Winter Recreation Report

Apostle Islands National Lakeshore – Ice Caves: Inaccessible

Report by: Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

Report Date: 2/18/2019

THE ICE CAVES ARE CURRENTLY INACCESSIBLE

Ice Caves Update: Access to the mainland ice caves is still CLOSED due to unsafe ice conditions.

There is open water between Eagle Island and the mainland. Park staff report that there have been varying numbers of open water pockets visible from Meyers Beach as well.

Over the last week, ice has really been moving around out there, which ultimately means it is not secure or “locked in” with other points of land. We experienced very strong west winds last night, which will likely continue this movement of ice.

We appreciate everyone’s excitement for the ice caves, and we share it! We are monitoring the ice at the mainland shore, and we will continue providing updates on Facebook and on the website as conditions change.

The Lakeshore Trail at Meyers Beach that leads to the top of the cave cliffs (where this photo was taken) is open. The trail is slippery with snow and ice, so traction devices and/or hiking poles are recommended. It is about 1.75 miles one way to the cave overlooks. ($5 parking fee at Meyers Beach)

For more information about the ice caves, check our website: https://www.nps.gov/apis/mainland-caves-winter.htm

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.

Madeline Island – Ice Road is OPEN!

Last Updated: 2/18/2019

The Madeline Island Ice Road is Open

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

Report by: Bayfield County Tourism

Last Updated: 2/13/2019

Trail Status: OPEN -Excellent Riding!

Trail Conditions: Very Good

GENERAL AREA REPORT:

Two separate snowstorms blanketed the entire county with 12” to 24+” of new snow over this past week.  All clubs are reporting some of the best riding conditions of the year.  Please be aware of maintenance equipment on the trail, as grooming can occur at any time – day or night, especially with all of the new snow.  Approach all wet areas with extra caution and be prepared to turn around if the crossing appears suspicious.  Be wary of low hanging branches, wet areas, downed trees and/or limbs, and other similar hazards that may compromise the trail.  Use caution and please stay on the trails!

See below for area specific reports.  For the most up to date report of trail conditions, please contact the local snowmobile club.

Drummond Snojacks:  6-10″ base.  Trails are in very good condition.  Grooming is ongoing at this point – could be out there any day of the week, night or day.  The area received approximately 14+” of new snow from Thursday through Tuesday night.

Namakagon Trail Groomers:  3 to 5” base.  All trails were groomed on 2/4 and are in good condition with an inch+ of new snow on them!  As always, remember to watch for groomers on the trail, day or night.

Valhalla Area:  Trails in the Valhalla area & Bayfield peninsula continue to be in excellent riding condition. With an additional 13 inches in the Valhalla area and 22 inches in the Bayfield area (not included what fell from the storm last night), grooming continues 24 hours a day.  Come ride the best trails in Wisconsin.

Iron River Area:  All trails along with the Tri-County Corridor in Iron River area continue to be in very good to excellent condition.

Frosty’s Vintage Riders (Mason/Delta Area):  Trail 4 in the Mason/Delta area has a nice base and is in very good condition.

South Shore Trail Club (Port Wing, Herbster & Cornucopia Areas): Trails in the South Shore are in very good to excellent condition. We have seen about 12+ inches of snow in the last 5 days and more is falling today (Tuesday).  Grooming is ongoing.

A portion of Trail 40 (Wally Polk) was recently plowed, but is still open.  If riding this section of trail be aware of logging activity, including haul trucks.  To get to Port Wing, an alternate route would be Trail 43 to Trail 66 to Trail 3.

Barnestormers (Barnes Area): The Barnes groomer has been broken down since Saturday. We are hoping to get parts today (Wednesday).  The area has received up to 16 inches of new snow over the last week.  The trails will be a little rough until the groomer is repaired.  We will be grooming nonstop once the tractor is repaired.

Waino Riders (Northwest Corner of the County):  Trail 1 to Highway 13 is in great condition and will be groomed again on Wednesday.  The Oulu – Brule area had 10 to 12 inches of new snow at the end of last week, plus more new snow is falling today (Tuesday).

