Bayfield Chamber and Visitor Bureau

Welcome to Bayfield, WI | Apostle Island Dog Sledding | Lake Superior | Vacation in Wisconsin

Sign Up for Exclusive Offers & News

Sled dogs

Bayfield’s Winter Recreation


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.

We are closing at 3pm tonight (Wednesday 2/22) in order to preserve the condition of our base and prepare it for the weekend.

On the upside, despite the weather, we made it through with plenty of base left in the alpine area and on the cross country trails, and plan on being open through March 11th!

Report by: Mt. Ashwabay Recreation Area

Nordic Conditions:
Date of Report: 2/8/2017
-New snowfall last 24 hours: 6-8 inches
::Volunteer Groomer Activity Report::
-Skate: Anchor, Seagull, Rollercoaster, Telford, Jolly Long and Sugarbush Dog Trail.
-Classic: tracked: Anchor, Seagull, Sugarbush Connector, Rollercoaster, Telford, Jolly Long, Sugarbush Dog Trail, Sugarbush Classic, Deerpath, Raven, Black Bear, Oppedahl’s, Birch Hill.

Comments: The groomer said conditions came out excellent!

Dogs Permitted on some trails
Fatbikes Permitted on some trails
Snowshoeing Permitted on some trails

Alpine Conditions
Date of Report: 2/17/2016
It is bluebird-beautiful today!

Grooming operations may be on-going, so please be aware. Equipment may be moving around the slopes. Please take care, and always ski/board under control.
::Alpine Conditions::
-New snowfall (last 48hrs): a dusting
-Base: 12-18 inches variable, machine groomed.
-Chairlift and Handle-tow both open
-100% Portway, Little Joe, D-4, Swiss Miss, Hemlock, the Drop, Skein Glades, and Jodi’s are all open.

::Tubing Conditions::
-Tubing lanes 1, 2 and 3 are open and flying!

​ ::Freestyle Terrain::
-A couple boxes, a low rail, and several new features including the Troller Wall and one big tabletop have been set up in the terrain park. We welcome Volunteers to help set up boxes, rails, and other features on Little Willie beside the handle-tow. If you’d like to help, please ask Hill Operations.


Fat Tire Biking at Mt Ashwabay

Date: 2/9/2017

Trail Network: 7 miles round trip

Groomed Styles: 2′ wide single track (0.7 miles of 10′ wide multi-use trails)

Trail Ratings: Moderate to Advanced (hills, tight turns)

Area Report: Fat bike trails have not been groomed yet, but we will post updates here as we get them.

Bayfield County Snowmobile Trails

Bayfield County Tourism/Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest Trail Report:

Date of Report: 2/22/2017
Trail Conditions: Closed
Snow Cover:

Area Report:
Until further notice, starting Tuesday, February 21, 2017, all snowmobile trails in Bayfield County will be closed to all forms of motorized vehicles.  In addition to snowmobiles, this closure includes ATV’s and UTV’s (both tracked and wheeled). All ATV trails will remain closed as well. Please help prevent trail damage by staying off the trails. The unseasonably warm weather has created extremely poor trail conditions throughout the county.  The closure will remain in effect until conditions improve, as determined by Bayfield County.

The new 2017-2018 Bayfield County Snowmobile Maps have arrived!!! Also, download the Avenza app (free) and get the updated 2017-18 Bayfield County Snowmobile Map on your device before you hit the trails – it will allow you to locate yourself on the trail map with GPS so you can see where you are (no cell reception required)! The Forest Service is also working on uploading maps for the Motorized Vehicle Use Map and their non-motorized trails to be used via the Avenza app soon.

Gary Dalzell:

Date of Report: 2/11/2017

Trail Conditions: Jackie, Dick and I joined Laura and Jonathan the past two days riding with cottage guests. The fresh snow earlier in the week was just what was needed and set up for a very good weekend of riding.

The trails and Forest Roads have a very solid base plus the fresh snow on top. The trails held up very well through today and will be in great shape once the groomer goes over them starting tomorrow. We visited some my favorite FR’s and old logging roads today and they had 6-10″ of snow waiting for us. Most of them had not seen any riders since we rode them a couple of weeks ago. Fun!

Logging has ceased on TR31N of Valhalla and the groomer went through that area Friday night. TR1 west of Bayfield was good and could use a couple inches of fresh snow to make it first class.

We rode south towards Iron River and found a lot of traffic and the trails were starting to show some wear by noon. We headed back north where there were far fewer sleds and better trail conditions. It seemed as if a lot of riders headed to the Valhalla area and the PubNGrub from south of Hwy 2 looking for better conditions.

