Perhaps you are itching to get out over the holiday weekend for some winter recreation. Unfortunately, most of the state does not have enough snow on the ground yet to support snowmobiling or cross-country skiing. However several areas do have trails open. Most of these are in northern Wisconsin where lake effect snow has boosted totals, or in other spots where snow-making equipment is used.
As of Wednesday Dec. 27th the Wisconsin Department of Tourism is listing the following conditions for various snowmobile trails.
- Hurley 12-15″ base, fair
- St. Germain 5-7″ base, fair
- Mercer 5-7″ base, fair
- Land O’ Lakes 4-6″ base, fair
- Boulder Junction 3-6″ base, poor
- Eagle River 4-6″ base, poor
- Cable 1-5″ base, poor
It appears the Hurley area has the best snowmobiling conditions. Of the 170 miles of groomed trails in that region, only 10 miles weren’t open. They have a good foot of compacted snow on the trails. Trail 7 from Upson to Saxon and Trail 3 from Saxon to the Ashland County Line are not open. For daily updates on trail status please visit www.hurleywi.com
Riders are reminded that many rivers and some lakes are not fit for crossing yet due to the recent warm weather and variable ice conditions. Don’t cross such areas until a route is clearly marked.
Below you can find some of the better sites to check out for cross country skiing at this point in the season.
- Trollhaugen, Dresser 18-36″ base, Excellent
- Sunburst Ski Area, Kewaskum 8 -24″ base, Good
- Montreal Ski Trail 6-8″ base, Good
- Minocqua Winter Park 3-6″ base, Fair
- Land O’ Lakes 4-6″ base, Fair
- Boulder Junction 3-6″ base, Poor (Not groomed)
Observers at Minocqua Winter Park say most of the trails are actually in pretty good shape, but there are spots that it is pretty rough yet. So you may want to consider using rock skis yet. Your best bet for any area is just to call ahead and double-check. That is especially true now that we have several fast moving weather systems crossing Wisconsin through the weekend with a chance of some accumulating snow in various spots.
Have fun if you do manage to hit the trails!
This post was written by Tony Schumacher on December 28, 2011