Shawano Trails Snowmobile Tour

East is east and west is west - and the two actually do meet in beautiful Shawano County. It's a gold mine of terrain; the rolling farmland of eastern Shawano County gives way to hardwood forests in the west. Just a 20-minute drive from Green Bay, Shawano County brings Northwoods snowmobiling relatively close to the major population centers of Wisconsin and Illinois.Covering the length of Shawano County, this tour also dips into four neighboring counties. Shawano County boasts 400 miles of trails, Outagamie County adds 223 miles, Waupaca County has 278 miles, Langlade County has 517 miles, and Brown County has 213 miles. Anyway you do the math it adds up to many winters of terrific riding. The 81-mile Mountain Bay State Trail bisects Shawano County from east to west. The state trail is also snowmobile Corridor Trails #20 and #9. On the east end, this wide rail-bed trail provides quick access to the county from the outskirts of Green Bay, just twelve miles away. From the western county line, the Wausau area is just seventeen miles away. Park your sled-hauler in the Mountain Bay State Trail parking lot in Pulaski. Riding north on Trail K, you'll cover gently rolling farmland and cross nine streams on your way to Krakow. (Yes, Virginia, the area is heavily Polish. If you need to polka, just drop a quarter into any jukebox in town.) More farmland follows along Trail A on the way to Cecil on the shores of 6,100-acre Shawano Lake. Looping north around the lake on Trail H, you'll get a taste of the forest riding to come as you skirt the boundary of the Menomonie Indian Reservation. The name Menomonie is synonymous with the wild rice that once grew in abundance in Shawano Lake. Nearby the tribe's Menomonie Nation Casino-Bingo in Keshena invites visitors to try their luck on 20 blackjack tables, 725 slot machines and ten bingo sessions each week. Trail H is your connection to the City of Shawano. The selection of restaurants, shops, and services here will tell you that visitors are always welcome. West of town, you'll merge with Corridor Trail #20, the Mountain Bay State Trail, to begin the western loop of this tour. As you ride, you'll see the change from farm to forest as the oaks and maples close in around the trail. The change in scenery, plus a series of friendly small towns with a host of services, make this western loop a real pleasure. If you need services, a short detour takes you to Gresham and back. On the way to Bowler a spur trail can take you several miles east to the Mohican North Star Casino and Bingo. At Bowler, Corridor Trail #20 leaves the Mountain Bay State Trail and swings north to Corridor Trail #9 and the town of Mattoon. Then it's a short hop into Langlade County to the tiny village of Phlox. Trail AP brings you back into Shawano County to Aniwa. There you'll join Corridor Trail #13 and ride south into Birnamwood. From there it's time for another rail-trail ride, this time on Corridor Trail #11 - the Wiowash Trail. At Wittenberg you'll leave the rail-bed for an excursion to Tigerton on Trail M. Along the way you'll notice another subtle change in the character of the forest as red pines and cedars predominate. Back on Corridor Trail #11, the Wiowash Trail takes you into Waupaca County to Marion where you'll pick up Corridor Trail #9 to Clintonville. A few miles later you'll dip into Outagamie County to Corridor Trail #22 and the crossroads village of Nichols. Taking Corridor Trail #7 north you'll skirt a vast marsh that is the Navarino State Wildlife Area. From here on in it's all farmland again. Soon you'll turn east on Corridor Trail #20 to Trail K and a short run back to Pulaski. One thing's for sure; no matter which direction you go in Shawano County you'll see the best of both worlds.