Four cross-country ski trails to try

Winter is here! Northern Wisconsin is (finally) covered in snow, so that means it’s time to get out and explore. Grab your skis or snowshoes and head to Oneida County, where you’ll find trails perfect for winter adventurers of all skill levels. Here are a few you shouldn’t miss.

Minocqua Winter Park

You’ll find this sprawling winter sports complex in far western Oneida County, about a half-hour drive from downtown Minocqua. More than 50 miles of trails—all of which are groomed regularly to keep them in tip-top shape—cut through 6,500 acres of beautiful Northwoods scenery. Trails are open to classic cross-country skiing, skate skiing, snowshoeing and fat tire biking. On the weekends, bring the family for fun on the 400-foot snow tubing hill. A trail pass (or snow tubing tickets) can be purchased at the Winter Park chalet. See a trail map here and learn more about Minocqua Winter Park here.

Three Eagle Trail

The Three Eagle Trail is a non-motorized trail that connects the Oneida County community of Three Lakes with Eagle River in Vilas County. In the winter, a five-mile section of the trail from Highway 32/45 west to Sundstein Road is groomed for classic track skiing and skate skiing. The trail, which generally offers good protection from the wind, traverses beautiful Northwoods scenery, including a bridge over Mud Creek. Parking is available off Sundstein Road or off Highway 32/45 near Clearwater Lake. There is no fee to use the trail, but donations are accepted at a donation box at the Sundstein Road parking lot. See a map trail here and learn more here.

Rhinelander Area trails

If you’re visiting Rhinelander (a.k.a. Hodag Country), you’ll discover some great trails maintained by the Northwoods Nordic Ski Club. The Northwoods Nordic Ski Club is an all-volunteer nonprofit organization that oversees approximately 30 kilometers of trails at three sites: the Rhinelander Northwood Nordic Ski trails near Northwood Golf Course, the Rhinelander Community Trails near Rhinelander High School and the CAVOC Trails just east of Rhinelander. Learn more about the trails and see the latest snow report here.

Underdown Recreation Area, Tomahawk

This popular winter sports destination sits about 16 miles southeast of Tomahawk in Lincoln County, but it’s a worthwhile drive. Skiers can traverse more than 20 miles of cross-country trails of varying difficulty at Underdown Recreation Area, making it a popular destination in the winter. Trails are groomed weekly as conditions allow. Trail passes are required and can be purchased on-site (at the parking area on Copper Lake Avenue) for $8 a day or $25 for the season. See a trail map here.

Find information about more Oneida County trails here.

Unforgettable fall hikes

The leaves are gorgeous in Oneida County and now is the ideal time to take the spectacle in, one step at a time. Our networks of scenic hiking trails are the perfect path to enjoying the county’s best fall beauty. We have options for experienced hikers seeking a challenge, as well as gentle paths that will offer anyone an unforgettable experience.

Bailey Lake Equestrian Trail, Three Lakes

On this picturesque trail, you just might see a horse walking through the leaves. The unpaved scenic path, which was once used by loggers, runs 15 miles through a wilderness camping area east of Three Lakes. 

CAVOC Trails, Rhinelander

This 5-mile unpaved trail is hilly and scenic, perfect for those seeking a challenging hike through the woods. There are lots of looped options to explore. You’ll find the trail east of Rhinelander with an entrance off South Shore Drive. 

Enterprise County Trail, Enterprise

In southeast Oneida County, explore two unpaved four-mile loops featuring some hilly terrain through the Oneida County Forest. 

Madeline Trail, Woodruff

This 16.5-mile trail features easy to moderate terrain and some rolling hills. There are spots to take in nice views of Madeline lake. You’ll find the trailhead off Rudolph Road, about two miles southeast of Woodruff.

McNaughton Trail, Lake Tomahawk

This beautiful 13-mile trail south of Lake Tomahawk rings a few small lakes. It features largely gentle terrain, although there are a few steep hills. 

ATV adventures

ATV riders will find a lot to love in Oneida County. There are miles of riding on trails and rural roads and routes that will take you through timeless Northwoods scenery. The 2018 riding season has arrived—here are some things to know before you rev your engines.

The trails: Head to southwestern Oneida County to launch your trail adventure. There are two trail systems that will take you through segments the 82,000-acre Oneida County Forest, across wild creeks and past woodland lakes. Miles of additional riding can be found on rural roads. The Little Rice ATV/UTV Trail System will take you through the Oneida County Forest. The trail system includes 16 miles of beautiful woodland trails and 23 miles of lightly trafficked connecting ATV road routes. There are also 76 additional miles of town roads that are open to ATV use. Parking is available at the north end of the system. See a trail map here.

The Enterprise ATV Trail System includes 13 miles of trail and a couple of short road routes in the Oneida County Forest. The trail connects to systems in Lincoln and Langlade counties. The Enterprise trailhead is located at the north end of the system. To reach the trailhead, take County Highway 17 south from Rhinelander 7 miles to Bowman Road. Take Bowman Road east 1 mile to the trail parking lot. See a map here. ATV camping is available at Enterprise Campground, located within the Oneida County Forest, about 11 miles south of Rhinelander on Shingle Mill Road. The campground is accessible via the Enterprise ATV trail or via Shingle Mill Road. There are 11 campsites with grills, fire rings and picnic tables. Restrooms and hand pump wells are also available. Fees are $10 per night per site, payable by self-registration. The campground is open from May 22 until December 1. 

The regulations: Oneida County’s trails are open from May 22 until December 2 and are open to ATVs and UTVs up to 65 inches wide. Ride safe and follow the rules—be sure to stop at the stop signs and stay below 10mph when you see caution signs like “slow,” “steep hill,” “dip,” or “turn.” See a flyer with regulations here.

