Get ready to get outside in Vilas County—this corner of Wisconsin’s Northwoods is home to some truly impressive trail systems for winter sports fans of all kinds. Here are some suggestions on where to go for a winter hike, snowshoe, cross-country ski trip, or snowmobile ride.
Before you go: Don’t forget to download the free Map It Vilas County trails app to find new trails, keep track of your favorites, and navigate your route.
Winter hiking: Boulder Junction Winter Park
Not a lot of snow on the ground? No problem! Boulder Junction Winter Park, located just east of downtown Boulder Junction, offers a short (less than one mile) winter trail that’s great for hiking—and all you need is a pair of winter boots. (But don’t worry, it’s groomed for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing when there’s more snow, too.) There’s plenty of additional fun to be found at Boulder Junction Winter Park, as it also boasts a sledding hill, a regulation-size ice skating rink with lights, a warming hut, and a bonfire area.
Find more hiking trails in Vilas County here.
Snowshoeing: Anvil Lake Trail
Located in the Chequamegon-Nicolet State Forest near Eagle River, the Anvil Lake Trail is home to 12 miles of groomed routes for snowshoeing in the winter and mountain biking in spring, summer, and fall. The trail system consists of seven different routes in a variety of difficulty levels, from beginner to expert. Parking is available near the Anvil Lake Campground entrance and south of Highway 70/Military Road.
Find more snowshoeing routes in Vilas County here.
Cross-country skiing: Madeline Trail
The Madeline Trail is just a short drive from downtown Minocqua but offers a one-of-a-kind Northwoods winter experience. The trail system is part of the massive Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest and offers several different groomed cross-country skiing routes ranging from 3 miles to 5 miles. Note that the ski trail requires a Wisconsin state trail pass; self-registration is available at the trailhead.
Learn more about cross-country skiing in Vilas County here.
Snowmobiling: Land O’ Lakes, Phelps & Conover
Vilas County is home to some of the Midwest’s best snowmobile trails, and one great way to explore northern Wisconsin is by riding the trails in Land O’ Lakes, Phelps, and Conover in the far northern part of the county. Riders will pass through some beautiful scenery, including parts of the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest and alongside North and South Twin Lakes and the massive Lac Vieux Desert on the Wisconsin-Michigan border.
Learn more about snowmobiling in Vilas County and northern Wisconsin here.