Get away from it all on the Tri-County Recreational Corridor. Pick up this North Woods rail-trail in Superior, where it connects with the urban Osaugie Trail, which then leads to the Tri-County Trail in Itasca. Spanning the three counties of Ashland, Bayfield and Douglas, the Tri-County trail is a west-to-east shot between Superior and Ashland. Most of the trail is crushed limestone and open to a wide variety of uses. (If asphalt is what you're after, head east to Ashland's Central Railyard Park for a short, smooth trip on the trail's 3-mile strip of pavement.)
Bicyclists, hikers, and equestrians share the trail with all-terrain vehicles from spring through fall, while snowmobiles dominate in winter. Signs specify that motorized users keep to one side of the trail, which keeps the surface suitable on the opposite side. However, increased ATV traffic, especially on weekends, can make for a bumpy bike ride in some sections because of sporadic patches of loose gravel.
Even though US 2 parallels most of the trail and is somewhat visible, the long ride from Superior to Ashland feels secluded and peaceful. Wildlife is abundant. Scenic Amnicon Falls State Park, just 7 miles outside Superior, is home to fox, porcupine and other small animals. Farther along, peer into the beautiful stands of birch trees lining the path to find deer quietly hiding. Bridges and old railroad trestles high over churning rivers and streams create a peaceful respite for bird watching.
Amenities along this trail are scarce. The town of Iron River, at mile 40, is the firstand lastchance to find refreshments or a restroom (take County Rd. A south into town) until the trail's end.
Nearing Ashland, at mile 60, the trail becomes a paved backyard path, intersecting sleepy neighborhood streets. This 3-mile section is the only portion suitable for wheelchairs and in-line skaters. Ashland, with beautiful views of Lake Superior's Chequamegon Bay, is the perfect end to this scenic trail.
Parking and Trail Access
To reach the Tri-County Recreational Corridor in Ashland from the west, take State Route 137 east into town. The road becomes West 6th Street. Parking is available at Central Railyard Park across from the intersection of 4th Avenue West and West 6th Street.
From the east, take US 2 west into Ashland, where it becomes Lakeshore Drive East. Turn left on Ellis Avenue (SR 13) and a right on West 6th Street. Look for parking at Central Railyard. Park to your right across from the intersection of 4th Avenue West and West 6th Street.
To reach the trail from Superior, take East 2nd Street south out of town. Immediately after it becomes US 53 south, take a left on Moccasin Mike Road (also 57th Avenue East). Take the first left into a parking lot and the trail will be on your right.
Use Local Roads if your on a Bike!
This trail does not work for bikes, and the parallel highway, US 2, has a lot of traffic, with many trucks, with a narrow paved shoulder. There are wonderful paved local roads through this area, and with a little misdirection now and then, it is a much ...
Mountain bikes only
"I rode this in late summer of 2003. It can be a long while between without services, so stock up on liquids. The ATVs wore it out some. I reduced my tires to 35 psi and did all right. This trail is definitely for mountain bikes only."
Don't Bother with This Trail
The paved part of this trail in Superior is fine. Until Iron River heading east the trail is somewhat rideable with only a few spots where the gravel is not packed.
Then it gets terrible. I love riding rail trails but this one has been destoryed by ATVs. ...