Northwest Wisconsin is a region rich in Nordic skiing tradition and history and blessed with some of the best cross country ski trails in the country. Not only are there literally hundreds of kilometers of groomed trails, but they represent a wide range of family-oriented to athletically challenging experiences in a setting of incredible natural beauty.
With the region’s strong Scandinavian heritage, it was only natural that Nordic skiing took root in northwest Wisconsin. Farmers, loggers and settlers of Norwegian, Finnish and Swedish extraction used cross country skis for work and recreation dating back to the early part of the twentieth century.
Much of the area’s “modern” Nordic skiing heritage can be attributed to the late Tony Wise and the development of Telemark Resort in Cable. Wise was one of those larger than life characters whose accomplishments helped elevate cross country skiing to a much higher level of awareness in the Midwest and perhaps the country. He was the former owner of Telemark Resort which became one of the first downhill ski areas in the Midwest in 1947. As such, it quickly became a hot spot for winter sports in the area. Wise recognized the potential for cross country skiing at Telemark; a system of trails was laid out and Telemark began to make its mark in the world of cross country skiing.
To further promote Telemark Resort and its cross country ski trails, Wise also went on to create the American Birkebeiner cross country ski marathon. Starting with only 54 skiers in 1973, it has grown to enormous proportions and now attracts nearly 10,000 skiers. The American Birkebeiner Ski Trail, originally created specifically for this event, has become the most significant cross country ski trail in the United States.
Landmark dates in the history of cross country skiing in northwest Wisconsin include 1975 when the United States Cross Country Ski Team including Bill Koch — who would later go on to win a silver medal in the 1976 Olympics – came to Telemark to train, 1978 when the first World Cup cross country ski races were held on the Telemark Trails, and also that year the Worldloppet League, an affiliation of international cross country ski marathons, was formed by Tony Wise at Telemark.
Not long after Wise undertook his efforts to develop the Telemark Trails, cross country ski trails began springing up all across northwest Wisconsin with many developed by the U.S. Forest Service in the surrounding Chequamegon National Forest. After an auspicious beginning, it wasn’t long before the landscape was dotted with numerous trails of all sizes and descriptions, most of which continue to offer pleasant and challenging cross country skiing opportunities today.
Entry Loop-1.5km - Easy; Oak Trail; 3.5km - Easy; River Trail-2.3 km - Intermediate; Spruce Trail-1 km - Intermediate; White Pine Trail - 4.2 - Intermediate.
Snowshoeing permitted on snowshoe trail and backcountry.... read more..
Point to point Birkie trail from Cable to Hayward, 42km. Point to point Birkie Classic Trail from Cable to Cty. OO, 27km. Numerous loop options between Cty. OO and the North End Cabin Trail Head.... read more..
20 + miles of trails groomed for classical and skating. Many intersecting loops allow for tours of various configurations. Dogs permitted on the Westside Trails only (west side of Firelane Road).... read more..
Antler - 3.2 km, Easy; Antler Chute - 2.6 km, Easy; Boulevard - 9 km out and back, Easy; North Country Return - 9 km round trip, More difficult; Jack Rabbit - 6 km, Easy; Race Track - 4.5km, More difficult... read more..
27 km - This hilly, wide twin track trail system has no major climbs, winds through a mixture of hardwoods and conifers, crosses three bridges, and provides glimpses of the Flambeau River; groomed for skating and classic.... read more..
9.6km scenic, wide twin track trail is moderately hilly and passes through a vartey of timber types. The trailhead features a picnic area including a shelter, picnic tables, grill, and fire ring. Groomed for classic only... read more..
Numerous loops from 2k to 8k.Total of 21k of trails, all trails groomed for classical, with skating available on 16k. Easy to moderate difficulty. Groomed 6 to 12 feet wide. 1 mile snowshoe available and working on extending another 1/2 mile.... read more..
11.2 km of trails. Portions of the trail have rolling terrain which provides scenic views of the area; groomed for classic only.
Loop B is a snowshoe/fat bike route and is not groomed for skiing.... read more..
13 km, skate/classic. Intermediate North End Classic - 12 km classic only. Intermediate Tony Wise/World Cup - 6 km - skate. Most Difficult. Trails connect to American Birkebeiner Trail and Birkie Classic Trail. Three snowshoe trails 2 km - 6 km.... read more..
3.4km of trails through a mature oak-maple forest and 1.9km of open field skiing for a total of 5.3km groomed to 12 feet wide with a classic track as conditions allow.
Two miles of snowshoe trails behind the high school in Barron. ... read more..
Connecting loops of about 7 K on each side of Sisters Farm Road. Classical and snow bikes on the West side; classical and skate skiing on the East side. Snowshoeing allowed on all trails, including the six and a half mile groomed Fat bike loop. A... read more..
12km of trail groomed for skate and classic skiing that connects the Rib Lake Ski & Snowshoe Trails near Rib Lake, WI to the Highpoint Ski Trails at Timm's Hill near Ogema, WI. From the south end, the first 3 miles of the trail start out fair... read more..
Approximately four miles of winding trails, mixed with rolling terrain and hills although the hilly loop is a bit technical... Scenic mixed woods, a lake, abundant wildlife. Snowshoe trails/ fat bikes welcome/ sliding hill/ warming shelter with wood ... read more..
Very remote skiing, approximately 18 km point to point, or out & back through heavily wooded county forest. Groomed singletrack classic or backcountry. Hilly and in places technical terrain. Two rustic warming shelters. Intermediate-Expert... read more..