With a grand total of 25,000 miles of groomed snowmobile trails, there’s no shortage of adventure to be found in Wisconsin’s winter wonderland. When you’re ready to suit up and log some serious miles, head out for a full-throttle snowmobile experience on one of these lengthy trails.
Vilas County Trails
If you’re familiar with the massive lake-effect snowfalls and the warm hospitality of Vilas County, you know the area is synonymous with snowmobile vacations. Of what seems to be a never-ending 1,600 trail miles in Wisconsin’s Northwoods, 100 of those are part of the Vilas County Bo-Boen system. Maintained by over 1,000 club members, this network is great for new snowmobilers and provides a classic, authentic snowmobile setting through miles of well-groomed, well-marked trails and numerous amenities.
Rent a snowmobile from Paul’s Rent-All or St. Germain Sport Marine, do some daytime exploring and thaw out at one of many hotel choices. For couples, enjoy an inviting hot tub at the Hearthside Inn or a private lakeside cabin at Black Bear Lodge. If you’re with a group of experienced friends, use of heated garages for sled maintenance at Rustic Manor Motor Lodge or Whispering Pines Lodge are a helpful convenience.
Wild Rivers State Trail
This 104-mile long repurposed Soo Line Railroad bed of compacted gravel and ballast stretches from Rice Lake to Wisconsin’s northwestern-most corner, Superior. The trail’s beauty is not only found in the numerous rivers and streams it crosses, but also the pure landscape of the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway, where riders are likely to encounter a variety of wildlife. The intersection with the Tuscobia State Trail in Rice Lake gives the option to add 74 picturesque miles to your adventure, and if you’re closer to the Superior end of the trail, the connecting Brule River Riders trail system adds 128 miles.
The majority of Wild Rivers State Trail is through Wisconsin’s more remote areas, but there’s a surprising amount of activity along the way. If you overnight in Rice Lake, entertain yourself with dinner at Lehman's Supper Club, or a trip to the St. Croix Casino in nearby Turtle Lake.
This 83-mile trail is a mix of asphalt, crushed stone, grass and gravel and runs through mostly scenic and wooded areas, and some open farmland. If you’re up for an even longer adventure into a more heavily wooded setting, divert in Pulaski and head north through Shawano County snowmobile zone “5B” to the Nicolet State Trail head in Gillett. From there, the 89-mile trail continues north to the state line.
An alluring element of this trail is the charming destinations it passes by, such as the towns of Shawano and Pulaski. If you like old-fashioned soda, check out Twig’s Beverage in Shawano, an old-fashioned style soda pop factory and museum. And when you end up in Wausau, add to your winter adventure with trip down the slopes at Granite Peak Ski Area.