Nicolet State Trail
Wild, free-flowing rivers and streams abound in this part of Wisconsin, adding to an area already rich in natural resources. The Nicolet National Forest [exit DNR] which encompasses the trail has an abundance of recreation opportunities. In addition to camping, hunting, fishing and water recreation, the forest provides numerous miles of trail for hiking, mountain biking, cross-country skiing and wildlife viewing.
The trail may bring a number of different users to the trail at the same time. It is important to use good trail etiquette to ensure the enjoyment and safety of all trail users.
All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and Off-highway motorcycles (OHMs)
ATVs and OHMs both need to be registered before riding on the trail. Operators must use only legally marked routes to leave the trail. Cross-country travel through the Nicolet National Forest or on private land is prohibited. Wisconsin ATV and OHM operation laws must be followed.
All-terrain vehicle use varies by different sections on the trail.
- In Oconto County, ATVs are allowed on the trail during the summer months from May 1 through October 31 or as posted or published.
- In Forest County, all-terrain vehicles are allowed on the trail when the trail is posted as open. Please see the Forest County Forestry and Recreation Dept. webpage for open and closed dates, or call 715-478-3475 for more information.
- In Florence County, all-terrain vehicles are permitted most of the year. ATVs are not allowed on the Nicolet Trail when Florence County ATV Trails are closed (typically during the spring thaw season approximately mid-March to mid-May).
All three counties have hundreds of miles of ATV routes that connect with the Nicolet State Trail.
Street-legal off-highway motorcycle use varies by different sections on the trail. OHMs are permitted on the Nicolet State Trail in Forest County when ATV use is allowed. OHMs are not allowed on the trail in Florence and Oconto counties.
Horseback riding varies by different sections on the trail. Horses are allowed year-round on the trail in Florence County. Horses are allowed year-round on the trail in Forest County, except from the close of the snowmobiling season to May 1 (or when moisture conditions allow). In Oconto County, horses are allowed on the trail from April 15 through Nov. 10. The trail may be rough or soft in many sections and riders must share the trail with motorized vehicles.
Walking and bicycling
The entire trail is open to walking and bicycling, though bicycling is not recommended. The trail may be rough or soft in many sections and walkers and bikers must share the trail with motorized vehicles. If you plan to bike the trail, the tread is more suitable for off-road bikes.
Pet owners, please be sure to have your pet on a leash, 8 feet or shorter, at all times. You must pick up after your pet.
Snowmobiles are permitted on the trail. Operators must follow all Wisconsin snowmobile laws. The trail also connects to numerous miles of county snowmobile trails.
The opening and closing of snowmobile trails are at the discretion of each county. Snowmobile trails that cross DNR lands are opened and closed consistent with the surrounding county (or counties). Whenever possible, the opening and closing of snowmobile trails are done on a county-wide basis, however, localized conditions may require localized trail opening and closing. It is the responsibility of the county to provide notification about the status of snowmobile trails.
The Travel Wisconsin Snow Conditions Report [exit DNR], and local club and county snowmobile webpages [exit DNR] and telephone hotlines will provide the most current information.
When operating a snowmobile use only legally marked routes to leave the Nicolet State Trail. Cross-country travel through the Nicolet National Forest or on private land is prohibited.
The trail is open to walking, bicycling, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, however, the trail is not groomed and users must share the trail with snowmobiles. Skiers do not need a trail pass while using the trail.
No Hunting and trapping allowed on trail
Hunting and trapping are not allowed on the trail corridor. For more information, please see: