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Outdoor Report

Published February 14, 2019 by the Central Office

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View current conditions for Wisconsin State Parks, Trails and Forests
Check out the Wisconsin Department of Tourism (exit DNR).

For current statewide information on statewide snow conditions, log onto the Wisconsin Department of Tourism's Snow Conditions Report (exit DNR).

Wisconsin had a series of snowfall across the entire state this week, dropping anywhere from 6 to more than a foot of snow in many locations. With Wisconsin finally completely covered with snow, this should be one of the best weekends of the season for outdoor winter recreation.

Snowmobile trails have reopened through much of central Wisconsin counties and a few southern counties. Trails across the northern half of the state were good to excellent on the Wisconsin Department of Tourism's Snow Conditions Report (exit DNR). Cross-country ski trails were groomed or will be by the weekend and many properties are reporting ski trail conditions are excellent or good.

After several snowfalls this week, crews have been busy grooming ski trails.  Many properties are reporting excellent conditions going into the weekend. - Photo credit: DNR
After several snowfalls this week, crews have been busy grooming ski trails. Many properties are reporting excellent conditions going into the weekend.Photo credit: DNR

Northern lakes are ice covered with 20-plus inches of ice. With the snowfall the lakes are heavy with snow and travel out on the ice is difficult. There have been a few diehard ice anglers out there fishing for walleye, crappie and perch with not much to show for their efforts.

Fishing on Green Bay slowed some this week with anglers fishing the west shore catching whitefish and a few bonus walleyes. Walleye fishing slowed on the Fox River but some anglers were catching northern pike on the Bay.

Access at many locations along Door County was difficult with snow covering up the chopped ice, though some shove ice still sticks out in further reaches. The best access was at Stone Quarry where folks followed a plowed trail to get access to the northside of the breakwall. Those fishing in 50 to70 feet of water did OK with whitefish and reported ice to be from 15 inches to 2 feet.

The 2019 sturgeon spearing season on Lake Winnebago is expected to last the full 16-days this season, so spearers still have plenty of opportunity to get out on the ice and take part in this unique winter tradition. Through the first five days there have been 193 fish registered from Lake Winnebago. Spearers have been more successful on the Upriver Lakes, registering a total of 220 fish through the first five days of the season. The Upriver Lakes season will likely go through this weekend and potentially into early next week. The highlight of the 2019 sturgeon spearing season has been the 20 fish registered that have weighed 100 pounds or more, the most notable a 171-pound, 85.5-inch sturgeon registered by Jonathan Eiden of Oshkosh on opening day.

Whitetail deer have begun shedding antlers. Predators such as ermine, bobcat, fox and coyote have been spotted as they look for food and mates also during this Valentine breeding season.

All the snowfall brought good numbers of birds to feeders. Large numbers of cardinals were reported, including as many as 45 at a Dodge County feeder as well as few pine siskins and common redpolls among other regular species. Longer day length has initiated some breeding. Singing activity is ramping up for cardinals, black-capped chickadees, house finches, and dark-eyed juncos. Pairs of red-tailed and bald eagles are beginning to bring sticks to old and new nest sites. Great horned owls across the southern half of the state are already incubating eggs.

There will be seven candlelight events this Saturday, along Winterfest at Merrick State Park. Next Tuesday is the full snow super moon, when the moon is at its closed point in its orbit to Earth, making it appear its largest and brightest. Both Horicon Marsh and the Northern Kettles are holding full moon hikes.

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Statewide Birding Report

Snowfall was the story of the week and brought good numbers of birds to many feeders. Large numbers of cardinals were reported, including as many as 45 at a Dodge County feeder, as well as a few pine siskins and common redpolls among other regular species. This should make for an interesting Great Backyard Bird Count this weekend. Running from February 15-18, this fun and easy event provides scientists a late-winter snapshot of bird populations worldwide. Anyone can contribute by birding for at least 15 minutes in your backyard or beyond and submitting what you see at gbbc.birdcount.org/get-started (exit DNR). The increased snow cover should spell good news for ruffed grouse as they find good powder now in which to burrow and roost. On the down side, several ice storms provided challenges for diving ducks in some locations, especially Douglas County where some common goldeneyes pushed off a now-frozen western Lake Superior mistook icy roads for water bodies.

