Mountain Biking in Langlade

Today’s topic is the Wolf River Trail, which is a mountain bike trail that traverses Northwoods landscape. I stumbled upon the path while thumbing through the MTB Project app: a mountain bike trail locater. This trusty aid led me towards the town of Langlade, and a rugged single track course. Although I ended up a bit disappointed, the ride definitely challenged my skills and physical conditioning.

The drive into Langlade, a town known for whitewater rafting, is very cool – that is if you’re taking 55 north into town. Winding roads, coursing along towering trees, serpentine through picturesque North Central Wisconsin. Occasionally, a break in the forest occurs, and one can glimpse the Wolf River’s rapids.

As for the town, Langlade is very small. My recollection might be slightly hazy, but I remember one restaurant and a gas station. And as taboo as it may seem, the gas station’s convenience store had an actual tavern inside. Taking the Northwoods setting into account, while I gassed up, the live country music that wafted through the air, courtesy of a band performing on the restaurant’s patio, was quite fitting.

As for the trail, the difficulty rating is denoted as a solid blue square-although it’s the toughest blue square I’ve ever ridden.

Tall grasses envelop the path, leaving a dirt run about a tire width wide. The trail courses through rocks and thick foliage, with twists, dips and turns that require technical riding ability. Portions of this course hug a ridge along a steep river bank.

The Wolf River Trail is approximately six miles long, and it isn’t a loop. Basically, if you bike this run, and happen to be alone, you’ll have to double back, which is what I did. Unfortunately, I didn’t bike the full length; I stopped about a mile and a half in. And though it was a short three mile ride, my chest was heaving at the end of this trek.

If you’re looking for this trail, it is located at the end of Rocky Rips Road, which is the first road south of Langlade. When I arrived, I had a hard time finding the path. It is very narrow, and doesn’t look like it has been maintained. Plus, there are no trail markers at the trailhead.

This trail would suit the biker searching for a true backwoods ride, one in a secluded wilderness setting. Combining the fact that it challenges your handling skills and physical conditioning, this would be an excellent confidence builder.

If I return to write about Langlade, which I intend to do, the post will focus on a nearby whitewater rafting business. It seems to be the town’s number one summer draw.

Safe Travels!

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