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101 Things To Do: Nugget Lake County Park in Wisconsin

The fishing pier and Nugget Lake bathed in sunshine on Sept. 7, 2018. Steve Gardiner / RiverTown Multimedia1 / 6
Two playgrounds offer plenty of activity for younger visitors to Nugget Lake County Park near Plum City, Wisconsin. Steve Gardiner / RiverTown Multimedia2 / 6
Nugget Lake County Park has five cabins for rent. They are popular and should be reserved several months in advance. Steve Gardiner / RiverTown Multimedia3 / 6
The trail leading to the overlook above Plum Creek is mowed giving easy access for walkers of all ages. Steve Gardiner / RiverTown Multimedia4 / 6
The entrance to Nugget Lake County Park on Sept. 7, 2018. Steve Gardiner / RiverTown Multimedia5 / 6
Visitors can rent kayaks and canoes at the boat landing and paddle down a short section of Plum Creek to Nugget Lake. Steve Gardiner / RiverTown Multimedia6 / 6

Editor's note: This is the latest stop in our new series, 101 Things To Do. Each week through December 2020, we will select one place or activity around the region to highlight. The stories are compiled at

While the jewel of Nugget Lake County Park is the 116-acre lake itself, a series of trails, a playground, a picnic shelter, a fishing pier, a campground, and five cabins provide plenty of activities for visitors of all ages.

Rental canoes and kayaks allow boaters to paddle down a brief section of Plum Creek to the point it opens up onto Nugget Lake, an ideal paddling start and finish.

"The kayaks are the most popular," said Travis Campbell, assistant superintendent with the Pierce County Parks Department. "The lake is almost two miles long from the boat landing to the dam. Most people would take an hour and a half to go down there and back."

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Camping is popular at Nugget Lake County Park which was established in 1974. "The campground is full most weekends during the summer," Campbell said. "During the week and in the off-season, it is slower. All the campsites are reservable. Most of the time we have been turning people away for the weekends. You definitely need reservations."

The park also has five cabins for rent. "The cabins are even more popular than the campsites," Campbell said. "If people are interested in a cabin, they need to call sooner. To get a weekend night or a Friday/Saturday combination, you would probably need to call before mid-April."

Both the campsites and cabins may be reserved by calling the park office at 715-639-5611.

A series of trails off several miles of walking opportunities in the 752-acre park. Some trails follow Plum Creek or Rock Elm Creek. Three trails leave directly from the campground and others leave from small parking areas along the road. One popular trail, called the Overlook Trail, gives hikers views down onto Plum Creek and the surrounding forest.

In the winter, the park grooms cross-country ski trails and a sledding hill, which is very popular, according to Campbell. He said many visitors come to Nugget Lake for ice fishing.

"It is fairly common for people to come here for gold panning," Campbell said. "They are not going to find a lot, mostly small flour gold, but a lot of people come here for that."

If you go...

Nugget Lake County Park

Address: N4351 County Road HH, Plum City, Wis.

Phone: 715-639-5611

Hours: 5 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Admission: $5 per vehicle per day; $30 annual pass

Steve Gardiner

Steve Gardiner taught high school English and journalism for 38 years in Montana and Wyoming.  He started working at the Republican Eagle in May 2018.  He focuses on features and outdoor stories.  

(651) 301-7872