Despite the winter weather, longer day length has initiated some breeding activity for our earliest nesting species. Singing activity is ramping up for northern cardinals, black-capped chickadees, house finches, and dark-eyed juncos. Common goldeneyes are very actively performing head-bobbing courtship displays, and pairs of red-tailed hawks are common, some even beginning to bring sticks to old and new nest sites. The same is true for bald eagles, while great horned owls take the prize again as some or even many pairs across the southern half of the state are already incubating eggs!

Deep snow this week across much of their Wisconsin range spells good news for ruffed grouse. Grouse burrow and roost in the light, fluffy powder to stay warm and steer clear of avian predators, thus increasing their winter survival.  - Photo credit: Ryan Brady
Deep snow this week across much of their Wisconsin range spells good news for ruffed grouse. Grouse burrow and roost in the light, fluffy powder to stay warm and steer clear of avian predators, thus increasing their winter survival. Photo credit: Ryan Brady

Also of note this week were 100-plus tundra swans on Lower Mud Lake in Dane, excellent numbers of pine grosbeaks continuing across the far north, and a few snowy owls around the state. Rarities included a Ross's goose in Milwaukee, wood duck in Iron, varied thrush in Sauk, and a resilient male Baltimore oriole persisting at a feeder in Juneau. Find out what others are seeing and report your finds at www.ebird.org/wi. Good birding! - Ryan Brady, conservation biologist, Ashland

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Upcoming featured events at Wisconsin recreational properties

With Wisconsin finally completely covered with snow, this should be one of the best weekends of the season for outdoor winter recreation. There will be seven candlelight events this weekend: Brule River, Gov. Thompson, Hartman Creek, Merrick, New Glarus Woods, Willow River and Wyalusing. There will be a snowshoe hike in the Southern Kettles, Winterfest at Merrick, cross-country skiing and winter camping demos at Richard Bong and an eagle watching tour from Horicon Marsh. Next Tuesday is the full snow super moon. Super moons occur when the moon is at its closed point in its orbit to Earth, making it appear its largest and brightest. Both Horicon Marsh and the Northern Kettles are holding full moon hikes.
Click on the links below for highlighted programs this weekend or click on Get Outdoors," for a complete listing of events.
Saturday, February 16, 2019

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

For all events search Get Outdoors

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Upcoming State Natural Area Workday

Feb 16, 9 a.m.-noon: Rocky Run Workday: Cutting and burning brush - Get exercise and enjoy the brush pile fire at Rocky Run SNA! Help cut and burn brush and cedar trees and learn something in the process. Rocky Run has sand prairie and oak savanna that has been taken over by invasive shrubs and cedar trees which reduce the native understory diversity. Remove these trees to encourage rare animals and plants on the site.

Feb 16, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.: Chiwaukee Prairie Workday: Cutting and burning brush - Come care for Chiwaukee Prairie SNA. Help Chiwaukee Prairie Preservation Fund volunteers during our monthly workdays on the third Saturday and enjoy the beauty of this rich prairie in the process. We will be removing invasive brush that can dominate the prairie and displace native plants.

Feb. 20, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.: Oshkosh Larsen Trail Prairies Workday: Cutting and burning brush - Restoration is taking place on the trail prairies and your help is needed. The Northeast WI DNR State Natural Area Crew has spent the past three years controlling brush and herbaceous weeds as well as prescribed burning. Stay warm by the fire as we cut, pile, and burn invasive brush. Removing brush will enhance the prairie habitat for many rare plants, insects, and bird species. If you cannot stay for the entire period, no problem, any amount of help is welcome! Bring a bag lunch, snack, and water.

Check the State Natural Areas Volunteer Program page of the DNR website for details. - Jared Urban, conservation biologist, Dane. - Jared Urban, conservation biologist, Dane

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Northern Region

Superior DNR Service Center area

Brule River State Forest -This winter has not been uneventful. With snow, rain and cold taking turns, every week seems to be a different struggle. Some of us may have had enough, while others continue to enjoy the fresh fluffy stuff. Speaking of snow, Tuesday brought us another 7-8 inches of snow in Brule and its piling up fast. The AfterHours Ski Trail base is over 14 inches and these large snow events make keeping up with grooming challenging.  Our rollers and ginzus are "packing" the miles on to keep trail conditions ready for our visitors.  Conditions for skiing are very good! Also check Skinny Ski: http://skinnyski.com/ This Saturday, February 16, is the Candlelight Ski Event at the AfterHours Trail.  The event starts around 5PM and goes until 9.  Approximately 5 Km of the trails will be lit by luminaries, there will be bonfires, and marshmallows, hot chocolate and apple cider will be provided.  A gas grill will also be available for those that would like to use it.  This is a great family event, and it's free!  No trail passes are required during the event.  The forecast for Saturday evening still looks great with temps around 10 degrees above.  See you at the trailhead! Check these links for trail condition reports on the local snowmobile trails. Douglas County: Douglascountywi.org or call 715-378-4528 or Bayfield County: Bayfieldcounty.org - Matt Leischer, ranger

