Hiking & Birding in Northwest Wisconsin

Come explore the great outdoors and remember to bring along your binoculars and camera while you are hiking one of the many trails throughout Northwest Wisconsin.

Take the opportunity to immerse yourself in nature. These outdoor trails provide tremendous opportunities to discover the wildlife that inhabits the surrounding areas like white-tailed deer, black bear, timber wolves, beaver, fox, raccoons, rabbits, and countless species of birds. With so many places to explore, you’ll never run out of things to see.

Beaver Brook Wildlife Area
Washburn County
Length: 1,964 acres; 6.4 miles of hiking trails. Home to abundant wildlife including eagles and osprey. Numberous springs, lakes, and remnants of homesteads and an old logging dam built in 1870 are visible. Artesian well on site.

Big Bay State Park
Ashland County
Length: 9 miles. Hiking trails take you through varied habitat. The trail goes through a northern forest of red and white pines on the Big Bay Sand Spit. Lagoon Ridge trail is a 2.6 mile trail. Bay View trail is a 1/3 mile trail. Fee/Pass Required.

Blue Hills Trail
Rusk County
Length: 20 miles. A total of 20 miles of trail in the Blue Hills provide a variety of loops with varying terrain and elevation. Through wetlands and hardwood stands, the trail system is mowed. Fee/Pass Required: No. Donations are appreciated.

Chippewa Flowage
Sawyer County
Length: 233 miles. The “Chip” is a 15,300-acre flowage with miles of rugged pine and aspen shorelines cut by numerous bays, channels, and floating bogs. Travel by boat or canoe to fully appreciate the abundant wildlife throughout the warm months.

Chippewa Moraine State Recreation Area
Chippewa County
Length 23 miles. This trail runs from the Interpretive Center in New Auburn to Burnet Island State Park in Cornell. No motorized vehicles, horses or mountain bikes are allowed off public roads in the Reserve. Trails vary in difficulty. Fee/Pass Required: No.

Crex Meadows Wildlife Area
Burnett County
Length: 24 miles by vehicle, additional foot-traffic-only paths. Loop trails, out-and-back trails. Spring and fall, guided birding tours available; restrooms at Education Center and rest area; sedge marsh, flowages, shrub, forest, many observation areas. Fee/Pass Required: No.

D.D. Kennedy County Park
Polk County
A 106-acre preserve along the Balsam Branch flows through central Polk County. A prairie restoration area features native grasses and wildflowers. Park includes a dam, millpond, and well-maintained trails. It provides a variety of habitat for a good mix of birds.

Duncan Creek Parkway Trail
Chippewa County
Length: 5 miles. A five mile paved loop through Chippewa Falls is ideal for walking, biking and in-line skating. This trail connects to the Old Abe State Trail NE of County Hwy I. Portions of this trail are shared with motor vehicle traffic. Fee/Pass Required: No.

Forest Lodge Nature Trail
Bayfield County
Length: 1.5-2.0 miles. Maintained cooperatively by the USDA Forest Service and the Cable Natural History Museum, this is one of the best interpretive trails in northern Wisconsin. Begins in a field and then leads you through the woods. Trail Difficulty: Easy to Intermediate.

Gandy Dancer Trail
Burnett County
Length: 21 miles in Burnett Co. (98 miles total). Crushed limestone. Former railroad bed. Bridge trestles, scenic vistas, lakes, rivers, forests, wildlife. Passes through Siren, Webster, and Danbury. Restaurants, lodging, retail, and services available. Fee/Pass Required: Yes.

Governor Knowles State Forest
Burnett County
Length: Multiple trails totaling 18.5 miles. Sioux Portage Trail (10 miles) - Primitive camping along trail. Scenic wilderness, wooded, along river and bluffs. Kohler Peet Trail (6 miles) - Out and back trail. Scenic wilderness, wooded, along river and bluffs. Fee/Pass Required: No fee for hiking.

Hidden Rivers Interpretive Trail
Iron County
Length: 2 miles. This is a two-mile trail off of Fishermen’s Landing Road in the Turtle Flambeau Scenic Waters Area. Interpretive signage explains how this area has been transformed. Fee/Pass Required: No.

Historic Old Bayfield Road
Douglas County
Length: 2.25 miles. The trail travels eastward down a hill past some old copper mine sites, and then climbs a scenic ridge to pass near the Clevedon fire tower. The trail then continues south and loops back to the parking lot. Fee/Pass Required: No.

Holy Cross Trail
Price County
Length: 6 miles. Features rolling terrain and a loop that surrounds a small lake. The trail is mowed periodically and is used by Ruffed Grouse hunters beginning in mid-September. Easy/Moderate. Fee/Pass Required: No.

Hunt Hill Audubon Sanctuary
Washburn County
Length: 600+ acres; 13 miles of hiking trails. Hunt Hill is a 600-acre nature reserve with abundant wildlife, beautiful hiking trails, lakes, meadows and more. The center also provides educational programming on a variety of topics throughout the year.

Ice Age National Scenic Trail
Barron County
A trail of more than a thousand miles a portion of which meanders through Barron County in an east-west direction. Fee/Pass Required: No.

Ice Age National Scenic Trail
Polk & Burnett Counties
The St. Croix River valley that hikers use on this segment was formed when the glacial lobe in the area retreated. Access to the Ice Age National Scenic Trail’s western terminus is via Interstate State Park’s Pothole Trail, a loop trail that was built after the park was created in 1900 and is one of the oldest Wisconsin recreational footpaths.

