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a Wisconsin state park, forest, recreation area or trail.
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in state parks and forests.
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Wisconsin State Parks

Wisconsin State Park System Cross-country skiing

Cross-country skiers on trail.

Photo by John Lupo

Wisconsin's state parks and forests take on a special beauty during winter. Enjoy the winter scenery, get healthy exercise and have some fun by cross-country skiing on hundreds of miles of ski trails. Many clubs, ski teams and youth programs use Wisconsin's parks and forests to practice for events such as the American Birkebeiner and several properties schedule candlelight nights during winter.

Trail conditions

Ski trail conditions at Wisconsin State Park System properties are updated during the winter ski season on the department website:

Cross-country ski trails

Some trails are tracked for traditional skiing, some groomed for skate-style skiing and many are wide enough to accommodate both styles. There are also numerous miles of ungroomed trail for skiers to explore.

  • State trail passes: Most properties require a vehicle admission sticker to park at the property. Some properties also require a state trail pass for skiers age 16 and older.
  • Hiking, snowshoeing and pets: To keep ski trails in the best condition possible, once the trails are snow-covered, hiking, snowshoeing, pets and other uses are not permitted on the ski trails .Other property trails are designated for these uses. Skijoring and dog-sledding are also not allowed on groomed ski trails.

Skier going uphill
Skiers can find a variety of trails in Wisconsin's parks and forests, from flat terrain to challenging hills.
Photo by Tom Davenport, RD Image

Aztalan State Park — 1.5 miles of ungroomed trails.

Big Bay State Park — 5 miles of classic groomed trails in this park on Madeline Island in Lake Superior. Ferry Service from Bayfield is available until the ferry is unable to break the ice on the lake. When ferry service is no longer available, an ice road or windsleds and passenger vans may be available to Madeline Island.

Big Foot Beach State Park — 6 miles of classic groomed trails.

Black River State Forest — 24 miles of classic groomed and 14 miles of skate groomed trails. The trailhead is near County Highway O in Jackson County and features a heated log warming shelter.

Blue Mound State Park — 9 miles of groomed trails, including a warming shelter. All trails are tracked for classical skiing when snow depth and conditions allow. In low snow conditions all the trails are groomed for skating. Call the park for current ski trail conditions.

Brule River State Forest — 18 miles of combined classic and skate groomed trails on the Afterhours Ski Trail System. The forest also offers 11 miles of ungroomed trails. The trailhead and warming shelter are west of Brule on Afterhours Road, just south of Highway 2.

Brunet Island State Park — 5 miles of classic groomed trails.

Buckhorn State Park — 4 miles of classic groomed trail, when staffing is available, including 1.5 miles of ungroomed trails.

Capital Springs State Park — 6 miles of combined classic and skate groomed trails.. A warming shelter is available. Either a State Park Trail Pass or Dane County Cross-Country Ski Permit is required.

Copper Falls State Park — 17 miles of classic groomed trails and 7 miles of skate groomed trails.

Boy and grandfather skiing
Skiers of all ages and skill levels can enjoy the different groomed trails.
Photo by Kine Torinus

Council Grounds State Park — 3 miles of ungroomed trails.

Devil's Lake State Park — 6 miles of ungroomed, multi-use trails. Trails begin at the Steinke Basin trailhead off of County Highway DL.

Flambeau River State Forest — 15 miles of combined classic and skate groomed trails, including 6 miles of ungroomed trails. Trailheads are near State Highway 70 and County Highway W.

Governor Dodge State Park — 12.5 miles of classic groomed trails.

Governor Knowles State Forest — 9 miles of classic groomed trails, including a shelter and 20 miles of undesignated and ungroomed trails. The groomed trail loops are off Gile Road, about 6 miles north of State Highway 70.

Governor Nelson State Park — 6 miles of classic groomed and 4 miles of skate groomed trails.

Governor Thompson State Park — 6 miles of combined classic and skate groomed trails in this park near Crivitz and Twin Bridge. A warming shelter is available with a wood stove. Trailhead is at the Woods Lake Picnic Area on Paust Lane off of Ranch Road.

Harrington Beach State Park — 3 miles of classic groomed trails in this park on Lake Michigan near Belgium.

