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Copper Falls State Park

Canyons, streams and waterfalls are the delight of photographers, hikers and cross-country skiers at Copper Falls State Park. Trails are open year-round.

Ancient lava flows, deep gorges, and spectacular waterfalls make Copper Falls one of Wisconsin’s most scenic parks. Log buildings built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930’s add to the park’s charm.

There are many things to do? hiking, picnicking, fishing, and swimming. The park is one of the highlights of the North Country National Scenic Trail in Wisconsin.

For overnight stays, there are 54 regular campsites, a group camping area big enough for 40 people, a backpack campsite, and, for people with disabilities, a rustic cabin. Average season snowfall of more than 100 inches enables the park to maintain 12 kilometers (8 miles) of cross-country ski trails.


Beautiful hemlock, sugar maple, white pine, and yellow birch forests may be seen. Second-growth forests with red oak, ironwood, paper birch, aspen, basswood, red pine, and other trees blanket many parts of the park. The gorges are bordered by white cedar trees. Cool valleys and slopes exhibit a profusion of ferns, clubmosses, wild flowers, and herbs. In short, hundreds of species of plants are available for study, observation, and photography.

Animals most commonly seen in the park area include deer, fishers (exit DNR), black bears, raccoons, chipmunks, skunks, and red squirrels. Gray squirrels, gray wolves, and porcupines also live in the park and may be seen. Fishers have reduced the number of porcupines. Elk were recently reintroduced west of the park.

Bird life is abundant, with perhaps as many as 200 species living in or passing through the park in a given year. You will often hear the coarse caw of the big northern raven, you may often see a great pileated woodpecker, and you will sometimes be scolded by sassy chickadees. There are ruffed grouse, eagles, turkey vultures and loons in the park.

There are a five species of snakes, none of them poisonous, wood turtles, many wood frogs, and a few other amphibians. Pretty banded purple and tiger swallowtail butterflies are common in June and July.

Walk the Three Bridges Nature Trail to learn more about the park’s geology and history.


Copper Falls is in the heart of prime fishing area, with scores of lakes offering all kinds of sport fishing within easy traveling distance. In the park, the Bad and Tyler Forks rivers both offer fishing for rainbow, brown, and brook trout. You can catch largemouth bass, northern pike, and panfish in Loon Lake. Small car-top boats and canoes can be launched at Loon Lake. Only electric motors are allowed.

Information taken from

Snowshoeing and cross-country skiing are available in the winter months.

Direction from Ashland: Take Hwy 13 South to Mellen than 2 miles northeast of Mellen on Hwy. 169.