24 Best Wisconsin Snowmobile Trails

Wisconsin is the birthplace of snowmobiling. With plenty of trails, there’s no shortage of places to explore. More than 200,000 registered snowmobile owners take part in the state’s 25,000 miles of groomed trails each winter. So you may be wondering, where are the best Wisconsin snowmobile trails?

Wisconsin has numerous snowmobile trails, such as Three Lakes and Boulder Junction. Eagle River, “The Snowmobile Capital of the World,” offers 600 miles of trail to explore. Wherever you decide to go, you will experience beautiful scenery and welcoming communities.

Here are the top 24 Wisconsin snowmobile trails:

  1. Eagle River Snowmobile Trails
  2. Three Lakes Snowmobile Trails
  3. St. Germain Snowmobile Trails
  4. Minocqua Snowmobile Trails
  5. Hurley Snowmobile Trails
  6. Boulder Junction Snowmobile Trails
  7. Ahnapee State Trail
  8. Tomahawk Snowmobile Trails
  9. Wild Rivers State Trail
  10. Bayfield Snowmobile Trails
  11. Hayward Snowmobile Trails
  12. Governor Knowles State Forest
  13. Vilas County Snowmobile Trails
  14. Barron Snowmobile Trails
  15. Burnett Snowmobile Trails
  16. Marathon County Snowmobile Trails
  17. Walworth Snowmobile Trails
  18. Mountain-Bay State Trail
  19. Hodag Sno-Trails
  20. Door County Snowmobile Trails
  21. Douglas Snowmobile Trails
  22. Vernon County Snowmobile Trails
  23. Blue Ox Trail
  24. Nicolet State Trail

You can’t go wrong picking Wisconsin for your next snowmobile trip. There are miles of trails and exciting places to explore where you can experience the state’s natural beauty. You can also join a club or check out some snowmobile races.

24 Best Wisconsin Snowmobile Trails

Snowmobile Riding

1. Eagle River Snowmobile Trails

Known as the “The Snowmobile Capital of the World,” Eagle River tops the list. This 600-mile trail system goes around 2,400 stunning lakes and winds through the Nicolet National Forest. Trail #13 is remarkable as it passes right by the city’s annual Ice Castle creation. If you don’t own a snowmobile, there are available rentals. Take a break at Pitlik’s Sand Beach Resort or Lumpy’s Bar and Grill, two popular restaurants.

2. Three Lakes Snowmobile Trails

Three Lakes is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a snowmobile trail with an antiquated charm. This 186-mile system features old-fashioned lampposts, quaint restaurants, and comfortable lodging. Before your visit, join the Northern Lights Snowmobile Club and enjoy their on-trail wiener roasts and overnight rides.

3. St. Germain Snowmobile Trails

Situated in the center of most Wisconsin snowmobile trails, this trail system is a wanderer’s dream. There is so much to explore, whatever direction you take. Don’t forget to visit the Whitetail Inn and savor their famous Parmesan Encrusted Tenderloin Filet in front of their gorgeous stone fireplaces.

Blue Yamaha Snowmobiles on Trail in a Forest

4. Minocqua Snowmobile Trails

Minocqua trail system stretches over 1,700 area miles of pristine forests, glacial lakes, and captivating sunsets. It guarantees riders a great experience with its 65-inch snowfall and Bearskin State Trail. Snowmobile clubs and volunteers maintain this extensive network of groomed trails. Sponsorships help promote local businesses and keep the snowmobile trails in excellent condition.

5. Hurley Snowmobile Trails

Arguably the snow capital of Wisconsin, Hurley receives about 200 inches of snowfall per year. It is a perfect choice for snowmobile riding. Secure a copy of their snowmobile trail map and travel with a group. Check out the Olympus Vintage Snowmobile annual event, or visit during New Year’s Eve and marvel at the vintage-sled parade down Silver Street.