Learn more about ATV/UTV trails in Oneida County.

County forest recreation guide

Oneida County is a place for people who love the outdoors. Nearly a quarter of the land in the county is public, open for anyone to enjoy. These lands include more than 80,000 acres managed by Oneida County. This county-owned land is broken into three sections, called “blocks,” that are home to winding trails, wild streams and vast tracts of hardwoods. Here’s a quick guide to help you explore each section of this wild forest. 

Cassian/Woodboro Block

In south central Oneida County, this 15,000-acre block includes a nice mix of Northwoods landscape. The forest includes aspen, oak, hardwood and pine trees. The Cassian/Woodboro Block includes bogs, wetlands and marshes, so it’s a great place for birdwatching. It’s also a popular silent sports destination; the Washburn Lake Trail, Nose Lake Trail and the Cassian Two-Way Ski Trail are all located in this block. The trailheads for all have parking and are ideal places to enter the forest. See a map of the forest block here.

Enterprise block

The Enterprise block is a square section of county forestland that covers 20,000 acres in southeast Oneida County. The forest is a mix of hardwoods, aspen, oak, balsam fir and spruce trees, and it has a nice mix of recreation options. In the southwest corner of the block, you’ll find the Enterprise Campground and ATV trail. In all, the Enterprise block has 12 miles of off-road ATV trails. In the northeast corner of the block there’s also a fat bike and primitive ski trail. The Enterprise Block is bordered by Lincoln and Langlade County. See a map here.

Lynne/Little Rice block

This block in the southwest corner of Oneida County is the largest section of county forest, covering more than 40,000 acres. It has a nice mix of trails and relaxation spots. There’s a picnic area and boat landing at a small lake called Bass Lake; there’s another picnic area near a scenic river spot (Willow Rapids) and a popular recreation trail, the Lynne/Little Rice ATV Trail System. That system includes 20 miles of woodland trails and 16 miles of connecting ATV road routes. You can access the trails on the north side of the forest block; you’ll find three parking areas. See a map here.

Interested in more trails? Order our free Travel & Trail Guide and explore many more miles of forest beauty.

 

Snowmobile trip planner

The snowmobile season is approaching and it’s time to start planning an Oneida County winter vacation. Our county has it all—incredible natural beauty, vast trail systems and ample trailside amenities. Now is the perfect time to plan a snowmobile getaway. We’ve put together a few details on what you can expect this season. They’ll have you busting out the bibs!

Beauty

Oneida County’s snowmobile trails are considered some of the finest in the region. Go for a ride this winter and you’ll see why. Our expansive trails will take you through forests and past lakes, over rolling country and across fast-riding flats. You could spend an entire season discovering these trails—and many people do! Check the latest snow conditions here.

Opportunity

Oneida County is home to more than 1,100 miles of public trails, including trails funded by the state and local clubs. That’s an incredible amount of riding—equivalent to the driving distance from Oneida County to Louisiana! Oneida County’s trails will take you virtually anywhere in the county. See a county trail map here. The trails pass through all of our communities and they link to systems in Lincoln, Price, Vilas and Forest County. Oneida County is the ideal base for long-haul touring.

Amenities

A snowmobile is your ticket to exploring the best of the county. Start the day at one of our fine lodging properties—many are located right on the trail you can warm up your machine and go. As you explore the county you’ll pass plenty of places to gas up and some of the friendliest trailside restaurants in the Northwoods. Pull off your helmet and enjoy a delicious meal and some great atmosphere.

Support

Oneida County’s trails are maintained and made possible by a robust network of clubs and volunteers. The county’s clubs include Three Lakes Trails, Inc., Hodag Sno-Trails, Northwoods Passage, Northern Trails Unlimited, Willow Region Sportsman’s Club, Minocqua Forest Riders, Cross Country Cruisers, New-Tom Snow Fleas, Bo-Boen and Sugar Camp. Many of these clubs publish quality trail maps – see a listing of those clubs here.

Fall color, fun events & more

Fall color season offers plenty of ways to enjoy the beauty in Oneida County. Here’s your guide to planning a spectacular fall getaway in any of Oneida County’s welcoming communities.

Explore these scenic trails

Where to see the best colors? Here are some trails and nature paths known for great fall scenery:

Raven Nature Trail – You’ll find this 13.5-mile scenic trail near Clear Lake, north of Minocqua. The trails are open in the fall for hiking and biking. The terrain includes some hills, and the views are breathtaking.

Awassa Nature Preserve & Hiking Trail – An easy 5 miles of trails where you can experience Oneida County’s pristine and colorful forests on this beautiful trail that wanders through stands of mature pines, oaks, maples, and a rich understory of balsam fir. The trail is located west of St. Germain.

Three Eagle Trail – This mostly level 12.7-mile trail heads through some pretty country north of Three Lakes. The trail passes through wetlands and includes nice stretches of fall color. It’s a great place for an easy walk or bike ride.

Washburn Lake Trail – This hilly trail offers a rewarding hiking experience west of Rhinelander. It’s good for fall hiking or mountain biking.

Click here to explore more Oneida County trails.

Mark your calendar for these events

Events celebrating the change of the season are fast approaching:

In mid-September, more than 40,000 motorcycle enthusiasts and others celebrate fall at the Tomahawk Fall Ride.

Also in middle of September check out Lake Tomahawk’s Lioness Annual Harvest Festival, it features an arts and crafts fair, pumpkin carving and concessions. And at St. Germain, fall festivities take place at Colorama & Pints in the Park in with live entertainment, microbrew sampling, and a human foosball tournament.

In the end of September, the Harvest Hoedown takes place in Rhinelander. There is a pig roast, live music, hayrides, face painting and more.

Check out more festivals and events in the area here.