Hartman Creek State Park — 9 miles of classic groomed and 2 miles of skate groomed trails and a shelter.

High Cliff State Park — 6 miles of classic groomed trails. Family campground roads are closed and groomed for skate skiing.

Hoffman Hills State Recreation Area — 9 miles of combined classic and skate groomed trails, including 2 miles of ungroomed trails.

Interstate Park — 3 miles of classic groomed trails and shelter.

Kettle Moraine State Forest - Lapham Peak Unit — 17 miles of combined classic and skate groomed trails. A warming shelter is available.

  • Lighted trails for night skiing (2.5 miles) and snowmaking equipment available.

Cross-country Racers
Wisconsin's parks and forests are a great place to train for events such as the American Birkebeiner.
Photo © Department of Tourism

Kettle Moraine State Forest - Northern Unit — 25 miles of combined classic and skate groomed trails, including 49 miles of ungroomed trails in this forest in eastern Wisconsin.

  • Greenbush trail system loops and warming shelter.
  • Zillmer trail system loops and warming shelter.

Kettle Moraine State Forest - Pike Lake Unit — 4 miles are groomed for classical and skate skiing. The trailhead is located at the Nature Trail parking lot.

Kettle Moraine State Forest - Southern Unit — 24 miles of classic and skate groomed trails in this forest in southeast Wisconsin.

  • Nordic trail system loops and warming shelter.
  • McMiller trail system loops and warming shelter.

Kinnickinnic State Park — 4 miles of classic groomed trails, with trailheads at the Kinnickinnic picnic area lot and the St. Croix picnic area lot. An additional 2.5 miles of multi-use trail is packed and may be used for skate skiing.

Kohler-Andrae State Park — 6 miles of classic groomed trails.

Lake Kegonsa State Park — 5 miles of combined classic and skate groomed trails.

Lake Wissota State Park — 8 miles of combined classic and skate groomed trails. A shelter is available.

Mirror Lake State Park — 19 miles of skate and classic groomed trails.

Northern Highland-American Legion (NHAL) State Forest — 42 miles of combined classic and skate groomed trails in Wisconsin's largest state forest, in Vilas, Oneida and Iron counties. The NHAL State Forest also offers 74.6 miles of ungroomed trails.

  • Escanaba trail system loops and shelter.
  • Madeline trail system loops and shelter.
  • McNaughton trail system loops and shelter.
  • Raven trail system loops and shelter.

Pattison State Park — 4 miles of classic groomed trails and a shelter.

Peninsula State Park — 16 miles of classic groomed and 6 miles of skate groomed trails in this park near Fish Creek in Door County. A warming shelter is available.

Perrot State Park — 9 miles of classic groomed and 1 mile of skated groomed trails in this park along the Missisippi River near Trempealeau.

Peshtigo River State Forest — 5 miles of combined classic and skate trails in this forest in northeast Wisconsin near Crivitz. A 1-mile snowshoe trail is also available. The Spring Rapids Trailhead is about 5 miles west of Crivitz.

Point Beach State Forest — 11 miles of classic groomed and 3.5 miles of skate groomed trails in this forest along Lake Michigan near Two Rivers. Point Beach also offers a shelter and a 1-mile ungroomed trail.

Potawatomi State Park — 9 miles of classic groomed and 8 miles of skate groomed trail in this park near Sturgeon Bay in Door County. A shelter is available.

Red Cedar State Trail — 7 miles of this linear rail trail beginning in the town of Menomonie are groomed for both classic and skate style sking.

Richard Bong State Recreation Area — 16 miles of ungroomed trail are available.

Stower Seven Lakes State Trail — 14 miles of this linear rail trail are groomed for classic skiing.

Whitefish Dunes State Park — 9 miles of classic groomed trails including a shelter.

Wildcat Mountain State Park — 6 miles of classic groomed and 5 miles of skate groomed trails. A shelter is available.

Willow River State Park — 12 miles of combined classic and skate groomed trails, including a warming shelter.

Wyalusing State Park — 8 miles of combined classic and skate groomed trails in this park on the Mississippi River near Prairie du Chien.

Yellowstone Lake State Park — 4 miles of classic groomed trails and a shelter in this park near Blanchardville.

Last revised: Thursday February 08 2018