Always up-to-date and accurate…reports on trail conditions and recreational opportunities in Price County. Scroll down for more information on Snowmobiling, winter ATV & UTV riding, Cross-Country Skiing, Snowshoeing, Auto Touring and Ice Fishing or Hunting.
Snowmobile Trail Report – 3/6/14
Mike Carr penned an article featuring our snowmobile trails in the Wisconsin Snowmobile News. Click here and then flip to page 18 - http://sledder.net/pubs/WSN/Jan-2014-WSN/.
All snowmobile trails are open and in great condition. The trails are groomed twice a week by dedicated volunteers who keep them in the best condition possible for you to enjoy. Use caution as some signs may not be visible because they are covered with snow.
Please stay on marked lake trails. Use caution on lakes as there are drifts and ruts, ridges or berms where winter events or activities have been held, especially on Wilson Lake where there is a snowmobile race course from this past weekend. These areas are hard to see from any distance, especially at night. The Ogema One Stop is closed indefinitely, advertised as business/gas location #75 on the trail map. Slow down for logging operations: On trail 181 between intersection 101 and Highway 13 there is a plowed area of about 100 yards. On trail 161 the trail is plowed from intersection 92 west towards Phillips for a half mile. On corridor 21 there is logging from intersection 59 west to the town road. North of Phillips on Trail #102. Timm’s Hill area on Trail #120 between Intersections #112 & #108. West of Prentice on Trail #181 before Intersection #101. Northeast of Catawba on Trail #80 and Trail #94. West of Kennan on Trail #181. Between Wilson Lake & Intersection 98 on Trail #86. From Wilson Lake going south to intersection 68 on Trail #12/#90. Price County Snowmobile Trails remain open through March 31.
To order a snowmobile map, click on the Contact tab or call 800-269-4505 to order a map or to get additional trail information or help planning your snowmobile adventure to Price County. We look forward to serving your needs!
ATV, UTV & Off Road Motorcycle Trail Report – 3/6/14
The 70-mile Flambeau Trail System (50 inch width maximum) is open to winter ATV & UTV riding. This trail is shared with snowmobilers. When the temperature is 28° Fahrenheit or colder, additional snowmobile trails open to winter ATV & UTV riding include the 26-mile Pine Line Rail Trail, Snowmobile Trail 189 (Ogema to Timm’s Hill), and Snowmobile Trails 116, 181 & 118 (Prentice area loop). The Solberg Trail (50 inch width maximum) and Georgetown Trail (65 inch width maximum) are also open; these trails are not groomed at this time. The Tuscobia State Trail and Flambeau River State Forest Trail are closed to ATV & UTV use until next spring.
Cross Country Ski Trail Report – 3/6/14
All trails are being groomed on a regular basis as needed and they are in excellent condition. The detailed trail condition information listed below is posted as soon as we receive it from the trail managers.
3/6/14 - The Phillips School Forest Trail was groomed and tracked 3/6/14. The condition is excellent. Dog are not allowed in the school forest.
3/6/14 – The Wintergreen Trail was groomed on 3/6/14 it is in excellent condition and should stay that way through the weekend as long as mother nature cooperates with us. Dogs are not allowed on this trail.
3/5/14 - The Palmquist Farm Trail is groomed and tracked as needed for overnight guests. The trail was groomed and tracked on 3/3/14 and it is in excellent condition. The next anticipated grooming is Sat., March 8. For information on the trail, lodging and lighted night skiing, call 715-564-2558 / 800-519-2558. Dogs and skijoring are allowed as long as you keep off the tracked portion of the trail.
3/4/14 – The Newman Springs Trail was groomed today, except for Loop B. Conditions are good with the new snow. The base on the trails are 12″-16” and the snowpack off the trail is roughly 30.” If no new snow, the trail should firm up well by the weekend and be good to go for skiing and snowshoeing. Only one pass was done on each trail though so it may be a bit narrow in spots for fat bikes. When time permits the trail will be groomed as wide as possible to allow a better trail for snowshoeing and fat bikes. With the cold temperatures, the snow has been setting up really firm after grooming. An area has been groomed adjacent to the parking lot that can be used as a warm up or while you wait for the rest of your group. Dogs are not allowed on this trail.
3/4/14 – The Timm’s Hill Trail was last groomed on 2/17/14. Unfortunately, while grooming, another bogie wheel failed on the tracks. Parts have been ordered to repair it. It snowed 7 inches on Friday 2/21/14, and the trail has not been groomed. It will probably take several days of grooming once the parts are able to be installed. This report will be updated when grooming is able to take place. (Note: Dogs and skijoring are allowed as long as you stay off the tracked portion of the trail.)
