Tri-County Corridor Trail


7 Reviews

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Tri-County Corridor Trail Facts

States: Wisconsin
Counties: Ashland, Bayfield, Douglas
Length: 61.8 miles
Trail end points: Ashland Marina on Pulp Hoist Rd. (Ashland) and Osaugie Trail at Moccasin Mike Rd. (Itasca)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt, Crushed Stone
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6017736

Tri-County Corridor Trail Description

Get away from it all on the Tri-County Corridor Trail. Pick up this North Woods rail-trail in Superior, where it connects with the more urban Osaugie Trail, which extends farther west. Spanning the three counties of Ashland, Bayfield and Douglas, the Tri-County Corridor 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 first—and last—chance to find refreshments or a restroom (take County Road 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 Corridor Trail 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.

Tri-County Corridor Trail Reviews

A Rough Ride!

A plus of the trail is that is stays dry unless there are heavy rains. Lots of towns for food, gas, etc. However, it is "washboardy" and the gravel is loose in many areas. From a Motorcycle perspective, it is not much fun. I understand most railroad trails are straight and level, so if it's not "challenging" with some curves and hills, then they could at least get some gravel, a grader and roller out there and maintain it better!

MIxed-use with challenges

This trail is on the looser end of the limestone bed trails. It's open to ATV's, so the surface is not as hard-packed as many. I would recommend mountain bike tires, but we did a stretch on hybrid size and did ok. The Ashland end is great, with pavement all the way and a nice loop that puts you along Lake Superior for some great views.

Rough Ride

West end near Superior has road rock (1") rather than screenings. Need 2" tires and ride slow, I was only comfortable at less than 10 mph. Have to be on the lookout for loose rock, not a pleasant ride. Better ride is Moccasin Mike road to the end of Wisconsin Point, dead end so not much traffic and good pavement.

Beautiful trail

I ride this almost daily from Ashland to midway to Moquah. I have a Townie 45 lbs cruiser with 3 speeds and have few issues on this trail. Made mostly of crushed limestone. It is a bit rugged in some spots. Past Moquah, you hit off and on sand for a couple miles. After Brule, it's the same. I've taken it all the way from Ashland to Duluth. I think it's a fun ride. Challenging in some spots. Mostly shady with beautiful views of farm fields, rivers and Lake Superior in Ashland and Superior. It's one of my favorites.


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 better option for bicyclists.

At the link above you will find a links to maps that show the best local roads and recomended routes along this corridor.

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. They should never be allowed on the same trail. The ATVs are supposed to stay on one half. They don't. Bikes are treated as second class citizens here. The trail was graded after Iron River but the gravel was large and in a thick layer which sapped all my strength. Then to top it off I came to a portion of the trail about 300 yards long under water. It was dry up here too. I had to back track to US 2 cause I couldn't tell how deep the water was. US 2 is a high traffic high risk highway because of the shoulders are soft with very thick loose gravel. The paved part of the shoulder was just about 2 feet wide and people on that highway really cruise. I finally quit the trail north of Ino. The scenery on this trail is wonderful. The chamber of commerces on either end of this trail know absolutely nothing about this trail so don't ask. They both gave me the wrong information. Go elsewhere.

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