Hike to Copper Falls

Wisconsin N Country National Scenic Trailhead

  • Activities:

    Photography, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Spring, Summer, Autumn

  • Trail Type:

    Loop

  • RT Distance:

    2 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    85 Feet

Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Groups
Handicap Accessible
Picnic Area
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildlife

Copper Falls State Park offers a strikingly scenic trail system along with full camping amenities. The loop that offers views of Copper Falls, Brownstone Falls, and cascades has three bridges (two in the winter), multiple viewing decks, and is part of the North Country National Scenic Trail.

Coming into the park on Hwy 169, you will turn west/northwest into the park entrance. After passing the Ranger's Station you will follow the road (passing camp areas and showers along the way) all the way to the main parking lot near a concessions building. *The handicap parking lot is a little further past the main parking lot.

The trailhead starts at a bridge just past the concessions building and has a small map. You can choose to cross the bridge or stay right. If you start by crossing the bridge, the shortest route to see both waterfalls and the cascades is to stay right at every intersection (left is you start by going straight at the trailhead). You do not need to take the shorter route, but it is recommended that you take a good look at the map or bring your own/buy one at the Ranger Station before proceeding as phone service is sketchy at best.

Copper Falls is the first waterfall you will see. After the falls, the river flows through a deeply carved gorge which is visible from the observation deck above the second falls - Brownstone Falls. At the bottom of Brownstone Falls, the Bad River and the Tyler Fork of the Bad River combine into a wider, calmer river which is crossed by bridge. The cascades are viewed from the observation deck near the top of Brownstone Falls.

If you have time after visiting the park and want to be able to explore a waterfall with more freedom, drive 10 minutes north on hwy 169 to Lower Potato Falls!

The falls are supposed to be viewed from the observation decks/trails and not through the old viewing areas that have been marked off.

A handicap parking lot is close to a viewing point for both falls.

Day-use fee is $10 unless you have a state park sticker on your car.

Pack List

  • Hiking shoes/boots
  • Drinking Water
  • Snacks
  • Hiking stick
  • Camera
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Reviews

Overall rating: 

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The trail loop is absolutely stunning. Awesome spots throughout the hike. There's a little backpacker campsite back in the northern end as well, hopefully will be staying there the next time I'm there!

3 months ago
3 months ago

Educational, scenic family hike. There plaques were really well done. The whole thing had a nice, nostalgic WPA feel to it.

11 months ago
11 months ago

I came up here from Milwaukee in late April with some friends and could not believe how gorgeous it was. From the forests to the rivers and all the waterfalls, it's an amazing place that must be visited. The observation tower also made for some stunning vistas. If you are into photography at all, this is one of the best places you can go. Take a day and explore all that Copper Falls has to offer.

11 months ago
11 months ago

Cameron Cech

Science-minded, outdoors-oriented, photography-driven.
 
 Feel free to contact me if you want additional details about any of my adventures.

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