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Bayfield’s Winter Recreation


Bayfield County Snowmobile Trails

Report by Gary Dalzell: March 31, 2014

IMPORTANT NOTICE: All of the snowmobile trails in Ashland County will be closed for the season starting Tuesday, April 1, 2014.

  • Trail Conditions: Trails Closed
  • Snow Cover: n/a

Area Report:

All trails except the Tri-County Corridor will be closed at 11:59 p.m. tonight. See you next season.


Mt. Ashwabay Ski & Recreation Area

Located three miles south of Bayfield, Mt. Ashwabay offers both cross-country and alpine skiing in a magnificent setting, featuring stunning views of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore and the Chequamegon National Forest. Cross-country trails cover 35 km of wilderness trails with ratings from beginner to expert. All trails are groomed and tracked as needed. The beginner’s trail is the picturesque Sugar Bush Trail. Intermediate terrain can be enjoyed on Anchor, Seagull and Raven trails. Advanced skiers can venture out on the longer 15 km loop, which combines Sugar Bush, Deer Path and Raven trails, returning to the Mt. Ashwabay chalet. Food, lounge, instruction and equipment rental are available at the chalet. The Ashwabay trails require users to purchase a daily or seasonal pass. These passes may be obtained at the Mt. Ashwabay Chalet. Trail user fees and donations made to the Ashwabay Education Foundation, earmarked for cross country ski trail maintenance, will go a long way in keeping this entire network groomed for your enjoyment.

Call (715) 779-3227 for more details.

Report: March 31, 2014

Hours of Operation:

Wed: 12:00-9:00 Fri: 4:00-9:00 Sat: 9:30-4:30 Sun: 9:30-4:30

  • New Snowfall (Last 24 hours): 6 inches
  • Snowfall to date: 100″

Current Condtions:

Alpine: Closed

The warm weather is upon us, and that means the end of another Alpine Ski & Snowboard season. Thanks to all the friends and families that visited us this winter, and made for fun and successful season. We’re already scheming and dreaming about next winter, so get your Season Passes now!

* The Nordic trails will remain open and available as long as the snow allows. Grooming operations are ongoing (thanks to a great team of volunteers) to keep trails skiable. Remember to purchase a Trail Pass at the trail head pay-tube. Thank you!

XC: Base 18-24 inches variable
New snowfall (last 48hrs): 5 inches


Sugarbush, Seagull were all groomed and tracked early this morning.

* A small section of Deer Path was plowed to give haul-out access to loggers. While it is not currently an active hauling/logging site, please use caution. Black Bear remains ungroomed.


Pikes Creek & Jerry Jay Jolly Trails

You are about to experience the close-knit relationship between the Mt. Ashwabay Education Foundation and Bayfield County’s Departments of Tourism-Recreation and Forestry. The Star Route parking lot is the jumping off point for access to 15 more kilometers of groomed cross-county ski trails. These trails traverse the land Jerry Jay Jolly donated, and trail easements on the 160 acre parcel the family maintains to the south of Pike’s Creek.

To the south and west, the trails meander through over one thousand acres of Bayfield County Forest, Wisconsin’s Nourse Sugarbush Natural Area, and the Mt. Ashwabay Recreational Area. The Ashwabay trails, those to the 2 km south of Star Route Road access require users to purchase a daily or seasonal pass. These passes may be obtained at the Mt. Ashwabay Chalet or there is a pay box as you enter the Sugar Bush from the Jerry Jolly. Trail user fees and donations made to the Ashwabay Education Foundation, earmarked for cross country ski trail maintenance, will go a long way in keeping this entire network groomed for your enjoyment. Please contact Bayfield County at (715) 373-6114 for more details.

Report by Scott Nesvold: March 12, 2014

  • New Snow in inches: 1″
  • Most Recent Grooming: 03/12/14
  • Base/Trails in inches: 20″
  • Base/Woods in inches: 50″
  • Open Trails: 8
  • KM Open: 30
  • Km groomed for Skating: 15
  • Km groomed for Classic: 15


Today Anchor, Jolly Long, Seagull, Rollercoaster, and Telford got groomed and tracked. Sugarbush classic and Raven were re-tracked. Some places it was soft yet and the gator left a track mark, and some places it was harder and the tracks didn’t set full depth.


Madeline Island – Ice Road Access

Last Updated: April 4, 2014

The Ice Road is Closed!

2014 Van/Windsled Schedule.


Monday – Friday
Trips leaving the Island: 7:10am, 9:00am, 11:30am, 3:45pm, & 4:30pm
Trips leaving Bayfield: 7:20am, 9:30am, 1:00pm, 4:00pm, & 5:00pm

Trips leaving the Island: 9:00am 11:30am, & 4:00pm
Trips leaving Bayfield: 9:15am, 12:15pm, & 4:15pm

Trips leaving the Island: 9:00am, 12:00pm, & 4:00pm
Trips leaving Bayfield: 9:15am, 12:15pm, & 4:15pm

For Van/Windsled information call 715-747-5400

Call 715-747-5400 before traveling and for updated conditions.


Apostle Islands National Lakeshore – Ice Caves

Report by Apostle Islands National Lakeshore: March 31, 2014

Cave Conditions: NOT Accessible

The Lake Superior Ice Caves are closed for the season.

Snowmobiling and ATV use is not permitted within 1/4 mile of the mainland from Saxine Creek to Sand Point.

