While Minocqua is often thought of as a summer getaway in the Midwest, the area also provides an amazing setting for a long list winter activities. If you’re an outdoor enthusiast who loves snow, this little town in northern Wisconsin surrounded by (frozen) water should be at the top of your list for winter weekend getaways.
Minocqua is geographically sizeable considering it is only home to about 5,000 people. Running 18 miles from east to west and 12 miles from north to south, it offers plenty of real estate ripe for adventure. Known as the “Island City,” you won't be able to resist the charm of this little town.
Here are the top five things that should be on your to-do list for a winter trip to Minocqua.
1. Nordic Skiing
While there are plenty of places to ski in the area, Minocqua Winter Park is the premiere locale for Nordic buffs in the area. Featuring 6,500 acres of gorgeous winter landscapes and 75 kilometers of groomed trails, it’s hard to beat. They even have a 6-kilometer loop where you can skijor with your dog. If you are in search of equipment rental or ski lessons, their ski shop has you covered. For another 20-kilometers of trails, check out the North Lakeland Discovery Center, which will take you on beautifully groomed paths that offer a great tour of the area's natural landscape.
Minocqua Winter Park also offers a system of trails specifically for snowshoeing. With 7-kilometer and 4-kilometer options, you can go for a short trek or combine the trails for a longer day. Featuring rolling terrain past ponds, swamps, a river, and wooded sections, these trails promise great variety. For other amazing options, check out the Bearskin Trail , an 18-mile snowy path that is accessible via the trestle bridge right in downtown Minocqua.
3. Fat Biking
If you’re not into skiing and snowshoeing is too slow for you, fat biking is the perfect way to explore these trails. Chequamegon Adventure Company is a great place in the area for fat bike rentals and demo days. Minocqua Winter Park opens up select trails for fat biking once the snow falls, from their 15-kilometer Wilderness Trail circuit to the shorter 4.3 mile Breaking Free Trail.
4. Zip Lining
For an entirely unique perspective of the area, sign up for a Northwoods Zip Line Tour . Yes, these are available in the winter months. Featuring eight zip lines and six adventure bridges, you’ll experience a mile of excitement towering above ravines, lakes, valleys, and white and red pines. There’s no better way to get a true canopy tour as you navigate the steel cables and platforms atop the trees.
A hub for snowmobiling in the Upper Midwest, you can ride from downtown Minocqua directly into the deep wilderness. Hundreds of miles of state, country, national, and private forest lands are available for snowmobilers to travel on. For more information, check out one of the two snowmobile clubs in the area, the Minocqua Forest Riders and the Cross Country Cruisers . For rentals and tours, look into booking with Adventure Snowmobile Tours .