Adventure: Cross-country Skiing

Learn more about Cross-country Skiing
Credit: Sharon Scott


New to skiing? Discover your ski legs in Vilas County. Don’t have equipment? You can rent skis here, and there are lots of short and gentle trail loops that are good places to practice your technique.  Most people start out classic skiing, the more traditional type of skiing where one skis in parallel tracks. Others prefer skate skiing, a type of skiing where the skier glides in a V pattern. Vilas County features both types of trails. Just remember to dress in layers – one can get very warm skiing ­ – and practice your glide, shifting your weight onto the ski that’s going forward. When you go up hills, use a herringbone pattern and point your skis inward when you’re going downhill. Take your time, and take in the scenery. The woods are beautiful in the winter, and you’re learning a fun new way to experience Vilas County. Some good trails for beginners include those in Boulder Junction Winter Park, the Nordmarka Trails in Eagle River and the North Lakeland School Nature/Cross-Country Ski Trail System in Manitowish Waters.


Perhaps you’ve been skiing before but it’s been a while. Or perhaps you’d like to experience the trails but not spend an entire day skiing. Vilas County has some perfect options for you. The county has lots of trail loops that are in the 2- to 6- mile range. While you might encounter some rolling hills, you don’t have to be an expert hill climber or a downhill thrill seeker to enjoy these trails. If you haven’t been skiing for a while, it’s a good idea to start the day with an easier, shorter loop. Once you’re warmed up, you can always tackle a more challenging route. Your trail options in Vilas County are just about endless. Some good trail options for intermediate skiers include the Pioneer Creek Cross-Country Ski Trail in Conover, the North Lakeland Discovery Center Trails in Manitowish Waters and the Anvil Lake Trail in Eagle River.


If you live to ski, you’ll love Vilas County. Want to log some miles? You’re in the right place. This trail paradise offers numerous great loops and miles and miles of trails. If you’re looking to fly on our skating trails, you’ll find perfectly groomed options. If you’d like to cover some ground on our classic trails, you’ll find those, too. If you would like to disappear for a while on an ungroomed backcountry route, enjoy our tranquility – there are so many trails there’s a good chance you’ll have the woods largely to yourself. Some good advanced trails include the Razorback Ridges Trails in Sayner/Star Lake, the Snipe Lake and Ewald Lake Trails in Eagle River, the Phelps Trail in Phelps and the WinMan Trails in Winchester and Manitowish Waters.


Want more trails info?

Download the Map It Vilas County trails app or order the Vilas County Silent Sports Trail Map today.