The most up-to-date information on ice conditions is always available on the Apostle Islands ice line: (715) 779-3397 x3.

For additional information click here to visit the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Sea Caves website.


Ashland County Snowmobile Trails

Report by Ashland Chamber of Commerce: March 31, 2014

IMPORTANT NOTICE: All of the snowmobile trails in Ashland County will be closed for the season starting Tuesday, April 1, 2014.

  • Trail Conditions: Poor
  • Snow Cover: 0-4

Area Report:

The snowmobile trails throughout Ashland County are open but in poor condition. Today is the last day for snowmobiling as the trails are closed starting tomorrow, April 1.

The Ashland County Snowmobile Alliance reports that this has been one of the best years for riding in recent memory. Please check this website next season for detailed reports or call the Snowmobile Report hotline at 1-800-284-9484.

News & Events:

In addition to snowmobiling, Ashland offers cross-country skiing, hiking, snowshoeing, ice fishing, and sledding. And be sure to check our website,, for information on our upcoming outdoor events.

Mt Valhalla Winter Sports Area – Chequamegon-Nicolet Nat’l Forest

Ten miles west of Washburn, on County C, is the Valhalla Winter Sports Area nestled in the Chequamegon National Forest, offering two sets of cross-country ski trails developed and groomed by the U.S. Forest Service. The three Valkyrie loops run through red and jack pine forests, with magnificent views of the area on the Sun Bowl Loop. The Teton Ski Trail also features three loops in a mixed birch and maple forest with a roller coaster near the end of loop “B”. County C runs between Valkyrie and Teton with parking area and rustic chalet on the Teton side of C. Please contact the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest office in Washburn at (715) 373-2667 ext 238 for more details.

Report: March 21, 2014

The reports on the current trail conditions throughout the Washburn Ranger District:

Mount Valhalla Cross-Country Ski Trails:

The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest’s all-terrain vehicle (ATV), horse and bicycle trails are closed and will remain closed until further notice.

During this time period, the use of wheeled motorized vehicles, mountain bikes, horses or other pack or saddle animals is prohibited on National Forest System trails.

The temporary closure of trails during spring break-up will reduce rutting and erosion of trails which often occurs when the soil is saturated.  Protecting recreation trails during this time period reduces the likelihood of trail closures during the high use season to repair damaged segments.

ATV routes and other trails designated by towns under state law are not affected by this closure.  Trail users should check local regulations for trails they plan to use.

ATV, horse and mountain bike enthusiasts are encouraged to do their part in helping to protect everyone’s recreation opportunities by honoring this closure

Trail conditions will be assessed the week of April 21, but the actual opening of trails across the forest will vary based on local conditions.


Bayfield Sled Dog Trails

March 20, 2014

Base: 24″

We still have a couple feet of snow on the ground here, so running will be possible for at least a couple weeks as long as it stays cool at night. Conditions this weekend of March 22 are as good as mid-winter. The gravel pit where the Apostle Island Sled Dog Race starts is open and has tracks from it. Star Route/Butterfield Road has probably the best packed trail and decent parking. Dogsled tour outfitters are still doing trips through March and possibly into April for a couple days. That depends on it freezing at night so the trail does not fall apart. Several days where it does not even freeze at night with no more freezing temps in sight will signal the end of the tour season, but rec mushers can still try a few runs in the area.

Reported by John Theil of Wolfsong Adventures in Mushing


Snowshoe Trails

If skiing isn’t quite your cup of tea, but you are still looking to explore the beautiful trails the Bayfield area has to offer at this time of year, snowshoeing is always a great adventure.

The Brownstone Trail

The trail runs along an old railroad bed which skirts the lakeshore just south of Bayfield. Trailhead access is at the kiosk on Third Street, kitty-corner from Maggie’s Restaurant. You’ll enjoy splendid views of Madeline Island, see people ice-fishing in the Chequamegon Bay and enjoy the sights and sounds of winter in Bayfield.

The Ravine Snowshoe Trail

The trail travels uphill along the steep, hemlock-studded rim of the big ravine. Take young children by the hand! Trailhead access is on 4th Street uphill to the Bayfield School. Turn left on Sweeny Avenue and park at the baseball field. The trail is behind the fence to the right. This trail is also enjoyed by cross country skiers please do not snowshoe on the two track. Also a part of this trail system is the Iron Bridge Nature Trail. This magical winding trail is for sure footed hikers and follows the ravine creek under the old Iron Bridge and uphill to a rocky grotto with small waterfall. Pick up the trail at the Iron Bridge located at 3rd Street and Rice Avenue.

Jerry Jay Jolly – Pikes Creek Trail Network

Just South of Bayfield off State Hwy 13. Take County Hwy J to Star Route Road 2 1/4 miles to the parking lot on the left. This trail hooks up with the Mt Ashwabay ski trails which require a fee so please watch where you are and please stay off of the groomed ski track.

Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center

The center allows guest to check out snow shoes and snowshoe on the trails behind the center.

Houghton Falls

3.5 miles north of Washburn on State Hwy 13. Turn on Houghton Falls Road and go 1/2 mile to Houghton Falls Nature Preserve parking lot on our right. There is currently no fee for hiking or parking and pets are allowed if leashed and cleaned up after!

The North Country National Scenic Trail

Snowshoe the trail and experience winter views throughout the Rainbow Wilderness Area or portions of the National Forest near Lake Owen. This trail is not groomed, but is marked with blue blazes.