Hiking the North Country Trail-Pattison State Park

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Big Manitou Falls at Pattison State Park
Big Manitou Falls at Pattison State Park

The North Country National Scenic Trail is a 4600-mile route between Vermont and South Dakota. A portion of this trail passes through Wisconsin between Upper Michigan and Duluth MN. Pattison State Park hosts 2.1 miles of this trail which follows the Black River between Little Manitou Falls and Big Manitou Falls. Big Manitou Falls is Wisconsin's highest waterfall at 165 feet.

This trail is an easy hike and can be completed by anyone of almost any level of fitness. It is an ideal nature walk for active families with young children.  The route identified in this post is a 3.75-mile lollipop trail if combined with the Beaver Trail and will take approximately 1 1/2 hours to hike. Camping is available at several backpacker campsites, a shelter, and a family campground. Pattison State Park also offers a large beach area, concessions, potable water, showers, and restrooms. 



North Country National Trail at Pattison State Park
North Country National Trail at Pattison State Park


The NCT section at Pattison is among the very best scenic hikes in Wisconsin. It may be a long drive for most of Wisconsin's population, but boy is it worth it. Hikers are rewarded with two of the most roaring and beautiful waterfalls in the State.

Big Manitou Falls is the starting point for most day hikers. It's just off the highway, across from the ranger station and beach area. There are stunning views and overlooks on both sides of the river. Waterfallers will delight in mountain-like scenery surrounding this dramatic waterfall.

From the falls, a pedestrian tunnel leads under the highway to the beach area. The NCT trail follows other named trails within the park. You'll stay on track by following the blue blazes. Initially, the trail follows the Beaver Trail which is a loop around Interfalls Lake. After crossing the Black River, NCT hikers follow the Little Manitou Falls Trail. This trail follows closely along the forested banks of the Black River providing excellent scenery all the way.

Little Manitou Falls represents the end/beginning of the NCT Pattison Section. Though smaller in height than Big Manitou, this waterfall is another massive natural fall over an ancient stone escarpment.

To make a lollipop trail, return to the Little Manitou and Beaver Trail intersection and finish the Beaver Trail loop on the west side of the lake. This portion of the Beaver Trail is a bit more difficult, but still an easy-to-moderate hike.

Little Manitou Falls at Pattison State Park
Little Manitou Falls at Pattison State Park



North Country National Scenic Trail - Pattison Segment


COUNTY: Douglas
COMMUNITIES: Superior

TOTAL MILES: 2.1 miles linear (3.75-mile lollipop)
DIFFICULTY: Easy

NEXT NCT SEGMENT EASTBOUND: NCT St. Croix River to Gordon Dam
NEXT NCT SEGMENT WESTBOUND: Superior

CAMPING: 3 Backpacking Campsites Reservable and 1 Backpacker's Shelter. Car camping sites at Pattison State Park




Directions and Trail Map



If viewing on a mobile device, open the trail map above to load into Google Maps App by touching the expand rectangle in the upper right corner.

Address for your GPS: 3518 E County Rd B Superior, WI 54880
| coordinates: 46.535118, -92.122797 |

From Milwaukee6 Hours
From Madison5 Hours
From Green Bay5 Hours
From Wausau3.5 Hours
From Minneapolis2.5 Hours
From Chicago7 Hours


Photos

Big Manitou Falls at Pattison State Park
Big Manitou Falls at Pattison State Park

North Country National Trail at Pattison State Park
North Country National Trail at Pattison State Park

North Country National Trail at Pattison State Park
North Country National Trail at Pattison State Park

Dedication at Pattison State Park
Dedication at Pattison State Park

Dedication at Pattison State Park
Dedication at Pattison State Park

North Country National Trail at Pattison State Park
North Country National Trail at Pattison State Park

Big Manitou Falls at Pattison State Park
Big Manitou Falls at Pattison State Park

North Country National Trail at Pattison State Park
North Country National Trail at Pattison State Park

Interfalls Lake at Pattison State Park
Interfalls Lake at Pattison State Park

North Country National Trail at Pattison State Park
North Country National Trail at Pattison State Park

North Country National Trail at Pattison State Park
North Country National Trail at Pattison State Park

North Country National Trail at Pattison State Park
North Country National Trail at Pattison State Park

Nemadji River at Pattison State Park
Nemadji River at Pattison State Park

North Country National Trail at Pattison State Park
North Country National Trail at Pattison State Park


Little Manitou Falls at Pattison State Park
Little Manitou Falls at Pattison State Park

North Country National Trail at Pattison State Park
North Country National Trail at Pattison State Park


Little Manitou Falls at Pattison State Park
Little Manitou Falls at Pattison State Park


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