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Bayfield’s Winter Recreation


Bayfield County Snowmobile Trails

Report by Washburn Ranger District: December 12, 2014

  • Trail Conditions: Early Season
  • Snow Cover: 6-12″

Area Report:
Bayfield County officially opened the trails on December 1, 2014; however, grooming operations will not commence until we receive more snow and colder temperatures.
Expect grooming to start no earlier than December 15
.  Currently, snow conditions are highly variable and volunteers are in the process of opening gates this week.  As always, riders should use caution when out on the trails.  There is logging activity on Trail #1 north of Mountain Road and on Trail #51 near Jodi Road south of Cornucopia.  Riders should use extra caution while traveling in these areas.  Please stay on designated trails and routes and do not around closed gates.  Changes to the trail system are marked with signage on the trails so when in doubt, follow the signs.

Updated trail conditions can be found at:


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 by Scott Nesvold: December 16, 2014

Hours of Operation:

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

Current Condtions:

Alpine: Closed // Season Opener: December 20, 2014
The anticipated opening for downhill is Saturday 12/20/2014. The warm, wet weekend did considerable damage to the snow base, leaving exposed patches. The Lake is giving us some good powder, and the Volunteer crew is hoping to get more made as temps drop. Keep your fingers crossed, and stay tuned for updates.

XC: Base 5-6 inches variable
New snowfall (last 48hrs): 4-5 inches

Rolled and tracked: Sugarbush

Rolled: Anchor, Seagull, Rollercoaster, and Telford

*Southern Deer Path is closed. A section of Deer Path was plowed to give haul-out access to loggers; please be aware some areas are not yet open for skiing. Thank you for respecting a safe distance from logging areas. Stay tuned for updates. 


Madeline Island – Ice Road Access

Last Updated: December, 12 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: December 12, 2014

Cave Conditions: NOT Accessible

The Lake Superior Ice Caves are currently closed.

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.


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 by Washburn Ranger District: December 12, 2014

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

Mount Valhalla Cross-Country Ski Trails:
The Teuton and Valkyrie Trails were rolled on December 10, 2014.  The Valkyrie and Teuton Trails have a base of about 6 inches in places.  Base depths vary along the trail.  The groomer is reporting thin snow coverage on the sections of the trail that go through red pine stands on the Valkyrie Trails.  The groomer set track on both trail systems today in anticipation for the predicted warm temperatures with drizzle or rain this weekend.  Please remember that snowshoeing and dogs are prohibited on the groomed trails.  Please see the posted instructions at the trail entrances, chalet, warming room, and fee stations.

Drummond Ski Trail:
The Drummond Area Ski Trail parking area has been plowed.  The volunteers from the Drummond Area Ski Trail Association (DASTA) finished removing trees that fell on the trails during the last snow storm today.  The groomer has packed the trails and is reporting a base of about 3 inches and track of about 30 inches wide.  The trails will be rolled and groomed with tracks after the next snowfall due to the up and coming warmer temperatures.

Please check or for updates.

Trail Options:
Two sets of trails: Teuton – three loops 3.5 to 6.6 km, more/most difficult, skate/classic; Valkyrie – three loops 1.7 to 10 km, easy to more difficult, classic only.


Ashland County Snowmobile Trails

Report by Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce: December 16, 2014

  • Trail Conditions: Closed
  • Snow Cover: 6-10 inches

Area Report:
The snowmobile trails throughout Ashland County are still CLOSED.

The trails will open as soon as weather permits. Due to the warm weather the area has recently experienced, much of the snow cover was lost. Groomers had been packing the trails, but no actual grooming will take place until the area receives sufficient snowfall.

The Tri-County Corridor, a 62-mile stretch of abandoned railroad right-of-way running from Ashland to Superior, is always open.

Please continue to check for detailed reports or, starting in mid-December, 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.

Bayfield Sled Dog Trails

November 20, 2014

Base: N/A

No reports at this time. Check back soon.


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.