Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest
Hiking is a good way to get close to nature and understand your natural environment a little better. The NHAL has seven trails designated for hiking and four nature trails. There are also hundreds of miles of old logging roads, less traveled town roads, forest access roads and snowmobile trails that offer good hiking.
Tom Roberts Nature Trail — .55 mile
The Tom Roberts Memorial Nature Trail is our accessible nature trail. It is also perfect if you want to take a short easy hike on this paved path. The half-mile loop ambles through a mixed coniferous-deciduous forest of balsam, red pine, white pine, sugar maple, white birch and large-toothed and trembling aspen. The overlooks offer beautiful views of Muskellunge Lake. It's an ideal spot to look for spring flowers and birds. Also keep an eye out for deer, ruffed grouse, coyote tracks and fisher tracks. No pets allowed. A vehicle admission sticker is required.
Tom Roberts was a Bureau of Forestry Protection and Reforestation section chief who passed away on Aug. 5, 2000, after a courageous battle with cancer. Tom worked during his entire 31-year career to protect one of the state's most important renewable resource — our forests. The forests of Wisconsin and the individuals with whom he worked are both better because of his tireless efforts.
North Trout Nature Trail — 1 mile
The North Trout Nature Trail is one of our easiest nature trails to hike. This trail is a 1-mile loop trail that meanders around a mature black spruce-tamarack bog. The trail also winds its way along the Trout Lake shoreline, offering a beautiful view of the lake. This is a wonderful trail to hike in spring because of the abundance of wildflowers. Watch for the moccasin flower, trailing arbutus, Canadian mayflower, start flower, blueberry and barren strawberry. No pets allowed. This trail is not groomed during winter months. There is no fee or pass required.
Raven Nature Trail — 1.5 miles
The Raven Nature Trail is a moderately hilly, heavily wooded trail that is 1.5 miles in length. This trail winds through a large hemlock glade. This is a wonderful trail any time of year. In spring, watch for bog rosemary, bog laurel, Labrador tea, leatherleaf, cotton grass, sundew and pitcher plants blooming and growing in the bog. There are also some wonderful towering old white pines growing along this trail. No pets allowed. Hiking is only allowed during summer months as this trail is groomed for skiing. A daily or annual state trail pass required for skiing only.
Star Lake Nature Trail — 2.5 miles
The Star Lake Nature Trail is a moderately hilly trail that is slightly over 1 mile in length. This historical trail winds its way through what was, in the early 1900s, a pasture for horses hauling logs from the surrounding woods to the Star Lake Mill. This trail is also the site of the first tree plantings in Wisconsin. The red pine plantation research plot trees that are still on this site were planted as 2-year-old seedlings in 1913 from seed stock grown at the old Trout Lake Nursery. In summer, this trail is a great place to see blue flag iris, pipsissewa, various Pyrola species, one-flowered wintergreen and Indian pipe. No pets allowed. There is no fee or pass required.
Fallison Nature Trail — 4 miles
The Fallison Lake Nature Trail is our longest and most strenuous nature trail. The longest of all trail loops is 2.5 miles. This trail rolls through a mixed coniferous-deciduous forest of balsam, red pine, white pine, sugar maple, white birch and large-toothed and trembling aspen. The trail crosses bogs on the southwest and northeast sides and a hemlock glade on the south side. Watch for signs of beaver activity along the trail and along the shore. Loons, osprey and eagles are often seen on or around Fallison Lake. Although you can cross-country ski on these ungroomed trails in the winter, be aware that there are sets of stairs you may need to walk around. No pets allowed. No fee or pass required.
Shannon Trail — 7 miles
The terrain on the Shannon Lake Trail is gently rolling with a variety of timber types. The loop around Shannon Lake is especially scenic. About half of the trail winds through an area that was logged in 1976, 2000 and 2010. The remainder meanders through a variety of northern hardwoods. The Shannon Trail is a popular location for fat tire biking, and during winter the trail is groomed for fat tire biking. No fee or pass is required.
Powell Trail — 8.5 miles
This is an easy trail that runs past Spring Pond and Sherman Lake. This is a good trail for beginner skiers. Half the trail winds through an area that was logged recently. The rest goes through old timber types. In 2002, some aspen was cut to help regenerate habitat for wildlife. Pets are allowed year-round. No fee or pass is required.
Madeline Trail — 9.5 miles
This trail has a variety of scenery as it winds around three lakes and through different types of terrain. It has a few rolling hills. Most of the trail follows old logging roads. The surface is grass and dirt. The effort level is easy to moderate. Madeline is groomed and tracked for cross-country skiing. This is an excellent trail for all levels of skiers. There is a shelter located on the trail with a fire ring. Leashed pets are allowed on this trail only when there is no snow on the ground. A daily or annual state trail pass is required for mountain biking and skiing.
McNaughton Trail — 10 miles
McNaughton Lake Trail follows old logging roads and is gentle with very few steep hills. The surface is grass and dirt. This is the only trail that has a loop groomed for skating. The skating loop runs around McNaughton Lake. This is a very scenic trail and is excellent for a beginner. The trail winds around three different lakes. There is a shelter with fire ring on the trail. Leashed pets are allowed on this trail only when there is no snow on the ground. A daily or annual state trail pass is required for mountain biking and skiing only.
Escanaba Trail — 11 miles
This trail is very hilly, rolling and scenic. It winds around five different lakes, through stands of maple, aspen and balsam. There are a couple fairly steep hills. Escanaba is groomed and tracked in the winter for cross-country skiing. For skiers, this is an intermediate trail. A shelter with fire ring is located on the trail. Restrooms are located near the trailhead. Leashed pets are allowed on this trail only when there is no snow on the ground. A daily or annual state trail pass is required for skiing only.
Raven Trail — 11 miles
The majority of this 11-mile trail runs through an area logged years ago, although some has been logged recently. The trail winds past both Clear and Inkpot lakes. There are a couple of steep hills, but most of the trail is an intermediate level. There is also a 5-mile expert trail. In addition to a single track mountain bike trail, there is a bike skills course right across the road from the parking lot. A shelter with fire ring can be found on the trail. Leashed pets are allowed on this trail only when there is no snow on the ground, and pets are never allowed on the nature loop of the trail. A daily or annual state trail pass is required for biking and skiing.
Lumberjack Trail — 12.5 miles
The Lumberjack Trail is a very scenic trail winding along the edge of the Manitowish River, the Fishtrap Flowage and White Sand Lake. The trail gently rolls through a variety of timber types. The surface is grass, dirt, rocks and sand. The effort level is easy to moderate. Approximately half of the trail winds through an area that was logged several years ago. The rest of the trail is through old timber. The trail connects with the Escanaba Trail. Pets are allowed year-round. A daily or annual state trail pass is required for mountain biking only.