This is the crown jewel of our county forest system at just over 4,900 acres. Nine Mile is intensively managed for multiple uses including sustainable timber harvests, mountain biking, cross-country skiing, horseback riding, hiking, snowmobiling, and snowshoeing to name a few.
This unit is located just southwest of Wausau with access off of Co. Hwy. KK, Springbrook Road, Hollywood Road and Red Bud Road, which transects the forest unit. There is a large formal parking area and Chalet building at the north portion of this unit, on Red Bud Road. The main trailhead starts here for a variety of uses. Directions: From Wausau go south on US 51 to west on CTH N 4 miles to south on Red Bud Road to the forest unit. The address for Nine Mile Chalet is 8704 Red Bud Road, Wausau, WI 54401.
Nine Mile hosts a multitude of events throughout the year, including mountain bike races, cross-country ski races, and several local school cross country races.
The terrain of this unit ranges from low, flat ground to fairly steep terrain, providing a true diverse experience. There are also two designated trout streams running through the forest, Four Mile Creek and Black Creek.
Within the boundaries of Nine Mile is the Duane L. Corbin Shooting Range Park
, located off of Rifle Road, in the southern portion of this unit. This is an exceptional shooting range with target and trap shooting, and an archery range with elevated shooting stations.
Nine Mile Bike, Horse, and Ski Trail Map;(299kb PDF)
Named after a unique natural feature, Nine-Mile Swamp, the forest has 4,894 acres of mixed uplands, marshes, and water impoundments available to the public for a variety of activities. Nine-Mile County Forest is principally managed to maintain and protect the integrity of its ecosystems while also producing wood products, wildlife, and recreation opportunities. It is known in particular for hunting, cross-country skiing facilities (including trails, toilets, and a chalet), hiking, nature study, photography, berry picking, snowmobiling, and mountain biking.
Two streams, Black Creek and Four-Mile Creek, thread part of their way through Nine-Mile Swamp, winding through open marsh and clumps of spruce. Nearby, mixed hardwoods, oak, and pine thrive on the uplands, alternating with large stands of aspen, the principal timber crop and a major source of food and cover for ruffed grouse and deer. These game species, as well as cottontails, snowshoe hare, waterfowl, and squirrels are actively pursued by hunters. The maintenance of waterfowl reservoirs, seeding of trails, planting of food and cover shrubs, and selective cutting of trees, all help to promote vigorous game and non-game wildlife populations.
A well maintained system of trails totaling over 30 miles (45 Km) allow easy access for recreation. All trails are closed to motorized vehicles, except in winter, for designated snowmobile/ATV trails. Cross-country skiers have more than 30 Km of one-way trails over a variety of terrain with loops suitable for the novice to expert skier. In the summer, the ski trails become an excellent mountain biking trail system. Horses are allowed on the snowmobile trail during the summer only. Blackberries, blueberries, and choke cherries are eagerly sought by berry pickers in the late summer and fall.
Nine Mile County Forest is one of nine Marathon County forest units totaling 29,768 acres. They include the Bern Wetland Unit (269 acres), Burma Road Unit (1,480 acres), Elderon Unit (280 acres), Harrison-Hewitt Unit (9115 acres), Kronenwetter Unit (5171 acres), Leathercamp Unit (5,248 acres), Ringle Marsh Unit (3,028 acres), and Wisconsin River Unit (283 acres). Forestry and wildlife management assistance is provided by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
· Nine Mile Forest Unit (Chalet) is located in the Towns of Rib Mountain and Mosinee. From US 51, take CTH N (exit #188) west 3 ½ miles to Red Bud Road. Turn south (left) on Red Bud Road and follow 1 ¼ miles. When approaching from the west side of the county, take CTH N east to Red Bud Road (approximately 9 miles east of STH 107).
· Nine Mile Forest Unit has 10 miles of single track mountain bike trails and 20 miles on the cross country trails, all riders 12 years and older require a daily or annual pass. Trails open between May 1 and May 15 depending on trail conditions (if open - the first 3 weeks of May the trails open after 12:00 pm/noon each day). The trails remain open through October 15 each year.
· An outdoor vault restroom located in the chalet parking lot on the west side is available when the chalet is not open.
· An outdoor drinking fountain, donated by the Wausau Wheelers, is available on the front of the Chalet.
· The Chalet is reservable for special events from April 1 through November 15th to public or private groups. Reservations can be made up to one year in advance. The chalet is available daily from 8:00 am to midnight and has a capacity of 175 people. This cement block building has high, wood beamed ceilings, cement floor, seating for 95-100, wood burner with firewood, ceiling fans, crank out windows with screens, indoor restrooms, 4 basin sink with hot & cold water, refrigerator, and a large counter area.
· Cross Country Ski trails are double tracked with a skating lane and are generally one-way. The ski chalet has a changing area, restrooms, and a spacious warming area with a wood stove. Almost 4 miles (6.3 km) of trails are lighted nightly until 9 pm during the ski season. The 30 km of beginner to expert, signed and mapped trails are open December 15 through March 15 weather and snowfall permitting. Rental equipment is available, annual passes are offered, and pre-season and school/group discounts are available.
· Snowshoeing is allowed on the cross country trails, a snowshoeing pass is required. A 4 mile snowshoe trail is also available.
· Skijoring (pulled on skis by dogs) is prohibited on ski trails.
· Nine Mile Forest Unit has 10 miles of signed horseback riding trails. Trails open between May 1 and May 15 depending on trail conditions (if open - the first 3 weeks of May the trails open after 12:00 pm/noon each day). The trails remain open through October 15 each year.
· Hunting is permitted and all state hunting regulations apply.
· Permanent tree stands, elevated platforms, or blinds are not permitted in any county forest units.
· Target shooting is prohibited at Nine Mile County Forest Unit. (and parking lots). The Department maintains the Duane L. Corbin Shooting Range Park located about 7 miles southwest of Wausau on KK, adjacent to Nine Mile Forest Unit.
· Camping is allowed with a permit issued in advance by the Forest Administrator.
· Trapping is allowed no permit required.
· Dogs are allowed, except on groomed trails.
· All trails are closed to motorized vehicles, except for designated snowmobile/ATV trails.
For additional information contact the Wausau and Marathon County Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Department at (715) 261-1550, 212 River Drive, Suite 2, Wausau, Wisconsin 54403-5476.
Please respect the land and privileges of other users at all times while visiting the forest. Help clean up litter and be especially careful with fire!