Pattison State Park - The cross-country ski trails are in excellent condition. We seem to get a snow event a week for the month of February. Currently we have around 24 inches of snow in the woods, and 10 inches of ski base. Trails were groomed and tracked last Friday and will be groomed again this Wednesday. More snow this week will make for optimal skiing conditions by the weekend. Winterfest at Pattison State Park is on Feb. 23, from 4-8 p.m. This event is sponsored by the Friends of Pattison and Amnicon Falls State Parks. Events will include, sledding, candlelight hike/ski, crafts, storytime, with chili, coffee, hot cocoa and s'mores. Please come join us for this wonderful event. Daily vehicle admission for this event will be at the discounted rate of $5 per vehicle. - Gervase Thompson, ranger

Ashland DNR Service Center area

Turtle-Flambeau Scenic Waters Area - The Turtle River Pursuit was held last weekend and the trail was regroomed and tracked on Monday and is in excellent condition. Last week's 8 inches of snow groomed into one of the nicest decks we have had in years. We had several inches of new snow Tuesday and are working on getting that groomed. Get out on the trails for some of the best skiing to be found in the state. - Brett Bockhop, parks and recreation specialist

Spooner DNR Service Center area

Governor Knowles State Forest - Cross-country ski trails were groomed and tracked Wednesday, Feb. 13 and are in excellent condition. The River View ski trail is closed due to icy conditions. - Brandi Buchholz, ranger

Interstate Park - Cross-country ski trails were groomed for classic cross-country skiing and were tracked on Wednesday, Feb. 13 and are in excellent condition. - Matthew Densow, ranger

Park Falls DNR Service Center area

Flambeau River State Forest - The forest received after the 12 inches of snow over the past few days. The Flambeau Hills Ski Trail has been packed down and the plan is to groom on Feb. 15 if the equipment is up and running. Crews have had problems with our equipment with the heavy snowfall. The snowmobile trails are groomed and in good shape. Lakes are ice covered with 20-plus inches of ice. With the snowfall the lakes are heavy with snow and travel out on the ice is difficult. There have been a few diehards out there with not much to show for their efforts. They have been fishing for walleye on Connors Lake and crappies on Lake of the Pine. Mason and Evergreen Lakes are being fished for crappie, walleye and perch. We are experiencing mild temperatures during the day and single digits at night. There is approximately 18 inches of snow cover after the last snowfall. The deer and the elk are conserving their energy and aggressively browsing in logging areas. Deer are shedding antlers; ermines are active; ravens are beginning to nest; wolves are mating and bald eagles begin nesting. The hardier birds such as the juncos, snow buntings, woodpeckers, blue jays, crows and eagles are eating seeds, insects under the tree bark or carrion along the roadsides. Flambeau staff have seen some turkeys and ruffed grouse as we work the forest. Grouse are feeding on dormant flower buds or catkins of trees such as the aspens, birches, cherries, and ironwood. It's a hungry time in the north. There are 16 active logging sales at this time in the forest. Conditions are good for winter logging and the frost level is deep. The temperature has been so cold as to allow for cutting in some tamarack swamps. Because of the snow depth foresters and staff need to use snowshoes for setting up logging sales and doing work in the woods. The weather forecast for the weekend calls for Friday to be mostly sunny with a high of 17 and a low of -3. Saturday, mostly sunny with a high of 23 and a low of 6. Sunday, mostly cloudy with a slight chance of snow, with a high of 20 and a low of 3. - Diane Stowell, forestry technician advanced and visitor services associate

Woodruff DNR Service Center area

Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest - Mother nature has made sure that the forest has enough snow now for all winter activities. Snowshoe, ski and snowmobile trails are in excellent shape. Area bird feeders are being blessed by evening grosbeaks and red poles from the north. Northern Shrikes are also visiting the feeders so many birds are wary. Other predators such as ermine, bobcat, fox and coyote are being spotted here and there as they look for food and mates also during this valentine season. It's a great time to get out and enjoy the winter wonderland. - Rosalie Richter, visitor services associate

