Say Cheese Snowmobile Tour

There's no better choice than a snowmobile tour through Eau Claire and Clark Counties for farm and forest scenery. You'll find miles of rolling terrain over prime Wisconsin dairy land mixed with trails through woods as deep as any on the planet. Two giant county forests totaling nearly 200,000 acres meet in the tour's western loop. Most of the tour's farms and towns are in the eastern loop. There's no shortage of trails here; Clark County has 295 miles of trail with another 161 miles in Eau Claire County. There's no shortage of water either; you'll make nearly 100 river and stream crossings on this route. The land owes its character to the glaciers. Streams here have had plenty of time to carve the beautiful ridges and valleys you'll ride over. If you start your tour north of Augusta you'll begin with a crossing of the Eau Claire River, a mere stream at this point. Riding south to Augusta on Corridor Trail #20, you'll travel through a corner of the 52,000-acre Eau Claire County Forest before breaking out into the open farmland. Augusta is a charming Civil War-era town with a busy Main Street and one of the state's largest Amish populations. Heading west, then north through Fall Creek you'll drop down to a crossing of the winding Eau Claire River. It's a faster, burlier river now having gathered twelve tributary streams since you last crossed it at Augusta. Nearby, Eau Claire has a lot of off-route attractions to offer. The James Newman Clark Bird Museum, the L.E. Phillips Planetarium and the Chippewa Valley Museum which traces 300 years of Ojibwe history as well as the area's lumber boom of the 19th Century. Rising out of the river valley on Corridor Trail #31, picture-perfect farms dot the landscape. After crossing Paint Creek you'll turn east on Corridor Trail #27 for a twenty-five mile run across Chippewa County to Thorp in Clark County. However, you might also consider staying on Corridor Trail #31 for 10-minute side trip east to Chippewa Falls. Her you can tour the world-famous Leinenkugel's Brewery. Back on Corridor Trail #27, the ride east is a mix of farmland and wood lots as you glide into Clark County. Turn south on Corridor Trail #27 for a shortcut through the Clark County Forest to Augusta; or, you can turn north to Thorp, the first town since Fall Creek. With more than 1,300 dairy farms and 60,000 cows producing nearly a billion pounds of milk annually, Clark County ranks among the top twenty dairy counties in the nation. Traveling east from Thorp, you'll follow a club trail past the communities of Withee, Owen and Curtis to Abbotsford on the Marathon County line. This route parallels the Yellowstone Trail, now County X. Turning south, you'll sled to Colby. When you say Colby, you say Cheese. The town is famous for the delicious cheese that bears its name. You can get the real thing along with 67 other cheese varieties by stopping at the Colby Cheese House. At the crossroads village of Unity you'll pick up Corridor Trail #20 and turn west through equally tiny Riplinger, then on to the Town of Loyal. At Greenwood you'll cross the Black River, the other significant river along the route. Your tour of Dairyland is nearly over now. As Corridor Trail #20 travels along an old railroad bed towards Willard you'll see three hills rising in the distance. South Mound is straight ahead; to the right are lower Middle Mound and then North Mound. At Willard the trail swings to the northeast, then up and over Middle Mound. From the top, Clark County's 133,000 acres of county forest stretch out before you. Plunging into the deep oak and pine forest you'll meet the Eau Claire River again. Miles of beautiful forest trail lie ahead before you reach the trailhead north of Augusta. Woods, water and cheese.