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Bearskin & Hiawatha State Trail

Hiawatha Trail

Whether you start in Minocqua or Tomahawk
, your ride begins with a long scenic lake trestle crossing. You may catch sight of a stately great blue heron standing among the lily pads, or a flight of wood ducks landing among the reeds. Covering an area the size of Rhode Island, this neck of the Northwoods has one of the densest concentrations of lakes anywhere. Both the Bearskin and Hiawatha are converted railbed trails and make great stop on your Northern Wisconsin vacation getaway.

These grades, which once carried the famed "Hiawatha" Streamliner from Chicago, are now your ticket to scenic touring adventure. Excellent city parks at each trailhead make the trip even more fun for kids. Torpey Park in Minocqua and Sara Lake Park in Tomahawk both have playgrounds and sandy swimming beaches.

Description - Bearskin-Hiawatha State Trail is two trails running along the former rail corridor of the Chicago Milwaukee and St. Paul & Pacific from Minocqua and Tomahawk. The Bearskin runs 18.3 miles south from Minocqua; the Hiawatha runs north from Tomahawk 6 miles. The trail has been designated a National Recreation Trail offering sights that include rolling hills, streams, and lakes. Several lakes are accessible from the trail.

Attractions - The Bearskin-Hiawatha State Trail is a multi-use trail open for touring biking and hiking during the warmer months and snowmobiling in winter. Begin the trail from behind the Police Department in Minocqua. The surface is composed of crushed granite. There are no bike rentals or car shuttles available; however, there is a rest area and observation deck along route. Trailheads are in Minocqua and on Hwy. K near Hwy. 51. Limited access points. Trail passes required for bikers 16 years of age and older.

Wisconsin's Rustic Road 58 intersects with the Bearskin-Hiawatha State Trail in Oneida County. Nearly 10 miles of scenic, paved roadway is enjoyed by both auto and bike travelers.

Recreation - The trail is open to tour biking, hiking, and snowmobiling.

Climate - Northeast Wisconsin has four distinct seasons with warm summers and long winters. Great Lakes Michigan and Superior tend to make summers cooler and winters milder close to shore. January's average temperature is in the teens F (-teens C). Average July temperature is 68-70 degrees F (20 degrees C). During summer, temperatures can climb to above 90 degrees F (32 degrees C) for a several day stretch. The area's average yearly precipitation ranges from 30-32". Annual snowfalls in the Northeast Region have a wide range; the southern areas may receive 50" while the northern areas may receive in excess of 180". Nighttime summer temperatures can dip below freezing. Dressing in layers is a good way to remain comfortable in Wisconsin.

Location - The Bearskin Trail runs 18.3 miles south from Minocqua; the Hiawatha Trail runs north from Tomahawk 6 miles. The Bearskin State Trail has trailheads in Minocqua and on Hwy. K near Hwy. 51. Address: 518 W Somo Avenue, Tomahawk, WI 54487. Telephone Number(s) Voice: 715-453-1263 Toll Free: 800-446-6784.

Days of Operation- Recreation & Attractions availability dates: Open year round

Interest Categories - Recreation & Attractions, State Parks, Forests & Trails, State Trails, Biking, Bike Trails, Snowmobiling, Snowmobile Trails, Parks, Forests & Trails, More Outdoor Recreation, Hiking Trails

Amenities and Services - General Amenities: Payment Methods Accepted: Personal Check/Visa Card/Master Card, Directions from Nearest Town/Intersection: Minocqua to CH K & Heafford Jct. to Tomahawk, Rates Description: State trail pass $10 yearly pass or $3 daily pass.