Winter Recreation Report

Apostle Islands National Lakeshore – Ice Caves: Closed - Inaccessible

Report by: Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

Report Date: 2/25/2021

For more information about the ice caves, check their website.

Visitors are also advised that the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore does not permit any vendor to charge for tours of the ice caves. While other sandstone formations outside of the National Lakeshore (in the surrounding area and Chequamegon Bay) may be accessible by ice, visitors do so at their own risk.

Madeline Island Ice Road: Closed as of 2/18 at 5 PM 715-747-5400

Last Updated: 2/25/2021
The Madeline Island Ferry is not running.

Ferry Schedule

Transportation between Bayfield and Madeline Island is now being provided by Windsled Transportation.

Windsled Schedule

Information for the Madeline Island Ice Road is available on the Facebook page. This Facebook page is managed by Windsleds, Inc.

Madeline Island Ice Road



Bayfield County Snowmobile Trails - Open

Report by: Bayfield County Tourism

Last Updated: 2/24/2021

Snow base (in inches): 0-12 inches

Status (Closed, Open, Partially Open): Open

Condition (Poor, Fair, Good, Excellent): Good – Fair

The warmup has definitely affected our trails, some areas more so than other. Most groomers are holding off grooming until temperatures get below freezing. Exposed trails will be a thing and dirty, trails in the woods will likely hold their snow for a while longer. So far it looks like trails will be able to stay open for the weekend but keep in mind there is likely to be some dirt. If conditions deteriorate throughout the week, we will update again.

Some areas that need extra attention:

  • The Grand View and Mason areas didn’t receive much snow and the warmup didn’t help. Trails looking very poor in that area.
  • The trail into the City of Bayfield will not open this year, but we’re hopeful for next year.
  • Trail 1 to the casino in Red Cliff is open with a re-route. It’s a bit rough in spots so use caution. The re-route utilizes the right of way along the highway so please respect private landowners and follow the signs and groomed path.

Namakagon Trail Groomers: Trails were groomed Sunday night. With the warmup a lot of brown. We will try grooming Wednesday night after the temperature drops below freezing.

Barnes Barnestormers: Did some grooming Monday 22nd and saw at least 50 snowmobiles on the trail. With the warm weather and heavy traffic, there may be little left. We will try grooming Wednesday after the temperature drops below freezing, however, unless we get the snow tonight not sure how it will go.

Drummond SnoJacks: Unless we get significant snow there are no plans for trail grooming this week due to the warm daytime and overnight temperatures. The trails are snow covered but rough in some spots with road routes thin to bare north of Grand View. With these conditions, a reminder to stay on the trails and stay off of private land, especially on those trails the property owners have allowed us to use.

Iron River Area: Iron River area trails in fairly good shape but some corners are bare. Trail 4 from highway 2 to Delta smith but very dirty. The tri-county corridor is in very good condition. Over-all trails are ride-able but expect some dirty snow in spots.

South Shore – Port Wing, Herbster & Cornucopia: Trails 40, 41, 66, and the Wally Polk trail are groomed and in very good shape even with the warm-up. Trail 1 is groomed into Corny and Herbster today 2/24 and the conditions vary from good to poor. The last mile into corny needs more snow before I will groom it again also last 3 miles into Herbster is the same. Will groom into Port Wing 2/25 AM but think conditions will be the same.

Washburn Valhallers: Rode 110 miles today. We have adequate snow just need to cool down to smooth them out.

Groomer heading out tonight. I Will know more in the morning but right now the warm weather doesn’t look like it affected us much. Some of the snowmobiles I’ve talked to today said the trails were still in pretty good shape.

WAINO: Waino Riders will groom the South end of trail 1 but it’s doubtful there’s enough of a base left on the North end. Snowmobilers have complained of rocks and gravel near Port Wing.

Be sure to stop in, warm up and patronize the businesses on our snowmobile map. Their advertising makes it possible to print and distribute the map. New maps will be available soon!

Sign Up for Text or Email Updates

Bayfield County Tourism Facebook page

Bayfield County Trail Conditions

Ashland County Snowmobile Trails - Open

Trail Status: OPEN

Trail Conditions: Fair – Good

Date of Report: 2/24/2021

General Area Report:

The Snowmobile Trails in Ashland County are OPEN.  Due to the warm weather the past few days, trail conditions in Ashland County are in Fair to Good.  Grooming has stopped until the weather gets colder.  Snow is sparse in a lot of areas such as farmer’s fields and road crossings.  Ride at your own risk.

The Tri-County Corridor is OPEN.

Much of the Ashland County snowmobile trail system uses private property and could be lost if the property owners experience issues. The most common complaints are snowmobiles not staying on trails or going off into fields that are not part of the trail, and loud noise from non-stock muffler systems. Respect the trail system. The Tri-county corridor is open

Ashland Restaurants and lodging properties are open!

Ashland Restaurants and lodging properties are open!

Click here for Bayfield County Trail conditions

As always please follow the snowmobile trail rules and regulations. As always operate with everyone’s safety in mind and report any hazardous trail issues that are observed to the Ashland County Sheriff’s Department (715-682-7023 opt 1) so that it can be forwarded to the appropriate service.

The Tri-County Corridor is open from Superior to Ashland. There are still several areas on the eastern end that require attention but all known hazards have been identified and marked. Use caution when approaching ribbons, barricades, and cones.

Important reminders: 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.

