NCT Trail Town USA

First Official Trail Town in Wisconsin
Mellen, WI

The City of Mellen has been the key connection between Copper Falls State Park and North Country National Scenic Trail (NCT) in the Chequamegon National Forest for many years.

Urban North Country National Scenic Trail signs where installed in 2008. A revitalization of the City of Mellen Hike and Bike Trail started in October of 2009 and continued into 2010.

The Hike & Bike Trail is a certified section of NCT that runs along the scenic Bad River. Strategically placed benches take in the view of the Bad River and occasional sightings of geese and ducks that frequent the area.

A Trail Town Celebration was held in September 2012. Final paperwork was signed in April of 2013 making this goal a reality. The City of Mellen is proud to have been named Wisconsin’s First Trail Town by the North Country Trail Association.

Mellen was established in 1886 and is the second oldest city in Ashland County. Located just 25 miles South of Lake Superior and the City of Ashland, the city is situated near the Penokee Mountain Range and the Bad River that flows east to the well-known Copper Falls State Park and Loon Lake. The historic Mellen city hall was built in 1892 and is located along the city portion of the North Country Trail and has a museum on the upper floor. Mellen is a small friendly town that offers a great stepping off point for your next great outdoor adventure.

Some of the many amenities you will find in the City of Mellen include: a deli, several restaurants/bars, gas stations with convenience items, a grocery store with some camping/cookout supplies, a credit union and bank, a Dollar General, post office and chamber of commerce. In addition, along the Mellen NCT you will find areas for resting and picnicking such as Jasper Landry Square and John McLaughlin Park and the recently built library.

The measure of a city can be easily gained by what a visitor has to say. In 2009, a through backpacker on the NCT, Niblewill Nomad (Eb), passed through the City of Mellen. Eb’s journal entries for the City of Mellen are filled with helpful smiles and lasting 
memories. What a testament to the people of Mellen and the NCT that passes through it.

We hope you visit us and find everything you need as you hike through our quaint town and revel in our attractive trail which the Chequamegon Chapter of the North Country Trail Association maintains.

For further information, please send a request via email to the Chequamegon Chapter of the North Country Trail Association at: or the Mellen Chamber of Commerce at 

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