Winter Recreation Report

Apostle Islands National Lakeshore – Ice Caves: Inaccessible

Report by: Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

Report Date: 1/9/2019

THE ICE CAVES ARE CURRENTLY INACCESSIBLE

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

Last Updated: 1/9/2019

The Madeline Island Ice Road is currently closed

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: 1/9/2019

Trail Status: OPEN

Trail Conditions: Moderate

Area Report:

The warmer temperatures 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. For those riding forest roads on National Forest Service land, please use caution and stay alert! Especially in areas where you see activity i.e. plowed roads. We can’t monitor all the forest roads throughout the county so unsafe conditions may exist. We’ve had reports of large plowed snowbanks on the roads which can be hard to see, so slow down and stay safe. Groomers can be out at ALL times of the day or night – be especially cautious for groomers during the day!

Stay safe and stay on the trails!

 Detailed Area Reports:

Namakagon Trail Groomers: 3 to 5″ base

Early riding, not all marshes are frozen yet – some open water. Most trails have been rolled and groomed once so far with the exception of our bigger marshes and nothing has been done from Telemark to Cable as of yet.

Bayfield County Snowmobile Alliance – Iron River Area: Iron River is shaping up nicely. Lots of bent over trees so grooming is slow but steady. By Friday afternoon should have 90% of trails with at least 1 pass

Barnes Barnestormers: Trails around Barnes and to the north are in good shape. Everything has been groomed with the exception of 31 to the south, there isn’t much snow on this and still work to do. Have to move trees the beavers cut down north of mulligan creek road. The new section south of mulligan creek is ready, we are waiting for culverts to be replaced and more snow before trying to groom the rest.

Drummond SnoJacks: Trail 63N to Grand View was groomed on 1/1 and trails 6 & 7 will be groomed on 1/2 and have a 3″ to 5″ base. There will be no more grooming after today until we get more snow. Trial 63S is rerouted on to Lake Owen Station road for 3 miles. Trail 4 is closed east of Mason. Some wet areas still in the Bibon Swamp but still passable.

Frosty’s Vintage Riders: Delta area still ungroomed, conditions ok, low hanging branches on all trails.

Washburn Valhallers: Trail #13 north from Washburn to Valhalla was groomed Wednesday, January 2, for the second time with the Washburn LMC. The trail is in nice shape with only a few thin spots. Trail #13 south from Washburn to the tri county corridor was groomed Tuesday, January 1, for the first time. This trail is In decent shape but the fields are a bit thin and slightly rough. We will regroom Trail 13 South again Friday.

South shore Trail Club – Port Wing, Herbster & Cornucopia: Trail 1,40,41 all have had 1 pass and are decent, we need more snow by the lake but is passable. All downed trees are clear just working on hanging branches now. Woody

WAINO Riders- Northwest corner of the County: Waino groomer tried to go but we had very low hangers over the trail. Club members did some cutting and will groom what we can on Friday. We hope the warm weather will allow all of trail 1 to get done by Saturday.

Closures:

  • Trail 4
  • Trail 31S

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.

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.

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.”

 

Links

Ashland County Snowmobile Trails

Trail Status: OPEN

Trail Conditions: Rough

Date of Report: 1/9/2019

  • All trails will be open, except the trail from Marengo north to the East end of Ashland, that section is closed.  Trails were groomed on Thursday, January 3.  Conditions at this time are rough.  Ride at your own risk.The Tri-County Corridor is now OPEN and groomed but conditions are poor at this time for riding.  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.

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

Date of Report: 1/15/2019

Last night, Birch Hill and Jolly Long were groomed and tracked.  It was a little soft for this but it is skiable,  probably needs another grooming to be really good.

Packed and tracked are Raven, Deerpath and Blackbear.  The skate trails of Anchor, Seagull, Rollercoaster, Telford and part of Summit, and Sugarbush Dog Trail are regroomed.  Most of it is in good to very good condition.

Alpine Conditions: All Runs are open!
Snowfall in the past week 8-10″
Base 4″-16″ depending on the run.
Overall the hill is in great shape.

Date of Report: 1/9/2019

Wednesdays: 9:30 am – 7 pm
Fridays: 4-8 pm
Saturdays: 9:30 am – 8 pm
Sundays: 11 am – 4:30 pm

-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::
Date of Report: 1/9/2019
Tubing is still closed, we will be working to get it open as soon as we can.

 

Freestyle Terrain
Date of Report: 1/9/2019
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: 1/15/2019

Trail Conditions: Open

Snow Cover: n/a

Area Report: The Bayfield Peninsula has received over 30 inches of snow since early November. Any packed trail has at around a 6-inch base. The Apostle Island Sled Dog Race Trail has not been groomed yet but will begin working on it next week. Parking at Butterfield Rd is open. Please park diagonally to allow for other trailers to fit. Active logging down Butterfield Road. The side trail running to the west is open that can link into other Forest Service trails. 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 but there is no packed trail.  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.

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