As the 2018 camping season gets into full swing at Fort McCoy's Pine View Campground, visitors will see noticeable changes as the season progresses.

Open year-round, Pine View Campground is part of Pine View Recreation Area. This area also includes Whitetail Ridge and Sportsman's Range.

The campground is nestled in a wooded area about a quarter mile west of Fort McCoy's cantonment area and is bounded by Suukjak Sep Lake on the east and the La Crosse River on the west and south.

"There's a lot of change coming," said Jeff Uhlig, supervisory recreation specialist for outdoor recreation with the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation (DFMWR). "First, we are having 10 new cabins being built this year - eight on the east side and two on the west side of the lake."

The existing cabins see a lot of use, Uhlig said, and the new ones will be a major addition to the campground's facilities.

"Our cabins are in high demand," said Joe Sagler, facility manager with DFMWR's Business and Recreation Division. "They are booked every weekend year-round. The new cabins will improve that capability significantly."

During May, Uhlig said the mini-golf course at the campground also will be redone.

"We're upgrading the course for our customers," Uhlig said. "It's one of our most utilized attractions at the campground."

Along the La Crosse River on hiking trails next to the campground, a new pedestrian bridge is being built to span the river to allow for better access to all the hiking trails.

"We get a lot of hikers going through the trails, which are wonderful and scenic," Uhlig said. "There are more than 5 miles of hiking and biking trails throughout the entire recreation area."

The bridge was built through a $171,000 contract with NuGen Johnson LLC of Sussex, Wis. The bridge is expected to be fully completed and landscaped by this summer.

"There also will be an effort soon to fully plot all of our hiking and biking trails," Uhlig said. "That will allow us to build a better map to provide to our customers."

Suukjak Sep Lake, which is in the heart of the campground, provides opportunities for fishing, boating, and swimming or sunbathing on its sandy beach. On April 30, the lake was freshly stocked with more than 4,200 rainbow trout for anglers to try catching.

"We also recently completed a fish survey on the lake," said Fisheries Biologist John Noble with the Directorate of Public Works. "The lake not only has a healthy population of trout, but also good populations of largemouth bass and panfish, such as bluegill."

Among the other features of the campground are picnic and playground areas (one handicapped accessible), a campground with a camp store, and the Recreational Equipment Checkout Center. Members of the Fort McCoy community and the public may use the campground.

Approximately 65,000 people make use of the campground annually, Uhlig said. The campground features 160-plus campsites that are nonelectric tent sites and recreational vehicle/trailer pads with electrical hookups. Of these, 121 sites have full hookups for water, sewer, electricity, and cable TV.

The campground's campsites are arranged in camping circles. Each site is equipped with a fire pit and a picnic table; each camping circle features a shower/restroom complex.

Pine View Campground is located near Fort McCoy off Highway 21. Follow signs to the campground.

For complete details, including hours, costs, and restrictions, visit mccoy.armymwr.com/us/mccoy/programs/pine-view-campground/, or call 608-388-3517/2619 or 800-531-4703.