There’s only one World Snowmobile Headquarters on the planet … and it’s in Eagle River. It’s a big reason why Eagle River is the Snowmobile Capital of the World®.
The World Snowmobile Headquarters celebrates the people and the machines that have defined more than 100 years of snowmobiling. From the welded steel, grain belts and lawn mower motors to the advanced models of today, snowmobiles have truly gone from “dogless sleds” to “racing rockets.” It seems the feeling of flying through snow has truly caught on—to the tune of an estimated $26 billion in economic impact in the U.S.
There have been more than 300 different snowmobile manufacturers throughout time and many of them are represented in various parts of the showroom, including one dedicated to antiques. Some of the stories behind the manufacturers are pretty interesting too, like how a printing error led to well-known snowmobile company Ski-Doo getting its name (instead of being called Ski-Dog).
The people behind the sport are also honored throughout the museum in specific displays. Fittingly, the World Snowmobile Headquarters houses the International Snowmobile Hall of Fame (ISHOF). Founded in 1984, ISHOF has inducted more than 140 people who have grown the sport through years of dedication, representing all facets of snowmobiling: trail developers, adventurers, club founders, journalists, promoters, and volunteers. Each year ISHOF recognizes new inductees and special award winners in the categories of International Snowmobile Club of the Year, International Dealer of the Year, Edgar Hetteen Memorial Award of Merit, and International Groomer of the Year.
The HQ also dedicates space for the World Championship Snowmobile Derby Hall of Fame. Since 1964, the Derby is held every January just a few hundred feet away at the World Championship Derby Complex in Eagle River.
While learning about the sport’s origin and history through photos and displays is usually what get people in the door, the best part of visiting the HQ and museum might be hearing about the personal stories from snowmobile enthusiasts. The passion is obvious when talking to people who build their winter vacations around snowmobiling in our neck of the woods.
For more information about the World Snowmobile Headquarters or to support their mission, visit worldsnowmobilehq.com.