“8 top trails to hike, bike or paddle in the Cable area”
Chelsey Lewis, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Published June 7, 2018
The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest near Cable is a mecca for outdoor activities. Here are eight of the best trails to explore in the area.
Marengo River Valley, North Country Trail
This 9.8-mile segment of the North Country Trail passes through the Marengo River Valley in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. Be ready for a climb up to three overlooks that provide views of the surrounding forest. A marked trail spur leads to the ruins of a Swedish settlement. A shelter above the river provides a spot for camping overnight. Find parking on Forest Road 202 east of Drummond.
Porcupine Lake Wilderness, North Country Trail
A more mellow segment of the national scenic trail, this 4.3-mile section passes through the 4,446-acre Porcupine Lake Wilderness. The trek is heavily forested, passing a couple of lakes, bogs and creeks. An unofficial campsite on Porcupine Lake offers a spot for camping along the remote, undeveloped lake. Access the trail on County Highway D east of Drummond.
Morgan Falls and St. Peter’s Dome
A half-mile trail leads to the narrow 70-foot Morgan Falls in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. Trek another 1.8 miles up to St. Peter’s Dome, a granite outcrop that offers views as far as Lake Superior and the Apostle Islands on a clear day. The gravel trail to Morgan Falls is mostly flat, but the trail to St. Peter’s Dome, also known as Old Baldy, is more rugged and challenging. Follow gravel Forest Roads to the trailhead on Ashland-Bayfield Road southwest of Marengo.
Note that these trails are currently closed due to damage from storms in 2016. The forest service is rebuilding them, with hopes of reopening this year.
Forest Lodge Nature Trail
This 1.5-mile loop off Garmisch Road in Namakagon travels through a variety of habitats in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, from a tamarack bog to a prairie. Pick up a booklet from the trailhead to learn about the flora and fauna you’ll see along the trail.
This world-class cross-country ski trail travels for 100 kilometers from Cable to Hayward and every February hosts the American Birkebeiner, North America’s largest cross-country ski race. The system is open to hiking and biking in warm-weather months. Races during the Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival, held every September, follow sections of the trail.
This 101-mile river is part of the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway and is a prime spot for kayaking, canoeing and even tubing. The river’s remote and undeveloped shores have campsites for longer trips. See nps.gov/sacn for landings.
Patsy Lake, CAMBA Trails
This easy 8- or 14.8-mile mountain bike trail in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest follows mostly singletrack trail through stands of pines, hardwoods and past lakes. Stretches of the route follow double track down old logging roads and current Forest Roads. Find a trailhead on Forest Road 203 south of Namakagon.
Flow Mama, CAMBA Trails
This intermediate 6-mile mountain bike trail is a fun, fast ride completely on singletrack through the forest, with more than 100 berms and long downhills. Connect it with the Ojibwe or Seeley Pass trails for a longer ride. Find a trailhead on Camp 38 Road southeast of Cable.