Winter Recreation Report

Experience the magic of Bayfield this winter! Ski, snowshoe, hike or try out a fat tire bike, the possibilities are endless! 

Wander through miles of snowshoe and hiking trails that hug Lake Superior. Glide through more than 40 kilometers of groomed and tracked ski trails through mature boreal forests at Mt. Ashwabay. 

Check out our winter events and trail reports below and start planning your winter adventure! 

Winter Events

  • Report Date: 3/1/2024

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

    Nordic Conditions: Closed 

    Alpine Conditions: Open

    Snow base (in inches): 

    Alpine Conditions: Great spring Skiing! Come see us before our last day on March 10! March 9 is our Spring Carnival. Join us for fun games and activities all afternoon. 

    Regular Season Hours:  
    Wednesdays 9:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. 
    Closed Friday, March 8 
    Saturday 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
    Sundays 10:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

    *Last Day, Sunday, March 10*

  • Report Date: 1/23/1024

    Madeline Island Ice Road

    For the latest updates please call 715-747-5400 as this report is not updated daily and conditions can change quickly. 

    The ice road is very fragile and in the winter, a lifeline for those who live year round on the island. There is limited transportation between LaPointe and Bayfield in the winter months, so this is not a “tourist attraction.”

    Conditions can change quickly and too many cars going too fast across the road can damage it, causing officials to close the road for everybody.

    We encourage you to call the ice road hotline 715-747-5400 and do not plan a trip to Bayfield or LaPointe expecting the ice road to be open when you arrive.

    However, there are plenty of other winter activities to be enjoyed in and around Bayfield outlined in this winter recreation report!

    Not Running Currentlly - 1/23/2024

    Transportation between Bayfield and Madeline Island is also provided by Windsled Transportation once ice forms in the bay. 

    Monday thru Friday
    Leave MADELINE ISLAND: 7:30AM, 8AM (School Kids only if in session), 9AM, 11:30AM, 3:45PM (School Kids only if in session), 3:45PM & 4:30PM
    Leave BAYFIELD: 7:45AM, 8:15AM (School Kids only if in session), 9:30AM, 12:30PM,  4PM (School Kids only if in session), 4PM & 4:45PM

    Leave MADELINE ISLAND: 9AM, 11:30AM & 4PM
    Leave BAYFIELD: 9:15AM, 12:15PM & 4:15PM

    Leave MADELINE ISLAND: 9AM, 12Noon & 4PM
    Leave BAYFIELD: 9:15AM, 12:15PM & 4:15PM

  • Mt. Ashwabay Ski & Recreation Area

    Report Date: 1/21/2024

    Area Report: 

    Trail Network: 12km round trip
    Groomed Styles: 2′ wide single track (0.7 miles of 10′ wide multi-use trails)
    Trail Ratings: 

    Trails were groomed on 1/20/2024. The 4" of snow from over the past week helped to fill in some of the divots and make a smoother thread.

    Winter Fat Tire Biking

    Comments: The best opportunities for winter fat tire biking on the Washburn Ranger District would be on our plowed roads. Typically, plowed roads are opened up for access reasons such as homes, main routes, and /or logging operations. Please use caution when riding or driving these roads as they are typically not as wide during the winter due to the snow, are highly used routes and could have large truck traffic. Also, the conditions of these roads can change quickly.

    Location: Contact Washburn Ranger District at (715) 373-2667 for a copy of a plowed road map.

  • Report by: Bayfield County Foresty and Parks Department. 

    Report Date: 2/20/2024

    SNOW BASE:  1-4 Inches
    CONDITION:  Poor

    We need snow and colder temps. There will be no new trail reports until trails open. When trails open, official notice will be posted on the sites listed below, as well as on the Bayfield County Forestry and Parks and the Bayfield County Tourism Facebook pages.

  • Trail Status: Closed

    Trail Conditions: 

    Report Date: 2/20/2024

    General Area Report: 

    The Ashland County snowmobile Trials remain CLOSED due to lack of snow, bare spots and open water.


  • 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.

    *These trails are open year-round. We recommend either wearing snowshoes or yak-tracks due to icy conditions. 

