North Country Trail Association

Heritage Chapter


Sandstone Ledges Spur in Copper Falls State Park to the Wisconsin/Michigan state line

Welcome to scenic northern Wisconsin! The Heritage Chapter of the NCTA invites you to enjoy the forests, lakes and rivers of our trail country in Iron and Ashland counties. Our Chapter was formed to develop, maintain and promote the use of the North Country National Scenic Trail from Copper Falls State Park near Mellen to the Wisconsin-Michigan border. This area of the North Country Trail remains one of the most remote sections of the Trail in Wisconsin. Many of the Heritage Chapter’s most active members come from areas far away from the Trail’s route in Ashland and Iron counties. In fact, many are from the Milwaukee area and members often carpool together up to the Trail area. We are always looking for new volunteers, even those who may be brand new to trail building and maintenance. In addition, we are always looking for help with other activities such as tool maintenance, camp cooking and outreach. Many of these activities need not involve trips to Northern Wisconsin. If you’re interested in helping in any way, please contact us we will see how you can get involved. Feel like you might be too busy? Volunteers can attend as many or as few events as they are able to and may spend as much time at an event as their schedule permits. There are no minimum attendance requirements. We welcome your help whenever you are able to provide it. In addition, we welcome those who may wish to try one event before becoming more involved.

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Chapter Trail Section

Characterized as “the land of waterfalls and rock outcrops,” this section of trail falls within a less developed part of the state. Thus, it feels somewhat more wild than other portions of the state. Passing through portions of the ancient but worn-down Penokee Mountain Range, you’ll encounter many rock outcrops. These outcrops offer expansive vistas where the Trail passes over the top or skirts their bases and give trailside interest in the form of a wall of lichens, mosses and small ferns. Enjoy beautiful places like the Lake Superior shoreline and numerous waterfalls including Superior Falls, Potato River Falls, Foster Falls. and Wren Falls. You’ll experience expansive vistas overlooking Upson Lake and one halfway between Casey Sag Road and Wren Falls on a rock outcrop. And of course, not to miss is the 5 miles of trail overlooking the Bad River in Copper Falls State Park.

Connect and Get Involved

Join the Chapter
Chapter Meetup
Chapter brochure
Chapter newsletters


Use the Report Trail Condition form to alert NCTA and the Chapter to poor trail conditions. Visit the Trail Alerts page while planning your adventure.

Chapter Maps and Guidance

Chapter Maps and Brochure
View our section of the Trail on the interactive online map

Additional Local Resources

Travel Ashland County
“Backpacking Wisconsin” by Elizabeth D. Hailman
Copper Falls State Park
“Hiking Wisconsin” by Eric Hansen
Iron County Forestry and Parks
New York Times article, “Northern Exposure, Hiking the North Country Trail”
White Cap Mountain Resort
Iron County Economic Development Recreation