Washburn Valhallers: Roughly 16 to 20” of new snow has fallen over the past week.  Trail #13 South from Washburn to the Tri-County Corridor was groomed today (2/11) and is in excellent condition.  We will groom Trail #13 North from Washburn to Valhalla tomorrow (2/12) and we also expect that trail to be in excellent condition.

CLOSURES:

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 into Bayfield – Trail 31 South, into the City of Bayfield, is closed for the season. (Trail 1 to the casino is open and groomed.)

RE-ROUTES:

Trail 4 just east of Mason: Trail is closed at Yderstad Rd. Take Yderstad north to Brown Rd. then back South on Roy Anderson Rd where you can pick up the trail again. Follow signs.

Trail 4 in Delta: At Camp One road and County H. Follow the signs.

Trail 63 and 70 into Cable: To get into the Town of Cable from the East take Randysek Rd. North into town.

Trail 40 just South of Port Wing: Flag Rd. is closed. Use East White Birch Rd. to get into Port Wing.

OTHER NOTES:

A portion of Trail 17, located west of Highway 27, and heading west through Sawyer and Bayfield Counties, has been plowed for a logging operation.  The trail remains open, but please be aware of logging activity, including haul trucks.

For those riding ungroomed forest roads, please use caution and stay alert! Especially in areas where you see that roads have been plowed; unsafe conditions may exist since they are not officially part of the trail system and are not monitored.

GENERAL INFO:

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.”

Be sure to stop in, warm up and patronize the businesses on our snowmobile map. Their advertising makes it possible to print and distribute the map.

Links

Ashland County Snowmobile Trails

Trail Status: OPEN

Trail Conditions: Very Good

Date of Report: 2/14/2019

  • Well, we asked for it and we got it!  SNOW!  Trails in Ashland County are open and grooming is in process.  Trails are in very good condition.  The trail from Marengo north to the East end of Ashland, is closed. There is a detour route in place that is marked.

    The Tri-County Corridor is OPEN and has been groomed!

    As always please follow the snowmobile trail rules and regulations. Stay on the trail, as much of the Ashland County snowmobile trail system uses private property and could be lost if the property owners experience issues. The most common complaints are snowmobiles not staying on trails or going off into fields that are not part of the trail, and loud noise from non-stock muffler systems. Respect the trail system so that it remains open. As always operate with everyone’s safety in mind and report any hazardous trail issues that are observed to the Ashland County Sheriff’s Department (715-682-7023 opt 1) so that it can be forwarded to the appropriate service.

    The Tri-County Corridor is open from Superior to Ashland. There are still several areas on the eastern end that require attention but all known hazards have been identified and marked. Use caution when approaching ribbons, barricades, and cones.

    Important reminders: There is no snowmobiling allowed from Ashland to Bad River/Odanah as snowmobiling is not permitted on reservation land.  However, snowmobiling is allowed from Bad River east to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

    If you would like to receive an Ashland County Snowmobile map, let us know and we will mail one out to you! Call us at 715/682-2500 or toll-free at 1-800-284-9484.

    Click here for the City of Ashland snowmobile trail routes.

    Click here for Bayfield County Trail conditions.

    The Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center is a great place to stop on your snowmobiling journey. The Center offers a special area to warm or dry your gloves and hang your helmet while exploring the facility’s displays and climbing the five-story observation tower which showcases the area. The Visitor Center is located off U.S. Highway 2 near the Tri-County Recreational Corridor.

    In addition to snowmobiling, Ashland County offers cross-country skiing, hiking, snowshoeing, ice fishing, and sledding. And be sure to check listings on our website, www.visitashland.com, for information on all of our upcoming outdoor events.

    The Northwest Wisconsin ATV & Snowmobile Corridor Trail Map features Ashland, Burnett, Douglas, Iron, Rusk, Barron, Chippewa, Washburn, Price, and Sawyer counties. This map will help you plan a trip to Northwest Wisconsin, and individual county maps will help you navigate the trails. See for yourself all of the great places you can visit on the seat of an ATV or snowmobile. Click here or on the map cover image to the left to view the digital Northwest Wisconsin ATV & Snowmobile Corridor Map. To order your FREE print copy of the Northwest Wisconsin ATV & Snowmobile Corridor Map, click here.

