Ask an Official: Parks director discusses ATV/UTV use in county parks, campgrounds
This week’s featured question was asked of Lincoln County Forestry, Land and Parks Director Kevin Kleinschmidt.
The question reads:
“I have a few questions about area parks and campgrounds out in the county. First, is it legal to take our ATV’s into parks? Not to tear around of course but to fish, cookout and so on? The same with county campgrounds, are we allowed to bring ATV’s in? And is there a website or a map I can find somewhere that shows where campgrounds are and a little about them, how much they cost and so on? Thanks”
Answer as given by Kleinschmidt
“Lincoln County manages five County Park areas that are maintained for public use and enjoyment. These parks are Tug Lake, Camp Newwood, Hay Meadow, Larson Lake and Otter Lake. Motorized use is not allowed in our County Parks except at designated parking areas due to the safety concerns that would be involved with mixing various recreational users, including small children with this type of traffic. An ATV can be parked in an established parking area while the park is legally open, or at a county managed boat landing provided that they do not block access or disturb other users.
“Please make sure that you are following a legal road route to drive an ATV down a public road to travel to a county park. No person shall operate any vehicle at a speed in excess of 10 miles per hour or contrary to posted speed limits in a park area, and no person shall operate any vehicle in any park in a reckless manner. Otter Lake Campground is open to ATV use only to ingress and egress a designated campsite by a registered camper. This allows riders to camp at one of these campsites and access our ATV trail system without having to trailer machines to a trail head. Quiet hours, which are from 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. must be observed and campers shall not engage in boisterous, unreasonably loud or other disorderly conduct at any time. The camping fee for Lincoln County campgrounds is $15.00 per night and campers must register and pay before setting up camp.
“Overnight use is not allowed at other designated park facilities other than campgrounds. Lincoln County produces a recreational map that shows the location of county managed parks, campgrounds, boatlandings, our county forest property and other recreational opportunities. This map is available by contacting the Lincoln County Forestry Office located at the Lincoln County Service Center, 801 North Sales Street, Suite 106 in Merrill, Phone 715-539-1034. More information about our recreational facilities and opportunities are also available by visiting the Lincoln County website at www.co.lincoln.wi.us Thanks for the question and addition information may be obtained by contacting the Lincoln County Forestry, Land and Parks Dept at (715) 539-1034.”
Have a question or concern you would like to address? Simply send your question or concern to firstname.lastname@example.org along with an indication of which entity your question or concern pertains to. Current participants are the Merrill Police Department, Tomahawk Police Department, Merrill City Administrator Dave Johnson, Merrill Area Housing Authority Director Paul Russell, Lincoln County Clerk Chris Marlowe, Merrill Area Public Schools (MAPS) Superintendent Dr. John Sample, Lincoln County Forestry Land and Parks Director Kevin Kleinschmidt, the Wisconsin State Patrol and DNR Conservation Warden Curt Butler. Please note: Those who submit to the ‘Ask an Official’ feature remain anonymous.