3/3/14 - The Solberg Lake / Squaw Creek Trail was packed, groomed and tracked 2/23/14 and the trail is in great condition! The base is very firm and the track set well. There is a new section of trail just across Hicks Landing Road from the trailhead parking lot is very scenic. It meanders thru a tunnel of trees, providing a most picturesque winter scene. Groomed for classic skiing. Snowshoes are also welcome, we just ask that snowshoers stay off set ski tracks. It is an out and back trail about 1 mile each way; it comes out near the entrance to Solberg Lake County Park. Dogs are allowed as long as you keep them off the tracked portion of the trail; the trail is not wide enough for skijoring.
3/3/14 - The Holy Cross Trail was groomed and tracked Saturday, 3/1/14. The trail is in good shape; the track set up nicely. I had a problem when compacting the trail on Thursday, got stuck near the south gate & the trail was damaged a bit at that location, so I did not track the trail on the connector to the south lot from the main trail. Snowshoers are welcome; please stay off the classic track, snowshoe to the side of the track. Please don’t walk on the trail without snowshoes, the trail is hard to fix then. Dogs are allowed as long as you keep them off the tracked portion of the trail; the trail is not wide enough for skijoring.
3/3/14 – The Flambeau Hills Trail was groomed & tracked 2/28/14 and it is in excellent condition. The next anticipated grooming date is 3/7/14. Anyone interested in skijoring should call the office for some upcoming opportunities on the property; 715-332-5271. There are designated snowshoe trails in the Flambeau River State Forest and they are also in great condition and recently packed. Dogs are not allowed on this trail.
The High Point Trail is groomed and tracked as needed. Contact the High Point Village Resort for information on current trail conditions and lighted night skiing at 715-767-5287. Dogs and skijoring are allowed as long as you keep off the tracked portion of the trail.
Snowshoe Trail Report – 3/6/14
There are at least 36 inches of snow in the woods. Conditions are great for a snowshoeing adventure!
Winter Auto Tour – 3/6/14
It’s a great time to take an auto tour through our beautiful winter wonderland. For information on the most scenic drives and points of interests, click on the Recreation tab and choose Auto Tours.
Ice Fishing Report - 3/5/14
The gamefish ice season ended on a very quiet note this past weekend with very few anglers getting out to try their luck. Deep snow, slush and tough access conditions have kept fishing pressure very low for the last month and the last chance for a catch of walleye, pike or bass did not entice any increase in pressure. A couple of diehard walleye anglers did make it out and were able to find some decent action. A few limits of eater-size were found in 6 to 10 feet of water and XL fathead minnows got the best results. Panfish anglers (for which the season is still open) have all but given up until lake access conditions improve. Ice and snow depths have reached the 22” to 30” range on most lakes across the region – but it has become difficult to tell where the snow level ends and the actual ice layer begins. Most lakes have several layers of slush in the upper foot of the ice/snow cover, and this has added to the tough access conditions. The slush layers have also made hole-drilling a difficult task, with the slush even bogging down some of the power augers. It will likely take an extended thaw to melt down the upper foot of slush/ice on the lakes, which should then allow better access and an increase in panfish anglers getting out. Thomas “Skip” Sommerfeldt, DNR Senior Fisheries Biologist
Fishing/Hunting Guide Reports
When you visit the Price County region please consider hiring a guide. Guides are on the water and in the woods on a regular basis and will put you on the right track in order to make your fishing or hunting trip successful and FUN. For more information on guide services please see http://www.pricecountywi.net/recreation/hunting/guides/.
3/5/14 – Normally as the water begins to warm up and the ice gets thinner the fish will be biting. The biggest problem right now is getting on the lake, too much snow with slush makes it tough. I did see a large group (about 50) of turkey yesterday and several of the toms were all puffed up and looked like they were strutting. I’m not sure if this is a good sign or not. It appeared to me like they were in good shape and were able to walk on the top of the snow. As the days get warmer and then colder at night they will be able to stay on top but that makes it harder for them to forage for food under the snow. I think both the deer and turkey are having a tough time right now. Bryan V.
