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Northern Bike Trails Perfect for Summer

Northern Wisconsin and the U.P of Michigan are home to hundreds of miles of biking trails.  Here are some of our favorites!

Northwest Region
Whether you call Northwest Wisconsin home or you are looking for activities to add to your itinerary for when you’re next able to travel there, two rail trails in Polk County offer so many marvelous miles of hiking, biking, or running. Suitable for cyclists and hikers of many ability levels, the Gandy Dancer State Trail and Stower Seven Lakes State Trail are perfect outings to add to your Polk County must-do list.

Gandy Dancer State Trail

The Gandy Dancer State Trail is a 98-mile recreational trail that follows railroad grade from St. Croix Falls north to Superior. This path was used for commercial rail lines for approximately 100 years, starting in the late 1880s, but today it is used by hikers and bikers, in pursuit of fresh air and the beauty of Northwest Wisconsin.

The Gandy Dancer State Trail is composed of two sections. The southern half of the trail is 47 miles long—beginning in St. Croix Falls and passing through Centuria, Milltown, Luck, Frederick, and Lewis. With so many towns within easy reach, you’ll find convenient access to food, lodging, and other places to explore. The crushed limestone surface of this segment offers a smooth path for bicyclists and hikers from April to November. (The southern segment of the trail is open for snowmobiling and frozen-ground ATV/UTV use in the winter.) A state trail pass is needed for cyclists ages 16 and older when riding the Gandy Dancer State Trail between St. Croix Falls and Danbury. A Wisconsin DNR Conservation Patron license will be honored as a bike pass.

The northern section, from Superior to Danbury, is a gravel trail that is open year-round to both motorized and nonmotorized use.

Are you curious about the name Gandy Dancer? Gandy memorializes the crews who maintained the tracks. They used railroad tools manufactured by the Gandy Tool Company of Chicago. Dancer comes the crews’ synchronized movements—swinging their tools and moving along the line—as they worked on the railroad.

Stower Seven Lakes State Trail

The Stower Seven Lakes State Trail, a 14-mile trail—named after long-time Wisconsin legislator and Amery mayor, Harvey Stower, and his wife, Marilyn (née Nielsen)—runs from Amery nearly all the way to Dresser. It begins at Soo Line Park (off Harriman Avenue in Amery); cuts through Deronda, Wanderoos, and Nye; and ends at East Lake County Park, about a mile from Dresser, on 90th Avenue.

You’ll pass at least seven lakes on your journey: Lotus, Horse, Dwight, Bear Trap, Kinny, and North and South Twin Lakes. You’ll ride, walk, or run by maple and oak forests, wetlands, prairies, and farmlands. With such idyllic scenery, a well-compacted crushed limestone surface, and a lack of hills, a journey along this trail makes for an easy, enjoyable outing.

No pass is necessary to walk on the trail (or to cross-country ski or snowshoe on it during the winter months). However, a Wisconsin State Trail Pass is required to bike on the trail.

Please note that COVID-19 and related restrictions may impact the activities allowed on these trails. For more information, call the Polk County Information Center at (715) 483-1410 or (800) 222-7655.

Northcentral Region
‘County of Trails’ offers Cycling Adventures 

Whether you are a beginning cyclist looking for a relaxing ride or an experienced cyclist looking for a technical mountain bike trail, Langlade County – often referred to as “the County of Trails”- supplies every type of cyclist with a diverse array of riding options. Choose from winding forest trails, serene paths through bucolic farmlands, routes near city amenities, and scenic trails around Langlade County’s many lakes. Here are several of our trails that are most popular with area cyclists.

Antigo Single-Track Mountain Bike Trail – The trailhead is located at N1985 Dump Road in Antigo. The total length of the trail is 3 miles and is open year-round.

Antigo Walking/Biking Trail – From the trailhead on 4th Avenue, east of Highway 45, you will ride along the perimeter of Antigo Lake and Spring Brook before the trail takes you into the forest. The City of Antigo’s walking/biking trail is over 2 miles long.

City of Antigo Bike Route – Made possible through community sponsorship, this signed and designated City-Wide Bike Route will have crossings at 4th, 7th, and 10th avenues.

Gartzke Flowage Recreation Area – Offers 6 scenic miles of riding for cyclists of every ability level. Access the trail at W6379 5th Avenue Road in Bryant.

Moccasin Lake Trail – Provides 5.5 miles of excellent riding for all abilities. Access this trail off Moccasin Lake Road, west of Elcho.

Nicolet Roche Trail Mountain Bike Trail – A 20-mile adventure. Access the Nicolet Roche Trail at the south end of Boulder Lake Campground, Van Alstine Road, or Highway 64, east of Langlade.

Wolf River Mountain Bike Trails – Access 6 miles of challenging terrain from the Bear Paw Adventure Resort in White Lake or from Nicolet Roche Trail. Please be mindful of seasonal closures and property owners’ requests.

Wolf River State Trail – Supplying 33.4 miles of mountain bike trail from White Lake to Lake Metonga in Forest County. Access the trail in downtown White Lake; park along Highway M/Lake Street near the intersection with Maple Street.

Veteran’s Memorial Park/Jack Lake Trail – Although new in 2017, the 12 miles of fast, flowing single- and double-track mountain bike trails of Veteran’s Memorial Park have quickly become a local favorite. Veteran’s Memorial Park is located 15 miles north of Antigo, in Deerbrook. The trailhead is located in the southwest corner of the park’s lot, near the campgrounds entrance.

More information on trails and other fun adventures is available at langladecounty.org.

U.P. Michigan Region
Biking through Baraga County

Biking the paved roads, gravel sideroads and logging trails of Baraga County, MI is the “Goldilocks” of exploring the Northwoods – not so fast as in a vehicle where you miss something, not so slow as walking where the day’s hours fade away before the next attraction.

Bring your bike and make Baraga County your hub to explore not only the friendly towns, but also to Marquette or Houghton in the neighboring counties. As you pedal your road bike or fat bike, you’ll come across breathtaking waterfalls, historical sites, roadhouses for a tasty burger and fries, and much more, including sunsets over Lake Superior that make even the locals’ hearts skip a beat!

Check out these suggested tour routes with family and friends:

Mountain Biking
Tour De Mt. Arvon – 29 miles

Road Biking
Tour da Aura – 26 miles
Tour da Skanee – 51 miles
Tour da Pequaming – 22 miles
Tour da Baraga – 5.6 mile

For more details on biking and other fun things to do in Baraga County, go to visitbaragacounty.com.





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