NH-AL cross-country ski trails are in good condition. The forest received 12-15 inches of new snow Tuesday to Wednesday. Very scenic with snow clinging to ice on tree branches. Snow in the woods now around 24 inches. Escanaba trail was packed and tracked Wednesday and is in good condition. Madeline trails were tracked Thursday. Red and green segments are tracked. All others were rolled and leveled only. McNaughton trails loops were packed with snowmobile but there is lots of debris from the recent large amounts of snow. Tracks were not set. Regular grooming operations will continue Thursday. Raven had all loops packed with snowmobile but there were problems getting up some of the hills. Plans were to let the trail set up overnight and track Thursday. - Dan Jacoby and Tony Martinez, recreation specialists; Beth Feind and Joe Kraetke, rangers

Antigo DNR Service Center area

Council Grounds State Park - We finally have plenty of snow to get out on the trails. Ski trails are groomed and tracked. There is great snow for snowshoeing on the other trails in the park. - Sarah Gilbert, ranger

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Northeast Region

Northern Lake Michigan fisheries team report

Marinette County - The Menominee River Sixth Street slip saw light fishing pressure over the week. With anglers reporting slow fishing for everything. A few smaller perch, small walleye, and a few north were reported caught.- Ben Ewoldt, fisheries technician, Peshtigo

Oconto County - Anglers fishing off of Geano Beach report catching a few smaller perch and a few Northern on tip-ups. Anglers fishing the reef report catching whitefish and a few bonus walleyes using jigging raps and spoons with waxies. In the morning whitefish are being caught around the end of the Oconto breakwater. Anglers fishing the north and east side report doing better than anglers fishing the river side. Oconto Park 1 anglers report catching a few small perch and a few smaller northern. Anglers fishing Oconto Park 2 report catching lots of smaller perch in the 4-5 inch range with none over 8 inches. Anglers also report catching a few keeper pumpkinseeds. - Ben Ewoldt, fisheries technician, Peshtigo

Brown County - Fox River angling pressure dropped this week at Voyageurs Park compared to past weeks. Anglers reported slow action, with short strikes and a light bite for walleye. Anglers using jigs and minnows seeing the best action. Anglers fishing the Hook Road access report catching decent numbers of perch, but having to sort through smaller perch to find a few keepers. Jigs tipped with minnows being the ticket for larger perch. Anglers going straight out at Sunset Beach Lane report catching a few larger perch jigging and a few northern pike in 20-30 inch range on tip-ups.

Door County - The snow has covered up most of the chopped up ice at Murphy Park, though some shove still sticks out in further reaches. There was low fishing pressure throughout the week. Fishing pressure has remained low at Pebble Beach. Folks parked out on White Cedar Ln before setting out. The snow was unplowed and slushy with occasional banks. Folks tried out in 30 feet of water and had little to no luck with whitefish. Ice was reported to be 12-15 inches. Better luck was had using small stick bats. Fishing pressure has significantly picked up at Stone Quarry. Many folks followed a plowed trail to get access to the northside of the breakwall in the 50 feet of water range, and a second access along the ridge dropping to 70 feet of water range. Those in 70 feet of water did OK with whitefish and reported ice to be around 15-18 inches of ice. Whitefish anglers out in the 50-60 feet of water range fared a little better and reported 15 inches to 2 feet of ice. There were also shanties set up along the southside of quarry in 20 feet of water who maintained a low catch rate for whitefish. Good luck was had using wax worms or minnow heads on a variety of small jigs or slider rigs. Folks also reported some luck using purple or red plastics. - Aeden White, fisheries technician, Sturgeon Bay

Peshtigo DNR Service Center area

Marinette County - Lots of cold and snow in Marinette County. We now have about 20 inches of snow on the ground from Wausaukee south and more north of Wausaukee. The snow is very fluffy making getting around on lakes and in the woods difficult. The snowmobile trails will likely be in great shape this weekend as will the area ski trails if they get groomed. Ice fisherman on Lake Noquebay report still highly variable ice conditions ranging from over 20 inches to as low as 6 inches. There have been reports of trucks breaking through while trying to cross a heave in the middle of the lake. As always, be very careful when traveling on any ice! Rabbit hunting season is still open until Feb. 28 and a few hunters have been chasing coyotes. The weekend weather forecast looks promising with temps in the 20s and sun predicted. - Aaron McCullough, wildlife technician, Wausaukee

