Don’t miss the show this spring in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. Vilas County’s forests offer some truly stunning scenery throughout the season, and there are dozens of trails to explore across the county, whether you want a short stroll or a longer, more challenging trip. Here are some great early-season options for a hike.
For a hike that’s great for nature lovers of all ages, check out the Presque Isle Nature Trail (located behind the Presque Isle Community Center), which has a wheelchair-accessible stretch, and the Spectacle Lake-Kentuck Lake Trail in Phelps, which follows a smooth former railroad bed on an out-and-back trail between the Spectacle Lake and Kentuck Lake campgrounds.
Feel like covering some ground? Vilas County has plenty of trails with loops that will take anywhere from an hour to an afternoon to complete. Many of these trails have incredible lake vistas and cover a variety of woodland terrain, from forests to bogs to glades. A couple nice trails that offer longer hiking options include the Fallison Lake Trail near Boulder Junction (its longest loop is approximately 2.5 miles) and the Catherine Wolter Wilderness Area in Presque Isle (two loops of approximately 3 miles each, as well as several secondary and unmaintained trails). Be sure to wear boots or waterproof shoes in the early spring, as trails can still be a little damp after the snow has melted.
Vilas County also has hiking options for those who want longer, hillier hikes. The WinMan Trails between Winchester and Manitowish Waters offer lots of loops to explore on 1,300 acres of private and public land. Conover’s Langley Lake Trails offers a combined 15 miles of routes and nicely varied terrain throughout the Vilas County Forest.
Find your own way
This is just a sample of Vilas County’s vast hiking options. To see more trails, download our free Map It Vilas County trails app, which will help you find trails by distance, location, activities offered, pet-friendly options, and more. The app will even help you navigate the trails—even if you don’t have a cell signal.