Hiking & Biking

Biking Banner

Hiking and Biking are some of the best ways to experience the refuge. Exploring the backcountry roads can offer some real treats. Consider visiting C-3, C-2 and A-2 Pools, which are nice places to birdwatch. A bike ride down the Pine Creek Road may allow visitors to catch a glimpse of the black-backed woodpecker. The White Pine Public Use Natural Area on the northeast side of A Pool and the Northern Hardwood Public Use Natural Area northwest of the Chicago Farm are also beautiful places to explore, sit, relax and nature journal.

Ride The Roads

Bicycling is a wonderful way to see the refuge because visitors can travel through large portions of the back-country. There are many miles of roads available for biking.

  • All roads are open to bicycles unless otherwise posted.
  • Roads are crushed gravel or hard-packed dirt. Some of the less developed roads around certain pools may have areas of loose sand.
  • Bicycles are not allowed on footpaths or cross-country ski trails.
  • Be aware of the possibility of vehicles on the roads. Refuge staff and researchers drive through the back-country.
  • To help plan your visit, mileage is marked on the refuge map.

What to take with you:

  • Refuge Map - intersections are well marked but will not make sense without a map.
  • Water - no potable water is available in the back-country.
  • Protective Clothing - weather can change quickly and biting insects can be abundant.

Walk The Wild

Hiking offers a chance to explore the whole refuge. Visitors are welcome to hike anywhere on the refuge unless otherwise posted or they may choose one of the many trails the refuge has to offer!

  • Pine Ridge Nature Trail - 1.5 miles around part of F Pool winds through a variety of habitats including wetlands, red pine forests and offers a great view of the pools.
  • Wigwam Extension - This 0.5 mile extension off the Pine Ridge Nature Trail takes you to the Show Pools and Wigwam Access Point north of the Visitor Center. The wigwam structures were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the late 1930s.
  • South Show Pool Loop - This 0.5 mile trail skirts the shores of the South Show Pool allowing refuge visitors access to bank fishing along the sides of the pond. On the south end of the show pool refuge visitors can see a stone spillway built by the Civilian Conservation Corps.
  • Northern Hardwoods Trails - These trails are groomed in the winter for cross-country skiing but are also a nice place to take a walk. In the spring, woodland wildflowers dot the landscape. Be alert for falling branches. These areas were hit hard by beech bark disease and beech limbs may break off unexpectedly.