Reports - Trail and Recreation

Weather Report

Visit for weather forecasts from News Watch 12 Rhinelander.

Paddling/Flambeau River - 4/19/18
The river is ice free in some locations. Cold and snow has been persisting this spring, extra caution is advised as the ice and snow pack melts. It won't be long and early-season paddling, for experienced paddlers with cold weather gear, will begin.  
The North Fork of the Flambeau River is controlled by dams and it generally remains near the ordinary high water mark throughout the summer. The South Fork of the Flambeau and other rivers in the area can become quite low at times during the summer months without consistent rain. Whenever planning a paddling trip, always check with an area rental/shuttle/guide service for the most current conditions and to select a suitable stretch of river based on your experience.  

ATV, UTV & Off-Road Motorcycle Trail Report - 4/19/18

NOTICE: The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest will be DELAYING the opening of recreation trails (Flambeau Trail System) and campgrounds due to persisting snow pack. Conditions will be reassessed on May 1 and a status update will be posted to the CNNF website. Typically, crews are preparing the all-terrain vehicle (ATV), utility-terrain vehicle (UTV), horse and bicycle trails for a May 1 opening and campgrounds for a May 3 opening throughout the month of April. These preparations include removing hazard trees, cleaning campsite pads and preparing water systems. The CNNF asks for everyone’s understanding with the delay in opening this year.  Each year they work hard to get all of the campgrounds open in time for the opening of fishing season, unfortunately Mother Nature is not cooperating this year. To check on the latest status of campgrounds and recreational trails go

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Price County Highway routes are closed from October 16 to May 14.  

Municipalities - open and close dates for road routes vary by city, town and village. Please contact the municipality where you are interested in riding to verify dates.  

  • Flambeau Trail System (70 miles) ~ CLOSED March 15 through April 30 - Closed for spring break-up. 2018 SPRING OPENING IS DELAYED (see NOTICE above)
  • Solberg Trail (9.5 miles) ~ CLOSED March 15 through April 30 - Closed for spring break-up. Repairs are being made on the bridges.
  • Georgetown Trail (18.8 miles) ~ CLOSED March 15 through April 30 - Closed for spring break-up.
  • Tuscobia  State Trail (64 miles) ~ OPEN - The Price County section of trail is open as of April 16, 2018 for the spring/summer/fall season. Up to 18 inches of snow fell in our area on April 14-15. The trail is snow covered and not groomed. With temperatures forecast in 40s and 50s late this week and into next week, the snow should melt and compact quickly. From Park Falls west to the Price County line, the trail is closed to ATV and UTV use in the winter months.  
  • Flambeau River State Forest Trail (38 miles) ~ CLOSED through May 14 - The trail is closed to ATV and UTV use during the winter season. It will reopen on May 15, 2018, for the spring/summer/fall season.  
  • Pine Line / Price-Taylor Rail Trail/Prentice Area ~ CLOSED -  The Price County section of the trail is ATV and UTV use December through March 31 when snowmobile trails are officially open. Click here to find Taylor County contact information for inquiries regarding their open and close dates. 

Snowmobile Trail Report - 2018 Final Report

Price County snowmobile trails are closed. Thanks for visiting Price County this season, see you next December!

Cross-Country Ski, Snowshoe, Skijor & Fat Tire Bike Trail Report - 4/19/18

Silent sports trails are closed in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest for spring break-up. Other silent sports trails are open and may or may not have snow cover. Grooming has ended for the 2017-18 winter season.  
Only cross-country skiers are allowed to use the groomed/tracked portions of the winter silent sports trails. Other recreational users (snowshoe, skijor, and fat tire bike) are welcome to use the portion of trail that is not groomed/tracked. Activities vary by trail.  

DNR Fishing Report 

Walleye, Northern Pike and Largemouth Bass season closed on March 4, 2018. Panfish season remains open year round. Open water game fish season opens May 5, 2018. 

