Franklin & Butternut Lakes encompasses a variety of habitats over rolling glacial topography, more or less centered around the aforementioned lakes. Found within the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, parking for this site is available at either of two parking area on FR 2181 (Butternut Lake Road). Alternatively, there are several stopping points along various forest roads.
Though this site is named Franklin & Butternut Lakes, it consists of several smaller lakes to the east and north, each with its own natural communities. That said, I spent most of my time exploring the isthmus between Franklin and Butternut Lakes with my family via the Franklin Nature Trail. Here, there is a very easy trail complete with boardwalks and interpretive signage. As this is National Forest land, a season pass or day use fee is required, and the latter can be paid at a kiosk in the parking area. The hike was a scenic walk through pines, hardwoods, and hemlocks. Labrador tea was abundant in the small bog over which the boardwalk passes. This trail passes close to Butternut Lake while a short jaunt across the road is needed to see the other namesake lake, Franklin. As the family was in tow, there was not much time for independent exploration. I woud like to definitely return to this site and further explore the outlying smaller lakes.
More of my photos (and full-res) from Franklin & Butternut Lakes can be viewed here.
|Natural Communities / Geology||Lake, Swamp, Bog, Northern Dry-Mesic Forest|
|Easy to Find||Yes|
|Best Seen By||Foot|
|Ownership||US Forest Service; More info: Wisconsin DNR|
|Located Within||Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest|