Snow & Trail Condition Update – February 15, 2017

Snowmobile Trails – Rusk County trails will close Thursday, February 16 at 8am due to poor conditions and warm weather. This is a temporary closure, meaning trails could reopen should conditions improve. Trail conditions have deteriorated this week and will continue to do so with even warmer weather forecast. The decision to temporarily close will hopefully help preserve those areas where a base is still present and prevent damage in areas that are already bare.

Riding on area lakes and rivers is discouraged. Lakes, Rivers, Swamps and creeks may be soft or have open water, and beware of ice crossings due to ice chunks and possible open water. No ice should ever be considered safe. Check back for updates and changes in trail status as weather/conditions change.

Cross-country ski trails – Cross-country ski trails – Surprisingly good cross-country ski conditions continue to be reported on area trails. A decent base is still present – especially on the Blue Hills Trails, and grooming is continuing there. Warm and sunny mid-days do soften the trails, but mornings after the cold evenings are making for great conditions.
These conditions are expected to deteriorate in the coming weak, if the forecast above freezing temps continue.

The Ladysmith Lighted Loop has also been packed and the lights are on.

Fat Tire Biking – Sisters Farm does have groomed trails specifically for Fat Tire Biking

For more detailed grooming and trail reports for the Blue Hills Trail, visit their website below.

Follow condition reports and current grooming updates for the Blue Hills Trail at www.bluehillstrail.com

Christie Mountain is open and making snow daily, additional runs are opening weekly.  Visit their website for current conditions, and hours of operation. www.christiemountain.com

Snow & Trail Condition Update – February 11, 2017

Snowmobile Trails – Rusk County trails remain open, but are falling into poor condition in some areas – according to early weekend reports. Fair and even good conditions can still be found in the Blue Hills area where greater snow amounts and shaded trails are preserving the trail base better.
In other areas where trails are exposed, those trails next to roadways, and crossings are in poor condition with some bare spots.

With additional warm weather in the forecast the outlook for snowmobiling is not good.

Caution should be used on Trails 27 and 99 North due to the impacts of beaver dams.

Swamps and creeks may be soft or have open water, and beware of ice crossings due to ice chunks and possible open water. No ice should ever be considered safe. Beware of possible trail closings and reroutes. Ride at your own risk, stay on the trail, and please be careful. Check back for updates and changes in trail status as weather/conditions change.

Cross-country ski trails – Cross-country ski trails – Surprisingly good cross-country ski conditions are still being reported on area trails. A good base is still present – especially on the Blue Hills Trails, and grooming is continuing. Warm and sunny mid-days do soften the trails, but mornings after the cold evenings are making for great conditions.
These conditions are expected to deteriorate in the coming weak, if the forecast above freezing temps continue.

The Ladysmith Lighted Loop has also been packed and the lights are on.

Fat Tire Biking – Sisters Farm does have groomed trails specifically for Fat Tire Biking

For more detailed grooming and trail reports for the Blue Hills Trail, visit their website below.

Follow condition reports and current grooming updates for the Blue Hills Trail at www.bluehillstrail.com

Christie Mountain is open and making snow daily, additional runs are opening weekly.  Visit their website for current conditions, and hours of operation. www.christiemountain.com

Snow & Trail Condition Update – February 1, 2017

Snowmobile Trails –  All Rusk County Snowmobile Trails will re-open on Thursday, February 2, 2017 at noon (with the exception of some isolated temporary trail closures- see below).  A good amount of the base remained in place during the period of warm temperatures and 3-4 inches of new snow was received Monday-Tuesday.  Groomers will be out on the trails today and tomorrow preparing the trails and fair trail conditions are expected at trail opening.  There will be some poor conditions in isolated spots.

There are maybe some temporary trail closures, which will be reported here after groomers have been on the trails.

Caution should be used on Trails 27 and 99 North due to the impacts of beaver dams.

Swamps and creeks may be soft or have open water, and beware of ice crossings due to ice chunks and possible open water. No ice should ever be considered safe. Beware of possible trail closings and reroutes. Ride at your own risk, stay on the trail, and please be careful. Check back for updates and changes in trail status as weather/conditions change.

Blue Hills Trail Association grooming this week. photo credit - Blue Hills Trail Association

Blue Hills Trail Association grooming this week. photo credit – Blue Hills Trail Association

Cross-country ski trails –  The new 3-4″ of snow received Monday-Tuesday improved trails in the County.  The base held up well during the period of warm temperatures –  fair to good conditions were reported, and when the new snow is groomed good conditions should be ready for skiing. The new snow is being groomed, give the trail tenders a few days to get the trails covered, and also to get a new track set for classical skiing.

The Ladysmith Lighted Loop has also been packed and the lights are on.

Fat Tire Biking – Sisters Farm does have groomed trails specifically for Fat Tire Biking.

For more detailed grooming and trail reports for the Blue Hills Trail, visit their website below.

Follow condition reports and current grooming updates for the Blue Hills Trail at www.bluehillstrail.com

Christie Mountain is open and making snow daily, additional runs are opening weekly.  Visit their website for current conditions, and hours of operation. www.christiemountain.com

Snow & Trail Condition Update – January 19, 2017

Snowmobile Trails – All Rusk County Snowmobile Trails in Rusk County are closed immediately (1/19/17).  Persistent warm day and night time temps are impacting trails, and rain is in the forecast.  The decision to close will help maintain the existing trail base, so trails can reopen with colder temperatures and more snow.

 

Cross-country ski trails – Trails remain open, however expect soft conditions.

The Ladysmith Lighted Loop has also been packed and the lights are on.

Fat Tire Biking – Sisters Farm does have groomed trails specifically for Fat Tire Biking.

For more detailed grooming and trail reports for the Blue Hills Trail, visit their website below.

Follow condition reports and current grooming updates for the Blue Hills Trail at www.bluehillstrail.com

Christie Mountain is open and making snow daily, additional runs are opening weekly. Visit their website for current conditions, and hours of operation. www.christiemountain.com

Snow & Trail Conditions Update – January 11, 2017

Snowmobile Trails –  All Rusk County Snowmobile Trails will open on Thursday, January 12 at noon (with the exception of some isolated temporary trail closures- see below).  4-5 inches of new snow was received Monday-Tuesday on top of the packed and groomed based.  Groomers will be out on the trails packing the new snow and good trail conditions are expected when the trails open.  There will be some fair conditions in isolated spots.  Reports are indicated plenty of snow in the Blue Hills, so better conditions should be found there.

There are some temporary trail closures: Trail 31 south from the warming shelter to Bruce will be temporarily closed until bridge construction is completed. Trail 99, between Conrath and Tony is temporarily closed due to standing corn.

Caution should be used on Trails 27 and 99 North due to the impacts of beaver dams.

Swamps and creeks may be soft or have open water, and beware of ice crossings due to ice chunks and possible open water. No ice should ever be considered safe. Beware of possible trail closings and reroutes. Ride at your own risk, stay on the trail, and please be careful. Check back for updates and changes in trail status as weather/conditions change.

Cross-country ski trails –  The new 4-5″ of snow received Monday-Tuesday should create excellent ski trails in the County.  The trails were already packed and groomed creating a good base, and the new snow (and more forecast in coming days) will provide excellent skiing after grooming is completed. The new snow will be groomed in coming days, give the trail tenders a few days to get out on the trails, and to get a track set.

The Ladysmith Lighted Loop has also been packed and the lights are on.

Fat Tire Biking – Sisters Farm does have groomed trails specifically for Fat Tire Biking.

For more detailed grooming and trail reports for the Blue Hills Trail, visit their website below.

Follow condition reports and current grooming updates for the Blue Hills Trail at www.bluehillstrail.com

Christie Mountain is open and making snow daily, additional runs are opening weekly.  Visit their website for current conditions, and hours of operation. www.christiemountain.com

Snow & Trail Conditions Update – January 2, 2017

Snowmobile Trails –  Trails remain closed – More snow needed.

Cross your fingers for a little cooler temps and some heavier snowfalls in the weeks ahead.

Check back for updates.

Cross-country ski trails –  Good (and fast) conditions being reported, but still only a thin base exists.  Considerable grooming has been done on the Blue Hills  (see link below) and Sisters Farm Trails, with a classic track being set and good corduroy for skating.  A base of 2-3″ with occassional dirt/ice spots that can be navigated.  Good skis can be used, but rock or “B” skis recommended for the time being.

Ungroomed trails can have 8-12″ of fluffy snow to navigate .

The Ladysmith Lighted Loop has also been packed and the lights are on.

Fat Tire Biking – Sisters Farm does have groomed trails specifically for Fat Tire Biking.

For more detailed grooming and trail reports for the Blue Hills Trail, visit their website below.

