Winter Recreation Report

Apostle Islands National Lakeshore – Ice Caves: Closed - Inaccessible

Report by: Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

Report Date: 3/8/2021

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: 3/8/2021
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 - Closed

Report by: Bayfield County Tourism

Last Updated: 3/9/2021

Snow base (in inches): 0-10 inches

Status (Closed, Open, Partially Open): Open

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

Status (Closed, Open, Partially Open): Closed

Washburn, WI (March 9, 2020) – Effective immediately, Bayfield County Snowmobile and ATV/UTV trails are closed for the season.

ATV/UTV trails will re-open when conditions allow as determined by each respective landowner or trail manager, usually sometime in late April/early May. The Tri-County Corridor and ATV/UTV road routes remain open as usual.

Links to trail conditions for all types of trails can be found at www.bayfieldcounty.wi.gov/trails.

Sign Up for Text or Email Updates

Bayfield County Tourism Facebook page

Bayfield County Trail Conditions

Ashland County Snowmobile Trails - Closed

Trail Status: CLOSED

Trail Conditions: Poor

Date of Report: 3/8/2021

General Area Report:

March 11th, 2021   – Ashland County Snowmobile Trails are Closed.  Thank you for your support this year, please enjoy the many other activities we have to offer from ATVing on the Tri-County Corridor, to Year-Round Fishing on Chequamegon Bay!! 

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: 3/12/2021

Nordic Conditions: GOOD

Snow base (in inches): 6-12 inches

Hi Skiers.  Friday AM we groomed the Skate lanes on Abbey Road, Northern Lights, Seagull, Switch Back and Anchor back to the trailhead (about 10K).  There are no classic tracks, if it is possible to set tracks we will update this report tonight.  Conditions are good springtime skiing with 1-2 inches new and a 6-12 inch base, no thin spots on the trails we groomed today but there are a few spots where the Gator tracks broke through the surface which didn’t get covered up very well. As always in the springtime timing is critical for the best experience.

Date of Report: 3/7/2021

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

Snow base (in inches): 12-24  inches

With only 9 more days to ski/ride– come on out and get your chin in the wind!!  Chairman/woman of the Board today!

Notable Dates:
3/6: Junior Alpine Race Program
3/7: Chairman/Chairwoman of the Board
3/12: Youth Night
3/13: Spring Carnival
3/14: Last Day for Alpine Skiing
3/20: Nordic/Fat Bike Sap Fest

Mt Ashwabay Ski and Recreation Area Website

X-C trail map (PDF)

Fat Tire Biking

Mt. Ashwabay Ski & Recreation Area

Report Date: 3/7/2020

Area Report: Open

FAT BIKE PSA: Trail users need to use caution going forward for two reasons:
1) The trail will be turning into a soupy mess by noon with warm temperatures forecasted and intense sun. Without overnight freezing temperatures next week the trail will remain unusable until freezing temperatures return.
2) Watch out for glare ice, usually under heavy conifer cover.
Both Saturday and Sunday mornings look good for riding. Beyond that, the forecast doesn’t support riding or snowshoeing. This could potentially be the last of the season. We will be announcing details for our end-of-season Nordic/Fat Bike Fest! Plan on being there on 3/20 for a day of fun (we’ll have the grill out!!)….

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 7 inches

Packed/Groomed/Tracked: 02/18/2021

Rating: Fair

The entire Drummond Ski Trail system has been renovated and new tracks were set on 02/18/2021. Unseasonably warm weather has melted much of the snow.  There is still coverage, and tracks are present. Grooming has ceased for the season.  Thank you very much to our dedicated volunteer grooming team! Have a wonderful spring!

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: 3/12/2021

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 7 inches

Rating: Fair

Snow Conditions:

Teuton trail system-Packed/Groomed – Completely on 02/25/2021 and partially on 03/03/2021

Valkyrie trail system: Packed/Groomed – Completely on 02/25/2021 and partially on 03/03/2021

Both systems Tracked 02/17/2021.

Base is approximately 5 inches.

Unseasonably warm weather has melted much of the snow.  There is still full coverage, and tracks are present.  At this time we are not grooming because of snow and weather conditions, but the trails are holding up. We will monitor conditions and attempt upkeep grooming if conditions improve.

Thank you very much to our dedicated grooming team! Have a wonderful spring

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.