Feb 10, 2018
Escape the everyday with Family and Friends this Winter
in Langlade County “The County of Trails!”
By: Keri Beck
Embrace the winter by planning your outdoor adventure with family and friends in “The County of Trails,” Langlade County. From snowmobiling to downhill skiing to sled dog trails, Langlade County has activities for every age and liking. With over 200,000 acres of land open for public use on county owned land, state owned land, and the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, it isn’t hard to find a trail fit for your winter activity.
If you haven’t heard of Langlade County, it is sometimes known as the gateway to northern Wisconsin because five state highways run through the county (State Highways 45, 47, 52, 55, and 64). Many people know Langlade County because of the county seat of Antigo or because four of these five state highways run through Antigo. Travelers are known to stop for shopping and restaurants before heading further north. BUT, don’t let people mislead you that Langlade County is the gateway to the northern Wisconsin. Langlade County is the Northwoods! We have all of the Northwood’s activities, feel and charm. If you are interested in motorized sports or silent sports, Langlade County has a trail and activity for you!
Langlade County has over 530 miles of state approved and user funded snowmobile trails. These snowmobile trails in Langlade County, Wisconsin are developed and maintained by the Langlade County Forestry and Recreation Department and 10 different snowmobile clubs in Langlade County. Thanks to these clubs, Langlade County has an excellent reputation for keeping the trails well-groomed and marked.
Picture – snowmobiling – img_5861_0034
Don’t have a snowmobile? No worries. ATV's are allowed on Langlade County snowmobile trails when the temperature is less than 28 degrees Fahrenheit. Please note that UTV's are not allowed on the Langlade County snowmobile trail system. So grab your sled or ATV and get out and ride in Langlade County, “The County of Trails."
But, if silent sports like downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, sled dog training, or ice fishing are more your style, Langlade County has a trail for you to discover.
Kettlebowl Downhill Ski Area is the downhill skiing secret gem of the Northwoods. Kettlebowl Ski Hill provides great slope skiing and snowboarding with naturally made snow for the entire family. The tow ropes will take you to one of five runs for beginners to expert skiers, with over 200 feet of vertical drop. The Ski Hill is open every Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4 pm when weather permits and there is adequate snow coverage for skiing. To find out if they are open, go to Langlade County’s trail report at www.langladecounty.org. Kettlebowl Ski Hill is a true ski bargain! Adults are $5, whereas students, ages 13 through high school, are $3, $2 for children ages 6-12, and children under 5 are free. Kettlebowl Ski Hill can keep their prices low because of all the great volunteers that run the facility. Antigo Ski has skis and snowboards to rent at the Ski Hill for sensible prices when the Ski Hill is open. A modern chalet with reasonably priced concessions is also on site. Also available, is a 4.3-mile cross-country ski trail, which departs and returns to the Ski Hill grounds. Kettlebowl Ski Hill is located in the central part of Langlade County off of Highway 52, approximately 17 miles northeast of Antigo.
Pictures – Kettlebowl – Dave Peterson’s Photo from 2015 – Tow Rope with Teenage Boy
Not into downhill skiing, but cross-country skiing is more your style? Then Langlade County has the right cross-country skiing trail for you. Langlade County has six cross-country trail systems located throughout the county, totally 39 miles of trails. Five of these trail systems are groomed for both classic and freestyle cross-country skiing.
- Gartzke Flowage Cross-Country Ski Trail is 5.5 miles long and is designed for all abilities. It is groomed for both classic and freestyle. There is a parking area, restrooms and recreation shelters available. Gartzke Flowage is located 10 miles west of Antigo at W6379 Fifth Ave. Road in Bryant.
Pictures – Winter 14-15 – Gartzke Flowage XC Skiing & Snowshoeing – DSCN0183
- Jack Lake Cross-Country Ski Trail is 15 miles long and is designed for all abilities. Groomed by the Piston-Bully for both classic and freestyle. There is a parking area, restrooms and warming shelters available to skiers. Jack Lake Ski Area is located 16 miles north of Antigo off of Highway J.
- Kettlebowl Cross-Country Ski Trail is 4.3 miles long and includes three loops groomed for classic and freestyle. Kettlebowl Cross Country Ski Trail is located in Kettlebowl Ski Area in central part of Langlade County off of Highway 52, approximately 17 miles northeast of Antigo. The Kettlebowl Cross-Country Ski Trail departs and returns to the Kettlebowl Ski Hill grounds.