6. Boulder Junction Snowmobile Trails

Lots of snow welcomes visitors in this part of Wisconsin, which spans 130 miles in the Lake Superior snow belt. Trail #8 is a favorite for its peaceful scenery. Restaurants and cafes in the area provide astounding views of the Manitowish River and are excellent spots to relax and enjoy a tasty meal.

7. Ahnapee State Trail

The Ahnapee State Trail is a 48-mile stretch through prairies and forested areas. Experience beautiful wildlife sightings and native wildflowers. Begin in Kewaunee until the trail branches off to Luxemburg, Algoma, or the city center. Make a detour through the meandering trails up and down the Niagra Escarpment in Potawatomi State Park. Continue to explore the remaining 250 miles throughout Door County.

8. Tomahawk Snowmobile Trails

The Tomahawk region consists of 400 miles of trails maintained by three snowmobile clubs. Part of it includes 120 miles of Knight Owl snowmobile trails that connect Lincoln County from north to south. It also links to the 1,000-mile Oneida County trails to the east. Excellent on-trail hotels and pit stops bring you closer to the action. Furthermore, you can obtain information from the 24/7 online trail report maintained by the Chamber.

9. Wild Rivers State Trail

A repurposed Soo Line Railroad, this 104-mile stretch of compacted gravel and ballast is the longest snowmobile trail in Wisconsin, extending from Rice Lake to Superior. The beautiful track features numerous rivers and streams, and the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway landscape. You can explore another 74 miles via the juncture with the Tuscobia State Trail in Rice Lake, or continue riding the Brule River Riders trail system for another 128 miles.

Polaris Snowmobile Ride

10. Bayfield Snowmobile Trails

The Bayfield snowmobile trails are a sledder’s paradise, with 600 miles of some of the state’s best winter scenery. It includes 400,000 acres of forest, the Lake Superior Scenic Byway, and Ice Caves (and delicious seafood!). Begin your adventure near Red Cliff, pass through the serene Moquah Barrens State Natural Area, and continue exploring the unplowed forest roads that veer off the main trails. You can also ride on Trails 31 and 40, go around Lake Namakagon, then head south to Chequamegon National Forest. Complete your snowmobile adventure by spending the night in one of the beautiful cabins of North Country Vacation Rentals.

11. Hayward Snowmobile Trails

Almost every snowmobiler in the Midwest treats the Hayward area as a playground. It serves as Sawyer County’s trail system hub, with Trail 31 taking you across the Lac Court Oreilles before joining Corridor 10. You get to tour Lake Chippewa Flowage (Wisconsin’s largest wilderness lake) and do short trailside stops for food and rest. Snowmobiles leave snow tracks everywhere, being the main transportation in this region.

12. Governor Knowles State Forest

This state forest has a 16-mile trail system located in the southwestern corner of Burnett County, which links the village of Grantsburg to northwestern Polk County. These state-funded snowmobile trails are groomed and maintained by Phantom Trail Riders and Sno-Neighbors Snowmobile Club from their respective counties.

13. Vilas County Snowmobile Trails

The Vilas County Bo-Boen system, comprised of 100 trail miles, is part of the Eagle River snowmobile trail system and is a well-known vacation spot due to its massive snowfalls and warm hospitality. It is also the second-longest snowmobile trail in the state. Over 1,000 club members maintain this trail, which provides an authentic snowmobile setting through its amenities and excellent trails. Several rentals surround this area as well as exquisite lodging for couples that include a hot tub. Heated garages for sled maintenance are also available.

14. Barron Snowmobile Trails

The famous Tuscobia State Trail, Wild River, and Cat Tail Trails are part of this 300-mile trail system. These trails originate in Rice Lake and eventually connect to neighboring counties. Trail 33a offers excellent views of Prairie Lake, Mud Lake, and Lake Chetek. Furthermore, Curriers Lakeview Lodge provides ample parking space, on-site fuel, and direct access to the best trails. The trails, lodging, and food all exude that simple Northwoods charm!

