- Contact information
- For information, contact:
Wild Rivers Center
5628 Forestry Dr.
Florence WI 54121
Forest County Forestry/Parks Department
200 E Madison Ave.
Crandon WI 54520
Oconto County Forestry/Parks Department
301 Washington St.
Oconto WI 54153
Wisconsin State Park System Nicolet State Trail
This county-operated trail meanders for more than 89 miles through the Nicolet National Forest in northeastern Wisconsin. The trail follows the same corridor built by railroad companies in the late 19th century to open up Wisconsin's pine and hardwood forests for the timber industry. The Nicolet State Trail runs through several small communities from Gillett in Oconto County to the Michigan state line.
Wild, free-flowing rivers and streams abound in this part of Wisconsin, adding to an area already rich in natural resources. The Nicolet National Forest which encompasses the trail has an abundance of recreation opportunities. In addition to camping, hunting, fishing and water recreation, the forest provides numerous miles of trail for hiking, mountain biking, cross-country skiing and wildlife viewing.
The trail may bring a number of different users to the trail at the same time. It is important to use good trail etiquette to ensure the enjoyment and safety of all trail users.
All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and Off-highway motorcycles (OHMs)
ATVs and OHMs both need to be registered before riding on the trail. Operators must use only legally marked routes to leave the trail. Cross-country travel through the Nicolet National Forest or on private land is prohibited.
All-terrain vehicle use varies by different sections on the trail. In Oconto County, ATVs are allowed on the trail during the summer months from May 1 through October 31 or as posted or published. All-terrain vehicles are permitted year-round in Forest and Florence counties. The Nicolet State Trail is the only trail in Forest County open to both snowmobile and ATV use. Operators must follow all Wisconsin ATV operation laws. All three counties have hundreds of miles of ATV routes that connect with the Nicolet State Trail.
Street-legal Off-highway motorcycles are permitted on the Nicolet State Trail in Forest and Florence counties when ATV use is allowed. OHMs are not allowed in Oconto County.
Walking and bicycling
The entire trail is open to walking and bicycling, though bicycling is not recommended. The trail may be rough or soft in many sections and walkers and bikers must share the trail with motorized vehicles. If you plan to bike the trail, the tread is more suitable for off-road bikes.
Pet owners, please be sure to have your pet on a leash, 8 feet or shorter, at all times. You must pick up after your pet.
Horseback riding varies by different sections on the trail. Horses are allowed year-round on the trail in Florence County. Horses are allowed year-round on the trail in Forest County, except from the close of snowmobiling season to May 1 (or when moisture conditions allow). In Oconto County, horses are allowed on the trail from April 15 through November 10. The trail may be rough or soft in many sections and riders must share the trail with motorized vehicles.
Snowmobiles are permitted on the trail. Operators must follow all Wisconsin snowmobile laws. The trail also connects to numerous miles of county snowmobile trails.
The opening and closing of snowmobile trails is at the discretion of each county. Snowmobile trails which cross DNR lands are opened and closed consistent with the surrounding county (or counties). Whenever possible, the opening and closing of snowmobile trails is done on a county-wide basis, however localized conditions may require localized trail opening and closing. It is the responsibility of the county to provide notification about the status of snowmobile trails. The Travel Wisconsin Snow Conditions Report, and local club and county snowmobile web pages and telephone hotlines will provide the most current information.
When operating a snowmobile use only legally marked routes to leave the Nicolet State Trail. Cross-country travel through the Nicolet National Forest or on private land is prohibited.
The trail is open to cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, however, the trail is not groomed and skiers and snowshoers must share the trail with snowmobiles. Skiers do not need a trail pass while using the trail.
No Hunting and trapping allowed on trail
Hunting and trapping are not allowed on the trail corridor. For more information, please see:
Florence County: The Nicolet State Trail in Florence County runs north for more than 15 miles from the Florence/Forest county line near Long Lake past the town of Tipler to the Michigan state line. Access to the trail is available in Long Lake and Tipler. Long Lake is on State Highway 139 and Tipler is on State Highway 70, about one mile east of the highway 139/70 intersection. About halfway between the two communities, the Nicolet Trail crosses the Pine River, a state designated wild river.
Forest County: The Nicolet State Trail stretches 35 miles through Forest County passing through the communities of Carter, Wabeno, Blackwell, Laona, Cavour and Newald. In the town of Laona, the trail is near the intersection of U.S. Highway 8 and State Highway 32. Just south of the Forest/Florence county line the trail crosses the Popple River, a state designated wild river. There are two parking areas available; 1) In Wabeno between the town park and the Logging Museum and 2) off of County Highway G, about one mile west of U.S. Highway 8 - follow the directional signs on County Highway G.
Oconto County: The Nicolet State Trail in Oconto County begins in the town of Gillett near the Oconto/Shawano county line. Gillett is located on State Highway 22, about 18 miles northeast of the city of Shawano. The trail runs for about 30 miles north from Gillett in Oconto County and passes through the communities of Suring, Mountain, Lakewood and Townsend. In Suring, a parking area with access to the trail is available next to the Village Hall near State Highway 32. Beginning around Mountain, the trail parallels Highway 32 the rest of the way north into Forest County.