Wisconsin may be well known for its bounty of dairy products, but there is a lot more to it than cheese curds and cows. Wintertime in this state opens up some phenomenal snowmobile trails that are worth checking out.
I’m Chaz, a snowmobile enthusiast with nearly 30 years of experience riding all of North America. I grew up in Colorado, but both of my parents are from Wisconsin, so I have ridden here many times.
In this article, I’ll list some of the best snowmobile trails in Wisconsin. The weather can be cold and grey here, but that means you’ll have plenty of time to ride and explore.
Put away your cheesehead, and let’s get out in the snow.
Table of Contents
1. Bearskin State Trail
At the top of this list is one of the most expansive trail networks I’ve had the chance to ride on. The Bearskin State Trail is part of the Wisconsin State Park trail system and provides access to around 1,600 miles of other trails.
Bearskin State trail is itself only 21.5 miles. But the Minocqua region where the State Park is located is in the middle of a vast network of trails you can access from this one highlight. The sheer scope of this network is extensive, and that’s why Bearskin tops the list.
The trail is open all year round, but the winter months turn it into a snowmobiler’s playground. The main trail isn’t groomed but sees enough action to stay in pretty good shape most of the time.
There is also a section of the trail between Lake Nokomis Road and Country Highway K dedicated to snowmobiles only, so you won’t have to worry about dodging skiers and snowshoers.
The town of Minocqua has a lot of decent accommodations and restaurants if you want to base camp here for a multi-day trip.
2. Eagle River
Eagle River is more of a region in Wisconsin than a specific trail, but it’s another top spot to snowmobile in the state. There are claims that this is the “Snowmobile Capital of the World,” and while I’ll agree that it’s fantastic, I don’t know who’s in charge of that statement.
Regardless of it’s the best spot in the world for riding, it’s certainly up there with the best of them. One of the reasons is that it gets a solid amount of snow for the midwestern US and the surrounding terrain is stunning and fun to explore.
There are around 600 miles of groomed trails here regularly maintained by several active snowmobile clubs. Even though the weather can be nasty, the scenery is impressive, and these trails take you through the heart of it all.
The entire Eagle River region caters to snowmobilers, and it’s a very popular winter vacation spot. Whether you want to get away with a few buddies or bring the entire family along, there’s something for just about everyone here.
Trail 13 is one recommended option that I remember from my childhood because it leads you to a giant Ice Castle that the local firefighters build every year.
3. Racine County
This is another region of Wisconsin with a good network of trails. While not as vast as some other areas, what makes Racine Country stand out is its location. It’s just over a half-hour from Milwaukee and a few hours from Chicago.
Racine is the spot to visit if you want to get off a plane and be snowmobiling a few hours afterward. There are just under 200 miles of groomed trails in the county. Most of these are relatively flat and well-maintained, which means you can cruise at top speeds with ease.
The easily accessible trails and open terrain make it an excellent spot to learn how to ride. The area is a good learning ground if you haven’t spent much time on a sled and want to improve your abilities.
Here is a good map of the trails, accommodations, and snowmobile services in the area.
4. St. Germain
St. Germain is on the list because it offers something unique and memorable that nearly every snowmobiler will appreciate – the opportunity to go as fast as possible.
The Radar Run is an annual event put on by the local community that attracts snowmobilers from all over the world. There is a 1000-foot straight track that is set up for you to go full throttle. Your top speed will even be clocked by radar so you can brag to your friends back home.
Aside from the fast track, St. Germain has plenty of trails to explore and makes for another ideal snowmobile destination in Wisconsin. The Snowmobile Hall of Fame, which is like a museum and resource center, is also found here.
Hurley is home to a large section of public land snowmobiling access that makes it seem like one big adventurous trail. This is the spot to explore in Wisconsin if you like to ride off-trail and explore untracked lines.
What’s an off-trail destination doing on a best trails list? Well, I see it as a ‘make your own trail’ sort of situation. Not every rider wants to be limited to groomed trails and networks, and Hurley gives you the room to roam.
The area gets some of the most snow in the state, making for a long snowmobiling season that reaches into the spring. The public area you can access stretches across 175,000 acres – plenty of room to break the trail.
I would recommend bringing a GPS and adequate safety and survival gear when you ride here. It’s not deep backcountry, but you can still get lost.
Wisconsin may not be on everyone’s list for ultimate snowmobile destinations, but I would still thoroughly recommend visiting the area to anyone. The trails you see here are only a taste of all there is to explore here in the winter.
Have you ever snowmobiled in Wisconsin? What trails or towns did you visit? Let us know in the comments below!About Chaz Wyland