Get Fat this Winter
You might have seen them on the trails and paths, those odd looking bikes with the humongous tires. The hottest trend in silent sports is Fat Tire Biking. These bikes, with oversized knobby tires, float over snow and have opened up bicycling as a true four season sport. Many mountain bike trails are now available for winter-time ‘fat bike’ riding.
The Chequamegon Area Mountain Bike Association has groomed more than 50 miles of trail on the CAMBA system for fat bike riding. If you are starting out with winter trail riding, check out the Westside Trail or the Cable Community Farm Trail. Both are relatively short and are perfect for the beginning rider. More of a higher skill level, many of the loops out of Seeley will challenge your riding ability.
Near Bayfield, Mount Ashwabay has several new groomed routes coming online this season. In addition to the trails, 100s of miles of plowed town roads are also open for fat bike riding.
Always check trail conditions before departing. Many of the trails are also shared by snowshoes and skis, please share the road. Finally, most snowmobile trails are off limits to bikes, so respect trail rules and municipal ordinances.
Blazing Down the Trails
The snowmobile trails are groomed and ready for you to head out on a winter adventure. In Iron County, they receive about 200 inches of snow a year, and sometimes upwards of 300. With the assistance of local snowmobile clubs, the county’s more than 500 miles of trails are kept in tiptop shape. A new feature for sledders to enjoy is boondocking, where you can wander off the trails in designated areas for even more exploration opportunities.
On the western edge of Wisconsin, Polk County boasts more than 350 miles of trails for snowmobilers and ATVers to head down. From the Gandy Dancer Trail to remote trails, enjoy the beauty of Wisconsin’s wilderness and the hospitality of our businesses found along the way.
Price County has 500 miles of trails for snowmobilers and about 150 for ATVs. These trails are the perfect way to get away from the crowds and enjoy all our state has to offer outdoor enthusiasts. Join the fun of the Elk River Pioneers Poker Run & Picnic on February 17-18 in Phillips, complete with great food and a blazing fire to warm your toes.
Silent Sports Reign Supreme in Northwest Wisconsin
Nordic sports reign supreme in Northwest Wisconsin. With thousands of miles of cross country and snowshoe trails available, you could head out every day this winter and never hit the same trail twice.
A great base of operations is the Heartwood Conference Center & Retreat in Trego. Not only is this warm and inviting resort a stone’s throw from numerous trails located near Spooner and Hayward, but Heartwood itself maintains miles of cross country and snowshoe trails that undulate through 700 acres of woods and swamps of Washburn County.
You don’t need to head for big powder for downhill skiing. Northwest Wisconsin’s downhill runs offer skiing for all skills and abilities. Trollhaugen Ski Resort in Dresser has 23 runs and four terrain parks along with variety of cross country and snowshoe trails.
On the shores of superior Mount Ashwabay, near Bayfield, offer spectacular views and fast runs down. Bring the dog and try out their skijoring trail.
Want to try Telemark skiing? Head to Bruce for Christie Mountain. Every Thursday from 5-9 pm experienced instructors will educate you in free-heel skiing. They even have skis to rent – call ahead to reserve your pair.
Four Season Fishing
For those that don’t live in the upper Midwest, ice fishing is an alien concept. However, sportsmen know that the lakes and flowages of Wisconsin offer some of the best fishing during the winter months. By late January, many of the lakes can have up to 16 inches of ice on them. However, a recent winter thaw has caused varied ice conditions, so venture carefully. As you head out onto the lake, the Wisconsin DNR reports that a mixed bag of crappie, walleye and perch can be caught from Northern Wisconsin lakes.
Are you an expert angler? Why not try your hand at an ice fishing contest? Fisheries have a long history in the Northwoods and you don’t need an expensive boat to participate. In conjunction with the Phillips WinterFest, the event’s Ice Fishing Contest takes place on January 28 on Lakes Duroy, Elk and Long. $10 entry, catch the tagged walleye and you’ll win a $5000 cash prize. Registration is at Lake Duroy Landing.
Venture to Lower Webb Lake, in Burnett County, for the Webb Lake Area Ice Fishing Contest on February 4. Large fish category and kids prizes will be available, plus the raffle prizes.
Located in Hayward, the Hook & Line Family Ice Fishing Event on Lac Courte Oreilles, February 11, is an all-ages family style contest with thousands of dollars in fishing prizes for youth and adults. Proceeds benefit walleye fishing on the Hayward chain of lakes.
Hudson Hot Air Affair is once again blowing into town February 3-5, and this year’s theme is Gone with the Windz. Winter’s bright blue skies will be filled with splashes of colors when the balloons lift off and fly over head. Other events include an evening torchlight parade, fireworks, craft fair, a 5K Walk/run, workshops and even a pet costume contest.
Get out your skis or snowshoes and head out across the Chequamegon Bay. Book Across The Bay from Ashland to Washburn is on February 18. A thousand lanterns light your way across the frozen waters of Lake Superior. The course is about 10K and is groomed for both classic and skate style skiing, as well as snowshoeing. A bon fire awaits you when you finish your trek across the ice.
Of course, February means Valentine’s Day. Treat your sweetie to a special dinner along the rails all February long. See Wisconsin’s winter wonderland on board the Wisconsin Great Northern Railroad while fanning that spark into a flame. Enjoy a three-hour excursion and a multi-course dinner. For a one-of-a-kind bed and breakfast experience, stay the night on this historic train; it will be a gift your loved one will never forget.
Room Temperature Fun
If outdoor adventures in the snowy drifts isn’t what you have in mind for fun, there is plenty of indoor fun for you.
Dream of spring and the flowers to be at the Fairlawn Garden Talks in Superior. This winter learn about Roses A to Z on February 9, and all about Growing Orchids on February 23.
At Forts Folle Avoine Historical Park, between Danbury and Webster, on February 18-19, you can do a bit a shopping at the Indoor Rendezvous Trade Fair. You’ll find items that will appeal to history lovers of all ages. After a day of shopping, relax in the serene beauty of Northwest Wisconsin at The Lodge at Crooked Lake in Siren, complete with sauna, hot tub and pool.
A night at the theater is a great way to warm the heart on a cold winter’s eve. Stage North in Washburn is featuring the classic musical Jesus Christ Superstar throughout February.