7 Places You Can't Miss This Winter in Wisconsin
Playing in the Wisconsin snow is an enchanting experience, and we've got some of the most sparkling, beautiful destinations for you to get your winter fix along with your friends and family. Get out there and enjoy these only-in-Wisconsin places.
1. Snow Tubing at Cascade
A great activity for the whole family, Cascade Mountain in Portage offers up a 900' chute to glide down on a tube. Fear not: there's no need to walk back up the hill. Hop on the magic carpet ride back to the top, with tube in tow. Between runs, sip on rich hot chocolate by the outdoor firepit for extra special moments spent together.
2. Watch An Exciting Sled Dog Race
See something impressive and adorable at the same time in Gleason, home of the annual Doris Lovrine Memorial Sled Dog Race. There's also skijoring (skiers pulled by dogs), kiddie and celebrity races at this special event. Grab a spot on the sidelines where you and the little ones can marvel at 100 mushers and their dog teams rushing by.
3. Snowshoe Nine Mile
Slip on the snowshoes and hit the trails with your crew at Nine Mile Forest in Wausau for a heavily wooded blend of snowy, scenic views. A 4-mile trail is also available if you're looking for a shorter trek. Snowshoeing side-by-side with friends is our recipe for great winter memories.
4. Ice Fish Lake Winnebago
The largest inland lake in Wisconsin is home to a variety of species like walleye, perch, white bass and sturgeon, making it a prime spot for ice fishing. The lake sturgeon population here is rated as one of the finest in the country. Celebrate the big fish with a visit to the Sturgeon Spectacular, Fond du Lac’s 3-day winter festival in February that includes a snow-sculpting competition, tasty treats and a toasty bonfire.
5. Ice Skating at The Edgewater
Right in the heart of Madison is a prime ice skating spot along the shores of Lake Mendota. The Edgewater's 4000-square-foot ice rink also sits in the shadow of the State Capitol, so the views while skating hand-in-hand are extraordinary. Grab a slice of pizza and hot cocoa from the Slicehouse for the perfect winter outing.
6. Board a Snow Train
Wisconsin is home to many snow trains, all with their unique and exemplary twists. The East Troy Railroad Museum, for example, hosts holiday train rides in December that bring you and your crew to The Elegant Farmer for visits with Santa and seasonal treats. Purchase tickets in advance for your family, then enjoy getting into the holiday spirit while riding through a Wisconsin winter wonderland on toasty heated seats.
7. Explore Illuminated Ice Castles
This annual spectacle in Lake Geneva is a frozen landscape made by hand from over 10,000 icicles formed into caves, fountains, slides, crawl spaces and other breathtaking formations. Bring a sled and pull a friend through the passageways lit up by colorful LED lights or coordinate your visit with the sunset for a natural glow. After, you and your crew can warm up at one of the many fires with a perfect cup of hot cocoa. Find more tips on making the most of your ice castle adventure.
Bonus: Be Mystified by the Ice Caves
Explore an ice cave this winter — fingers crossed. If conditions permit them to be accessible by foot, it's a truly mystifying experience. That’s why we love visiting the Apostle Island National Lakeshore even in the heart of winter.
If the ice isn't walkable, you and your crew can still enjoy the frozen beauty along miles of mainland hiking trails along the lakeshore. The cold won’t take your breath away if you’re bundled up, but Mother Nature’s artistry will. Be sure to keep an eye on the ever-changing winter conditions of the caves, and hope for a freeze over this year!
Ready for refreshing winter fun? Check trail conditions and know before you go with the Wisconsin Snow Report.