The Best of WashCo: Off the Beaten Path

Best of WashCo: Off the Beaten Path

Kaitlin Hanson, Washburn County Staff Writer

The hundreds of miles of trails in Washburn County are one of my favorite ways to get out and enjoy the northwoods. Even if you’re not able to make your way to the area right now, the trails will be waiting for you! 

The winning trail system for the Best of WashCo - Off the Beaten Path was the Washburn County ATV Trails. These trails wind through the beautiful Washburn County forest, around lakes & boast some really scenic views. If you’re looking for a way to guide your journey, be sure to pick up an ATV Scenic Tour, we (the tourism team) and Forestry have been working to update this with new points of interest along the way, especially out in the Casey Loop area. After being on the trails this past season I discovered my new favorite scenic tour spot, an old tunnel that runs right under the trail. If you want to see it, you’ll have to pull over on the trail near the Scenic Tour Sign and walk carefully down the bank; but trust me - it’s so unique & worth the little jaunt. Although the trails haven’t opened for the season yet, you can pick up a map and order your copy of the new ATV Scenic Tour to get ready for the season. Trail opening will be here before we know it and once the trails do open, be sure to follow our website for the most up to date trail conditions

ATV Scenic Tour: Stone Archway
Photo: Washburn County Tourism

Coming in a very close second are the trails at Hunt Hill Audubon Sanctuary. There are thirteen miles of hiking trails through the 600 acre nature preserve, open to the public to use for free. One of their most beautiful and unique trails is the Bog Trail, but you can also experience a variety of different habitats along the way. You will feel the real world slip away as you immerse yourself in the natural untouched wilderness. More recently Hunt Hill has started what is known as the Discovery Trail (also known as the Barred Owl Trail when you’re looking at a trail map). Each month you can go out & search for 8-15 items along the way. The theme changes each month so you’ll be able to visit time and time again to see what’s new! We promise that once the flowers start to blossom you’ll want to walk through the prairie, it is bursting with color and life.

Hunt Hill Bog Trail
Photo: Mike Harvey

Lastly, the other trail in the top three was Spooner City Park (College Street Park). There are a few different loops you can explore along the way and even a paved trail to make for easier walking. Be sure to check out the exercise stations along the paved trail for a little extra workout. You would never know you’re in the middle of Spooner as you start your hike. During the winter months, the volunteers do a wonderful job of grooming for great skiing and snowshoers are encouraged to get out there on the bike trails to pack them down for winter fat biking. But, my personal favorite is to go out during the peak of fall to see the breathtaking colors. Needless to say, these trails are beautiful year round!

Spooner City Park Ski Trails
Photo: James Netz Photography

We love to explore Washburn County from the trails so whether you’re hiking, biking, ATVing, snowmobile, skiing there is going to be a beautiful trail for you to enjoy! Visit for more information on the trails & the beautiful outdoors.

About the Author: Kaitlin is life long Washburn County resident and has loved it. Now she raises her little one to enjoy all things Washburn County has to offer just as she did when she was a tyke!