Winter Recreation Report

Apostle Islands National Lakeshore – Ice Caves: Inaccessible

Report by: Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

Report Date: 3/27/2018

THE ICE CAVES ARE CURRENTLY INACCESSIBLE

At the very earliest, it would be the end of the month before conditions could be safe enough to open the caves. Most years, the caves aren’t accessible until mid- to late February.

For the most up-to-date information about ice caves in the Park, check any of these options:

1) The Official Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Facebook page at www.facebook.com/apostleislandsnationallakeshore;

2) The park website www.nps.gov/apis; and/or

3) Call the Ice Line at 715-779-3397 Ext. 3 for updates

As a word of caution, there are non-official Apostle Islands Facebook pages and websites posting information about ice caves that are neither part of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore nor regularly monitored for safe ice conditions by anyone.  Park Rangers monitor the ice and open or close the caves within the National Lakeshore only. The Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa  has advised us that no one checks the ice off the Reservation shoreline for its safety and they are not behind, nor supportive of, efforts to encourage visitation to the “Red Cliff Ice Caves.”  They have also advised us that the Legendary Waters Resort and Casino parking lot is available for patrons of Legendary Waters only.

When Lake Superior freezes, snowmobiling and ATV use is not permitted within 1/4 mile of the mainland from Saxine Creek to Sand Point.

Links

Madeline Island – Ice Road is CLOSED to Public Travel/Van is runnig

Last Updated: 3/27/2018 Call 715-747-5400 for additional information

For the most up to date information please visit the Ice road Facebook Page.

Bayfield County Snowmobile Trails

Date of Report: March 15, 2018

Trail StatusOpen, Fair Condition

Area Report:

 The warmer temperature and stronger sun are starting to take their toll on our trails. In the woods and in shaded areas the snow is holding, but trails can be icy to the freeze/thaw that’s happening.

Detailed reports from the local snowmobile clubs are posted below. Stay safe and stay on the trails!

Note: For those riding forest roads, please use caution and stay alert! Especially in areas where you see activity i.e. plowed roads. Remember that these are roads, not trails, so conditions will vary and they are not groomed for snowmobiles. In places where logging has occurred there may be snowbanks in the road that can be hard to see, so slow down and stay safe.

Namakagon Trail Groomers: Due to warm weather and icy conditions grooming has been suspended in the Namakagon Trails area. Trails remain ride able with icy hills and corners. South facing areas, road crossings and routes have brown exposed. Trails in the woods remain ride able. Late season conditions exist. PLEASE RIDE SAFE!  

Bayfield County Snowmobile Alliance – Iron River Area: Iron River area is still rideable but not enough measurable snow to groom and warmer temps forecasted for this weekend. Trails are becoming very icy with freeze/thaw conditions. Expect all road routes to be free of any rideable surface at this time. 

Drummond Snojacks: No report 

Barnes Barnestormers: Barnestormers have suspended grooming at this point. The trails still have a good base and are rideable, however with the warm weather it doesn’t justify going out at this point. Most of the roads that connect trails have been plowed making some trails inaccessible     
Washburn Valhallers: We have decided to suspend grooming until we get more measureable snow. In the immediate Washburn area, trails are probably still ridable but tough to get uptown without a few blocks of bare pavement in most places. Still a good base on most trails out of town but will go quickly with 40 degrees and sun. 

Valhalla Area is still in pretty good shape. Very good snow on the trails and on the forest roads. 
South shore Trail Club – Trail 1, 40 and 41 are still good, though no grooming until more snow. Trail 1 from Port Wing to Herbster is dirt but can access Hebster from the east. 

WAINO Riders – Waino Riders are not going to groom this week. Lots of bare spots. Trail 1 is usable but not for very long if the forecast holds.   


Closures:

  • Trail 1 near Port Wing: This is now open but use caution as ruts have frozen into the ground.
  • Trail 63 in the Cable Area: Trail 63 just south of the intersection with Trail 70 south of the town of Cable is closed until further notice.
  • Trail 31, South of the intersection with Trail 1 near the City of Bayfield is not signed and not being groomed. There is currently no trail access to the City of Bayfield, but there is access to Legendary Waters Casino. 

ReReoutes:

  • Trail 13 outside Washburn, follow signs. Permanent reroute.
  • Trail 4 east of Mason, follow signs. Seasonal reroute for now, includes road routes.
  • Trail 70 south of Cable, follow signs. Seasonal reroute for now, includes road routes.

Logging Activity:

  • Trail 40 Southeast of Port Wing has a timber sale active so keep your eyes out and stay alert in that area.
  • Trail 51 south of Cornucopia near Jodi road is now being used for an active timber sale. They are logging off the trail and using the trail as a haul route so use caution. Jodi road is also being plowed for a short distance.