Oconto County - All trails in Oconto County are open. Each trail report indicated all trails are in good to excellent condition. A lot of lakes have so much snow it is impossible to drive an ATV or truck on the lake. Snowmobile traffic will most likely be the only way to operate on a Lake. Fishing has been very slow on all lakes.- Paul Hartrick, conservation warden, Oconto Falls

Sturgeon Bay DNR Service Center area

Newport State Park - Cross-country ski trails were groomed and tracked on Feb. 13 and are in excellent shape, with an 8-inch base and another 8-10 inches of fresh snow. Temps in the low 20s are much more tolerable, with no "polar vortex" in the near forecast. - Beth Bartoli, naturalist

Peninsula State Park - Areas of Door County received 8 to 12 inches of snow in the last week. Cross-country ski trails have not yet been regroomed since the latest snowfall but are still in good condition. - Jessica Doell, visitor services associate

Potawatomi State Park - Trails were groomed and tracked on Thursday, Feb. 14 and are in good condition.

Whitefish Dunes State Park - Cross-country ski trails are marginal. Grooming is in process after 10-12 inches of snow on Tuesday. Efforts to prepare the ski trails began by reducing 4-foot berms at the road crossings so grooming equipment can safely cross the roads. Then the first pass on the trails was with the snowmobile alone. Friday crews will be rolling, packing, combing, and finally tracking making the trails perhaps in the best condition in recent years. Whitefish Dunes is groomed for classic skiing only.

Wautoma DNR Service Center area

Waupaca County - This week 15.5 inches of snow fell in Waupaca and 13-plus in Wautoma. Trails are being groomed as we speak and should be in great shape for the weekend. Deer were moving like crazy during the blizzard, otherwise wildlife sightings are generally absent. No fishing report, very little pressure in the last couple of weeks. Lots of otter sign on local streams. - Karl Kramer, wildlife technician, Wautoma

Lots of snow in Central Wisconsin. Snowmobile trails are open in the Waupaca and Shawano area. There is more snow yet to come, so those of you who enjoy winter sports, should be in great shape. Sturgeon season has slowed down on the Upper River Lakes. The landing at Indian Point on Lake Poygon has been closed. Your best bet for access to through Alder Creek, but due to an ice heave, you can not get to the south end. If you are going to the south end of Lake Poygon, use Captain's Cove or Noffke landing. - Ted Dremel, conservation warden, Wautoma

Waushara County - The county received nearly a foot or more of snow. As of Feb. 13 all snowmobile trails are now open, but in poor or fair condition. Those most likely will improve once the clubs are able to get out and get the trails groomed. Please, to all riders, remember to stay on the trail. The fresh powder looks inviting but remember the fastest way to lose the trails we have is to trespass on lands that are not open to the public - which includes going off the marked trail. Ice fishing has been spotty, but folks are catching a few. Sturgeon spearing continues into this weekend but travel on the lake is difficult with the snow and drifts so be careful out there! It seems like winter is sticking around for a bit here, grab your snow shoes, and get out there and enjoy! - Ben Mott, conservation warden, Wautoma

Oshkosh DNR Service Center area

Lake Winnebago System

Water clarity is the biggest predictor of sturgeon spearing success on Lake Winnebago and water clarity averaged 9.5 feet coming into opening weekend. This clarity is below the 12 foot threshold that usually results in shortened spearing seasons where the harvest caps are reached during the season. Spearers are finding some areas of clearer water this season, but sturgeon are also mostly feeding on chironomid (lake fly) larvae, thus concentrating fish in deeper water. Tuesday's snow storm has also made travel more difficult on the lakes, forcing many spearers to pull their shanties from the lake.

Given the less than ideal conditions, the DNR was anticipating a slower season. Through the first five days there have been 193 fish registered from Lake Winnebago. Registration stations located on the northern part of the lake have been registering the most fish, which isn't surprising given the clearer water north and that the fish are mostly feeding on redworms. The 2019 sturgeon spearing season on Lake Winnebago will last the full 16-days this season, so spearers still have plenty of opportunity to get out on the ice and take part in this unique winter tradition. Spearers have been more successful on the Upriver Lakes, registering a total of 220 fish through the first 5 days of the season. The DNR is anticipating that the Upriver Lakes season will go through this weekend and potentially into early next week.

