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Crossing back and forth around the Sugar Camp Chain of Lakes, the snowmobiles roar across the frozen lake breaking the snow muffled peace of Wisconsin's Northwoods. It isn't a random occurrence. Dam Lake is at the convergence of several of the snowmobile trails that cross the area around Eagle River - the self proclaimed "Snowmobile Capital of the World."
At 732 acres with a maximum depth of 32 feet, Dam Lake is also the largest and deepest of the five lakes that make up the Sugar Camp Chain of Lakes. Sand Lake is the second largest with 547 acres of water and a maximum depth of 25 feet, followed by 201-acre Chain Lake with a maximum depth of 19 feet, and 178-acre, 16-foot deep Stone Lake. Echo Lake is the smallest of the five with 93 acres of water and a maximum depth of 18 feet. Together the Sugar Camp Chain of Lakes, along with the channels that connect them, includes 2,300 acres of water all navigable by boat. The outflow of the Sugar Camp Chain of Lakes is into Rainbow Flowage which is accessible by canoe or kayak from Dam Lake.
The Sugar Camp Chain of Lakes is in Oneida County in the Lake Superior Northwoods Region of Wisconsin. The chain is surrounded by the American Legion State Forest, and there is minimal shoreline development. Most of the chain's shoreline, including Dam Lake's seven mile shoreline and Sand Lake's five mile shoreline, is either privately owned or under the control of the Wisconsin DNR. There is real estate available for sale along the lakes of the chain as well as some lakefront lots tucked in among the beautiful forests of Wisconsin's Northwoods.
Access to the Sugar Camp Chain of Lakes includes a boat landing at the channel between Dam Lake and Sand Lake. The entire chain is known for its fantastic fishing with abundant populations of walleye, northern pike, small mouth bass, crappie, bluegill and perch. Dam Lake and Sand Lake are both considered Class A musky lakes, and both host ice fishing tournaments every year.
The Sugar Camp Chain of Lakes is near St. Germain between Rhinelander and Eagle River. Home of the Eagle River 500, Eagle River has 500 miles of groomed and maintained snowmobile trails that wind through the forest and cross the area's frozen lakes. Almost every winter since 1927, volunteers have built an ice castle in the town. There are restaurants, various accommodations and any amenity a visitor to the Sugar Camp Chain of Lakes might need. Rhinelander is in "Hodag Country." In fact, the town's visitor center sports a giant replica of a Hodag out front. A remnant of the area's logging past, the original Hodag was a creature created by loggers as a hoax. Visitors, however, should beware; people report sightings of this spiny creature to this day.
In the winter there is cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and ice fishing with hundreds of mile of snowmobile trails some to the door of one of Sugar Camp Chain of Lakes' vacation rentals. The rest of the year the exceptional fishing, beautiful Northwoods forest and bald eagles, osprey and loons draw visitors to the chain. Whatever the season, there is something for everyone at the Sugar Camp Chain of Lakes.
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