- Maranatha Cross-Country Ski Trail is 6.7 miles of classic skiing for beginner to expert level within the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. The nine clearly marked trail loops are maintained by Silver Birch Ranch and is open to the public. The trail begins ½ mile east of Silver Birch Ranch located at N6120 Sawyer Lake Road (4 miles North of Langlade in the western part of Langlade County).
- Moccasin Lake Cross-Country Ski Trail is 5.5 miles long and is designed for all abilities. It is groomed for both classic and freestyle. There is a parking area, restrooms and a new recreation shelter. Moccasin Lake Trail is located 3 miles west of Elcho on Bear Lake Road in the northwest corner of Langlade County.
- Springbrook Cross-Country Ski Trail is 2.06 miles of trail, right in the City of Antigo, and is part of the Springbrook Trail System. This trail is designed for beginners and is groomed for both classic and freestyle. Parking is available at the dead end of Virginia Street, or the entrance off of Byrne Road in Antigo.
Want to slow down a bit and enjoy the scenery? Snowshoeing on marked packed trails at Gartzke Flowage and Moccasin Lake might be your thing. But, for the more adventurous outdoors person, try backcountry skiing or snowshoeing. Enjoy the 130,000 acres of county forest lands to create your own trail, 50 miles of Langlade County Ice Age Trail, Antigo Single Track Mountain Bike Trail or Game Lake Nature Trail, in Veterans Memorial Park, to trudge through new snow.
Pictures - Winter 14-15 – Moccasin Lake Snowshoe Trail – DSCN0117
Sled Dog Training Trail
Bring your furry friend to Langlade County and harness them up. Langlade County has developed an internationally recognized sled dog trail opportunity on county forest land. The Crocker Hills Sled Dog Trail has had international sled dog teams train on these trails. Volunteers for the Langlade County Sled Dog Club maintains the sled dog trails. A public parking area with restroom facility is located at the trail head on Fraley Road off of Highway 64 in Elton. Pictures – Sled Dog – Winter pictures 2011 018
If trails are not your winter activity choice, Langlade County has 841 lakes to discover your secret ice fishing spot and two free ice fishing events. The White Lake Fire Department for the last 44 years has put on a free ice fishing derby on the second Saturday of February on White Lake. The 2018 White Lake Fire Department Fishing Derby is on Saturday, February 10, with fishing starting at 7 am. The heated White Lake Pavilion is open to participants to register, warm up, and claim their award. Another free fishing contest is the Post Lake Improvement Association’s (PLIA) Ice Fishing Jamboree. This will be the 20th year PLIA has held this event on Upper and Lower Post Lake. It is held on the third Saturday of February. In 2018, the PLIA Ice Fishing Jamboree will be on February 17th with fishing starting at dawn. Registration and awards are at the PLIA Building on the corner of Highway K and Post Lake Drive in Post Lake. Go to www.langladecounty.org for more information on these events, or to request a Langlade County Recreation Map to locate all the waterways.
Pictures – Fishing – PLIA Ice Fishing – 2017 PLIA Ice Fishing Jamboree – 2017 PLIA Aerial View
After a long day on the trails and ice, you will be hungry and tired. Langlade County has a variety of accommodations to stay and restaurants to satisfy your appetite. You will be able to find everything from fine dining to burgers, sandwiches, and homemade pizza with some establishments located right on the snowmobile trails. After a long day and a full belly, you are bound to be tired, so head to one of Langlade County’s lodging opportunities. Whether you are looking for woodland cottages, modern motels, or chain hotels, you'll find it in Langlade County. Check out Langlade County’s accommodations on our website at www.langladecounty.org.
If you experienced this much fun in the winter, check out all of Langlade County in the spring/summer months. We have trails for hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and ATVing/UTVing. Or, get your adrenaline pumping by going whitewater rafting or kayaking on the famous Wolf River, one of the best whitewater rivers in the Midwest. Or, relax by fishing on one of the 841 lakes, 225 streams, 395 miles of trout streams, or 200 spring ponds.
Next time don’t just past through Langlade County, stop, play, and stay awhile in the “County of Trails.” Langlade County has all the amenities and trails that northern communities have but closer to larger cities. Langlade County is only 1.5 hours from Green Bay and the Fox Valley area, 3 hours from Milwaukee, 3.5 hours from Madison, 4 hours from Minneapolis, and 5 hours from Chicago. Discover more fun at www.langladecounty.org!