    Click here for the Bayfield Winter Recreation Report.

    Effective July 1, 2015, Wisconsin snowmobile registration will cost $30.00 for three years.

    In addition, all snowmobiles will be required to have an annual trail pass to operate on a public trail or corridor.

    • Trail passes will cost non-club/non-Association of Wisconsin Snowmobile Clubs members $30.00 and can only be purchased through the DNR.
    • Members who belong to both a snowmobile club and the AWSC will be able to buy the trail pass for $10.00.

    For more information on the Wisconsin Snowmobile Trail Pass, please visit the AWSC website at www.awsc.org or the DNR website at dnr.wi.gov.

    Ashland County Snowmobile Trails traditionally close mid-March if conditions permit they will remain open until March 31st..

    Out-of-state snowmobile passes are required for non-residents and can be purchased for $50.00 at the following locations:

    ASHLAND Anglers All, 2803 E. Lake Shore Drive DNR Service Center, 2501 Golf Course Road River Rock Inn & Bait Shop, 1200 W. Lake Shore Drive Walmart Supercenter, Sporting Goods Dept., 2500 E. Lake Shore Drive

    CLAM LAKE Clam Lake Junction, 60967 State Hwy. 77 Deb’s Y Go By, 60998 State Hwy. 77

    BUTTERNUT Butternut Feed Store, 121 N. Main Street

    GLIDDEN The Bear Crossing, 107 E. Broadway

    MELLEN Midland Services Mellen, 101 Wilderness Drive Northland Foods/Hardware Hank, 108 S. Main Street

    Ashland Chamber of Commerce Snowmobile Report

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

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

Date of Report: 2/17/2019

Nordic Conditions: Good to Very Good

Raven, Deerpath, Blackbear and Oppedahls were tracked this morning.  Telford, Birch Hill, Jolly Long and the Sugarbush Dog Trail from Birch Hill back to the parking lot were groomed and tracked this evening.

Date of Report: 2/16/2019

Alpine Conditions: All runs are open
Base 18-30″
With almost 30″ of fresh powder this past week everything is in great shape.

-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 the highest concern.

Chairlift & Paddle-tows
OPEN
Expected Hours for 2019:
Wednesdays: 10am-7pm
Friday 4pm-8m
Saturdays: 9:30am-9p.m.
Sundays: 9:30am-4:30pm

Tubing Conditions: GOOD

Date of Report: 2/18/2019
Tubing is open!

 

Freestyle Terrain
Date of Report: 2/18/2019
OPEN

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: OPEN

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 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 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

Valhalla Recreation Area (Valkyrie & Teuton Trails)

OPEN

Trail condition updates are also found at the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest website.

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

Bayfield Sled Dog Trails

Trail Report: Bayfield Area

Reported by: Wolfsong Adventures in Mushing

Date of Report: 2/11/2019

Trail Conditions: Open

Snow Cover: n/a

Area Report: The Bayfield Peninsula has received over 100 inches of snow since early November. Any packed trail has at around at least a two foot packed base. The Apostle Island Sled Dog Race Trail has been opened up and groomed as of 2/3/2019 but is no longer being groomed or packed.  Parking at the Gravel Pit is possible but make sure to not block off access for others.  Parking at Butterfield Rd is open. Please park diagonally to allow for other trailers to fit. Most of the trails from here are packed by other snowmobiles. Any forest service road in the Chequamegon National Forest make for great trails and usually have some snowmobile tracks for a trail. Henkins Road is not being used for logging activity at this point and whatever trail is packed is from other snowmobile users.  Be aware that the powerlines are being replaced and are plowed, so any trail crossing the lines are subject to plowed conditions and activity. Wearing bright clothing is advised as all trails are shared trails.

For more info:
Email Jen Dale <[email protected] 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.

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 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