Order a snowmobile map online or pick one up at area businesses. You can also download the Avenza app (for free) and get the updated Snowmobile Map on your device before you hit the trails – locate yourself on the trail map with GPS so you can see where you are, even with no cell reception! If you’d like to see the sponsor businesses on the same type of map, try the Trail Treker app ($1.99); the map is a free download with the code “Washburn2017.”

Woodside Cottages of Bayfield:

Date of Report: 1/18/2018

Trail Conditions:

Below is the most recent post by Gary on Jan 16th (posted on JohnDee.com):

“We had very good riding FridayMonday in the Bayfield/Valhalla area with friends and Woodside Cottage’s guests. FRs are good to very good and most sections of the trails are the same. Jackie and I rode with Laura and Jonathan from www.woodsidecottages.com Monday afternoon just prior to the heavy LES that added about 6″ to the snow depth.
There are short sections of trails where logging is taking place so expect those areas to be plowed: TR1 east of Henkens Rd, TR51 past Jodi Rd and TR41 east of TR19. Plus some of the FRs between TR19 and TR40 are plowed for logging as well as Henkens Rd and Echo Valley Rd north of Star Route.
With the fresh snow from yesterday, conditions will be excellent.”

Links

Mt. Ashwabay Ski & Recreation Area - Nordic, Alpine, Tubing and more

Located three miles south of Bayfield, Mt. Ashwabay offers both cross-country and alpine skiing in a magnificent setting, featuring stunning views of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore and the Chequamegon National Forest. Cross-country trails cover 35 km of wilderness trails with ratings from beginner to expert. All trails are groomed and tracked as needed. The beginner’s trail is the picturesque Sugar Bush Trail. Intermediate terrain can be enjoyed on Anchor, Seagull and Raven trails. Advanced skiers can venture out on the longer 15 km loop, which combines Sugar Bush, Deer Path and Raven trails, returning to the Mt. Ashwabay chalet. Food, lounge, instruction and equipment rental are available at the chalet. The Ashwabay trails require users to purchase a daily or seasonal pass. These passes may be obtained at the Mt. Ashwabay Chalet. Trail user fees and donations made to the Ashwabay Education Foundation, earmarked for cross country ski trail maintenance, will go a long way in keeping this entire network groomed for your enjoyment.

Call (715) 779-3227 for more details.

Report by: Mt. Ashwabay Recreation Area

Nordic Conditions:
Nordic, Snowshoe, Skijoring/Dog, Fatbike Trails
Open access 24 / 7
Pay in the Chalet or at Trail Heads

3/18/18

This evening I tracked: Sugarbush Dog Trail, Sugarbush Classic, Anchor, and Rollercoaster.  Steve plans to touch up the some of the skate lanes in the morning.  Still plenty of snow if you want to get out skiing.

3/16/2018

Between Dennis and I Anchor, Seagull, Rollercoaster and Jolly Long skate lanes were groomed.  Also, I tracked Anchor, Sugarbush Dog Trail and Sugarbush Classic.  It was a little cooler than I wanted grooming the tracks, so they were a bit ugly in spots.

 

Alpine Conditions
Date of Report: 1/24/2018
The hill held up great to the warm weather. We now have 8-15″ of base over everything.
All runs are open except Hemlock and The Drop.

Mon, Tues, Thurs – Generally 9am-5pm
Weds, Fri, Sat, Sun – Open when Lifts are operating

All hours of operation are subject to conditions.
Low temps, high winds, and other adverse factors may necessitate closing, or delayed opening, of Chairlift & Paddle-tows. Safety is of highest concern.

Chairlift & Paddle-tows
Wednesdays: 10am-7pm
Friday 4pm-9m every other Friday starting Jan 5th
Saturdays: 9:30am-9p.m.
Sundays: 9:30am-4:30pm

Tubing Conditions::
Date of Report: 12/26/2017
Open

Freestyle Terrain
Date of Report: 12/16/2017
Currently Closed

Links

Fat Tire Biking

Mt. Ashwabay Ski & Recreation Area

Area Report:
Open access 24 / 7
Pay in the Chalet or at Trail Heads
*Volunteers may be grooming the trails at any time; please be aware and give them passage
Trail Network: 7 miles round trip
Groomed Styles: 2′ wide single track (0.7 miles of 10′ wide multi-use trails)
Trail Ratings: Moderate to Advanced (hills, tight turns)

 

Mt Valhalla Winter Sports Area – Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest

Area Report: The Forest Service is working with the North Coast Cycling Association (NCCA) under an agreement to allow the use of fat tire bikes and snowshoes on the left half of the trail tread on Loop B of the Valkyrie Trail System this winter. This is a trial on this section of the trail to determine if these mixed uses are compatible. The trails will be signed to identify where fat tire bikes and snowshoes are allowed. If you don’t see these signs on the trail, it is only open to skiing.

