CCC Camp Mercer interpretive trail update

March 6, 2021

ICORE’s Camp Mercer Trail partnership with the Northern Highlands American Legion State Forest, Manitowish Waters Historical Society (MWHS), MECCA Trails, Wisconsin Historical Society and Mercer Library delivered exciting outcomes this winter. 

ICORE entered into a Land Use Agreement with the DNR to support and maintain the new trail. ICORE and the Manitowish Waters Historical Society also collaborated to contract for the removal of the brush and trees from the fall cutting.  Cultural resources along the trail and camp required special accommodations of winter work.  Heavy frost and less than average snow through January created the perfect weather window to get this important work done. Our tree and brush removal contractor will come back in late spring to move any additional piles of brush.  Stay tuned for announcements and consider helping during Camp Mercer spring clean-up and trail work.

Work on the 24 interpretive signs is moving along, too.  A graphic designer from the Wisconsin DNR has been working on creating the signs with pictures and captions developed by MWHS, and final edits should be completed in early spring. Once the designs are completed, we have a sign building contractor lined-up for production. Check upcoming ICORE newsletters regarding specific times for delivery and installation of the interpretive signs.  

Working with the state archaeologist and other consultants, we discovered three new cultural sites during their final 2021 archaeological evaluation of the property. We will include these features with a new trail loop and marked sites on the large site map, but will wait to add specific signage until we build consensus regarding their use.  Don’t be alarmed if a few numbered destinations lack interpretive signs, because we have few fun mysteries to solve first.

I am so pleased to be part of ICORE and the celebration of our natural and cultural resources through dynamic trails. 

Jim Bokern
Manitowish Waters Historical Society

Draft map of the CCC Camp Mercer interpretive trail