The North Country National Scenic Trail is managed primarily as a long distance hiking trail. A long term goal for this trail is to have a continuous hiking trail from New York state to North Dakota (visit the North Country National Scenic Trail website ). Many people enjoy hiking short sections of this trail.
Cross country skiing is possible on the trail, however, the tread is not exceptionally smooth. Skiing is best late in winter when a crust has formed on the snow. Dog sled use is also allowed except where the trail follows the Penokee Mountain ski trail.
Hiking the North Country Trail - Great Divide:
The Marengo Semi-Primitive Non-Motorized section is fairly hilly. The rest of the North Country Trail on the Great Divide Ranger District is on flat to gently rolling ground. Most of this trail is marked with blue rectangular painted blazes. Within the Porcupine Lake Wilderness, the trail is not marked with reassurance markers, but is relatively easy to follow.
For those who don't want to hike the entire distance of the North Country Trail within the Forest, here are some interesting places to hike on the trail within the Great Divide Ranger District:
The Marengo Semi-Primitive Non-Motorized Area from Forest Road 202 to the Snake Trail (Forest Road 383). This section has quite a bit of topography with rocky outcrops and many ridges. There are three overlooks where one can see for miles. The best overlook is the Juniper Rock overlook about one half mile west of the Marengo River. Just east of the Marengo River is an interesting old home site - the Swedish Settlement. Here there are remains of foundations and a spring house that supplied running water for the family.
The Porcupine Lake Wilderness. The western portion of the Porcupine Lake Wilderness is fairly scenic. Here the trail passes by Porcupine Lake and Eighteen Mile Spring Pond, Eighteen Mile Creek, and Porcupine Creek. This is the best section on the North Country Trail on the district for hiking near lakes and streams.
The Long Mile Fire Tower. This is a 1930's fire lookout tower that is an easy 2.5 mile hike east from the parking lot at County Highway D. From the rock outcrop at the base of the tower, there is a great view to the east.
Specific Hiking and Trail Information for the North Country Trail - Great Divide
Location of the North Country Trail - Great Divide: Chequamegon Side
Length of Trail: over 10 miles
Penokee Overlook and Trailhead. This trailhead is 3 miles west of Mellen on County Highway GG.
Forest Road 202. To reach the Forest Road Trailhead from Grand View drive south on County Highway D 3 miles to Forest Road 377. Turn left (east) on FR 377 and continue 4.4 miles to a 'T' intersection with Forest Road 202. Turn right (south) and drive 1.6 miles to a parking lot on the left (east) side of Forest Road 202.
Highway D. The Highway D Trailhead is 3.9 miles south of Grand View on State HIghway D.
Nearby Cities with Hotels: Hayward, Ashland
For more information on this hike
National Forest: Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest
Local Office: Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest
N22223 Highway 13
Glidden, WI, 54527