Brown County Reforestation Camp

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The Brown County Reforestation Camp is located just down the road of the NEW Zoo, and is a great location to get out and enjoy the wilderness in an 1600 acre (~2.5 miles^2) park filled with hiking and cross-country style mountain bike trails. Also available are trails that are usable for horseback riding. Several buildings are available to be rented for gatherings. If you are more of the winter type, the park is also used for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and the trails are also used for snowmobiles. Once you are done with the trails, the NEW Zoo is right down the road. Any additional information regarding the trails and buildings can be found at their website.

Founding of the Brown County Reforestation Camp

Reforestation Camps in Wisconsin

In the late 1920's the prisons set to reforest areas by letting the minimum risk inmates set up camps to reforest certain areas of the state. The first camp was from 1925, and by 1931, there were 11 camps, and a total of 425 inmates working on planting saplings. [1]

Brown County

In 1948, a passing train threw some sparks and started a fire that eventually burned 80 acres. The fire destroyed what was left of the forest in the area. This caused the Brown County Board to build an open prison camp to plant trees and reforest the area, which is why it is called the Brown County Reforestation Camp. The camp started in 1950 and the first superintendent was Harry Barth, he and his wife directed the planting of 250,000 saplings. The trees planted included White Pine, Norway Pine, Jack Pine, Cedar, and Spruce. The reforestation lasted for several years, and the land was finally green again. Later in the 50's the Reforestation Camp became a part of the Brown County park system. Several ponds were dug to help with fire protection and for recreation, fish were also stocked in the ponds. Shortly after that, the hiking and skiing trails were established. In 1952, the NEW Zoo had been established and they had started to exhibit bear, deer, and timber-wolves in the park. [2][3]

Brief History of Brown County

Brown County is one of Wisconsin's two original counties, along with Crawford County. It originally spanned the entire eastern half of the state when formed by the Michigan Territorial legislature in 1818. It was named for Major General Jacob Brown,[4] a military leader during the War of 1812.


The Park gets some funding from permits to use the trails, a one day pass is $5, and a year pass is $30. Other than that, there are a few sponsors for particular items, like Bay Care Clinic had sponsored the lighted ski trails. [5] They also have volunteers through the Friends of Reforestation Camp Trails Facebook page at


Bc refor camp map.PNG Located on Reforestation Rd, go west on exit 170 at Sunset Beach Road from Interstate 41. 4418 Reforestation Road, Green Bay WI 54313


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Article History

Format: RussellBablitch (17-04-25)