|North Country National Scenic Trail
The North Country National Scenic Trail is managed primarily
as a long distance hiking trail. A long term goal for this trail
is to have a continuous hiking trail from New York state to North
Dakota (visit the North
Country National Scenic Trail website ). Many
people enjoy hiking short sections of this trail.
Cross country skiing is possible on the trail, however,
the tread is not exceptionally smooth. Skiing is best late in
winter when a crust has formed on the snow. Dog sled use is also
allowed except where the trail follows the Penokee Mountain ski
Trail Length: 33.9 miles on the Great Divide
Ranger District, 61.4 miles total on the Chequamegon-Nicolet National
Forest. Another portion of the trail is located on the
Washburn Ranger District.
What to Expect: The Marengo Semi-Primitive
Non-Motorized section is fairly hilly. The rest of the North Country
Trail on the Great Divide Ranger District is on flat to gently
rolling ground. Most of this trail is marked with blue rectangular
painted blazes. Within the Porcupine
Lake Wilderness, the trail is not marked with reassurance
markers, but is relatively easy to follow.
For those who don't want to hike the entire distance
of the North Country Trail within the Forest, here are some interesting
places to hike on the trail within the Great Divide Ranger District:
The Marengo Semi-Primitive Non-Motorized Area from Forest
Road 202 to the Snake Trail (Forest Road 383). This section has
quite a bit of topography with rocky outcrops and many ridges.
There are three overlooks where one can see for miles. The best
overlook is the Juniper Rock overlook about one half mile west
of the Marengo River. Just east of the Marengo River is an interesting
old home site - the Swedish Settlement. Here there are remains
of foundations and a spring house that supplied running water
for the family.
The Porcupine Lake Wilderness. The western portion of
the Porcupine Lake Wilderness is fairly scenic. Here the trail
passes by Porcupine Lake and Eighteen Mile Spring Pond, Eighteen
Mile Creek, and Porcupine Creek. This is the best section on the
North Country Trail on the district for hiking near lakes and
The Long Mile Fire Tower. This is a 1930's fire lookout
tower that is an easy 2.5 mile hike east from the parking lot
at County Highway D. From the rock outcrop at the base of the
tower, there is a great view to the east.
Trailheads: There are several small parking areas where
the North Country Trail crosses roads; however the following are
the most popular trailheads:
- Penokee Overlook and Trailhead. This trailhead is 3
miles west of Mellen on County Highway GG.
- Forest Road 202. To reach the Forest Road Trailhead
from Grand View drive south on County Highway D 3 miles to Forest
Road 377. Turn left (east) on FR 377 and continue 4.4 miles
to a "T" intersection with Forest Road 202. Turn right
(south) and drive 1.6 miles to a parking lot on the left (east)
side of Forest Road 202.
- Highway D. The Highway D Trailhead is 3.9 miles south
of Grand View on State HIghway D.
NORTH COUNTRY TRAIL