The 2.3 miles Doughboys trail was first established by Veterans of WWI around the Gorge of the Bad River. In 1929 the State of Wisconsin purchased the land around the gorge and it officially became Copper Falls State Park. During the 1930′s CCC Company 692 made many more improvements to the trail and built several structures within the park. Not only is this trail the most popular within the park, it also is a segment of certified NCT through the area. Waterfalls, 100+ foot canyon walls, and unique geological features dominate the landscape. A 65 foot CCC constructed observation tower with 250 steps offers views of the Penokee Range and Chequamegon Bay.
There are great views along this 3.3 mile segment of easy to moderate gradual climbs dominated by gently rolling hills, woods and occasional canopy openings. You will hike past Stratton Ponds, Nelson Lake, Bullhead Lake, Mirror Lake, Esox Lake and Overby Lake. This section includes two new trail re-routes built in 2009, two new wooden puncheon built in 2008 and a new earthen puncheon built in 2009. The first wooden bench installed along the NCT in the Chequamegon National Forest sits above Mirror Lake on this section of trail.
This section is located entirely within the Porcupine Lake Wilderness Area where blue blazes and mechanized equipment are prohibited. You will hike 4.3 miles through mature upland hardwood forest, skirt West Davis Lake, cross below the remnants of one beaver dam and across the top of two secondary beaver dams. The wilderness is home to the Porcupine Lake wolf pack estimated in 2009 to contain 6 members. Wolves are seldom seen but their tracks and scat are frequently encountered on the trail. This hike ends near Porcupine Lake, a gem of a lake with good fishing for pan fish, and largemouth with several good camping sites. A nice rustic two log bridge crosses over Porcupine Creek flowing out of the lake and a trail spur follows the creek to the trail head on FR 213. Moderate difficulty with some tricky footing on the beaver dams.
This 3.8 mile, easy to moderate, section of the Rainbow Lake Wilderness is best known for its picturesque lakes and the wolf pack that can sometimes be heard howling at night.
The hike will begin along Anderson Grade Trail, a old railroad bed, and then will hook into the NCT in the Wilderness and head South toward Reynard Lake Road. On the way you will pass by Clay Lake, Flakefjord Lake, with a short hike into Bufo Lake to take a peak, and then on to Reynard Lake and Wishbone Lake. Relatively flat and forested.
This 3.7 mile, moderate to difficult, hike makes a first stop at Juniper Rock Overlook (where weddings have occurred) and gives you a breathtaking view of the Marengo River Valley. The next stop will be on a bridge over the Marengo River followed by a tour of the Swedish Settlement (late 1800′s). There are two more scenic overlooks of the Marengo River Valley before the end of this hike. This is one of the Chequamegon’s most popular sections of NCT in the Chequamegon National Forest.
3 mile, moderately easy hike. The Lake Owen section was included in the first certified miles of the North Country National Scenic Trail. History runs deep with archeological evidence of American Indians living in villages along the Lake Owen shore more than 4,000 years ago. A section of this hike missed the heavy logging that took place in the 1880s. You will pass through Wisconsin’s only 7 acre stand of huge majestic virgin red pine, white pine and the rarer hemlock pine that survived the state’s clear-cut logging era. This hike offers scenic views of the majestic Lake Owen.