Follow condition reports and current grooming updates for the Blue Hills Trail at www.bluehillstrail.com

Christie Mountain is open and making snow daily, additional runs are opening weekly.  Visit their website for current conditions, and hours of operation. www.christiemountain.com

Snow & Trail Conditions Update – December 23, 2016

Snowmobile Trails –  Unfortunately, it looks like it might be a little while more before trails are open. Clubs have been out panning and packing the trails, but more snow is still needed. Swamps and wetland areas are still very soft, and because of the powdery snow received to date the base is not solid. Warmer temps this past week and significant rain forecast over the Christmas holiday – also do not help.

Cross your fingers for a little cooler temps and some heavier snowfalls in the weeks ahead.

Check back for updates.

Cross-country ski trails – Considerable grooming has been done on the Blue Hills  (see link below) and Sisters Farm Trails, and generally good conditions are reported.  A base of 2-3″ with occassional dirt/ice spots that can be navigated.  Good skis can be used, but rock or “B” skis recommended for the time being.

Ungroomed trails can have 8-12″ of fluffy snow to navigate .

The Ladysmith Lighted Loop has also been packed and the lights are on.

Fat Tire Biking – Sisters Farm does have groomed trails specifically for Fat Tire Biking.

For more detailed grooming and trail reports for the Blue Hills Trail, visit their website below.

Follow condition reports and current grooming updates for the Blue Hills Trail at www.bluehillstrail.com

Christie Mountain is open and making snow daily, additional runs are opening weekly.  Visit their website for current conditions, and hours of operation. www.christiemountain.com

Snow & Trails Condition Update – December 15, 2016

Snowmobile Trails – Trails remain closed.  A good snow covering is on the ground, but more is still needed before trails will be open. Clubs are packing trails at this time, to get wetland/swamp trails frozen. Forecasted snow may be adequate to start grooming trails next week.
Check back for updates.

Cross-country ski trails – enough snow is on the ground (4-6″) for the cross-country ski season to be underway.  Rock skis are still recommended, but limited grooming has occured on the Blue Hills Trail System.  The core loop has been groomed for freestyle skiing, and decent classical skiing can be done – even though a track has not been set.

No report from the Sisters Farm or Ladysmith Lighted Loop trails, although enough snow is present for skiing – rock skis recommended.

4-8″ of snow is forecasted in next 48 hours, which would improve trail surfaces greatly.

For more detailed grooming and trail reports for the Blue Hills Trail, visit their website below.

Follow condition reports and current grooming updates for the Blue Hills Trail at www.bluehillstrail.com

Christie Mountain is open and making snow daily, additional runs are opening weekly.  www.christiemountain.com

Rusk County lodging guide

There’s no better place to enjoy Wisconsin winter recreation than Rusk County. The county is home to some of the best snowmobile routes, ski trails and ice fishing lakes around and the county gets plentiful amounts of snow. Rusk County also has plenty of lodging that’s convenient, affordable and relaxing – perfect for a winter getaway.

Want to book an unforgettable trip to Rusk County? Start by considering all your options. Here’s an overview of Rusk County’s fine lodging offerings.

Hotels and motels

When you’re looking for a comfortable, straightforward place to relax and recharge before heading to the great outdoors, it’s hard to beat a hotel or motel. Rusk County’s establishments have plenty of parking for your toys and are near the landings and trailheads.

Bed & breakfasts and rental homes

Enjoy all the comforts at home in one of these properties. Enjoy historical ambiance and cherished antique furniture or modern amenities like a Jacuzzi tub and gas grill. You won’t want to check out!

Resorts

The classic way to enjoy a Wisconsin vacation is to head to a resort. These establishments offer lots of character and friendly hosts. The good times had at these special places cause many vacationers return to these establishments year after year – sometimes generation after generation.

Cabins

For a timeless vacation consider staying in a Rusk County cabin. Take time to build a fire, brew some hot chocolate and relax with a warm blanket. Before you turn in, take a moment to step outside, admire the stars and be thankful you’re enjoying a winter getaway in Rusk County.

Five ways to winter fun

Rusk County is an ideal winter getaway destination. You’ll find a beautiful mix of outdoor recreational options that’s hard to beat. Enjoy picturesque forests, tranquil frozen lakes and ample amounts of snow. Here are five ways to enjoy the season in Rusk County:

Snowmobiling

Rusk County is a snowmobiling paradise – you’ll find 300 miles of groomed trails to explore. The Blue Hills region in Western Rusk County offers some of the state’s most scenic riding. Learn more about snowmobiling in Rusk County.

