Bayfield Chamber and Visitor Bureau

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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.

Report by: Mt. Ashwabay Recreation Area

Nordic Conditions:
Date of Report: 1/12/2017
-New snowfall last 24 hours: about 1 inch

Volunteer Groomer Activity Report:
-Classic: tracked: We finished Sugarbush Classic, Black Bear, Oppedahl’s and Birch Hill.

Comments: It’s pretty windy out there so some drifting is occurring, especially on the east end of Deerpath. Otherwise the trails are in very good condition.

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

Alpine Conditions
Date of Report: 1/11/2016
-New snowfall (last 48hrs): 8 inches
-Base: 8-18 inches variable, machine groomed.
-Chairlift and Handle-tow both open
-Portway, Little Joe, D-4, Swiss Miss, Hemlock and Jodi’s are all open; the Drop is waiting on a few more inches of natural snow.

Comments:The snowstorm yesterday left us with 6-8 inches of beautiful powder. The runs were groomed, but most have an inch or two of powder over the top.
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.

Tubing Conditions
-Tubing lanes 1, 2 and 3 are open. Please be patient as fresh snow greatly slows down the tubes.

Freestyle Terrain
-A couple boxes, a low rail, and a few other features 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: 12/15/2016

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 Area Trail Report:

Date of Report: 1/13/2017
Trail Conditions: Good to Excellent
Snow Cover: 6-18″

Area Report: Bayfield County is reporting that the snowmobile trails have a 6 to 18 inch base depending upon the area. The trails are in good to excellent conditions. Conditions are by far the best they have been this season. With warmer temps in the forecast for next week, now is the time to come up and enjoy our beautiful trails!

Northern Bayfield County:
All trails in the Washburn and Valhalla area are 100% open and in good shape. There are active timber sales on Trail 31 and trail 1 so ride with extreme caution when riding those trails. Trail 13 to Washburn will be groomed on Friday.

Port Wing received about 7 inches of fresh snow in the last few days. Due to equipment issues trail 1 in the Village of Port Wing and west to Orienta Falls Rd. will not be groomed in the next few days but are VERY ride worthy!! Trail 1 east of Port Wing from the HWY 13 DNR parking lot near the Flag River highway bridge, is closed due to continued logging on private property. This closure extends from the HWY 13 area to Touve rd. This closure will remain in place until further notice.

In the very Northwest corner of the County, Trail 1 was groomed yesterday from the Brule River to Highway 13 and is in great shape.

Central Bayfield County:
All Iron River trails including Tri County Corridor are in very good to excellent condition. 4 out of 5 runs completed over last 2 days with Iron River to Port Wing left to do which will be getting groomed Thursday (1/12/17).

Southern Bayfield County:
Barnes– With the additional snowfall in the Barnes area, Trail #7, #17 and #18 as well as the Town of Barnes trails are groomed and in excellent condition. 1st time grooming has been done on Trail 31S to Seely Fire Road, trail is in good condition, but please use caution. Trail 31N to Ruth Lake will be groomed on Friday (1/13/17) afternoon. Grooming operations will continue on Sunday, please use caution, as grooming equipment will be on the trail system.

Drummond – Drummond trails are in good shape and have at least 6″ of new snow on a hard base. The groomer is on a full schedule as of yesterday (1/11/16). North of Mason reports thin snow through the fields but passable.

Namakagon– With the recent snow this past week, grooming has ramped up in Namakagon. The plan is to have the full NTG trail system groomed by Thursday (1/12/16) night! Please travel with care as we will be out grooming during the day. Also please watch out for logging on trail #8 between fl203 & the groomer barn. Some areas toward Clam Lake should be better after some widening of the trail at areas that due to higher water tables were not freezing up. Use Caution! Trail 63 South of trail 70 to the county line still remains closed due to a Sawyer Co. Land dispute. Please use the trail maps to reroute South to trail 63 toward Sawyer Co.

Timber Sale Activity:
Trail 1 –just east of Port Wing – between Touve Rd. and Flagg Rd. is CLOSED due to active logging on private land until further notice
Trail 1 – between Cornucopia and Bayfield – near Henkens Rd. there is active hauling on the trail.
Trail 1 – South of Cornucopia – off Stage Rd. a sale has just gone active on this section of trail so watch for caution signs and logging equipment.
Trail 31 – Northwest of the City of Washburn – near Lost Lake Rd. is being actively logged directly on the trail; USE EXTREME CAUTION! There may be times when it is not passable.
Trail 17 – Southwest Barnes into Douglas County – A couple timber sales are starting up in each county with logging starting on the Douglas County side. A reroute is being worked on for the but for now follow signs and be alert.

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 – Woodside Cottages of Bayfield:

Date of Report: 1/2/2017

Trail Conditions: Dick, myself and our good friend Alan did a quick 60 mile ride on the forest roads and trails Sunday
afternoon. The snow pack is hard and crusty after the rain a few days ago with up to 4″ of fresh snow on top. The base is between 8″ and 12″ and solid.

We are expecting some additional snow today into Tuesday so conditions will improve. The groomer has been working some of the trails and the fresh snow should help build the base. TR19 was smooth, hard and fast Sunday as well as parts of TR31N north of the PubNGrub.

As usual, there are FR’s that have been plowed for logging but we were able to ride them with the 3-4″ of loose snow but conditions will vary. There are a few FR’s that have some minor ruts due to truck traffic. As we do more riding, we will update the FR conditions.

Temps will dip starting Wednesday so there is no danger of melting in the next 10 days.

We encourage riders to consider joining the Apostle Island Snowmobile Club. The annual membership is $20 which includes membership in AWSC where the trail pass can be purchased. Give us a call if you need more info.


Drummond Ski Trail – Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest

Report by: Washburn Ranger Station – Chequamegon Nicolet National Forest

Report Date: 1/12/2017

Trail Report: The Drummond Area Ski Trail Association reported all trails have been compacted and the first tracks of the winter have been set. We received about 5 inches of cold, dry snow in the past few days, which were a welcome addition to the scant base. The tracks look good, but are soft. The conifers are beautiful with their load of snow, but gusty winds have been blowing snow onto the tracks and may fill some in. Enjoy January skiing!

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: 1/13/2017

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: January 13, 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: 1/11/2017

Trail Conditions: The snowmobile trails throughout Ashland County are open for the season.

Snow Cover:

Area Report:
With the snowfall we received on Tuesday conditions have improved. Grooming continues and everything should be groomed by Thursday. Groomers are reporting Good Riding conditions!! Keep dancing for more snow! Just a reminder trails are still icy in some areas, ride at your own risk. There is Ice and standing water on the trail. Please be cautions!! Safety is #1.

Important reminder: There is no snowmobiling allowed from Ashland to Bad River/Odanah as snowmobiling is not permitted on reservation land. However, snowmobiling is allowed from Bad River east to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

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: 1/13/2017

Trail Report: The Valkyrie and Teuton Trails finally got some good snow. The base on 8 to 10 inches on both the Teuton and Valkyrie Trails. The snow packed tight after grooming and setting tracks. They are fast! On the Valkyrie Trail where trails were bare in the pines the wind has blown down needles into the tracks so beware. It has been very windy the last few days, so the Sunbowl Loop may have snow drifted across the trail. The parking areas and paths are getting drifted with snow in spots as well. The warming room and chalet are open. The sledding hill got new snow that should make it really fun. Note: the back door of the chalet (closest to wood shed) is in the process of being repaired and is locked. Please use the side door or the door towards the sledding hill entrance.
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.

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:1/12/2017

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 Chequemagon. 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 58 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.