The Winter Bucket List

Contrary to popular belief, winter does not last forever in northern Wisconsin. So even though winter is just starting and the snow hasn’t decorated our natural landscape, now is the time to think about those favorite winter activities or discover new ones you want to try before winter is over.

The Eagle River area turns into a glorious winter paradise for a variety of outdoor experiences that you only have a couple of months to enjoy. We suggest putting together a bucket list to make sure you complete at least a few of your favorite winter activities.

Our short list of winter bucket activities include snowmobiling, cross country skiing and snowshoeing, fat tire biking, ice hockey, and ice fishing. How many are you planning to do this winter


Eagle River is the Snowmobile Capital of the World®. And the moniker is something we respect and uphold. We’ve got dedicated volunteer snowmobile clubs that groom and maintain hundreds of miles of interconnected trails that allow snowmobilers to visit towns across Vilas County. We have the Snowmobile Hall of Fame and Museum. And the World Championship Derby Complex in Eagle River hosts the World Championship Snowmobile Derby every January. Snowmobiling is in our DNA.

Cross Country Skiing & Snowshoeing

If traveling on powder without a motor is more your pace, check out our trails for cross country skiing or snowshoeing. These silent sports invite a tranquil and relaxing experience with the opportunity to catch wildlife up close. But don’t let the serene landscapes fool you, these sports are quite a workout. Check out the map for area trails.

Fat Tire Biking

Snow isn’t necessary, but it can add some serious fun to fat tire biking. Fat tires allow for better grip than traditional mountain bike tires, making muddy or snowy trails easier to traverse. The Tara Lila offers some easy-going rides for beginners. But if you want to turn it up, check out the Winman Trails.

Ice Hockey

All those lakes we have freeze over and offer some fun activities for locals and tourists. One of the favorites is ice hockey. Pickup games are common, and we host the USA Adult Pond Hockey Championships every February. The Eagle River Recreational Center – known as The Dome – is an iconic hockey arena that also houses the Wisconsin Hockey Hall of Fame. Eagle River has earned its reputation as the Hockey Capital of Wisconsin™.

Ice Fishing

Frozen lakes are also great for ice fishing. And Eagle River offers up some of the best Northwoods fishing you can get. Sitting around the fishing hole is a great way to spend some solitary hours or to enjoy a conversation with a friend or family member. Check on the Eagle River fishing report to see what’s biting before you head out.

The Time is Now

Our winters aren’t short. But they don’t last forever, either. Now is the time to start planning your Eagle River experience to make sure you check off all the boxes on your winter bucket list. Don’t let spring get here without doing at least a few of these fun activities!

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

Checking off your winter bucket list

Want to be inspired by what you’ll actually see in Eagle River this winter? Our Field Notes take you on an adventure in our neck of the woods with all of the activities mentioned in the newsletter.

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