    Snowshoe Rental:  

    Howl Adventure Center
    35265  South County Highway J
    Bayfield, WI

    Sweet Sailing
    120 Rittenhouse Avenue
    Bayfield, WI

    The Brownstone Trail

    The trail runs along an old railroad bed that 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.

    Currently, a section of the Brownstone Trail heading out from the city of Bayfield is closed.  The closure is between S 7th near Sea Gull Bay Motel to the intersection of the trail and Lake Shore Drive. There is a re-route via Hwy 13.  This section will be closed until further notice.

    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 tracks. 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 guests to check out snowshoes and explore 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!

    Lost Creek Falls 

    Take Hwy C south of Cornucopia 1.5 miles and turn right on the Trail, drive to Trailhead parking lot. This waterfall features a lovely 8-foot plunge, with smaller cascades below. The hike to the falls is through a scenic, forested area ad the trail is well-maintained with boardwalks and bridges.

    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.

  • Report Date: N/A

    Report by: Skinny Ski

    Snow Conditions: 



    The Drummond Recreation Trail system is located on gentle terrain and is groomed for classic technique cross-country skiing. The trail is located in a northern hardwood forest that has inclusions of large white pine, click here for a ski trail map.

    The North Country Trail loop, the Racetrack, and Playground are located in more rolling terrain.

    The trail system provides access to the North Country Trail, which you can travel south onto the Lake Owen Recreation Area. 

    During the summer, this trail is a nice place to hike or bike. In the winter, check the Cross-Country Ski Trail Report for the current conditions of the trail.

    Location: The Drummond Ski Trail is located south of Drummond, WI about one mile. From US HWY 63 in Drummond, go south on Lake Owen Scenic Drive (FR 213) for about 1 mile. Turn left onto the access road into the parking area.

  • Report Date: 1/22/2024

    Report by: Skinny Ski

    Base: 8+"

    It was a beautiful day in the woods! Worked on Teuton, A and B are groomed for skate and classic. Skiers say it was fast! C loop has been run with the drag.

    Teuton trail system (10.2 miles): Groomed

    Valkyrie trail system (11.1 miles): Groomed

    Location:  From Washburn, go northwest on County Hwy C for approximately 8.5 miles.  The main trailhead with a chalet and warming room is on the left-hand side of the highway.

    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 Teuton 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 a parking area and a 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: Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

    Report Date: 2/20/2024

    CLOSED, Here’s why

    • Open Water

    When the ice caves opened in 2014-2015, ice cover on Lake Superior was more than 90 percent.

    Typically, ice in and around the sea caves is visible in late February to early March. Staff at the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore monitor weather conditions and ice formations very closely to ensure visitors can view them safely if and when they form.

    When the caves are not directly accessible, you can still hike on the mainland trail above the caves and view them from that vantage point. If you do hike that trail, be sure to wear proper footwear and potentially use poles since there are no railings and there are some steep hills. 

    *Please be aware the ice caves and lakeshore trail are in a remote location and access to emergency services could take up to four hours. Make sure you are prepared with personal safety equipment and/or a first aid kit.*

    Visitors are also advised that the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore does not permit any vendor to charge a fee for tours of the ice caves. While other sandstone formations outside of the National Lakeshore (in the surrounding area/Chequamegon Bay) may sometimes be accessible by ice, visitors do so at their own risk.

    Please be aware that the sandstone/brownstone cliffs along the shoreline outside of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore are not the same as the Apostle Islands ice caves and are less dramatic since the shoreline is more protected from the crashing waves (which causes erosion and creates the more distinct formations that appear in the National Lakeshore).  

    You can also call the “ice line” updated every Thursday: 715-779-3398 ex. 3.

    Also check out the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Facebook page, updated every Thursday with ice cave conditions.


    People can hike the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Trail at Meyers Beach, which extends 4.5 miles from Meyers Road past the cliffs above the mainland sea caves.  The trail alternates between boardwalk and a rugged path with stream and ravine crossings. It’s located 5 miles east of Cornucopia on Highway 13. Best to have crampons or some kind of shoe grip if venturing out in the winter.

    Visitors are also advised that the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore does not permit any vendor to charge for tours of the ice caves. While other sandstone formations outside of the National Lakeshore (in the surrounding area and Chequamegon Bay) may be accessible by ice, visitors do so at their own risk.

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