If you’re looking to get outside this season, Rice Lake offers various trails for you to get out, explore and take in everything Wisconsin has to offer. One of our favorite trails is the Wild Rivers State Trail. Whether you’re looking to do a short day hike, or a long snowmobiling ride, Wild Rivers Trails has something for everyone & every season.
Measuring at 104 miles in length, the trail goes from Superior to Rice Lake. The trail, which follows an old railroad corridor, shadows Highway 53 for much of the way. It also makes its way through three different counties – Douglas, Washburn, and Barron – and each county has responsibility for maintaining the section that lays in its county.
Due to its length the Wild Rivers Trail has multiple access points. Access points with parking are as follows:
- Douglas County: Access points in Gordon and at the Northern trail head in Superior.
- Washburn County: Access points available in Spooner, Sarona, Minong, and Trego.
- Barron County: Tuscobia Trail junction on Highway SS
Enjoy winter on the Wild River Trail by snowshoeing, cross-country skiing or snowmobiling. If you’re cross-country skiing, no pass is needed to go out and enjoy the trail. Pedestrians be aware! If you’re planning on snowshoeing or cross-country skiing, the trail is not groomed and you must share the trail with snowmobilers.
OTHER ACTIVITIES – Summer, Spring, & Fall
During the rest of the year, the Wild Rivers Trail can be enjoyed by hiker and bikers, ATVs can be used all year round and the trail is even open to equestrians. Be mindful, the trail is open to all users all year round so users will likely have to share the trail. Looking for a quiet fall getaway to enjoy the autumn colors? Definitely explore this trail during the fall month’s to enjoy its colorful beauty.
The trail is primarily made of compacted gravel. While biking is allowed on the trail, it is highly suggested that a mountain or off road bike is used. Using a road bike may be more difficult and could damage the tires. The trail may be difficult at times to navigate on horseback as well.
To ensure that everyone has a great time out on the trail, be sure to check out the Wisconsin Trail Etiquette & Safety Guidelines. There may be a number of different users on the trail at one time and the guidelines serve as a reminder of what to do when coming across different users on the trail to ensure the safety, and enjoyment, for all.
As the name suggests, Wild Rivers Trail crosses multiple rivers in its 104 miles. The trail crosses Bear Creek, Amnicon River, Stuntz Brook, and Silver Creek – to name a few – and passes by multiple lakes as well. But the most visited river on the trail is the Namekagon River.
The Namekagon River, which is protected by the Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway, is 101 miles in length and crosses the Wild Rivers Trail near Trego. The river is great for canoeing and kayaking, and has over 60 camp sites, maintained by the National Parks Service, available along the river. Along Namekagon, you may encounter various kinds of wildlife including whitetail deer, otters, ruffed grouse, and sometimes even foxes, bears, and bald eagles.
Historically, the Namekagon River was used as a travel route to the Saint Croix River and the Mississippi River, and was one of the most traveled rivers in Wisconsin. First used for transportation when Native Americans settled the area, the river was eventually used by explorers, fur traders, and in the 1800s lumberjacks used the river to float timber down to the St. Croix and Mississippi river.
IN RICE LAKE
Over 9 miles of the Wild Rivers Trail are in Rice Lake, WI. As previously mentioned, the entire trail allows for hiking, biking, ATVs, snowmobiling and horseback riding, and Rice Lake is a great place to take a break on your day of adventuring and relax for a bit. Rice L:ake always makes the perfect ‘home base’ for accessing and exploring the trail. Home to many restaurants, shopping and attractions; Rice Lake is a perfect place to recharge.
Looking to hop on a different trail? If you’ve finished exploring the section of the Wild Rivers Trail in the Rice Lake area and are looking for something else– check out the Tuscobia Trail. The trails intersect three miles north of Rice Lake, and Tuscobia trail continues 74 miles east to Park Falls.
We look forward to seeing you on the trail in Rice Lake this season! Plan your vacation now.