Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Superior, Wis., boasts variety of great hikes

Little Manitou Falls at Pattison State Park.
With the exception of the city of Superior, Wisconsin’s Douglas County is sparsely populated, dotted by small villages and several four-corner towns, making for a variety of great hiking opportunities.

Though sporting a population of just under 30,000, Superior is an international harbor on the largest of the Great Lakes. The city might have been far larger and even more important if not for a pre-Civil War economic downturn. Though the first log cabin here was erected in 1853, within four years the population had risen to 2500 as excitement rose over a Lake Superior to Pacific Coast railroad, but the Panic of 1857 dashed those plans for a quarter century. Today, a number of multi-county trails that used to be rail lines start (or terminate, depending on your perspective) in Superior. In addition, the city’s municipal forest offers a number of wooded hiking trails.

The hamlets of Brule, Maple and Poplar sit in the county’s northeast corner. Each village sports a population of around 600 people. Brule is the gateway to the Brule River State Forest, a kayaking, fishing and hiking destination.

In the southeast, visitors to Douglas County first come across the village of Gordon and then Solon Springs. Both towns have a population of about 600 and offer access to the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway and the St. Croix River’s headwaters.

Some great Douglas County day hiking trails include:
Osaugie Trail
Millennium Trail
Brule River Outlet Trail
Buckley Creek Barrens Trail
Brule Bog Boardwalk Trail
Little Manitou Falls Hiking Trail
Amnicon Falls island trails

Read more about more Douglas County day hiking trails in my Day Hiking Trails of Douglas County guidebook.