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Recreation

Ride. Cast. Hike. Glide.

What you need to know about the Blue Hills

Did you know that Rusk County is home to a natural wonder that's older than the Rocky Mountains? The Blue Hills provide boundless recreational opportunities amid a stunning landscape in northwestern Wisconsin. Read on to learn more about this can't-miss attraction.

What are the Blue Hills?

The Blue Hills are a natural formation of rolling hills located about 10 miles northwest of the village of Bruce in Rusk County. The hills are actually remnants of a mountain range that's older than the Rockies--the landscape has eroded over the eons, but the Blue Hills still rise up about 600 feet above the surrounding forest.

Where are the Blue Hills located?

In general, the Blue Hills can be found in the western half of Rusk County, but the trailhead for the Blue Hills Trail is on Fire Lane Road, about 2½ miles north of Christie Mountain. To get there, take Highway 40 north out of Bruce to County Highway O, then follow County O northwest until you reach Fire Lane Road (it will be on the north side of the road right before the entrance to Christie Mountain).

Why are they called the Blue Hills?

The Woodland Sioux who initially inhabited Rusk County called the area "paja toyela"--the blue hills--due to the royal hues that the morning mist casts upon the landscape. Want to see for yourself? Wake up early and hike the Blue Hills to take in the scenic splendor.

What can I do in the Blue Hills?

The Blue Hills are a popular spot for recreation among Rusk County's visitors. Silent-sports enthusiasts can take advantage of trails for hiking, biking, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, all maintained by the Blue Hills Trail Association. The Blue Hills Trail System boasts more than 20 miles of multi-use trails, all set among unparalleled scenic beauty.

Rusk County's ATV and snowmobile trails also pass through the area, though motorized vehicles are not allowed on the actual Blue Hills Trail System.