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A small gem sparkling in the Chequamegon National Forest, Bass Lake is located in Bayfield County, Wisconsin. At 56 acres, small compared to the more popular and adjacent Lake Owen, it packs fun and excitement into every acre. Little Bass Lake, as some locals call it, is also in reference to its diminutive size.
Anglers know Bass Lake as a great fishing hole for bluegill, largemouth bass, northern pike, and crappie. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources classifies Bass Lake as a seepage lake, which means it does not have an inlet or outlet; the main water source is from precipitation, runoff, and groundwater. No matter the source, residents know that the lake is also great for swimming, boating, canoeing, kayaking, and ice fishing in the winter.
The locality around Bass Lake has a rich history that dates back to the mid-1600's when the east coast was first being settled. English explorers traveled through the forest and waterways searching for unknown treasures. In 1659, French explorers started trading with the local Chippewa Indians for furs that eventually led to more white trappers moving to the area. Hundreds of canoes loaded with furs were rowed to waiting ships and transported to Europe to be fashioned into expensive garments. After the Revolutionary War, the Chippewa ceded the land to the United States in 1842, and a few years later the lumbermen arrived to cut the trees that would help build the growing country. The railroad made it to Cable to 1880, to Drummond in 1882, and to Grand View in 1884. After the railroad was completed, many nationalities moved to the area to start businesses and families. By 1900, it did not take the locals long to realize that they were in a prime location where city folks longed to visit and vacation. Thus began the era of tourism for the heavily forested area with hundreds of lakes, streams and rivers.
Today, visitors to Little Bass Lake can find needed supplies and gear at many locations in the Cable area, which includes the four towns of Cable, Drummond, Grand View, and Namakagon. Self-proclaimed as the "Sweet Vacation Spot in Northern Wisconsin", the residents here welcome visitors to their communities with smiling faces and great hospitality. Their local economy is influenced by the national forest and lakes, as their primary sources of income are logging and tourism. With many lakes in the region, guide services, boat rentals, and bait shops abound to make a day on the lake fishing a memorable one. Their strong history of lumbering is proudly displayed with shows that demonstrate the strength, daring, and agility of lumberjacks to the amazement of all who attend. Golf courses stretch out challenging eager golfers to play a round of 18 holes. Accommodations and vacation rentals in the region include lakefront resorts, waterfront cabins, bed and breakfast inns, private homes, condos, motels, hotels, and campgrounds.
The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest is home to more than 600 lakes, in addition to Bass Lake, and over 1200 miles of streams. The forest is a recreational paradise with paths and trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding, ATV riding, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, snowmobiling, and dog sledding. Multiple campgrounds offer a variety of scenery throughout the forest, including lakefront, rustic sites totally surrounded by tall pines, or primitive sites along a well-marked trail. For those preferring quiet time, the forest is home to multiple wilderness areas and several semi-private, non-motorized areas. Of course, if you prefer, a well maintained road runs through the forest so that you can enjoy the view at several scenic overlooks as you drive along.
If many exciting diversions in a peaceful environment surrounded by miles of natural beauty sounds like a great destination, it can be your next vacation if you choose to visit Bass Lake in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. Plan your visit and see for yourself if it truly is the "Sweet Vacation Spot in Northern Wisconsin."
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