By Kevin Revolinski | Photo courtesy of Minocqua Winter Park.

Seeking an unmatched snowy adventure this winter? Check out these destinations for snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling in the Northwoods. 


  • Deerskin Snowshoe Trails: Vilas County
    This series of color-coded ungroomed trails utilize 12 miles of logging roads and ski trails through forest, and along the Deerskin River on gently rolling terrain with a few steep spots.
  • Rib Mountain State Park: Wausau
    Situated next to Granite Peak ski area, the park rents snowshoes and offers eight miles of trails including a groomed two-mile loop.
  • The Tamaracks Trails: Vilas County
    No sharing with skiers here. The Blue and Green Loops are exclusive for snowshoes and extend 6.5 and 8.5 miles, respectively.
  • Trego Nature Trail: Trego
    One quarter mile east of the Namekagon Visitor Center in Trego, this lollipop trail follows along the scenic Namekagon River, completes a small loop, and returns to the parking area for a 3.5-mile trip.
  • Winter Park: Minocqua
    This popular snow sport park with Nordic skiing and fat-bike trails, has seven dedicated snowshoe trail loops, varying in length from 1.25 to 4.6 miles.

Cross-country Skiing

  • American Birkebeiner Ski Trails: Cable Seeley, Hayward
    Host to the largest cross-country ski race in North America, this trail system of more than 100 kilometers (60 miles) is one of the best and can produce its own snow when Mother Nature doesn’t deliver.
  • Blue Hills Trail: Bruce
    With an abundance of loops and crossroads for alternative paths, the 22 miles of ski trails can be combined in ways to accommodate for any skill level as easy or hard as you like. 
  • Copper Falls State Park: Mellen
    With trails for all skill levels, this forested state park situated in the “snow belt” grooms 13.7 miles (22 km) of classic and 6.5 miles (10.5 km) of skate-style ski trails. 
  • MECCA Trails: Mercer
    With sections marked easy, moderate or difficult, the 21-kilometer system has groomed classic and skating trails and a log chalet with a wood stove and changing room.
  • Nine Mile Forest Trails, Wausau
    This system offers 18.3 miles of double-tracked trail and a wide skating lane (with four miles lighted after dark), the system has a warmed chalet and youth loop with six mailbox stops for cookies.


  • Vilas County Snowmobile Trail System
    With 11 snowmobile clubs maintaining trail, Vilas County features more than 700 miles of riding, with communities and services throughout, including St. Germain and the Snowmobile Hall of Fame.
  • Nicolet State Trail
    On a gravel base, this 89-mile trail runs through the heart of the Nicolet National Forest from the town of Gillett to the border with Michigan. Many county trails connect along the way with services available in Townsend, Suring and other towns.
  • Blue Ox Trail
    Maintained by the Blue Ox Trail Riders, this 180-mile system is centered around Florence in northeastern Wisconsin. Find maps and other resources at the Wild Rivers Interpretive Center. 
  • Three Lakes Area Trails
    Among its nearly 200 miles of groomed trail, the trail system passes through forest and farmland, as well as along 28 lakes and across frozen streams. 
  • The Minocqua Forest Riders Trails
    The club maintains 161 miles of snowmobile trails in the Minocqua area, running to Lac Du Flambeau to the north and Willow Flowage to the south, and Pike Lake Area to the West, and Minocqua, Woodruff and Lake Tomahawk to the east.

Kevin Revolinski is a Wisconsin outdoors and beer writer and author of "Backroads and Byways of Wisconsin" a guidebook to the best paddling throughout the Badger State. See his website at

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