15. Burnett Snowmobile Trails

Over 300 miles of state-funded snowmobile trails link Burnett with adjoining counties and Pine County in Minnesota. Six snowmobile clubs groom and maintain about half of this trail system through club membership fees and fund-raising activities. Lake Country Riders Snowmobile Club mainly works on the 63-mile LCR trail split five ways. Locals recommend the use of the Polaris Ride Command app as it shows your on-trail location and has most of the county’s trail systems. There has yet to be a centralized Wisconsin snowmobile trail map app at present.

16. Marathon County Snowmobile Trails

Marathon County offers 884 miles of groomed trails to explore. They are best enjoyed with the county’s trail map that shows Park & Ride locations and on-trail lodging. Similar to other trails, off-trail riding is prohibited here and subject to trespassing citations. If you are a music-loving snowmobiler, visit this second week of September and enjoy two nights of live Bluegrass music at the Wild Woods Drive-In Concert at Folk Farm. Additionally, Iron Bull trail runs and bike races are held at Wausau in the fall.

17. Walworth Snowmobile Trails

The wide variety of trails in this 375-mile network in the southeast Wisconsin region offers a lot to explore. It has wide-open areas, windy wooded sections, and marshes surrounded by cattails. Less than four miles away from the county center is Lake Geneva. It is the hub of fantastic restaurants and B&Bs where you can stay the night. Local owners grant the use of trails as all are virtually on private property. You can contact the Snowmobile Alliance per county or check online for updates on Wisconsin snowmobile trail conditions.

18. Mountain-Bay State Trail

Mountain-Bay State Trail is the third-longest Wisconsin snowmobile trail, traveling 83 miles from Rib Mountain to Green Bay. It ends in Weston in the west and at Howard Memorial Park in the east. Local roads connect the system in the city of Shawano near the Wolf River and cause a short gap on the trail. Check with the Parks Department of either Brown or Marathon County regarding the trail section’s status. You can also find reports on snowmobile trail conditions in Wisconsin here.

19. Hodag Sno-Trails

Despite being a fraction of the 1,000+ miles of snowmobile trails in the Pelican Lake area, this trail in Northeast Wisconsin still offers an exceptional experience. This 140-mile stretch features a mixture of pine forests and rolling farmlands that provide snowmobilers a scenic adventure. There are also plenty of food stops and lodging along the way. This central hub connects with St. Germain, Tomahawk, and Minocqua.

20. Door County Snowmobile Trails

Also called the Cape Cod of the Midwest, Door Country offers 250 miles of magnificent state and club trails. Enjoy smaller crowds as you engage in other activities other than snowmobiling. Check Wisconsin snow reports to ensure your route is open before heading out. Don’t forget to include Cave Point County Park and the distilleries serving Après-Ski in your itinerary.

21. Douglas Snowmobile Trails

Beautiful scenery awaits snowmobilers riding through these woods. This splendid 300-mile trail system includes Trail 27, which circles Solon Springs and numerous lakes. The rest of the trail gives you open areas that dip into small forests and views of the St. Croix Lake. Locals recommend riding Trail 41 and Trail 6 for more scenic lake views. Take Trail 3 South for a quick bite, and the Tri-County Corridor Trail if you’re looking for a challenge.

22. Vernon County Snowmobile Trails

Vernon County features mountainous terrain, diverse forestry, narrow elevations, and scenic vistas. It also houses the famous Sauk and Juneau counties, home to some of the best snowmobile trails in the southwest. Furthermore, it has seven great snowmobile clubs that work tirelessly to groom and maintain 250+ miles spread across the county. The clubs in this region keep close ties with landowners as most trail systems pass through private property.

23. Blue Ox Trail

This 200-mile system passes through rolling hills and pristine rivers. It includes all the trails in Florence County. These trails are maintained by the Blue Ox Trail Riders, separate clubs that came together in 2009. About 50% of this trail system crosses private landowners’ property, so expect laws governing snowmobile trails WI to be strict.

