Nicolet State Trail


5 Reviews

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Nicolet State Trail Facts

States: Wisconsin
Counties: Florence, Forest, Oconto
Length: 90.1 miles
Trail end points: Zippel Park at W. Park St. (Gillett) and Wisconsin/ Michigan state line
Trail surfaces: Cinder, Crushed Stone, Gravel
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 7456150

Nicolet State Trail Description

The Nicolet State Trail runs for 90 miles through three counties, numerous small communities and Nicolet National Forest in northeastern Wisconsin. Following a former railroad route used by the timber industry in the late 19th century, the heavily wooded trail begins in Gillett, about 40 miles north of Green Bay, and travels north to the state's border with Michigan, crossing the Brule River on a rehabilitated tressle bridge. On the other side of the border, a spur connects riders to the 107-mile State Line Trail.

Note that, although the trail is open for a variety of uses—including walking, mountain biking, horseback riding and cross-country skiing—the trail is most popular for snowmobiling in the winter and ATV riding at other times (permitted in the summer in Oconto county and year-round in Forest and Florence counties).

Parking and Trail Access

Parking is available at either end of the Nicolet State Trail: in Tipler and in Gillett at Zippel Park (150 North McKenzie Avenue), as well as in the numerous communities along the way.

Nicolet State Trail Reviews

For wide tired bikes only!

I took a few rides on the trail segments between Laona and Wabeno, and riders should know that although this is a mixed use trail, its primary purpose is unquestionably to serve the ATV riding community. I would not even attempt a ride with anything less than really wide mountain bike tires, and if I had to do it again, I'd prefer using a fat bike. The surface where I rode is a groomed and coarse gravel/sand combination which makes things pretty "floaty," if you know what I mean. If you stick close to the trail edges, you'll do much better. Also, your best bet is to ride no more than two days after a rainfall, otherwise it'll be a bit of a dusty ride when ATVs go cruising by.

If you are looking for a straight, flat trail with large and loose gravel, this one is a solid 10, but in reality, I don't thing many cyclist (of any style) would enjoy themselves on it and would rate it a 2 or 3.

On a more positive note, there were tons of singing birds!

Surface is Challenging for Walkers

We started walking this trail in Gillett at the entrance in the industrial park off of W Park St. The trail is wide, flat and straight. It is well maintained. I noticed a few beer cans littered along the trail. But, mostly this is a VERY clean trail. We enjoyed the canopy covered parts of the trails through the woods, the open fields and the occasional creek or lake views. We went as far as Spice Lake and circled back. The surface of the trail was challenging and varied with different types of rock along the way. Most areas were loose rocks varying is size from tiny pebbles to 1-2" round. You don't get good traction. We only encountered a few ATVs and they were all very respectful...slowing down and allowing plenty of room to pass. Time of day: weekday morning.

Great ATV/UTV trail

Love this trail for our rides. It’s a very scenic route. We use it often to travel from the Long Lake area to Laona, Mountain and other areas, from which we depart this trail and travel other trail systems in Florence, Forest and Marinette counties. Think of it as an effective north/south “expressway” corridor route that gets you to other local areas for trail riding and sightseeing. A great ride! worhythe

Only for ATVs

Gravel was so deep it was not possible to ride on it. Only seems realistic for ATV vehicles which we saw plenty of. We needed to reroute our course because we could not ride on this trail.


Not for biking

This trail is not for biking. At all. Full stop. We picked it as it was listed in a state-issued brochure on bike paths in Wisconsin. This is a shared used trail and, as such, it has basically become ATV only. Loose gravel for most of the trail - absolutely grueling. The trail was so torn up - and the ATVs so numerous and inconsiderate - in Gillett that we got on the trail in Wabeno and made it to Tippler but the trip was grueling. We turned around and came back on state HWYs (139, 8, 32) and even with the intense hills, we made it back in a third of the time. If you bike on this trail, it will be an unpleasant slog.

This may be a fun trail for ATVing, but it isn't that wide so you can't go that fast and it's very hot and dusty.

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