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A fence blocks the entrance to an old copper mine along the trail. Miners found some copper, but not enough to make the mine viable, according to the Department of Natural Resources. (Contributed photo by Sarah Morris)

The first snowfall of the season is behind us and as of this writing the bay is finally starting to show a skin of ice along the shore. It’ll be a while before there’s enough snow to groom the trails for skiiers, but it’s a good time to explore a trail in a decent pair of boots. Since I recently had to pick up some venison over in Poplar, it seemed like a good time to explore the Brule River State Forest trails, something I’ve been meaning to do for a couple of years. The Bayfield Road trail is a few miles north of Highway 2 near the town of Brule, and it’s worth a visit any time of year.

The Bayfield Road trail is a 2.2-mile loop that follows along the pre-railway carriage road between Superior and Bayfield. Hikers or snowshoers looking for a longer trek can access the trail system near the Copper Range Campground and add about three miles to the round trip. The parking area is past the nice little public campground (a couple of campsites were occupied by intrepid souls even mid-week) and next to the DNR sign.

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This Brule River State Forest trail is reasonably well-marked, but hikers should beware of sudden departures from logging roads.

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The Brule River flows along sections of the hike in the adjoining state forest, with some majestic pine trees towering above.

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