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Snowmobiling in Vilas County: 5 things to know


  • Article
  • Events
  • Snowmobiling
  • Trails
  • Winter

There’s a lot to experience this winter in Vilas County—here’s what you need to know about exploring our snowmobile trails.

Snowmobiling in the Eagle River area of Vilas County

Make lasting memories this snowmobile season in Vilas County! We have more than 700 miles of trails to take riders through the Northwoods’ unspoiled wilderness, across undeveloped lakes and into the heart of northern Wisconsin. There’s a lot to experience this winter—here’s what you need to know about exploring our trails.

Trailside lodging

After spending hours on the road to get here, the last thing you want to do is drive some more to get to the trail. Thanks to our trailside lodging properties you don’t have to. Leave the truck parked—just walk outside with your coffee to warm up your sled. You’ve got a big day of riding ahead! Learn more about Vilas County lodging here.

Snowmobile history

You can argue that the worldwide sport of snowmobiling might not have happened without Vilas County. The snowmobile was invented in Sayner-Star Lake by Carl Eliason, who constructed a “motor toboggan” in 1924. The sled was small and powered by a 2.5-horsepower outboard boat motor, but it helped launch a worldwide recreational activity. Some of the state’s oldest snowmobile trails are in the Sayner area and are as beautiful to ride as they were decades ago.

Map It Vilas County trails app

Navigating the trails is easy thanks to a special app we created. The updated Map It Vilas County trails app will help you find and navigate trails all over the county. The map also has trails for ATVing/UTVing, hiking, biking, cross-country skiing, paddling and more. It works without a cell signal and is free to download. Learn more here.

Warm-up spots

There are plenty of welcoming establishments along the trail with parking for your sled and warm food waiting inside. They are great places to meet other riders, learn about local trail conditions and have a few laughs. Learn more about dining in Vilas County here.


Vilas County has lively winter events on and off the trails. This season, check our event calendar and local event websites frequently to stay informed on the latest information. Our county hosts some of the best events in the Northwoods, including the famous races at the World Championship Derby Complex in Eagle River.