The Gorgeous Wisconsin Hiking Trail That Ends at One of the Best Ice Cream Spots in the State

Few places in the world have more lakes per square mile than Oneida and Vilas counties. One of the very best ways to explore this gorgeous part of the state is to use the Bearskin and Hiawatha State Trails. These trails are converted rail beds – according to the DNR website, “The railroad line was built to export white pine logs from the forests of northern Wisconsin to the cities of the Midwest. Today the trail is a recreation corridor, surfaced with compacted granite suitable for walking and bicycling in summer and snowmobiling in winter.”

But the very best part of this pair of trails is that just north of Heafford Junction they cross the small break in Lake Nokomis and take you right to Windmill Ice Cream Shop. This iconic seasonal ice cream store has been scooping up sweet treats since 1933 and is a staple of life Up North here. What better way to work up an appetite than a gorgeous stroll through the many lakes of this area before landing at the Windmill?

Check out the DNR page for the Bearskin trail to see a PDF map of the full trail to plan your trip. The southern terminus of this trail is in Sara Park, located at 900 W Somo Ave., Tomahawk, WI 54487. The northern terminus is at Torpey Park, 806 US-51, Minocqua, WI 54548.

Looking for more great Up North Wisconsin trails? Check out this piece about the Heart of Vilas County Paved Trail.

What other Northwoods hikes do you love? Let us know in the comments!