Cross-country Skiing & Snowshoeing, Dining, Snowmobiling

Ideas for a quick winter getaway to Oneida County

Oneida County is a great place to go for a quick winter getaway, whether you’re zooming along the snowmobile trails or taking your time on a quieter snowshoe route through the woods. Here are a couple quick trip ideas for snowmobilers and silent sports enthusiasts.

For snowmobilers

Oneida County is home to more than 1,000 miles of snowmobile trails, and our routes connect to hundreds more miles of trails in northern Wisconsin, so it’s a perfect place to launch a snowmobiling adventure. Here are a few ideas for a snowmobile getaway to Rhinelander and Three Lakes.

Day 1

Check into a snowmobile-friendly lodging property in Rhinelander, a popular Northwoods snowmobiling hub. (See a searchable list of Oneida County lodging properties here.) Snowmobilers can explore nearly 150 miles of snowmobile trails in the Rhinelander area that connect to additional routes in Three Lakes, Minocqua, Tomahawk, Lake Tomahawk, Eagle River and more. The Hodag-Sno Trails snowmobile club maintains and grooms the routes, which pass through beautiful Northwoods scenery and alongside several local lakes.

At the end of the day, head back to Rhinelander to grab a bite at a local restaurant—Bucketheads Sports Bar & Grill or Backwaters Bar & Grill are both great options. (See a filterable list of Oneida County restaurants here.)

Day 2

Head northeast from Rhinelander to Three Lakes, which offers some of Wisconsin’s best snowmobiling. The community is home to more than 125 miles of state-funded trails (plus an additional 54 miles of locally funded routes) that take riders through the Nicolet National Forest and along the area’s famous chain of 28 lakes—head to Eagle River to explore more routes in Vilas County and beyond.

While you’re out exploring, warm up at one of the area’s trailside restaurants like Tavern on the Loop.

For silent sports fans

Cross-country skiers, snowshoers, and even winter hikers can find lots to love in Oneida County, too. The region is home to dozens of scenic trails, as well as expansive wilderness areas like the Nicolet National Forest and the Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest. Here are a few ideas on where to go when exploring Tomahawk and the Minocqua Area.

Day 1

Tomahawk, a quick drive from Oneida County’s southern border, is home to several great places to stay, from amenity-laden hotels to vacation homes to resorts. (See a searchable list of Oneida County lodging properties here.) It’s also home to some great places for winter silent sports like snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. Explore part of Wisconsin’s sprawling Ice Age Trail on two different segments in the area—the Grandfather Falls segment and the Harrison Hills/Lookout Mountain segment. Cross-country skiers can explore those segments as well as Bradley Park, the Otter Lake Recreation Area, and Pride Pond Natural Area and Trail System.

After a day of exploration, head to local favorites like Bootleggers Lodge and Outboards Bar & Grill to refuel and plan your next day of adventure in the Northwoods.

Day 2

Head north to the Minocqua Area, which includes Minocqua, Woodruff, Arbor Vitae, and Hazelhurst along the border of Oneida County and Vilas County. Cross-country skiers will find nearly 50 miles of top-notch ski trails at Minocqua Winter Park, which offers routes for skate skiing and striding, as well as skijoring. Other popular trails in the area include the Madeline Trail and the Raven Nature Trail in the Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest.

After you’ve finished your trip on your skis or snowshoes, find a hearty meal at one of the Minocqua Area’s iconic restaurants like The Thirsty Whale or Norwood Pines Supper Club.

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