4/16/18The Flambeau River should have the highest chance for open water boat angling on May 5th.  Because of its moving water, most of the free-flowing and impounded sections are largely ice free already, at least in the channel.  There may be lingering ice cover along shore and in the sheltered bays, including the Smith Lake portion of Pixley Flowage where one of the public boat landings is located in the County Park.  The North Fork Flambeau River in Price County has a series of four impoundments near Park Falls:  Upper Park Falls Flowage, Lower Park Falls Flowage, Pixley Flowage, and Crowley Flowage. Shorefishing should be early season options for fishing in rivers and streams almost anywhere, but as the snow melts, high flow from runoff will present different challenges for fishing and safety, especially on our medium- and large-size streams like the North and South Fork Jump rivers and the North Fork and South Fork Flambeau Rivers.Our local brown-stained lakes often melt and warm sooner than clear-water lakes, and warm rain and winds can hasten the thaw.  Only time will tell.

Guide Fishing Reports  

4/12/18 - Right now the Phillips Chain, Musser, Soo and the smaller flowages around Park Falls are the only waters that really have a chance on opening up by May. If they do, the Walleye should be shallow or staging off of the shallow areas in a pre-spawn pattern. Jig & minnows or plastics would most likely be good bets for lures. Perch and Northern Pike usually spawn right as the ice goes out so they may be active in the very shallow water. I really hope we get some Wind, Warm, and Rain! We need it to get some open water. John Carlson, Ross's Sport Shop

4/10/18 - If you haven’t looked outside lately don’t because winter is still here and it is not going anywhere for a while! Many of our area lakes have 20 inches of ice plus the air temperature during the day is twenty degrees below normal. The evening temps have been in the low teens. We need sun, warm temperatures and wind. Those anglers who put away the ice auger may need to bring it back out. It will be up to mother nature as to what type of fishing anglers will have to deal with. I will say that the crappie action has been on and off depending on the lake you are fishing. Anglers wanting to go out should consider taking an ice bar as ice conditions can change drastically once the weather changes. Many of our rivers are flowing and wide open. This can provide anglers with additional options if they care to float a boat. Walleyes will begin to move up to dam areas getting ready to spawn and may provide some good action when the opener arrives. Keep thinking spring! . Good Luck Fishing, Joe Brezinski, Northland Guide Service 

DNR Outdoor Report - 4/19/18

Spring walleye fishing tips from a longtime fish manager

MADISON - Walleye will be high on anglers' target list when the regular fishing season opens May 5. It's a good bet many anglers will be stalking ol' marble eyes whether from a boat, shore, or they may even need tip-ups in the still frozen northern lakes.

Fish survey results and forecasts help plan those 2018 fishing trips - Anglers planning their fishing trips for the general hook and line fishing season that opens statewide May 5 can get a line on where to go in 2018 in The Wisconsin Fishing Report.

Frog calling volunteers document the American bullfrog's comeback - Wisconsin Frog and Toad Survey gets underway soon- Wisconsin's largest frog appears to be staging a comeback, a welcome trend documented over the last generation by hundreds of volunteers who've travelled roads near rivers, lakes and wetlands listening for the breeding calls of male frogs and toads. 
Flambeau River State Forest Outdoor Report - 4/19/18 - In normal years, April would be greening faster.  Last weekend we added 12” on to our snow depth. Ice would be closer to being off, we’d be seeing and hearing frogs and spring peepers.  Maybe we would see some fiddleheads, early wildflowers, tree buds and tree flowers.  We were all fooled with the warm days we had.  Winter seems to be marching on.  The weather continues to challenge the Flambeau River wildlife with the snow depth, though temperatures are again on the rise. Last year’s deer fawns are showing the stress.  Thin ice on rivers, creeks and beaver ponds are a risk for wildlife.  The Flambeau River is open, with ice on some edges yet. Wildlife can be seen readily along the open east to southeast slopes where vegetation is slowly becoming visible, especially along roadsides. The snowshoe hare and weasel coats are turning brown.  Kestrels and hawks have been hovering at road sides and open areas looking for prey, and eagles for prey and carrion. Some swans, geese, mallards, robins, grackles, red winged blackbirds, morning doves and purple finches have braved the weather.  Tom turkeys are gobbling and displaying for the hens. Some of the older elk bulls have lost their antlers but the rag horns still have theirs.  Pussy willows are coming out and the river is rising due to melting.  Sap is being collected and cooked for maple syrup. Keep vigilant watch over the daily phenological changes because they happen so fast.  Take time and quietly go out and see the splendor that nature offers.  Have a good rest of the week and weekend!

Check on burning and campfire restrictions on the WI DNR website at

Fall Color 

Peak color in Price County is historically during the first week of October.