Girl Riding Snowmobile During the Day

24. Nicolet State Trail

This 90-mile multi-purpose recreational trail runs north from Gillett up to the U.P. border. It is well known for its compressed gravel base. The trail goes through the heart of the Nicolet National Forest and charms riders with unspoiled scenery. The state trail connects to multiple county trails and local businesses in Gillett, Townsend, and Suring. It is open to walking, bicycling, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing, so guests must exercise good trail etiquette to ensure all trail users enjoy and are safe.

Wisconsin Snowmobile Trail Pass: Wisconsin DNR Go Wild

It is an annual, non-transferable pass valid until June 30th each year, and is separate from a Wisconsin snowmobile registration. It is in the form of a 3″ X 3″ decal required to be permanently affixed to the bottom center of the snowmobile windshield, or displayed in a highly visible location in front of the operator for no-windshield snowmobiles. Prices range from $10 to $50 based on residency, club membership, and existing valid registration. You may order the trail pass online at WI DNR Go Wild website, any DNR sales agent, or through the AWSC website if you are a club member.

Is a Snowmobile Trail Pass required in Wisconsin?

Yes – all snowmobiles operating on a Wisconsin trail or corridor must display a valid snowmobile trail pass with valid registration. The following are the only exemptions:

  1. A valid Wisconsin antique registration;
  2. A valid temporary trail use receipt issued with a trail pass order (usually done through DNR online, via a DNR license agent, or through AWSC);
  3. The snowmobile is US-owned, another state or political subdivision and owner’s name is visible on the cowling;
  4. The sled is present in Wisconsin for a period not exceeding 15 days and is used exclusively as part of a snowmobile manufacturer’s advertisement;
  5. The snowmobile is operated on private property, snowmobile route, or frozen water on an unmarked corridor.

When do Wisconsin snowmobile trails open or close for the season?

Usually, landowner easements dictate the earliest and latest trail opening and closing dates. Based on trends, these run from December 1st through March 31st. Call the county’s trail hotline number to get up-to-date information on these dates.

Are there any speed restrictions when snowmobiling? 

There is a 10-mph speed limit between 10:30 PM and 7:00 AM, and if you’re within 100 feet of a person, not on a vehicle.

Operating a snowmobile above 55 mph after sunset is unlawful, whether in public or private areas. Riding at speeds above 40 mph at night is unsafe.

Read up on the snowmobiling laws in Wisconsin before planning your journey. For local ordinances, check with local governing agencies. Visit the DNR website for snowmobile safety information.

Conclusion – 24 Best Wisconsin Snowmobile Trails

So, what are the 24 best Wisconsin snowmobile trails? To summarize, here is the list once again:

  1. Eagle River Snowmobile Trails
  2. Three Lakes Snowmobile Trails
  3. St. Germain Snowmobile Trails
  4. Minocqua Snowmobile Trails
  5. Hurley Snowmobile Trails
  6. Boulder Junction Snowmobile Trails
  7. Ahnapee State Trail
  8. Tomahawk Snowmobile Trails
  9. Wild Rivers State Trail
  10. Bayfield Snowmobile Trails
  11. Hayward Snowmobile Trails
  12. Governor Knowles State Forest
  13. Vilas County Snowmobile Trails
  14. Barron Snowmobile Trails
  15. Burnett Snowmobile Trails
  16. Marathon County Snowmobile Trails
  17. Walworth Snowmobile Trails
  18. Mountain-Bay State Trail
  19. Hodag Sno-Trails
  20. Door County Snowmobile Trails
  21. Douglas Snowmobile Trails
  22. Vernon County Snowmobile Trails
  23. Blue Ox Trail
  24. Nicolet State Trail

Snowmobiling in Wisconsin is not only a mode of transportation but a way of life. It is also a great past time to get through unforgiving winters. For veteran riders and enthusiasts, snowmobiling is a sport and a passion. There are endless places to adventure and explore, and you’ve waited all year for this getaway. It’s about time you start planning your trip to Wisconsin.

Kris Peter

Adventure seeker and off-road enthusiast. I love the thrill of going off-road and taking on the elements.

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