Please know where you are riding or snowshoeing. Signs with a map and information will also be posted at the trailheads, on the trails and in the warming room and chalet. Comment cards will be provided at the trailheads and in the warming room and chalet. Let us know what you think. Please help this test to be successful and stay on Loop B with fat tire bikes and snowshoes. If there are issues on the trails, please contact the Washburn Ranger District office at (715) 373-2667 to report. Walking or running without snowshoes or having a dog on the groomed trails is still prohibited. Your feedback on the mixed trail use is important to the Forest Service.

The warming room and chalet are open from 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM daily.

Just a reminder, the annual Forest user pass or payment of the daily user fee is required at most recreation sites across the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. The 2018 annual Forest user pass is valid until March and are available at local vendors, Forest Service offices, or online at www.fs.usda.gov/main/cnnf/passes-permits and click on the link on the right hand side of the screen that says “purchase your daily and annual Forest pass here.” The Forest user pass is $20/vehicle sticker and a second sticker for an additional $10.

Drummond Ski Trail – Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest

Report by: Washburn Ranger Station – Chequamegon Nicolet National Forest

Drummond Ski Trail (Updated on 3/6/2018)

Four inches of new snow. New tracks. We were fortunate to get enough snow to work up the Drummond Trails. Conditions are excellent and the tracks are well formed. This may be the last hurrah. The woods are picturesque. 

Just a reminder, the annual Forest user pass or payment of the daily user fee is required at most recreation sites across the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. The 2018 annual Forest user pass is valid until March and are available at local vendors, Forest Service offices, or online at www.fs.usda.gov/main/cnnf/passes-permits and click on the link on the right hand side of the screen that says “purchase your daily and annual Forest pass here.” The Forest user pass is $20/vehicle sticker and a second sticker for an additional $10.

Links

Mt Valhalla Winter Sports Area – Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest

Ten miles west of Washburn, on County C, is the Valhalla Winter Sports Area nestled in the Chequamegon National Forest, offering two sets of cross-country ski trails developed and groomed by the U.S. Forest Service. The three Valkyrie loops run through red and jack pine forests, with magnificent views of the area on the Sun Bowl Loop. The Teton Ski Trail also features three loops in a mixed birch and maple forest with a roller coaster near the end of loop “B”. County C runs between Valkyrie and Teton with parking area and rustic chalet on the Teton side of C. Please contact the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest office in Washburn at (715) 373-2667 ext 238 for more details.

Report by: Washburn Ranger Station – Chequamegon Nicolet National Forest

This is the trail report for the Washburn Ranger District for Friday, February 16, 2018.

Valhalla Recreation Area (Valkyrie & Teuton Trails)

The Teuton trails were groomed today and are in good conditions. The Valkyrie trails were groomed on Friday, February 9th and are reported to be in good condition. The base is reported to be around 11 inches and in solid condition. New snow is expected this weekend. Have fun and be safe in the cold this weekend.

Trail condition updates are also found at the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest website; and Skinnyski.com

For more information on the snowmobile trails on Bayfield County and Forest Service lands, the conditions and any important trail information can be found at: www.snowtracks.com/reporter/wisconsin/bayfield-county-wisconsin/   Please use caution when riding and stay safe.

Please note – the Forest Service is working with the North Coast Cycling Association (NCCA) under an agreement to allow the use of fat tire bikes and snowshoes on the left half of the trail tread on Loop B of the Valkyrie Trail System this winter. This is a trial on this section of the trail to determine if these mixed uses are compatible. The trails will be signed to identify where fat tire bikes and snowshoes are allowed. If you don’t see these signs on the
trail, it is only open to skiing. Please know where you are riding or snowshoeing. Signs with a map and information will also be posted at the trailheads, on the trails and in the warming room and chalet. Comment cards will be provided at the trailheads and in the warming room and chalet. Let us know what you think! Please help this test to be successful and stay on Loop B with fat tire bikes and snowshoes. If there are issues on the trails, please contact the Washburn Ranger District office at (715) 373-2667 to report. Walking or running without snowshoes on Loop B is prohibited. On all of the groomed ski trails and buildings, dogs are prohibited. Your feedback on the mixed trail use is important to the Forest Service.

The warming room and chalet are open from 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM daily.

Just a reminder, the annual Forest user pass or payment of the daily user fee is required at most recreation sites across the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. The 2018 annual Forest user pass is valid until March and are available at local vendors, Forest Service offices, or online at www.fs.usda.gov/main/cnnf/passes-permits and click on the link on the right hand side of the screen that says “purchase your daily and annual Forest pass here.” The Forest user pass is $20/vehicle sticker and a second sticker for an additional $10.

