Snow-where to Go But Up!

Winter is here and the freeze is creeping into everyone’s homes. But it’s not all bad. Once there’s enough snow, one of the Eagle River area’s best holiday present arrives – snowmobiling!

The area sports some of the most dedicated snowmobile clubs in the country, helping to keep its series of connected trails marked extremely well and groomed regularly. And believe us, knowing where you’re going and sledding on reliable trails make the ride so much more enjoyable.

All the perfect complementary experiences in the Eagle River area make Northwoods snowmobiling the real red ribbon on the wreath. Immaculate fresh snow? We get that regularly up here. Cozy cabin or resort? Take your pick. Supper clubs and restaurants right off the trail? Cheers to many delectable options.

Here’s a guide on snowmobiling in the Eagle River area this winter season.

Snowmobiling on the 500

Visiting Eagle River in the winter doesn’t require snowmobiling. But that would kind of be like traveling to Wisconsin and not trying the cheese. With an average annual snowfall of 76 inches, you’ll want to at least consider seeing what all the snowmobiling fuss is about.

It’s not difficult to explain why Eagle River is the Snowmobile Capital of the World® once you hit the meticulously maintained trails. The Eagle River “500” is nearly 600 miles of interconnected trails that connect area towns and businesses. There are sections that allow riders to fly down an open straightaway, while other portions provide more wooded bends that are perfect for throttling down to enjoy the sites.

The “500” is groomed regularly—almost nightly—by the fine folks who volunteer with Sno-Eagles and other clubs. The trails up here are often regarded as one of the best marked snowmobile systems in the state to make it easy for navigating. Pro tip: Groomers typically work at night, so if one slows down and flashes his lights, it’s safe to pass.

Getting Up to Speed

Riding snowmobile trails requires a trail pass. This can be purchased through the Wisconsin DNR website. While processing might only take 2 days, it can take up to 3 weeks for passes to be mailed, so plan accordingly. Memberships with snowmobile clubs offer discounts on trail passes.

If you don’t have a snowmobile or the right gear, you don’t have to spend big to buy one! There are a variety of options in the Eagle River area to rent. Of course, if you’re looking to get sleds for the spouse and kids, snowmobile purchases can be made, too. Here are some recommended shops for rentals:

As an added bonus, many of the fine folks at these establishments will be able to assist with knowledge of the trails. After all, you’ll want to know when to peel off the trail to fuel yourself up.

Rider Approved Pit Stops

While snowmobiling isn’t likely to burn as many calories as cross-country skiing or snowshoeing, anyone riding the “500” is going to need a place to stop for food. Families and larger groups looking for a more casual dining experience on their holiday travel can consider an array of bars and grills to tank up. If it’s a getaway for two, more romantic options in one of the area’s supper clubs might be more desirable.

Overnight Decisions

Being up north isn’t just a place on a map, it’s often a state of mind. As the natural world permeates life in the Eagle River area, there’s often a draw to lodging that blends into the trees and frozen lakes. Should you need a place to relax your muscles after a long day of riding, check out the hot tubs at Wild Eagle Lodge or the Best Western Derby Inn.

There are some fantastic cottages, homes, and resorts to choose from this season that are both on and off the beaten path. And if you’d rather plan your trip around a stay in a hotel, motel, or condo, then the area has you covered there, too. Whether it’s a family trip for 20 or a romantic trip for two, the perfect holiday vacation housing is available to you.

An Eagle River Gift

The Eagle River area is blessed with the gift of snow every winter. It’s hard to predict exactly when or how much snow will fall, but there’s no doubt the landscape and trails will be covered this season. Much like our annual snow, your loved ones have an expectation this season, too – a gift! And the perfect one might just be in our neck of the woods.

Unwrapping an Eagle River winter experience is not only a great way to spend time together with family, it’s also a wonderful way to create lasting memories and new traditions.

*- Make sure the ice is safe before engaging in any on-lake activities.

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