So come on up to the Bayfield area and enjoy the riding. Jonathan is ready to ride with you and there is availability at the cottages. Dick and I will be in the UP this week and back home Friday to our home base.


Drummond Ski Trail – Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest

Report by: Washburn Ranger Station – Chequamegon Nicolet National Forest

Report Date: 2/17/2017

Trail Report: The Drummond Area Ski Trail Association reported the tracks were holding up last week as of February 17th. We are expecting an updated report for this week since trail conditions most likely have changed significantly due to the warmer temperatures and rain. This report will be updated once new trail condition information is received.

Backcountry Available

Just a reminder, the annual Forest user pass or payment of the daily user fee is required at most recreation sites across the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. The 2016 annual Forest user pass is available at local vendors, Forest Service offices, or online at link below. The Forest user pass is $20/vehicle sticker and a second sticker for an additional $10.


Madeline Island – Ice Road Access

Last Updated: 2/22/2017

Ice Road is NOT YET OPEN for the season. The Madeline Island Ferry Line is currently running regular trips between Bayfield and La Pointe.

Please click on the link below for the current ferry schedule.

Apostle Islands National Lakeshore – Ice Caves

Report by Apostle Islands National Lakeshore: 2/22/2017


When Lake Superior freezes, 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

Trail Report: Ashland County

Reported By: Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce

Date of Report: 2/22/2017

Trail Conditions: Closed
Area Report:
At this time ALL MOTORIZED TRAILS in Ashland County are now Closed.

NOTE: The Tri-County Recreational Corridor, a 62-mile stretch of abandoned railroad right-of-way running from Ashland to Superior, is ALWAYS OPEN.
ATV routes and other trails designated by towns under state law are not affected by seasonal closures. Trail users should check local regulations for trails they plan to use.
In the City of Ashland, ATVs are NOT allowed on the 5th Street Corridor.

Please click on the link below for the most up to date information on snowmobiling in Ashland County.

Mt Valhalla Winter Sports Area – Chequamegon-Nicolet National 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 Station – Chequamegon Nicolet National Forest

Report Date: 2/22/2017

Trail Report: The snow on both the Teuton and Valkyrie Trail systems have shrunk significantly with the recent rain and warm temperatures. Grooming operations have been suspended until a significant amount of good snow is received. Wet and slushy snow is predicted for tonight into tomorrow and a chance of light snow on over the weekend. The Forest Service will assess the trails and make the determination if they will be closed to help keep the trail tread intact and prevent expending funding to repair any the damage. Please note that fat tire bikes are not an authorized use on any of the trails. Many roads across the forest are packed down by snowmobile use and maybe utilized for fat tire bike use. Pick up your Motorized Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) to see what roads maybe available to ride. The warming room and chalet are open for the season and also have maps and information.

Just a reminder, the annual Forest user pass or payment of the daily user fee is required at most recreation sites across the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. The 2016 annual Forest user pass is available at local vendors, Forest Service offices, or online at link below. The Forest user pass is $20/vehicle sticker and a second sticker for an additional $10.


Bayfield Sled Dog Trails

Trail Report: Bayfield Area

Reported by: Wolfsong Adventures in Mushing

Date of Report:2/17/2017

Area Report:
All the inland trails have around close to a foot of hard base and are excellent for dogsledding. We are continually getting lake effect snow. Snow hooks can easily hold a decent sized team. The numbered roads in the Chequamegon National Forest in the North Boundary Road/Cnty C area and the parking lot at Butterfield/Star Route would be ideal running spots. The Apostle Islands Sled Dog Race has been packed again as of Tuesday and will be weekly groomed. The gravel pit along 13 has plowed access. If you park at Butterfield/Star Route, please pull in diagonally in the middle of the lot to allow access on either side. Note that there is still hauling occurring on the western side trail at the Butterfield parking lot so it would not be recommended to run down that trail. The logging will be done within the next couple of weeks. Just north of Butterfield across Star Route part of the trail that heads downhill was recently plowed but is not active in logging. It is now groomed and safe to run. Butterfield Road itself is the trail and connects with a lot of other roads in the county forest and into the Chequamegon. The roads are likely still run now and then by pickups, so stay to one side and beware. Snowmobile traffic is probably light but wear bright clothing like blaze orange or a high-vis vest so you can be seen by anyone else out there. Our snow total so far this season is around 70 inches.


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.