Fort McCoy News May 09, 2014

Pine View offers host of recreational opportunities

STORY & PHOTOS BY SCOTT T. STURKOL
Public Affairs Staff

Featuring numerous campsites as well as cabin, yurt and travel-trailer rentals as just a few of its amenities, Fort McCoy's Pine View Campground has a lot of recreational opportunities available to its customers.

Photo 1 for campground article
A camper checks in at the Pine View Campground office with the assistance of Recreation Assistants Tory Justice and Rodney Riedesel.

"This is a special place on Fort McCoy," said Shirley Glover, a recreation assistant at Pine View who works for the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation (DFMWR). "It's a place where the military and the public come together to enjoy the beauty of the post and all the things the campground has to offer."

Pine View Campground opened as Trout Falls-Squaw Lake Recreation Area June 24, 1972. Plans for the area were made in the mid-1960s in an effort to provide a community recreation area on post. In 1969, 200 acres of training land was rezoned for development of the Trout Falls-Squaw Lake area.

Most of the construction for the area took place in the summer of 1971, with the scope of the project including a five-acre picnic area and a 50-unit camping area. Since then, the campground has grown to include 176 campsites, of which 38 are non-electric tent sites. It also offers all the conveniences of a clean, modern campground. Showers, flush toilets, laundry facilities, an LP fill station, picnic and playground areas (one handicapped accessible) are all are available on site.

The campground is open to everyone — from military Families to the general public. Approximately 65,000 people make use of the area annually. In addition to camping, it also offers fishing, canoeing, swimming, miniature golf, hiking and more.

Photo 2 for campground article
Retired Air Force Master Sgt. Dewey Coerper and his wife, Jeanne, both residents of Holmen, Wis., set up for a weekend of camping at Pine View Campground.

Pine View is bounded by Squaw Lake on the east and the La Crosse River on the west and south. Squaw Lake is stocked annually with rainbow trout and also has populations of largemouth bass and panfish, according to Fort McCoy fisheries biologist John Noble.

"Squaw Lake is certainly one of our most highly-stocked lakes because of its importance to the campground," he said.

Glover added, "In the summer, when there are a lot of children here, many of them come into the campground office and ask to have their photo taken with the fish they catch. Plenty of adults fish here too.

"Those adults who do want to fish in Squaw Lake or other post lakes can conveniently purchase their Wisconsin fishing license and Fort McCoy fishing permits at the campground office as well. Fishing is just one example of the Family activities we have available," Glover said.

Rodney Riedesel, also a DFMWR recreation assistant at Pine View, said the campground has a great history of return customers.

"We get a lot of repeat business," Riedesel said. "We have people who come back every year from places like Florida and Tennessee. We even have people who are friends, and Pine View is the only place they meet up every year."

When people visit Pine View they are treated like Family, added Tory Justice, recreation assistant.

"We have a very friendly staff, and we take great pride in providing excellent customer service," Justice said. "I personally enjoy my interactions with the customers, as well, because we meet people from all over the United States."

Retired Air Force Master Sgt. Dewey Coerper, a resident of Holmen, Wis., said he and his wife, Jeanne, enjoy staying at Pine View every year.

"We've been coming to Fort McCoy to stay at Pine View for the last 10 years," said Coerper, as he set up his travel trailer at the campground April 18.

"This is the first place we come to do our camping for the year, and we usually come on Easter weekend."

When the campground is at its busiest between May and September, people always are doing something, Riedesel said. The 18-hole miniature-golf course, the nine-hole disc-golf course or the two floor-shuffleboard games offer opportunities.

Customers also can see what's available at the Equipment Checkout Center at the campground. Recreational gear such as boats, canoes, fishing and camping equipment and more are available for rent.

Pine View's picnic area features a large, shaded space with grills and picnic tables. Five pavilions also are available for reservation and rental for group activities. Restrooms are available on site.

Pine View also maintains 10 of their camp sites — full hook-up and electricity only — as "military reserved" sites.
These are provided for active-duty military members and their immediate Families who cannot pre-arrange reservations due to mission requirements.

Each Friday, the sites not already reserved for the weekend are open to anyone on a first-come, first-serve basis. Trailer rentals also are available for these sites.

"Working at Pine View is wonderful," Glover said. "We see people bringing their grandkids here and they return year after year. The best way for anyone to experience this place is to simply come as stay here."

Pine View is operated as a non-appropriated fund activity, and all improvements to this recreation area are paid for using non-appropriated fund dollars, according to the DFMWR.

Access to Pine View is from State Highway 21. Turn at the sign for Pine View Campground and Whitetail Ridge Ski Area (Gate 19) and follow the signs.

For complete details, including hours, costs and restrictions, visit http://www.mccoymwr.com, or call 608-388-3517/2619 or 1-800-531-4703.