Bigfoot Reports & Hotspots
By Mark Crawford
“I do think there is a squatch in these woods. . . .”
This is the signature line to “Finding Bigfoot” on Animal Planet. The immense popularity of this program reflects a nationwide fascination with the possibility that elusive “sasquatches” or “bigfoots” exist in the wilds of America. Recent episodes have featured northern Minnesota and the Menominee area of Michigan. If these creatures really do exist, there’s no reason why Wisconsin shouldn’t have some. A quick check of the Bigfoot Research Organization’s (BFRO) Wisconsin chapter “proves” this is the case—73 sightings have been made here since the 1970s.
Spending time in the Northwoods is always relaxing, but if you are looking for a little more adventure, or even the tale of a lifetime, consider exploring one of the following bigfoot “hotspots” to improve your chances of a face-to-face encounter (or, at the very least, having your tent pelted with rocks in the middle of the night by an angry eight-foot-tall primate.)
Marinette County Bigfoot Hotspots
According to the BFRO, five bigfoot sightings have been reported in Marinette County. The most recent was in April 2013, when a retired police officer witnessed a bigfoot crossing a highway near Pembine. Other sightings have been reported northwest of Crivitz in a large expanse of wetlands and hardwood forest. Good camping spots in this area are McClintock County Park and Goodman County Park. Guaranteed highlights are McClintock Falls, Big South Falls, Strong Falls and along the High Falls Flowage—definitely “squatchy” terrain, as BFRO president Matt Moneymaker would say.
More Bigfoot Hotspots: Price, Vilas, and Oneida Counties
Combined, these three counties have 16 reported bigfoot sightings and represent over 3,000 square miles of Northwoods forest. The most recent sighting in Vilas County was in December 2013 when a property owner found compelling footprints in deep snow at Black Oak Lake, just west of Land O’Lakes.
Bent’s Camp Resort and Lodge, located on Mamie Lake a few miles west of Black Oak Lake, is a good location for a base camp. Just north of the resort is the vast wilderness of the Ottawa National Forest in Michigan. Campsites are available in nearby Northern Highland American Legion State Forest, which protects the headwaters of the Wisconsin, Flambeau, and Manitowish rivers. This region offers a variety of trails that provide not only spectacular views of wilderness, but plenty of bends—around which there might be a hairy surprise.
In adjacent Oneida County, sightings have been reported near Woodruff, Enterprise, and the Willow Flowage—an ideal habitat with deep woods, vast wetlands, and plenty of hiding spots. Remote campsites are plentiful along the shorelines and islands. More civilized quarters can be rented at the Willow Wood Lodge. Even if you don’t see a bigfoot, chances are you’ll catch lots of tasty walleye.
The hotspot in Price County is Lugerville on the Flambeau River which is surrounded by forest and large tracts of wetlands. One witness provided what Moneymaker calls the first thermal footage of a sasquatch ever recorded. “Though its quality will not stand on its own to convince the world, this does not change its authenticity, and thus its importance,” said Moneymaker. To explore this area, try Sailor Lake Campground, which also offers 70 miles of trails, as well as outstanding fishing for northern pike and panfish.
If you’re lucky, maybe you’ll run into the bigfoot that brings “Animal Planet” to Wisconsin—just be sure to have your camera!