Northwest Wisconsin Nordic Trails
Afterhours/Brule River State Forest Ski Trails
Trail Options: 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.
The Afterhours trail system is comprised of three main interconnected loops which are all accessed by the same entry loop. From the parking lot just off Highway 2 the entry loop begins almost immediately with a steep climb through red pine forest and then quickly descends to a short two-way piece of trail before connecting with the Oak Loop. This access route could be challenging for the novice or beginning skier, but once into the system the rest of the trails are very negotiable for even the less skilled nord. The Oak Loop is a mostly flat, counter-clockwise trail that, as you might guess from its name, takes you primarily through stands of second-growth oak and other hardwoods. The 3.5 km Oak Loop eventually joins with the River Loop and works its way back to what is known as the Main Junction - the point at which all of the trails connect and where a most important convenience facility is located - an outhouse. The River Loop (2.3 km) is the most scenic with wonderful views of the Brule River including an overlook above the Little Joe Rapids. It also has the biggest hills in the system. The smallest trail, the 1 km Spruce Loop, is located in the heart of the trail network and has moderate inclines as it winds through Norway Spruce, white pine, and aspen. There is one additional loop known as the Alternate Loop that connects the Oak And over Loops on what is essentially a town road. Afterhours is subject to the nominal State Trail Pass requirement. The pass is only $5.00 per day or $25.00 per season. This is the same pass required to use any other state trail and can be used on any state trail throughout the year. This is not to be confused with the State Park vehicle sticker which admits you to Wisconsin state parks. You do not need a vehicle sticker to use the Afterhours trails. Trail passes are available on a self-serve basis at the trail head and are also available at the DNR Headquarters office about a mile from the trails. Skiing can usually be expected well into March and even at the Afterhours trails.
Ownership: Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources
Management: Brule River State Forest
Key Partnerships: Brule Vally Ski Club
Facilities: Parking, warming building, pit toilets. Food and lodging nearby.
Fees: Wisconsin State Trail Pass - $25 for annual and $5 Daily.
Info: 715/ 372-5678
Fat bikes Permitted
Click Map to enlarge
|From the south take Hwy 27 from Hayward north to USH 2 in Brule. Turn left/west on USH2. Cross Brule River and take first left. Follow signs to trail head.|
Current Trail Conditions
Most Recent trail report Feb 16, 2018
Trails are being groomed on 2/16/18 and are in good to very good condition! Base is about 4 inches and about 10 inches of snow on the ground in the woods.
Most Recent Grooming: Feb 16, 2018
Base/Trails in inches: 4
Base/Woods in inches: 10
Open Trails: 13
KM Open: 27
Percent of Trails Open: 100
Km groomed for Classic: 27
Fat bikes Permitted
Landmark dates in the history of Nordic Trails 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.
After an auspicious beginning, it wasn’t long before the landscape was dotted with Nordic Trails of all sizes and descriptions, most of which continue to offer pleasant and challenging cross country skiing opportunities today.