Rib Mountain Snowmobile Tour
It stands to reason that the state's largest county would have the most trails - more than 800 miles for snowmobilers to enjoy. Riders also have all the services available in the City of Wausau. Top this off with Marathon County's 29 snowmobile clubs and a fleet of 36 major pieces of grooming equipment and you've got one serious sledding destination. In Wausau, there are plenty of attractions to fill a winter getaway. If you like to shop, visit Cedar Creek Factory Stores. The Marathon County Historical Museum features fabulous Victorian furnishings and a complete model railroad display. The Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum is internationally known for its "Birds in Art" exhibits. The Center for Visual Arts displays the works of local and regional artists. Running south past the western edge of Wausau on Trail O, you'll see the massive signature landmark of the county; Rib Mountain rises 640 feet above the surrounding countryside and you'll ride right over it. On top you'll find Rib Mountain State Park as well as a fantastic view of the city and the Wisconsin River Valley. Technically the mountain is a monadnock, the geological equivalent of leftovers. It is the quartzite core of an ancient mountain that has survived a half-billion years of erosion. Leaving the heights behind, you'll soon find yourself winding through Nine Mile County Forest, an expansive preserve that features a modern warming shelter shared with cross country skiers who kick and glide over adjacent trails. If you follow Trail K, you can ride to the Moon in Marathon County, or at least to Moon. Leaving that celestial, unincorporated, crossroads landmark behind, you'll pass several active granite quarries along Trail #158 before you get to the little village of Halder. Turning north on Corridor Trail #21, you may notice acres of farm fields covered with a low, wooden lattice. These fields are cultivated in ginseng, which loves shade and is prized throughout the orient for its medicinal value. Marathon County grows more ginseng than anywhere else in the world. In the tiny hamlet of Poniatowski, you'll find a marker indicating the exact center of the Northern Hemisphere. Stop in the historic Gesicki Tavern to sign the register of people who have visited the site. Riding north through Athens, then east on Trail A through Little Chicago, you'll spot the unmistakable silhouette of Rib Mountain ahead. You've completed the circuit - a Central Wisconsin snowmobiling adventure. Click on the URL listed for a map.