Wisconsin's state motto is "live like you mean it" which seems appropriate in the state with the "Snowmobile Capital of the World" and its ice oval races, plus the ISOC Snocross Championships' final race each year. Snowmobile trails have been open here for 35 years, creating a large group of die-hard Wisconsinite snowmobile enthusiasts. Wildlife, such as deer and bear, are plentiful along the 25,000 miles of state trails. So get ready to go up Nort' der to the Northwoods!
First, you don't want to miss seeing Eagle River, the self-proclaimed "Snowmobile Capital of the World." Here, you'll find the World Championship Snowmobile Derby in January at the Eagle River Derby Track, a historic ice oval. There also is the Vintage World Championship, sponsored by AmSnow, a week before the Derby. Find out more at www.derbytrack.com. Additionally there are 500+ miles of forested trails in the area.
To warm up your rosy nose, take a break at the International Snowmobile Hall of Fame in St. Germain, right off the trail! Or, check out the World Snowmobile Headquarters Museum right next to the Eagle River Derby Track. Both offer a load of snowmobiling history with well restored sleds and interesting displays.
You'll also want to visit Boulder Junction, Manitowish Waters, Minocqua, Rhinelander, Tomahawk and Land O' Lakes. You can really get away from it all up here and hide out. Al Capone did!
Don't forget Northwest Wisconsin either! In the Cable area (See AmSnow, Jan. 2006, p. 67) you can hook up on one of the 600 miles of groomed trails. This includes the Tri-County Corridor Trail running from Minnesota to Michigan. Trail 63 takes travelers from Hayward north through Cable, Drummond and Grandview, continuing toward Mason. You will find some gorgeous views here over some high bridges. There are too many great trails to mention them all, but you've got to try Trails 7, 8, 31 and 21.
Trails in the Hayward area never "close" and are groomed as soon as possible by the largest privately owned grooming equipment fleet in North America. Area lakes usually are staked for trails by the end of November.
Price and Iron counties (See AmSnow, Nov. 2006, p. 92) also are in Northwestern Wisconsin and offer great snowmobiling spots. Price County has 98 lakes, 45 trout streams, 3 major rivers and 6 county parks. Places to visit here include the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest Flambeau Trail, the Tuscobia State Trail from Park Falls to Rice Lake, the Pine Line Trail from Prentice to Medford, the North Country Trail, Mercer, with its 450 miles of trails, and Timm's Hill, Wisconsin's highest point at 1,951 ft.
Spooner area trails will connect you with major routes throughout the upper Midwest and take you on a variety of terrain. A great route is the Wild River Trail, a 96-mile long, multi-use recreational trail covering Washburn, Barron and Douglas counties. Another is the Gandy Dancer Bike Trail that stretches 66 miles from St. Croix Falls to Danbury and Burnett counties. The Tuscobia State Trail also is popular.
Experience some great riding in Hurley too, which also is in Iron County near Michigan's U.P. It has 500 miles of groomed trails, and an average snowfall of about 200 inches. Often the snow on these trails will turn red from the underlying soil's rich iron content. Wonder how the county got its name?
In Waushara County, 70 miles north of Madison, you'll find 300 miles of trails, including the popular Bannerman Trail, a former railroad bed, and Corridor Trail 15, which will link you to Waupaca County.
Read up on the 270 miles worth of trails in Buffalo County, in our Spring 2008 issue, p. 60. Found in the southwestern part of the state, this area is known as the "Driftless Zone," where you'll see meandering valleys and rocky hills dotting the landscape.
Then there is Columbia County, right in the center of the state, it's known for its rolling hills, open farmland, mixed forests and 300 miles of trails (See AmSnow, Dec. 2008, p. 64).This is a must see for any snowmobile enthusiast in the "Badger state."
Another great trail in southern Wisconsin, right in our backyard, is the Glacial Drumlin State Trail. We highly recommend it. (See AmSnow, Nov. 2007, p.60)Helpful Sites
Association of Wis. Snowmobile Clubs: www.awsc.org
Wis. Department of Natural Resources: www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/caer/cs/registrations/snow.htm
Northern Wis. Snowmobiling: www.northwoodswisconsin.com/snowmobiling.htmLodging
1458 East Dollar Lake Rd., Eagle River
Moose Lake View Vacation Home
11035 N County Rd. S Hayward
Rustic Manor Motor Lodge
6463 Hwy. 70 East, St. Germain
Wild Eagle Lodge
4443 Chain O' Lakes Rd., Eagle River
Cable Area Chamber of Commerce
County Hwy M, Cable
Eagle River Chamber of Commerce
PO Box 1917, Eagle River
Hayward Visitor and Convention Bureau
PO Box 1055, Hayward
Price County Tourism
126 Cherry St., Phillips
Wisconsin Dept. of Tourism
201 W. Washington Ave.
Madison, WI 800-432-8747 www.travelwisconsin.com