For Immediate Release
For more information, please contact Frank DiLeonardi at 312-545-6135
Subject: Camp Mercer CCC Interpretive Trail Grand Opening and Celebration
The Camp Mercer Civilian Conservation Corps Interpretive Trail will officially open at 5
pm, Wednesday, June 22 with a celebration at River’s Edge Lodge and Outfitters, 263
South US HWY 51 in Manitowish Waters.
“Creating this trail on the original site of Camp Mercer has been a highly collaborative
effort between the DNR, ICORE, the Mercer Library, MECCA Trails, the Pioneer Park
CCC Museum, the Wisconsin Historical Society and the Manitowish Waters Historical
Society,” Jim Bokern, MWHS president, shared. “We are looking forward to celebrating
the rich and important history of Camp Mercer and the impact the Camp had on our
region through its many environmental and conservation projects.”
Open to the public, the celebration will include snacks and a cash bar. Feel free to join
Bokern at the trailhead just north of River’s Edge at 4 pm to explore the trail before the
The CCC was a federal works program created by President Franklin Roosevelt in the
heart of The Great Depression. From 1933 to 1941, 92,000 young men worked in
Wisconsin camps with an average of 46 camps in operation each year. The enrollees
were paid $1 a day with $25 sent home to their families each month.
In Wisconsin, the CCC planted 265 million trees, built 483 bridges, erected over 4,000
miles of telephone lines, constructed 4,300 miles of roads and truck trails, stocked half a
billion fish, fought forest fires, and built several state parks, including Copper Falls.
CCC camps across northern Wisconsin reforested federal, state and county forests.
The camps not only revitalized Wisconsin’s natural resources but also turned the boys
into men by giving them discipline and teaching them work skills. There is an impressive
CCC Museum at Pioneer Park in Rhinelander.