Ice Age National Scenic Trail
Rusk County
Length: Multiple Segments (Hemlock & Blue Hills) of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail can be found in the Blue Hills of Northwestern Rusk County. Fee/Pass Required: No.

Interstate State Park
Polk County
Wisconsin’s oldest state park with campsites, showers, and a nature center. Habitat types include upland and lowland forest and a number of wetlands and encircles Lake O’ Dalles. A Bald Eagle nest and Great Blue Heron rookery are within park limits. Fee/Pass Required: Yes.

Jordan Buck Heritage Hike
Burnett County
Length 1.3 miles. Retrace Jim Jordan’s 1914 hunt near Danbury resulting in the current United States record whitetail buck. This 1.3 mile section of the Gandy Dancer Trail celebrates the legendary story that is shared through storytelling and a brochure style guidebook.

Lake Wissota State Park
Chippewa County
Length 17.4 miles. Hikers will enjoy trails within the park. Among the park's most scenic trails is the 1-mile self guided Beaver Meadow Nature Trail. A trail overlook allows visitors to view the environment and wildlife found in a beaver pond. Fee/Pass Required: Yes.

Little Turtle Trail
Iron County
Length: 5.2 miles. There are 5.2 miles of mowed trail in the Little Turtle Waterfowl Management Area. The landscape is a mix of woods, wetlands and prairie. Fee/Pass Required: No.

Lynch Creek State Wildlife Area
Sawyer County
Length: 1⁄4 mile. The habitat is mainly cattail marsh, shrubby, bog wetland, and stream with some red pine forest. Common birds include Belted Kingfisher, snipe, flycatchers, swallows, warblers, rail, Great Blue Heron, bitterns, sandpipers, and many ducks. This is a great moonlit walk.

MECCA Trail
Iron County
Length: 18 km. The trails traverse rolling terrain with loops totaling 18 km. The trail is also excellent for biking and passes through a variety of wooded terrain. Fee/Pass Required: Donations are appreciated.

North Country National Scenic Trail
Ashland, Bayfield & Douglas Counties
Length: 31+ miles. A part of the 4,600 miles that stretches from North Dakota to New York, the longest hiking path in the US. Camping opportunities are available. Out and back trail. Fee/Pass Required: No.

Reclaimed Flambeau Mine & Trails
Rusk County
Length: 4 miles. Includes upland, forested, wetland, and prairie habitats, along the banks of the Flambeau River. A prime bird watching area. 4 miles of walking trails and 10 miles of equestrian trail can be hiked on site. Fee/Pass Required: No.

Solberg Lake/Squaw Creek Trail
Price County
Length: 3.4 miles. This loop trail passes through both pine and aspen timber along rolling hills. It is used for Ruffed Grouse hunting beginning in mid-September. Easy/Moderate. Fee/Pass Required: No.

St. Peter’s Dome
Ashland County
Length: 3.6 mile round trip. 1,565 foot granite outcrop on the western edge of the Penokee Range. The trail forks from the path to Morgan Falls. From the overlook you can see Chequamegon Bay and the Apostle Islands. Fee/Pass Required: No.

Stower Seven Lakes Trail
Polk County
Length: 14 miles. Built on a former railroad corridor, the trail begins in Amery and travels through the communities of Deronda, Wanderoos and Nye, ending about one mile from Dresser at 90th Avenue. The trail passes through maple and oak forests, wetlands, prairies and farmlands and past seven picturesque lakes.

Timm’s Hill National Trail
Price County
Length: 10 miles. A point-to-point, non-motorized trail, connecting the Ice Age Trail to Timm’s Hill, elevation 1951.5 feet, Wisconsin’s highest natural point. Moderate/Difficult. Fee/Pass Required: No.

Totagatic Lake State Wildlife Area
Sawyer County
Length: 2,719-acre. The Nelson Lake Dam is located across the highway from the paved parking lot. Restrooms. At the dam, there is a wildlife viewing overlook adjacent to the highway. Red-breasted nuthatch, warblers, blue headed Vireo, eagles, waterfowl and herons.

Trego Nature Trail
Washburn County
Length: 2.8 miles. Nestled along the Namekagon River, the trail is located within the St. Croix National Park System. This trail is free to hike and follows a portion of the scenic river way. The trail offers incredible wildlife viewing. Dogs are welcome on a leash. Parking and restrooms are available.

Tuscobia State Trail
Barron County
A mix of history and scenic beauty, the Tuscobia State Trail is a 74- mile abandoned railroad grade that begins in Barron County near Rice Lake. Trailhead north of Rice Lake on Hwy SS and goes 74 miles to Park Falls. Fee/Pass Required: No.

Whittlesey Creek National Wildlife Refuge
Bayfield County
The Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center offers a 5-story observation tower where migrating hawks and other birds can be viewed. The center offers a boardwalk that is handicap accessible and under one mile. The Aldo Leopold Trail is a 1 mile trail and many species of warblers can be seen. Fee/Pass Required: No.

Wisconsin Point
Douglas County
Length: 3miles/4.8 km. The Point contains stands of old growth pine, beach dune communities and marsh open water habitats creating one of the best migratory bird areas in May and Sept at this intersection of marsh, lake and woodland. Fee/Pass Required: No.

York Park
Polk County
The park offers 40 acres of urban, mixed hardwood forest on a hilly site, boggy wetland, and a quarter mile of undeveloped lake shores. Three miles of graveled trails and a viewing platform. A variety of birds can be seen in the forest and on the lake.