam surface, and breathtaking natural surroundings, this horse campsite provides an exceptional opportunity to immerse yourself in Wisconsin's beauty while enjoying horseback riding adventures. Whether you're a seasoned rider or a family looking for an outdoor getaway, Horseshoe Lake Horse Camp promises unforgettable experiences amidst towering forests, open barrens, and abundant wildlife.

Campground Facilities and Amenities

The Horseshoe Lake campground boasts nine spacious family camping units, each accommodating up to eight individuals and four vehicles. While the campsites are not exclusive to horse campers, they are equipped with high lines, ensuring that equestrians have the necessary facilities to accommodate their horses. The campground offers a welcoming atmosphere with shared amenities, including two vault toilets, two manure pits, and garbage service. Back-in and pull-thru sites are available to suit different camping preferences.

It's important to note that the campground provides non-potable water, meaning it is unsafe for drinking. Visitors are advised to plan accordingly and bring their own potable water supply.

Scenic Trails and Riding Opportunities

The highlight of the Horseshoe Lake Recreation Area is the Horseshoe Lake Saddle Trail, offering a perfect adventure for horseback riders of all skill levels. This well-maintained trail weaves through a captivating landscape of towering pine and hardwood forests, as well as open barrens, providing riders with diverse and scenic views.

The combined trail loop spans a length of 12 miles, offering various options for exploration. The A Loop covers approximately 9.25 miles, while the B Loop measures around 3.7 miles. Additionally, the Outside Loop encompasses 10.25 miles. Whether you're seeking a leisurely afternoon ride or an extended equestrian adventure, these trails provide an opportunity to appreciate the natural wonders of Wisconsin while enjoying the thrill of horseback riding.

Day Use and Nearby Attractions

For visitors looking to enjoy the trails for a day, a designated parking area is available at the Horseshoe Lake Recreation Area. A nominal fee of $5 is required for day use, or an annual pass can be purchased for extended access to the area.

The nearby Moquah Barrens offers additional opportunities for outdoor exploration. This scenic area is perfect for riding, wildlife viewing, birdwatching, and even late summer berry picking. Equestrians can also bring their trailers and explore the Iron River Trail, accessible from open OHV-use roads. However, it's important to note that OHV use within the campground itself is prohibited.



Directions to Horseshoe Lake Recreation Area: From Ashland drive 14 miles west on US Highway 2 to Ino and Forest Road 236, turn right (north), and go 11 miles on Forest Road 236 to Forest Road 245. Turn right on Forest Road 245 and go 2.2 miles to the campground.


Horseshoe Lake Horse Camp offers the following facilities and amenities:

  • Highlines
  • Vault toilets
  • Manure pits
  • Back in and pull-thru sites
  • Non-potable water
  • Horse trails


Horse Riding Trail

  • Trail Length: A Loop 9.25 miles, B Loop 3.7 miles, Outside Loop 10.25 miles. The terrain is gently rolling with a sandy loam surface ideal for horse riding. There are other Forest Service roads and Township roads that allow horses to ride near the campground as well.


The Horseshoe Lake Horse Camp within the Horseshoe Lake Recreation Area is a hidden gem for horseback riders and outdoor enthusiasts in Wisconsin. With its stunning natural surroundings, equestrian-friendly trails, and well-equipped campground, this site offers an exceptional opportunity to connect with nature while indulging in the joy of horseback riding. Whether you're seeking a family camping trip or a solo adventure, Horseshoe Lake Horse Camp is the perfect destination to experience the scenic beauty and serenity of Wisconsin's forests on horseback.



  • Maximum of 8 people and 4 vehicles at each campsite. (Vehicle limit includes a combination of wheeled camping units and vehicles)
  • Vehicle capacity limit includes vehicles, wheeled camping units, and trailers.
  • Pets must always be restrained or on a leash while in developed recreation areas.
  • Pets (except guide dogs) are not allowed in swimming areas.
  • Saddle or pack animals are allowed in recreation sites only where authorized by posted instructions.
  • Our firewood closure order prohibits the possession, storage, or transport of any firewood that originates from more than 25 miles from your campsite.
  • Firewood certified by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Transportation, and Consumer Protection can originate from more than 25 miles from the National Forest destination.
  • Both certified firewood and kiln-dried, untreated/unpainted/unstained/construction/dimensional lumber that is free of any metal or foreign substance is approved. Pallet boards are not approved.
  • Quiet hours are from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Note: Operation of all ATVs & UTVs is prohibited in the campground.

Cost Details:

  • Individual campsite fee is $12 or $6 with the use of an Interagency pass (access or senior). The interagency pass applies only to the fee for the campsite physically occupied by the pass holder, not to any additional fees or campsite(s) occupied by members of the pass holder's party. 
  • The group site fee is $25 per night.  There is a $ 5-day use fee for this recreation site for those using it during the day. 
  • The Forest also has an annual pass available for $30. 
  • To learn more visit


If you want to discover and explore other campsites and horse trails, here are some of them that you may visit:

RUSK COUNTY FOREST - Blue Hills Trail West Side Loop

RUSK COUNTY FOREST - Ice Age Trail: Blue Hills Southern Segment

COPPER PARK - Copper Park Equestrian Trails

St. Croix State Forest Horse Trail from Tamarack Horse Camp


Horseshoe Lake Horse Camp does require reservations for overnight accommodations. Please visit their page here on Top Horse Trails - Horseshoe Lake Horse Camp for more information.