Links

Ashland County Snowmobile Trails

Ashland County Snowmobile Report March 8, 2018

Trail Conditions: Good
Snow Cover: 1-6 inch base
Date of Report: March 8, 2018

Ashland County Trails are in good condition with a 1-6 inch base and have been groomed. note….Trail 25 North on Mineral Lake Road has some gravel, ride at your own risk in this area and use caution!
The 2017/2018 Ashland County Snowmobile Season will close March 31st weather permitting!!!!!!

If you would like a Snowmobile Map/Brochure for Ashland County, let us know and we will be happy to mail one out to you.  Call us at 715/682-2500 or toll-free at 1-800-284-9484.  Or you may view the snowmobile/ATV trail map in PDF form here.

NOTE: The Tri-County Recreational Corridor, a 62-mile stretch of abandoned railroad right-of-way running from Ashland to Superior, is ALWAYS OPEN.
ATV routes and other trails designated by towns under state law are not affected by seasonal closures. Trail users should check local regulations for trails they plan to use.
In the City of Ashland, ATVs are NOT allowed on the 5th Street Corridor.

Please click on the link below for the most up to date information on snowmobiling in Ashland County.

Bayfield Sled Dog Trails

Trail Report: Bayfield Area

Reported by: Wolfsong Adventures in Mushing

Date of Report: 02/25/2016

Trail Conditions: GOOD

Snow Cover: 12-24″ Base

Area Report: Lots of snow here now, so we are set for snow until at least late February if it gets really warm or well into March with good weather. The Echo Valley gravel pit at The Apostle Islands Sled Dog Race site is now plowed and will be for the rest of the season. Great to park and start a run. The kids/rec loop is still being packed and will be until at least the beginning of March. We will not continue packing the rest of the race loop but it may be being run by other snowmobilers. We have well over a foot and a half of base if not more. Usually trails are packed down by other users south of Butterfield Parking Lot on Star Route. There is well over a foot base now.

For more info:
Email John Thiel at Wolfsong Adventures or call 715-779-5561.

 

Links

Snowshoe Trails

If skiing isn’t quite your cup of tea, but you are still looking to explore the beautiful trails the Bayfield area has to offer at this time of year, snowshoeing is always a great adventure.

The Brownstone Trail

The trail runs along an old railroad bed which skirts the lakeshore just south of Bayfield. Trailhead access is at the kiosk on Third Street, kitty-corner from Maggie’s Restaurant. You’ll enjoy splendid views of Madeline Island, see people ice-fishing in the Chequamegon Bay and enjoy the sights and sounds of winter in Bayfield.

The Ravine Snowshoe Trail

The trail travels uphill along the steep, hemlock-studded rim of the big ravine. Take young children by the hand! Trailhead access is on 4th Street uphill to the Bayfield School. Turn left on Sweeny Avenue and park at the baseball field. The trail is behind the fence to the right. This trail is also enjoyed by cross country skiers please do not snowshoe on the two track. Also a part of this trail system is the Iron Bridge Nature Trail. This magical winding trail is for sure footed hikers and follows the ravine creek under the old Iron Bridge and uphill to a rocky grotto with small waterfall. Pick up the trail at the Iron Bridge located at 3rd Street and Rice Avenue.

Jerry Jay Jolly – Pikes Creek Trail Network

Just South of Bayfield off State Hwy 13. Take County Hwy J to Star Route Road 2 1/4 miles to the parking lot on the left. This trail hooks up with the Mt Ashwabay ski trails which require a fee so please watch where you are and please stay off of the groomed ski track.

Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center

The center allows guest to check out snow shoes and snowshoe on the trails behind the center.

Houghton Falls

3.5 miles north of Washburn on State Hwy 13. Turn on Houghton Falls Road and go 1/2 mile to Houghton Falls Nature Preserve parking lot on our right. There is currently no fee for hiking or parking and pets are allowed if leashed and cleaned up after!

The North Country National Scenic Trail

Snowshoe the trail and experience winter views throughout the Rainbow Wilderness Area or portions of the National Forest near Lake Owen. This trail is not groomed, but is marked with blue blazes.

Links

Enjoy the winter trails in Bayfield and Ashland Counties and get entered to win one of two prize packages that include an overnight getaway! Take a selfie at the trailhead of whichever trail you traversed to be entered into a drawing to win one of two fabulous prize packages, that include an overnight getaway. One entry per trail for a total of 24 chances! To enter the drawing, email your photo along with your name and where you’re from (city/state) to info@nulltravelbayfieldcounty.com.
Contest expires March 31, 2018

Pick up one of Winter Fun trail guides at the Bayfield Chamber & Visitor Bureau, Bayfield County Tourism, Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce, local businesses, oer download one below and start your adventure today. Details on trail locations and how to get entered into the contest are in the guide.

DOWNLOAD: WINTER FUN TRAILS BOOKLET
DOWNLOAD: CONTEST RULES