Wildlife Viewing on the Namekagon River in Washburn CountyHiking trails near Minong in Washburn CountyHiking at Hunt Hill Audubon Sanctuary in Sarona, near Long Lake

Hiking & Wildlife Viewing

Over 100 miles of scenic hiking trails wind through the pristine forests and along the beautiful lakes and rivers of Washburn County.  Trails vary from short beginner trails to longer more difficult trails for the more experienced hiker.  Washburn County's excellent hiking trails include the Hunt Hill Audubon Sanctuary, Stone Lake Wetland Park, Trego Lake, Trego Nature trails and many more.

Hiking Trails

Beaver Brook Trail
Over 6 miles of incredible hiking trails wind through the Beaver Brook Wildlife Area. This nearly 2,000 acre property, offers a variety of trout streams, springs and lakes. Remnants of several homesteads can be found on the property and remnants of an old logging dam built in 1870 and removed in 1910 are still visible near the mouth of Beaver Brook.

Location: 1 mile SW of Hwy 53 on Cranberry Dr.
Length: 6.4 miles
Trail Details: Dogs OK/Parking
Trail Map

College Street Park Trail
Location: ½ mile North of Elm St. on College St.
Length: 1.2 miles
Trail Details: Dogs OK/Parking/Picnic Area
Trail Map

Hunt Hill Trails
10 miles of loops meander through this 500 acre nature reserve near Long Lake. From wide prairies to dense forests, you will find a variety of hiking opportunities on the property. One particularly interesting trail is the "Bog Trail", a family favorite, was even featured on Discover Wisconsin.

Location: 2.5 miles East of Cty P on Audubon Rd.; Left on Hunt Hill Rd.
Length: 10 miles (Various trails)
Trail Details: Dogs OK/Parking
Trail Map

Ice Age Trail-Grassy Lake Segment
Location: 2.4 miles SE of Hwy 63 on Lehman Lake Rd.
Length: 7.2 miles

Leisure Lake Trail
Location: 1 mile N of Island Lake Rd. on Leisure Lake Rd; Right on Skunk Lake Rd.
Length: 5 km
Trail Details: Parking
Trail Map

Nordic Woods Trail
Location:
     North: 11 ½ mi. E of Hwy 53 on Hwy 70
     South: 11 mi. E of Hwy 53 on Cty. B
Length: 15 km
Trail Details: Parking
Trail Map

Sawyer Brook Springs Trail
Location: 1st St. (Lewis) behind the Shell Lake Arts Center
Length: 1 mile
Trail Details: Parking

Stone Lake Wetland Park
Location:  West of Highway 70 in Stone Lake
Length: 17.4 acres
Trail Details: Dogs OK/Parking/Picnic Area/Restrooms

Totogatic Trail
Location: 2 miles North of Minong on Highway 53
Length: 8 km
Trail Details: Parking
Trail Map

Trego Lake Trail
Location: 2 miles West of Highway 53 on River Road
Length: 3.5 miles
Trail Details: Dogs OK/Parking/Restrooms
Trail Map

Trego Nature Trail
Nestled along the Namekagon River, the Trego Nature 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 is approximately three miles and offers incredible wildlife viewing along the river

Location: ¾ mile East of Highway 53 on Highway 63
Length: 2.8 miles
Trail Details: Dogs OK/Parking/Restrooms
Trail Map

Tuscobia Trail
Location: Highway 48 in Birchwood
Length: 65 miles
Trail Details: Dogs OK/Multi-use Trail
Trail Map

Wild River Trail
Location: Sarona (Feed Mill Rd.), Spooner (Front St.), Trego (Park St.), Minong (Hwy 77)
Length: 40 miles (96 Total)
Trail Details: Dogs OK/Multi-use/Parking
Trail Map

Wildlife Viewing

Extraordinary wildlife can be found year round in Washburn County. Over 148,000 acres of public land offer opportunities to view bald eagles, deer, waterfowl, grouse and many more Northwoods creatures.

Eagle near Minong, WisconsinOf particular interest in Northwest Wisconsin is the high number of Bald Eagles.  Once threatened, the bald eagle has made a tremendous recovery.  Although still protected, these majestic birds can be seen frequently in Washburn County.  Other protected species include ospreys and loons.  In order to catch sight of a loon, you'll want to visit an area lake in the early morning hours.  If you hear this sound, be assured, a loon is nearby.

View maps of Public Land in Washburn County on the Washburn County Forestry site.

 

Tips and Techniques for Wildlife Viewing

What to bring:

  • Field Guide- Pick up a reference book at a local bookstore to help identify the animals that you will be seeing. 
  • Binoculars- In order to view wildlife without coming too close or disturbing them, bring a pair of binoculars.  This way, you get a close up view without getting too close.
  • Camera- Be sure to take lots of photos to share about your Northwood’s experience
  • Bug Repellent
  • Raingear

Tips:

  • Be Prepared- Safety for yourself and the animals should be your number one priority.  Be sure someone knows where you are going and always bring a friend.  Research the viewing area prior to going to make sure that the trail suits your skill level. 
  • Before you leave- Wear neutral colored clothing as it does not attract the animal’s eye.  Be sure to wear sensible shoes if you will be hiking.  Bring bug repellent as bugs may be plentiful on many of the area trails. 
  • Do not feed the animals- Feeding wild animals is extremely dangerous.  Please do not feed them and make sure you take your food with you when you leave.
  • The best times for wildlife viewing are at dawn & dusk when the animals are moving around.
  • Blinds are recommended for wildlife viewing.  Cars, boats & kayaks make great blinds as animals are used to seeing these and may not be as startled by them. 
  • View from a safe distance.  You don’t want to startle or intimidate a wild animal.  Remember-you are in their habitat
  • Stay clear of nests and dens as young animals are more susceptible to human contact.  If you see a nest or den, slowly back away from the area to not disturb the animals.  If you see a young animal alone, leave it.  Chances are the mother is nearby and waiting for you to leave.
  • Be responsible.  Please take your trash with you.