The highlight of the 2019 sturgeon spearing season has been the big fish that have been harvested. There have been 20 fish registered through the first 5 days that have weighed 100 pounds or more. The most notable fish was the 171-pound sturgeon registered by Jonathan Eiden of Oshkosh on opening day. The weight of the fish was impressive, but the length and tagging history of this fish is the real story. The fish measured 85.5 inches at the registration station and was the same fish that was captured by DNR fisheries crews during spring spawning stock assessments in 2004 and 2012. The fish measured 84 inches in 2004 and 87.5 inches in 2012. This fish represents the longest lake sturgeon handled during any spawning stock assessments conducted on the Winnebago System. Congratulations to Jonathan on the fish of a lifetime! - Ryan Koenigs, fisheries biologist, Oshkosh

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Southeast Region

Waukesha DNR Service Center area

Kettle Moraine State Forest - Lapham Peak Unit - Lapham Peak received about 8 inches of new snow Monday. Cross-country ski trails were groomed Feb 12 for both skate and classic. The lighted and purple loops are in good shape and a new track has been set. Crews planned to groom the upper trails Thursday. Lights are on until 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday. - Sarah Ksicinski, visitor services associate

Kettle Moraine State Forest, Southern Unit - The forest received 5-6 inches of snow this week and grooming operations started. The Nordic cross-country ski trails were groomed Tuesday and were in excellent condition. The McMiller trails have not been groomed but were packed on Thursday, Feb. 14. The ice under the snow presented some issues, but we were able to pack the trails. Wednesday the snowmobile went out without a groomer, and Thursday the Red, Orange and White trails had two passes with the roller. The temps became too warm to continue, the other portions of the trail only have one pass with the roller. We will be out Friday to finish and put in a track for the weekend. - Brian Lemke, property supervisor

Plymouth DNR Service Center area

Kettle Moraine State Forest, Northern Unit - The forest received about 11 inches of snow over two days this past week with the more recent snowfall being some good wet snow which should improve trail conditions. Be careful as there's still some ice layered underneath that snow - both trails and parking lots. Hikers may prefer to be wearing snowshoes for better traction. Thursday is expected to be warmer than normal so we're unsure if it'll deteriorate conditions. Staff have been grooming the ski trails at Zillmer and volunteers have been grooming Greenbush. As of Wednesday both report some soft spots in places, but good conditions overall. Folks looking for a more rustic skiing experience have been spotted this week on the ungroomed ski trail at New Fane but be careful on the hills as the snow may have not bonded well to the underlying ice. This Saturday Greenbush will be hosting a high school xc ski meet with racers from across the area and New Fane will be hosting a fat bike race. Both events are expected to be well attended. Folks looking for a quiet snowshoe outing should checkout the Butler Lake loop, Long Lake Rec Area, Mauthe Lake Rec Area or the Ice Age Trail. Easy access to the IAT with plowed lots can be found at Butler Lake, Mauthe Lake, or Greenbush Group/Picnic areas. Thursday Feb 14 there will be a program 7-8:30 p.m. at the Ice Age Visitor Center, half a mile west of Dundee, on Severe Weather with a speaker from the American Meteorological Society. The program is a great opportunity to learn about weather events such as what happened this summer in the Dundee/Parnell areas of the state forest. On Tuesday Feb. 19 there will be a Full Moon Walk 6:30-8 p.m. starting at Forest Headquarters and going around Mauthe Lake. Be sure to wear appropriate winter outdoor gear as the trail will be snowy. This weekend the Visitor Center will be open only on Saturday from 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.- James Enigl, park ranger

Kohler-Andrae State Park - Cross-country ski trails have a 1 to 3 inch compacted base and tracks are not set. Some thin spots along the trail. Only fair conditions. - Cody Las, ranger

Point Beach State Forest - Cross-country ski trails were groomed Feb. 12 and are in excellent condition. The Red Pine trail is groomed for skate and classic skiing the Ridges trail is classic skiing only. - Guy William, property manager

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South Central Region

Dodgeville DNR Service Center area

Governor Dodge State Park - Cross-country ski trails were groomed for classic cross-country skiing and were tracked on Feb. 13 and are in good condition. There is a snow base of 4-6 inches. - Eric Stopper, park manager

