Winter time in the Driftless Wisconsin region means outdoor activities. Once the snow flies, a Driftless winter is filled with skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling opportunities.
Some places just about plumb shut down once that heavy, white blanket of snow hits – but not in Wisconsin’s Driftless region! We love the outdoors, no matter the season, and each season brings with it its own special activities. What follows is a short list of just some of the activities and the places you can experience the great outdoors of a Driftless winter.
Kickapoo Valley Reserve
With approximately ten miles of cross-country ski trails groomed for both classic and skate skiing, Kickapoo Valley Reserve is a natural choice for winter sports enthusiasts. The Kickapoo Valley Reserve Visitor Center is happy to provide a winter trail map and directions to ski trails on the reserve. More adventurous fans of the Nordic ski style are welcome to make their own tracks into the wild, though staying clear of snowmobile trails is required. As mentioned, snowmobiling trails are available and snowshoers are not limited to designated trails but are asked to avoid both snowmobile and skiing trails. Whatever you do, don’t miss a chance to visit the ice caves!
Wildcat Mountain State Park
Beginner and intermediate cross-country skiers will enjoy Wildcat Mountain State Park’s 7-mile ski trail, which follows along a ridge top with easy bypasses on steeper areas. Five scenic overlooks make this trail a breathtaking adventure for any who choose to visit. A midway rest stop and a short trail turnaround make this a good choice for beginning cross-country ski enthusiasts. Wildcat Mountain State Park also offers 17.5 miles of snowshoeing trails.
Wyalusing State Park
Wyalusing State Park has three cross-country ski trails groomed for skiers of all levels. Whitetail Meadows is groomed for traditional skiing, while Turkey Hollow and the roadway to Henneger Point are groomed for skate-skiing. All three trails are accessible from the Astronomy Center parking lot. Snowshoers rejoice – if you like frozen waterfalls, there are a number here when weather conditions cooperate. They can be found at Pictured Rock Cave, Big Sand Cave, and Little Sand Cave. Maps of the skiing and snowshoeing/hiking trails can be had at the park office.
This is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg when it comes to Driftless winter activities. Most hiking trails in the area allow for snowshoeing and the same can be said of back-country skiing. Whatever shape your winter pastime takes – even if it’s hunkering down around a warm fire with a cup of hot cocoa – Driftless has it!