3/3/14 - There were anglers out this weekend. Because of the drifting and heavy snow they managed to get their sleds stuck. Foot travel was also difficult but they did manage to catch a number of crappies. Once the snow begins to melt crappie anglers should see more action. Anglers should be aware that even though we have experienced extreme cold temps ice conditions are marginable and will deteriorate quickly once temperatures improve. Joe Brezinski, Northland Guide Service, www.northlandguideservice.net
2/27/14 - Well here we go again!! Frigid temps along with severe wind chills have removed most of the traffic on our lakes. Lake travel is difficult at best. High drifts and slush limit travel. With that said many anglers still have ice shacks to remove. Anglers still have until the first Sunday after March 12 in our zone but you may want to start working on it! I had a group of anglers who wanted to experience some of our remote smaller lakes in the area. We were targeting bluegills and crappies. Some of the lakes were so small it looked crowded with just us. We did a lot of hole drilling and used our sonar to locate fish. Once we located some we fished hard and managed to ice some nice gills. Most fish were coming of the lake basins adjacent to points extending from shallow water. It was surprising just how tight fish were to a specific area. We could be fishing ten feet apart and it was night and day. Drilling many holes first and then using the locator to find them before starting to fish help. 1/32oz jigs with hair dressed with a waxie seemed to produce the best. Joe Brezinski, Northland Guide Service, www.northlandguideservice.net
2/10/14 - If your venturing out on the lakes, make sure that you know where you are going if traveling with any wheeled vehicle. The heavy snow cover and pockets of slush have made it almost impossible for anything but foot and snowmobile travel. Hopefully warmer temps in the forecast will settle the snow down a little on the lakes and make travel a little more easy. Crappie action is slowly picking back up. The Crappie are hanging very tight to the bottom of the lakes, Look for soft mud bottom areas and jig with waxies for best results. The fish are very finicky but with good electronics and a sensitive ice rod they can be caught. Bluegill action is picking up again as well with some very big fish being taken. Look for the gills in 15 foot of water around cribs or any wood structure. Waxies or Spikes on small glow have been taking most of the gills. Walleye action has been ok but in deeper water, Most of the fishermen setting tip-ups shallow have been coming up empty handed but the fishermen that are getting out in the 12 to 20 foot of water have been getting some nice fish in the mid morning and mid afternoons. We have also been getting reports of Panfishermen getting incidental walleye catches. Small to medium sized spoons with gulp or a minnow head on it is working well. John Carlson, Ross’s Sport Shop & Guide Service, http://www.rosssonline.com/
Outdoor Report – 3/3/14
Think spring and plan your Learn to Hunt turkey event for adults & other novice hunters
Think of it as Thanksgiving in the spring with a meal-time theme for families and others enjoying the great outdoors and Wisconsin traditions. - Read Full Article
Now is the time to take hunter education
People who will need a hunter safety certificate to hunt this year should not wait until fall to get enrolled in Hunter Education if they want to in the woods hunting this fall, according to state hunting safety officials. - Read Full Article
Online map details shooting ranges open for public use
People looking for a shooting range to sharpen their shooting skills now have a new online resource to help them find target ranges. - Read Full Article
Snowy owls alight in state again in large numbers;
Wisconsin birders are again being treated to a significant showing of snowy owls from Canada’s arctic tundra while resident American goldfinches are dominating backyard feeders in most areas, state bird experts say. - Read Full Article
White-tailed deer bow season is Sept. 13 – Jan. 4, 2015; Gun season is Nov. 22 – 30, 2014; Muzzleloader season is Dec. 1 – 10, 2014.
The season begins September 3, 2014, and the first period is Sept. 3-9 with the aid of bait and all other legal methods not utilizing dogs; a permit is required and the application deadline was December 10, 2013.
Turkey, Waterfowl & Grouse Hunting:
Ruffed Grouse season closed February 1, 2014; it reopens September 13, 2014. Spring Wild Turkey seasons begin April 6, 2014.
All zones have met their quota and are closed.
Furbearer Hunting and Trapping:
A number of furbearer hunting and trapping seasons are open during the fall and winter. To view season dates, go to http://ua.dnr.wi.gov/topic/trap/.
Opossum, skunk, weasel and snowshoe hare hunting has no season limits, bags limits size limits or possession limits. Coyote hunting is a continuous open season except during gun deer hunting seasons. To view a list of all hunting and trapping season dates, visit the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources website at http://ua.dnr.wi.gov/topic/trap/.
Paddling / River Report – 3/3/14
The rivers are frozen over and will be for some time. We have over 40 inches of snow in some areas and are currently still experiencing temperatures below zero. Spring paddling typically begins in early to mid-April; but considering the current circumstances, it most likely will begin in late-April to early-May. Check back in early-April for an update.
Fall Color Report – 2013 Final Report
Fall color is now past peak. Please join us for the color show next season. Fall colors typically peak around October 1st.
Equestrian – Smith Rapids Saddle Trail Bridge Closure
A closure has been issued for the bridge at the Newman Creek crossing of the Smith Rapids Saddle Trail, T.40N, R.2E, Section 27, due to instability of the bridge and bank. The remainder of the Smith Rapids Saddle Trail will remain open with the exception of a segment between Forest Road 149 east to the bridge site which is closed. From Smith Rapids Campground, the trail remains open east to Round Lake and west to Newman Creek. Closure will remain in effect until bridge and stream bank are restored to a safe and stable condition. For additional information, please contact the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest office in Park Falls at (715) 762-2461.