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Blue Hills Trail
Rusk County Forest, Blue Hills Trail Association, Wisconsin Trail Guide

Trail Facts

Novice: 10.0k
Intermediate: 24.8k
Advanced: 2.8k
Grooming: C+S
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Trail Review


North of Bruce.


Grooming: Classic & skate. Multiple loop trail system.
Snowshoe Trails: Yes, shared and separate trails.


This is one of the best and largest cross-country skiing trail systems in Wisconsin. Visitors will find a nice variety of terrain and scenery in a beautiful northwoods setting. Trails roam over challenging hills and across gentle flats, through northern hardwood and pine forests and open fields.

The Blue Hills Trail is split into two distinct trail systems. The East Trails offer a 27 km trail system through dense forest with lots of interconnecting trails and loops that are fun to explore. There are numerous loop options of different lengths for skiers of every ability level that allow you ski for as long as you like without getting bored. On the other hand, if you want to put your head down and just go - mile after mile - a core 12 km loop for intermediates provides a wonderfully scenic “cardio-route” that’ll get you breathing if you push yourself. The West Trails total 8.1 km in length with fewer intersections and more open terrain than the East Trails. Skiers will find several openings and beaver ponds that provide scenic views of the surrounding area.

The trails at Blue Hills are wide with edge-to-edge flat skating lanes and nicely groomed tracks for classic skiing. Grooming is generally excellent and timely for both skate and classic skiing.

Overall, this is a very nice destination-ski area for a multi-day trip, and a great place to train for the Birkie.

The Blue Hills Trail is managed by the Blue Hills Trail Association. Originally, the Rusk County Trail Association, this non-profit group has done an outstanding job in developing and maintaining the trails since 1987.

“The trail system is groomed for both skating and striding by a 2014 John Deere Gator with Camoplast tracks, and a 2012 Super Wide Track Skandic snowmobile (4-stroke machine) pulling a variety of high-tech implements including: one small and two large G2 (Generation 2 Tidd Tech Products) with track setters, and two rollers/compactors (one from Yellowstone Track Systems, the other from ABR). The Tidd Tech implements have electric actuators for adjusting teeth "on the fly" - and adjusting track setter pressure plus elevation while moving. The club has worked hard to make the trail an enjoyable experience for skiers of all ability levels. In addition to skiing, the trail is open to snowshoers (skating lane or off trail only, please); with its starting point at the warming house, a dedicated snowshoe trail was added December 2011. Hiking and biking are encouraged during the non-winter seasons; mountain bikers may find the west side of the trail system more user friendly. Hunters have always been welcome in the fall. Pit toilets are available at the trailhead. A log warming house was built during the fall of 1998.”


Rusk County Forest


Blue Hills Trail Association


$5 donation is appreciated.


Parking, pit toilets.
On-Site Equipment Rentals: No.


Retail sporting goods, equipment rentals (Spooner, Hayward), motels, resorts, food, & gas (Trego, Spooner, Hayward).


From the intersection of Highway 8 and Highway 40 in Bruce, drive north on Highway 40 for 0.8 mile and turn west onto County Highway O. Stay on County O for 7.2 miles and turn north onto Fire Lane Road. Drive northwest on Fire Lane Road for 2.3 miles to the Blue Hills Trail parking area.

From the intersection of Highway 53 and Highway 48 in Rice Lake, drive east on Highway 48 for 10.3 miles and turn east onto 24th Ave/S Towne Line Road (which eventually becomes Cheese Factory Road) and drive for 4.9 miles. Turn south onto County Highway F, drive 6.2 miles and turn east onto County Highway O. Continue on County O for 3.6 miles and turn northwest onto Fire Lane Road. Drive northwest on Fire Lane Road for 2.3 miles to the Blue Hills Trail parking area.


Website: Blue Hills Trail
Phone: 715.532.6595

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