3 trails to try the next time you’re in Hodag Country
Whether you’re looking for an easy ride that’s fun for the whole family or a more challenging road ride that will take you through some beautiful Northwoods scenery, you’ll find great biking rides throughout the Rhinelander Area, whenever you’re ready to visit.
Need a bike? Mel’s Trading Post in downtown Rhinelander offers rentals, bike sales and repairs.
For families: Bearskin State Trail
The Bearskin State Trail sits atop a former railroad bed, following Bearskin Creek for more than 20 miles from Minocqua to Heafford Junction west of Rhinelander. The trail consists of compacted granite and is generally level, so it’s suitable for riders of all skill levels. Along the route, riders will pass over several railroad trestles and encounter several picnic areas as well as an observation deck north of Goodnow. In Heafford Junction, the Bearskin State Trail connects to the Hiawatha Trail, which heads south to Tomahawk in Lincoln County. A state trail pass is required for bicyclists 16 years and older. Self-registration stations are available at both trailheads.
Getting there: The south trailhead is the closest to Rhinelander, east of U.S. Highway 51 on County Highway K. To get there, simply take State Highway 47 north to Highway K northwest of Rhinelander and follow Highway K for about 12 miles. The trailhead is on the northern side of the highway.
For mountain bikers: Washburn Lake Silent Sports Trails Area
The Washburn Lake Silent Sports Trails Area is a four-seasons trail system located north of Washburn Lake in the town of Woodboro, about 8 miles west of Rhinelander. In the winter, the Washburn Lakes trails are popular among cross-country skiers, but in the warmer months it offers 11 miles of mountain bike trails to explore. This includes 5 miles of double-track trail open to novice and intermediate riders and 6 miles of single-track trail designed for advanced mountain bikers. A trail pass is required for all riders 18 and older and can be purchased at the trailheads, from the Oneida County Forestry Office or at local businesses.
Getting there: Parking is available at the main parking area (County Park Road at Perch Lake), the north trailhead on Highway K or the south trailhead on Washburn Lake Road. From Rhinelander, either take Highway K west to Washburn Lake Road (11.5 miles) or U.S Highway 8 west to Highway N west to Washburn Lake Road.
For the road rider in search of scenery: Rhinelander to Pelican Lake
Want to put on some good miles and take in some beautiful Northwoods scenery? Try this roughly 30-mile route that follows backroads from downtown Rhinelander to the shores of Pelican Lake. Here’s where to ride:
- Start on Davenport Road in downtown Rhinelander and head west to River Road (1.5 miles)
- Head south on River Road, which offers great views of the Wisconsin River (6 miles)
- When you reach Crescent Corner south of Rhinelander, head west on Hat Rapids Road (2 miles)
- Follow Hat Rapids Road (which turns into Lassig Road) until you hit Zimmer Road (2 miles)
- Go south on Zimmer Road, a winding route south of Rhinelander, until you reach Highway G (7.5 miles)
- Head south on Highway G into the town of Enterprise, then head north on Enterprise Creek Road (5 miles)
- Go east on Roothouse Road until you reach Highway Q/Schmeichel Road, then head north (1 mile)
- Highway Q will take you around the north shore of Pelican Lake until you hit Pelican Lake Campground (4.5 miles)
Getting there: Start the ride at Davenport Street near the Wisconsin River in Rhinelander or at the Pelican Lake Campground in Pelican Lake.
Find more Rhinelander biking information here.
Note: The Rhinelander Area is open, and all visitors are welcome. Please travel safely and responsibly. Some businesses and events may have modified hours or procedures; please contact businesses or event organizers directly for specific information.