Your web browser is out of date. Update your browser for more security, speed and the best experience on this site

Late-season trail hikes in the Northwoods of Wisconsin


  • Article
  • Fall
  • Hiking
  • Trails

The final weeks of the fall hiking season can be some of the most rewarding. Here are a few trails perfect for any group.

The Trampers Trails are located in the Plum Lake Hemlock Forest, along the shoreline of Star Lake in Vilas County, Wisconsin.

The final weeks of the fall hiking season can be some of the most rewarding. Vilas County’s trails will take you through strands of maples, pines, and hemlocks and along the shores of glacial lakes. Soon, many of these trails will beckon cross-country skiers and snowshoers to northern Wisconsin. But for now, they are places to enjoy the last splashes of fall color and some unforgettable hiking moments. Here are trails perfect for any group.

Family-friendly paths

Bringing the kids along – or some older adults? Enjoy every bit of the scenery with ease. Check out the Presque Isle Nature Trail, which has a wheelchair-accessible stretch, and the Spectacle Lake-Kentuck Lake Trail in Phelps, which follows a historic railroad bed.

Half-day hikes

Vilas County has a lot of trail options that will take part of a day to explore. A couple nice trails that offer half-day hiking options include the Madeline Lake Trail in the Minocqua Area and the Catherine Wolter Wilderness Area in Presque Isle. In late fall, these trails are dry and typically free of bugs, so they are easy to navigate.

Going long

If you would like to lose yourself on the trails for a while, Vilas County is the place to hike. A couple of good places to find longer networks include the Trampers Trails in Sayner-Star Lake and the Lumberjack Trail in Boulder Junction. Both trails offer miles of wild Vilas County scenery.

Getting around

Smartphone users download the free Map It Vilas County trails app. It will help you navigate Vilas County’s trails like a local and works even without a cell signal! The app is designed for adults but kids have a lot of fun using the app to see where they are on the trail.

Find more trails.