Wisconsin Valley Improvement Company
2301 North 3rd Street Wausau, WI 54403
715 848 2976
For more information contact Cathy Wendt, Environmental Affairs Director
Wisconsin River reservoir lands open for public recreation but not for camping
WVIC is licensed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to operate 21 headwater storage reservoirs to regulate a uniform flow in the Wisconsin River.
All of the company's 2,587 acres of non-submerged land contained within in the federally licensed project boundary at the reservoirs are open to the public without discrimination for hunting, fishing, hiking, sightseeing and picnicking.
The following activities are prohibited on WVIC land: fires, camping, dumping garbage, use of motorized vehicles of any kind except on designated trails, tree or bough cutting, permanent tree stands and hunting blinds.
While WVIC does not allow camping on its land, the company encourages campers to seek out the private and public campgrounds located in the Gogebic County, Michigan, and Vilas, Forest, Oneida, Lincoln and Marathon counties area of the Wisconsin River headwaters basin.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) manages camping on the Willow flowage, one of WVIC's five man-made reservoirs. The state owns the Willow islands and shoreline. There are 30 individual and five group campsites available. Willow camping information is available from the DNR Woodruff office, 715 356 5211.
WVIC provides camping on the Willow at Cedar Falls Campground on the northeast corner of the reservoir. The campground is operated by WVIC, Wausau, 715 848 2976.
The reservoirs provide significant areas of habitat that support diverse wildlife propagation, some of which is cooperatively managed by the DNR. WVIC reminds operators of motor vehicles, in particular ATVs and other off-road vehicles, that it is a violation of state law to operate a motor vehicle on the exposed bed of a lake or reservoir and punishable by a fine.
Since their construction beginning in 1911, it has been WVIC's policy to protect the undeveloped, naturally occurring shorelines of its five man-made reservoirs. Like their counterparts in other parts of the state, Rainbow, Willow, Spirit, Rice and Eau Pleine reservoirs provide a solitude recreation experience that is becoming less common in the state's Northwoods region. WVIC does not allow camping on its land so that all visitors will continue to have a quiet and wild-character experience well into the future.