Cross Country Skiing in Northwest Wisconsin

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.









Cross Country Ski Trails

Trail Report: Nov 10, 2014

Last Groomed: Nov 10, 2014

Dog Friendly Ski Trails
  • ABR Ski Trails

    Ironwood, MI

    70 km of numerous loops; easy to most difficult; skate/classic and classic only. ... read more..


Ski Trails
Ski Trails
  • Lighted Cross Country Ski Trail

    American Birkebeiner Trail

    Cable, Seeley, & Hayward, WI

    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 betwee... read more..


Ski Trails
Ski Trails
Ski Trails
Dog Friendly Ski Trails
Ski Trails
  • Blue Hills Trail

    Bruce, WI

    20 + miles of trails groomed for classical and skating. Many intersecting loops allow for tours of various configurations.... read more..


Ski Trails
Ski Trails

Trail Report: Nov 19, 2014

Last Groomed: Nov 19, 2014

Ski Trails
  • Coon Lake Trail

    Frederic, WI

    5.3km groomed for skating and classical with segments of easy and intermediate difficulty and one series of steep, more difficult loops.... read more..


Ski Trails
Ski Trails

Trail Report: Nov 18, 2014

Ski Trails
  • Drummond Ski Trails

    Drummond, WI

    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 ... read more..


Trail Report: Nov 10, 2014

Ski Trails
  • Flambeau Hills Trail

    Winter, WI

    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 pr... read more..


Ski Trails
  • Forts Folle Avoine Ski Trail

    Danbury/Webster, WI

    Five km of trails along the Yellow River taking you to historic cultural sites. Trails groomed for classic skiing are beginner to intermediate level.... read more..


Ski Trails
  • Grantsburg Nordic Ski Trail

    Grantsburg, WI

    10.5 km of trails along the shores of Memory Lake, Wood River and Hay Creek. A variety of skill levels groomed for classic and skating through forest ... read more..


Ski Trails
  • Lighted Cross Country Ski Trail

    Hatchery Creek Park

    Hayward, WI

    1.15 km, 1.9 km, and 4 km loops groomed for skating or classical. All trails are lighted from dusk to 10:00PM. Trails connect to American Birkebeiner ... read more..


Dog Friendly Ski Trails

Trail Report: Nov 20, 2014

Last Groomed: Nov 20, 2014

Ski Trails
Ski Trails
  • Hickory Ridge Ski Trail

    Bloomer, WI

    14.2 km of trails in 3 loops. Challenging with rolling to steep terrain around numerous lakes. 2 warming shelters on trail.... read more..


Trail Report: Nov 10, 2014

Dog Friendly Ski Trails
  • Lighted Cross Country Ski Trail

    High Point Trails

    Ogema, WI

    14km - Nine miles of trails traverse some of the most hilly terrain in the state; groomed for skating and classic.... read more..


Trail Report: Nov 10, 2014

Dog Friendly Ski Trails
  • Holy Cross Trail

    Phillips, WI

    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 ... read more..


Trail Report: Nov 19, 2014

Dog Friendly Ski Trails
  • Interstate Park Trails

    St. Croix Falls, WI

    Skyline Trail - 4.5km, Intermediate; Quarry Trail - 3.2km, Beginner; Point Trail - 3.5km, Beginner; Bluff Trail - 1.6km, Advanced; Silverbrook Trail -... read more..


Ski Trails
Ski Trails
Dog Friendly Ski Trails
  • MECCA Ski Trails

    Mercer, WI

    Numerous loops from 2k to 8k. Total of 16k groomed for skating and striding. Easy to moderate difficulty. Groomed 6 to 12 feet wide.... read more..


Ski Trails

Trail Report: Nov 19, 2014

Last Groomed: Nov 19, 2014

Ski Trails
Ski Trails
Ski Trails
Ski Trails

Trail Report: Nov 20, 2014

Ski Trails
  • Newman Springs Trail

    Park Falls, WI

    11.2 km of trails. Portions of the trail have rolling terrain which provides scenic views of the area; groomed for classic only.... read more..


Ski Trails
  • Nordic Woods Ski Trail

    Stone Lake, WI

    10.7 km of trail. Generally intermediate level. Half is groomed classical only and the rest is groomed for skating and classical. There is also short ... read more..


Trail Report: Nov 18, 2014

Last Groomed: Nov 18, 2014

Ski Trails
  • North End Ski Trails

    Cable, WI

    North End Ski Trail - 13 km, skate/classic. Intermediate North End Classic - 12 km classic only. Intermediate Tony Wise/World Cup - 5.5 km - Most Di... read more..


Trail Report: Nov 10, 2014

Dog Friendly Ski Trails
Ski Trails
Ski Trails
Dog Friendly Ski Trails

Trail Report: Nov 10, 2014

Ski Trails
  • Phillips School Forest Trail

    Phillips, WI

    5.6 km - Five loops through a diverse forest and an open meadow offer a variety of terrain from gently rolling to steep hills; groomed for skating and... read more..


Trail Report: Nov 11, 2014

Dog Friendly Ski Trails
Ski Trails
Ski Trails
  • Rockmans Woods

    Barron, WI

    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 ... read more..


Dog Friendly Ski Trails
Dog Friendly Ski Trails

Trail Report: Nov 10, 2014

Dog Friendly Ski Trails
Ski Trails
Ski Trails
Ski Trails
  • Superior Municipal Forest

    Superior, WI

    Red Trail - 3km, 2km outer, 1 km inner - Beginner. Green Trail - 5km, 4km outer, 1km inner - More advanced. Purple Trail - 6km, Blue Trail - 2km, Y... read more..


Ski Trails
  • Lighted Cross Country Ski Trail

    Timberland Hills

    Cumberland, WI

    24 km. of trails. Rolling to hilly. Groomed for skating and classical. 2.5 km of lighted trail.... read more..


Trail Report: Nov 11, 2014

Dog Friendly Ski Trails
  • Timm's Hill Trail

    Ogema, WI

    16.1 km/10 miles of trail connects the Rib Lake Ski & Snowshoe Trails near Rib Lake, WI to the Highpoint Ski Trails at Timm's Hill near Ogema,... read more..


Trail Report: Nov 20, 2014

Last Groomed: Nov 20, 2014

Ski Trails
Ski Trails
  • Totogatic Trail

    Minong, WI

    Four loops: 3.8, 7.4, 8.6, and 7 km. Easy to advanced. Groomed single track classical.... read more..


Dog Friendly Ski Trails

Trail Report: Nov 19, 2014

Last Groomed: Nov 17, 2014

Ski Trails

Trail Report: Nov 20, 2014

Ski Trails
Ski Trails
  • Uller Trail

    Iron Belt, WI

    Very remote skiing, approximately 18 km point to point, or out & back through heavily wooded county forest. Groomed singletrack classic or backcountr... read more..


Ski Trails
Ski Trails
Ski Trails
Ski Trails

Trail Report: Nov 18, 2014

Ski Trails
  • Wintergreen Trail

    Fifield, WI

    11.5 km - Gentle enough for the intermediate skill level, yet challenges the experienced; groomed for skating and classic.... read more..


Dog Friendly Ski Trails

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