Cross-country skiing

You’ll find amazing trails in Rusk County – in fact, elite skiers often come to Rusk County to train for big events. Even if you’re not aiming for a podium finish, you’ll find a lot to love about Rusk County’s trails, including great grooming, rolling train and spectacular scenery. Learn more.

Snowshoeing

Rusk County offers snowshoe options for all ages and abilities. Snowshoers looking for an easy trek can head to Greenwood Park Trail in Ladysmith. The Reclaimed Flambeau Mine Site is a popular place for those who want to take a longer trek and enjoy nature. Learn more about snowshoeing in Rusk County.

Ice Fishing

Rusk County is home to more than 250 lakes and some premier ice fishing. Enjoy a beautifully uncrowded spot or for a little competition and fun, attend the annual Fun on the Frozen Flambeau ice fishing contest. Learn more about the outstanding fishing in Rusk County.

Lodging

The whole point of a winter getaway is to relax and there’s no better place to unwind than Rusk County. Rusk County offers a full range of cozy lodging options, including hotels, motels, resorts, cabins and cottages. Learn more about Rusk County lodging.

Outfitting for the Outdoors

Here in Rusk County, we’re all about the outdoors. Fishing, hunting, ATVing and snowmobiling are some of the finest ways to enjoy our area and you don’t have to go far to find the equipment you need to start exploring!

  • With more than 250 lakes and flowages, the fishing is fine in Rusk County. At Chippewa River Custom Rods in Holcombe you can choose from pre-designed poles or build a custom rod that’s just right for you.
  • Flambeau River Outfitters in Ladysmith is the place to stop if you’re looking for a little advice about the outdoors. Whether you’re in the market for a new piece of equipment and aren’t sure what to choose, or just need some tips on the best bait, the folks at Flambeau River Outfitters can point you in the right direction. There’s also an archery range on site!
  • If you’re in the market to buy, both A&E Snowmobile & ATV (Ladysmith) and All Season Sports Center (Holcombe) are good stops. Both offer ATVs, snowmobiles and watercrafts for sale in addition to any repairs you might need while you’re in town.

For more information on sporting goods in Rusk County, click here.

Head for the Hills- five things to do in the Blue Hills this fall

The Blue Hills are a public treasure. This rugged and beautiful area is the remains of an ancient mountain range. The beautiful blue hills rise above the fast forests that cover this area, providing spectacular fall scenery. The area gets its name from the beautiful bluish color the hills take on when seen in the early morning. In the fall, the bright colors of maple leaves stand out against the cool green of hemlock trees, creating a beautiful contrast of colors and unforgettable fall scenes.

Here are five ways to take in the beauty of the Blue Hills.

Biking

Mountain bikers and fat bikers will find miles of trails to explore in the Blue Hills. The west side of the Blue Hills has more than 10 miles of biking and logging roads. The rolling terrain provides challenging fun. The trailhead for the Blue Hills Trail System is on the east side of Fire Lane Road, just two and a half miles north of Hwy O.

Hiking

Hikers will find some of the Midwest’s best hiking in the Blue Hills. It’s 23-mile trail system provides excellent hiking and wildlife viewing opportunities. The west side of the system is densely wooded. The eastern half is more open and provides excellent views of the landscape. Highlights of this unique area include felsenmeers – unusual jagged rock formations formed by the glaciers. The trailhead for the Blue Hills Trail System is on the east side of Fire Lane Road, just two and a half miles north of Hwy O.

Birdwatching

This is the season when migratory birds are on the move south. Scores of species pass through the woods and wetlands of the Blue Hills – eagle-eyed birders will spot pileated woodpeckers, bald eagles, osprey, common loons, hooded mergansers, wood ducks, kingfishers, warblers and more.

Color viewing

The fall colors are outstanding in the Blue Hills, as trees take on spectacular hues of red, yellow and orange. It’s a great time to take a scenic drive on the quiet rural roads that lace the area. The show will be here soon; colors peak in late September and early October.

ATVing

Riders will enjoy the Blue Hills Area ATV Trail, a 24-mile trail through the rolling Blue Hills landscape. Fall is the perfect time to explore the trail. You’ll find the trailhead 12 miles north of Weyerhaeuser off Hwy F on North Buck’s Lake Rd. The trail is open from the Friday before Memorial Day through December 1.