Horicon DNR Service Center area

Horicon Marsh State Wildlife Area - This week 8-10 inches of new snow has now fallen, and average temperatures will make it great to get out and snowshoe on the Horicon Marsh State Wildlife Area. Snowshoes are available for loan from the visitor center from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on weekends. Lapland longspurs have been seen in large flocks around the area and anyone with feeders are seeing an increase in birds. A feeder in Lowell had upwards of 50 cardinals at the same time! Other arctic visitors include rough-legged hawks, snow buntings and sporadic sightings of snowy owls. Eagles are in the mating season. Join the Horicon Marsh Bird Club on Saturday, Feb. 16 from 1-4 p.m. for an Eagle Adventure. Carpool to know eagle nests and document their nesting behavior. Meet at the Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center located at N7725 Highway 28 in Horicon, WI. For more details on all events please visit www.horiconmarsh.org or contact Liz Herzmann at 920-387-7893. - Elizabeth Herzmann, natural resources educator

Fitchburg DNR Service Center area

Blue Mound State Park - After several inches of new snowfall, all trails were groomed and tracked Feb. 13, with the exception of the upper picnic area skating loop. Windy conditions were causing drifts to occur. Conditions are good to excellent. - Kevin Swenson, property manager

Lake Kegonsa State Park -Cross-country ski trails are in fair to good condition and were groomed and tracked Feb. 13. Some areas are very icy under the current snow base. Some area have exposed ice. Please use caution when skiing. - Sarah Bolser, park manager

Mirror Lake State Park - The park received 8-10 inches of snow Tuesday to Wednesday. Cross-country ski trails were groomed and tracked Thursday but the snow remains soft. - Becky Green, park manager

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West Central Region

Baldwin DNR Service Center area

Willow River State Park - Ski Trails are open and are designated for skiing only. Please no pets on ski trails. For current ski trail conditions go to: http://skinnyski.com/trails/traildetail.asp?Id=133 There are approximately 5 miles of hiking/snow-shoeing trails also available in the winter. The hiking/snow-shoeing trails are also open for pets on leash. Wildlife has been abundant. Pheasants, deer and waterfowl can be seen throughout the park. There are many swans and other waterfowl that winter in the open waters of the Willow River.- Aaron Mason, property supervisor

Kinnickinnic State Park - Winter has finally arrived. Most open areas have approximately 13 inches of fresh snow and more is expected in the upcoming week. Animal activity is minimal, but the days are getting longer and the sun's angle is increasing. Get out and enjoy your favorite winter activities. The park's ski trails have a solid base of snow and are tracked for Classic cross-country skiing. Multi-use trails have been packed and are open to all means of foot travel. Hiking, snowshoeing and pets are not allowed on trails where cross-country ski track has been set. Mountain bikes and/or fat tire bikes are not allowed on park trails. The Kinnickinnic has significant shelf ice and running at normal levels. - Eric Klumb, ranger

La Crosse DNR Service Center area

Perrot State Park - The park received 12 inches of new snow this week. All cross-country ski trails have been initially packed with the snowmobile. With the fluffy snow it will take more passes with the snowmobile before we can groom and set track. - Lois Larson, park manager

Wildcat Mountain State Park - Cross-country ski trails were groomed for skate and classic cross-country skiing on Feb. 13. There is a 5-10 inch base. Groomed and tracked, including overlooks. - Jayne Collins, ranger

Eau Claire DNR Service Center area

Brunet Island State Park - Cross-country ski trails were groomed and track was set on Feb. 13, late afternoon. Track set up nice and trails are in good condition. - Zachary Thon, ranger

Lake Wissota State Park - Cross-country ski trails were being packed on Feb. 13 and possibly partially groomed. They will be groomed well by Friday. The multi-use trail will also be groomed. They should be in good condition. Nathan Fries, ranger

Wisconsin Rapids DNR Service Center area

Buckhorn State Park - The park received 11 inches of snow over past two days. Snowmobile was used to pack the cross-country ski trails to set a base. Crews will try to use groomer and set a track on Thursday. Central Sands nature trail will not have tracks set due to a 6- foot snow drift covering the trail along the lake (trail was packed on both sides of drift). Trails from Kid's fishing pond parking lot are now packed. - Heather Wolf, park manager



Last Revised: Thursday, February 14, 2019

Contact information

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For more information about news and media, contact:
Sarah Hoye
Director Of Communications
Office Of The Secretary