Trail Details

Northwest Wisconsin Nordic Trails

Rainbow Lake Wilderness

Drummond, Wis.

Trail Options:   6.4 mile scenic trail traversing the 6,000 acre Federally designated Wilderness Area

Trail Description:

The Rainbow Lake Wilderness is a 6,000 acre Federally designated Wilderness Area. The North Country National Scenic Trail traverses the area from northwest to southeast. Hiking this segment can best be done as an out and back hike or point-to-point. It will be necessary to spot a car or arrange a pick-up if you choose to hike point-to-point. The total distance point-to-point is 6.4 miles.

Hiking in the Rainbow Lake Wilderness is relatively moderate. There are numerous wild lakes along the way and the area is also home to a resident pack of timber wolves, although they are rarely seen. Seeing a wolf track in the snow during your hike would be a truly special find.

Snowshoeing Permitted
Snowshoeing Permitted

Click Map to enlarge

Snowshoeing Permitted

Trail Location


From Cable drive 8 miles north on US Hwy 63 to Drummond. Turn left (north) on Delta-Drummond Road. (FR 35). Drive north about 4 miles to FR 392. Turn left and drive .5 mile to where the North Country Trail crosses the road. It may, however, be necessary to hike in from Delta-Drummond Road to access the trail if FR 392 is not plowed.

Turn-by-Turn Directions Driving Directions to Rainbow Lake Wilderness

Landmark dates in the history of Nordic Trails in northwest Wisconsin include 1975 when the United States Cross Country Ski Team including Bill Koch — who would later go on to win a silver medal in the 1976 Olympics – came to Telemark to train, 1978 when the first World Cup cross country ski races were held on the Telemark Trails, and also that year the Worldloppet League, an affiliation of international cross country ski marathons, was formed by Tony Wise at Telemark.

After an auspicious beginning, it wasn’t long before the landscape was dotted with Nordic Trails of all sizes and descriptions, most of which continue to offer pleasant and challenging cross country skiing opportunities today.