True to its name, the Pine Line Trail cuts through magnificent stands of white pine on its way from Prentice to Medford. For more than 100 years, the corridor was used by the Wisconsin Central Railroad to ship large quantities of eastern white pine. Fortunately, enough of these beautiful evergreens remain to color the entire rail-trail with their tall, fragrant, blue-green hue. The 26-mile trail maintains an unwavering northsouth course, but you will delight in the changes of scenery: dense forests give way to sweeping landscapes of dairy farms and wetlands.
The northern portion of the trail begins in Prentice and traverses Taylor and Price counties. If you start in Prentice, be prepared for a pleasantly challenging journey. Large deposits left by an ancient glacier (called a moraine) create an irregular, rolling topography. The first 23 miles are surfaced with crushed gravel that is well maintained and suitable for walking and bicycle travel from late spring to early fall. The final 3 miles are limestone screening.
Much of the trail travels through cedar swamps. Be prepared, particularly in warmer months, to encounter large puddles and standing water in boggy areas. A restored railroad depot provides a welcome rest area in Ogema, approximately 5 miles from the start. If you're hungry, hit a nearby restaurant for some true Wisconsin fare: fried cheese curds.
Moving farther south, the terrain gradually changes from wetlands to picture-perfect dairy farms. This pastoral scene accompanies you on the remainder of your journey.
From December 1 through March 31 the trail is open to snowmobiles and ATVs (pending trail conditions) but closed to all non-motorized uses. Outside these dates, the trail is open to non-motorized uses only. There is an adjacent bridle path for horseback riders.
Parking and Trail Access
Trail access and parking are available in Prentice on Morner Road between State Route 13 and Prentice Road. From downtown Prentice, take County Road A (Railroad Avenue) south. County Road A will veer right (west) and merge with SR 13. Traveling south on SR 13, take a left onto Morner Road. Before Morner Road intersects with Prentice Road, look for the trail on the right.
In Medford, the Allman Street trailhead has a parking lot and a connecting walking path called the East-West Riverwalk. There is a large sign with trail mileage information at the trailhead on Allman Street that points northward toward Prentice.
Parking is also available and easily accessible on municipal streets in Ogema, Westboro, Chelsea and Whittlesey.
The bridge that was burned by arsons has been rebuilt. The trail is open with access to Prentice.
Nice level ride. Crushed gravel is fine from Medford to Whittlesey; it gets a little coarse after that. A trestle bridge is burnt out north of Ogema - so the trail ends before Prentice.