January 25, 2012

Epic Treks: Snowshoe Wisconsin’s Best Wilderness Areas

SnowshoesWisconsin is home to millions of acres of sparsely populated, highly scenic wilderness. For the snowshoer, it’s a nearly endless playground. If you’re looking to follow some mesmerizing trails—or get far off the beaten path—these are the perfect places to start your snowshoe adventure.


Northern Highland–American Legion State Forest

At 225,000 acres, this huge state forest in Vilas County is perhaps the ideal snowshoeing destination. There are dozens of trails to follow as well as miles of logging roads. If you’re itching to get off the trails, the rewards are many. Hundreds of lakes are hidden in this forest, just waiting to be found.

The Blue Hills

Located west of Ladysmith in Rusk County, the Blue Hills are one of the Badger State’s most scenic places. The Blue Hills Trail System is one of the top cross-country ski areas in the Midwest, offering 35 kilometers of excellent trails. Many snowshoers choose to hoof it alongside the cross-country ski trails. But off the trails, there are endless acres of hills, tiny brooks and interesting rock outcroppings that are just begging to be visited by adventurous snowshoers.

Black River State Forest

At 68,000 acres, the Black River State Forest near Black River Falls isn’t the state’s largest wilderness area. However, when you combine that land mass with more than 120,000 acres of adjoining Jackson County forest lands, you get a huge chunk of wilderness. The forest offers snowshoers picturesque rock outcroppings, towering hills and swift-flowing rivers. Cross-country ski trails will guide snowshoers to much of the forest’s visual splendor. But for the snowshoer looking to leave the trail, there’s a vast territory just waiting to be discovered.

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