If you would like to receive an Ashland County Snowmobile map, let us know and we will mail one out to you! Call us at 715/682-2500 or toll-free at 1-800-284-9484.

County of Ashland Snowmobile Map (pdf)

City of Ashland snowmobile trail routes (pdf)

Mt. Ashwabay Ski & Recreation Area - Nordic & Alpine

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

Nordic, Snowshoe, Skijoring/Dog, Fatbike Trails
Open access 24 / 7
Pay in the Chalet or at Trail Heads

Date of Report: 2/25/2021

Nordic Conditions: Excellent

Snow base (in inches): 12-18 inches

Hi Skiers.   Thursday morning we found 1/2 to 1 inch of new “Superior Lake Effect” snow.  All the skate trails were freshly groomed and promise to be perfect for skiing today. The classic tracks were all reset Wednesday and look to be great shape today with a few exceptions in evergreens thickets and in the “Sunny” spots. Conditions are excellent with 12-18 inch base.

Ashwabay is a tier 1 “Virtual Birkie” site with conditions looking very promising for the event window visit our website for details. https://www.mtashwabay.org/virtual-birkie.html

Date of Report: 2/14/2021

Alpine Conditions: Snow is in Good condition, however slow because of the cold temps.

Snow base (in inches): 12-24  inches

Groomer tracks down the center leaving about 5-6″ of powder from last week on the sides of the slopes… super fun to play on! Snow is in Good condition, however slow because of the cold temps. Good for exploring steeper terrain! NASTAR today! Slopes open 10:30-4:30.

Mt Ashwabay Ski and Recreation Area Website

X-C trail map (PDF)

Fat Tire Biking

Mt. Ashwabay Ski & Recreation Area

Report Date: 2/14/2020

Area Report: Open

Big Mike reports that #awbfatbike conditions were very good. There’s a light 1-inch covering of snow. The woods provided good protection from the wind. Proper clothing helped. The tires had good glide. I noticed deer making use of the trail, voles have been crisscrossing the trail, one red fox track looking for voles, snowshoe hare tracks, and grouse roosting high the conifer trees to grab some of that beautiful sun.

Trail Network: 12km 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)

Mt Ashwabay Ski and Recreation Area Website

Fat Tire Trail Video

Winter Fat Tire Biking

Comments: Due to the amount of snow the best opportunities for winter fat tire biking on the Washburn Ranger District would be on our plowed roads. Typically, roads that are plowed are opened up for access reasons such as homes, main routes, and /or logging operations. Please use caution when riding or driving these roads as they are typically not as wide during the winter due to the snow, are highly used routes and could have large truck traffic. Also, the conditions of these roads can change quickly.

Location: Contact Washburn Ranger District at (715) 373-2667 for a copy of a plowed road map.

Drummond Recreation Trail – Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest

Report by: Washburn Ranger Station – Chequamegon Nicolet National Forest

Snow Conditions: Base is 10 inches

Packed/Groomed/Tracked: 02/18/2021

Rating: Good

The entire Drummond Ski Trail system has been renovated and new tracks were set on
02/18/2021. Conditions are excellent with full depth tracks. Some downhills have not been
tracked to allow for slowing down by snowplowing.

Location: The Drummond Ski Trail is located south of Drummond, WI about one mile. From US HWY 63 in Drummond, go south on Lake Owen Scenic Drive (FR 213) about 1 mile. Turn left onto access road into the parking area.



Valhalla Recreation Area – Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest

Date of Report: 2/17/2021

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 Teuton 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 a parking area and a 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

Valhalla Recreation Area– Teuton and Valkyrie Trails:

Packed/Groomed/track set: Skating/Classic

Snow Conditions: Base is 10 inches

Rating: Good

Snow Conditions:
Teuton trail system-A loop, B loop, Packed/Groomed 02/17/2021 Rating: Good
Teuton trail system-C loop Packed/Groomed 02/12/2021
Teuton trail system, Tracked 02/12/2021
Valkyrie trail system: Packed/Groomed/Tracked 02/17/2021.

Conditions are good, and temperatures should be pleasant. It will be a beautiful weekend.

Location:  From Washburn, go northwest on County Hwy C for approximately 8.5 miles.  The main trailhead with a chalet and warming room is on the left-hand side of the highway.


Download a Valhalla trail map (PDF)

Bayfield Sled Dog Trails

Trail Report: Bayfield Area

Reported by: Wolfsong Adventures in Mushing

Date of Report: 2021

Trail Conditions: Currently trails for 2021 are limited to just those south of the Butterfield Parking lot due to logging activity to the north. All trails on or around Henkins, Echo Valley and Echo Valley Gravel Pit are in active logging due to late snow allowing for the ground to freeze and logging operations to move in. It would be unsafe to dogsled anywhere in those areas. Logging is expected to continue all winter. Trails leaving from Echo Valley Gravel Pit are not being brushed nor groomed this year as the Apostle Islands Race is not occurring due to COVID-19.

Use caution if dogsledding south of Butterfield as some trails are designated snowmobiling trails. Please park diagonally in the lot to allow for other users to fit and not block trailheads.

Wolfsong Adventures Website

Apostle Islands Dog Sled Race Map (PDF)

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.

Currently, a section of the Brownstone Trail heading out from the city of Bayfield is closed.  The closure is between S 7th near Sea Gull Bay Motel to the intersection of the trail and Lake Shore Drive. There is a re-route via Hwy 13.  This section will be closed until further notice.

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.