Discover the Snowmobile Trails in Barron County, Wisconsin
By Dean S. Acheson
Barron County is a classic Northwoods getaway destination offering a variety of winter-oriented activities. Among the most popular are snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, and ice fishing. There are nearly 310 miles of snowmobile trails just within the county.
Popular Snowmobile Trails of Barron County, Wisconsin
Snowmobilers might want to consider the state Wild Rivers State Trail, which runs north and south through the counties of Barron, Washburn, and Douglas. Wild Rivers originates in Rice Lake and runs 104 miles north to just south of Superior.
All but 8 miles of the Wild Rivers trail follows an abandoned railbed established by the Omaha and Soo Line railroads in the 1880s. About 40 miles of the trail runs parallel to U.S. Highway 53, mostly in Washburn County. The scenery along the route consists of towering pines, hardwood forests, and farmland. Wildlife possibilities include white-tailed deer, foxes, rabbits, and snowshoe hares.
A snowmobile trail spur takes riders from Rice Lake about 3 miles north to link up with the Tuscobia State Trail, which goes east for 76 miles to Park Falls in Price County.
About 8 miles of the Cattail Trail is in Barron County. The eastern terminus is in Almena and goes 22 miles west to Amery in Polk County.
In addition to the above, there are snowmobile trails to explore in the beautiful Blue Hills east of Rice Lake.
About Rice Lake
Rice Lake is the county’s largest city (population 8,000) in the county and draws shoppers from miles around. The city boasts a number of motels, resorts, restaurants, taverns, and snowmobile sales and service outlets. The city of Chetek sits on the shore of Lake Chetek, popular with fishermen throughout the year. It too has accommodations, restaurants and pubs. Barron and Cumberland also have lodging facilities and eating places.
Barron County Snowmobile Clubs
The four local snowmobile clubs invite you to join their respective group. Members are an excellent source of trail information and they have frequent club rides and get-togethers.
- Barron Snow Bears: Dillion Palmquist 715-637-5936—Dillongtc@Chibardun.net
- Chetek Snow Flyers: Mike Schmidt 715-829-8925—Cheteksnowflyers@yahoo.com
- Island City Snowmobilers: Jeff Cook 715-205-0311—Jcook@Islandcitycumberland.com
- Rice Lake Snow & Dirt Club: Jacqui Schneider 715-234-6636—Rlsnowdirt@gmail.com
Contributing writer Dean S. Acheson is a Wisconsin native with a long career in newspaper and magazine writing and editing. He considers himself semi-retired and enjoys fishing, scuba diving, snowmobiling, photography, and, of course, travel. “I’ve been blessed with traveling throughout Wisconsin and the UP, seeing the diverse communities, taking in the festivals, chatting with the locals, and hiking the trails.”
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