Cross Country Skiing & Snowshoeing
In many ways, the winter months are the best time to explore the Northwoods. Dozens of groomed cross-country trails and endless acres of wilderness make St. Germain a favorite with cross-country skiers and snowshoe enthusiasts. The woodlands take on an entirely different character in the wintertime, and a large selection of trails are available. Most of the area’s numerous cross-country skiing trails serve as bicycle or hiking trails during warmer months—so don't forget to visit them again in the spring. St. Germain is ideally situated between the Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest and the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest.
Here's just some of the St. Germain area's great cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails:
Shannon Lake Trail
Incredibly scenic. With a mix of easy/beginner and intermediate loops, about half the trail runs through areas logged in 1976 and 2000. The rest of the gently rolling trail meanders through a variety of northern hardwoods. The loop around Shannon Lake is especially scenic. Leashed pets are allowed when there is no snow.
Length: Loops range from 2.3, 3.5 to 7 miles.
Location: From the intersection of Highway 155 and Lost Lake Road just north of St. Germain, continue north on Lost Lake Drive to Found Lake Road and turn east. Continue to Shannon Lake Road and a parking area. A second parking area is located on Highway G approximately 2 miles east of County Highway N.
Shannon Lake Trail Map (PDF)
Madeline Lake Trail
Offers a variety of beautiful scenery winding around three lakes. A shelter with a fire ring is provided. This designated mountain bike trail and tracked cross-country ski trail require a Wisconsin State Trail Pass. Leashed pets allowed when there is no snow.
Length: Various loops offer trails of 3.0, 3.5, 4.5 and 5.5. miles.
Location: Take Highway 47 east of Woodruff, turn left on Townline Road. Turn north on Rudolph Road and watch for the parking area on the east side of the road.
Madeline Lake Trail Map (PDF)
A mix of intermediate and expert loops wind through pristine wilderness and near Inkpot and Clear Lakes. Leashed pets allowed only when there is no snow. The designated Nature Trail and the tracked cross country ski trail require Wisconsin State Trail Passes. Raven Nature loop has interpretive signs along the way and benches are also provided. Pets are not allowed on the designated Nature Trails.
Length: Loops vary from 1.5 , 2.5, 3.5 to 5.0 miles.
Location: From the intersection of Highway J & Highway 47, continue south on Highway 47 about 3 miles. Turn north (left) on Woodruff Road and continue to the Raven trail sign approximately 1/2 mile.
Raven Trail Map (PDF)
Fallison Lake Trail
A beautiful, very hilly trail, with spectacular view of Fallison Lake. Booklets on wildlife, flora and trail history are available from the DNR Trout Lake Office & at the trail head from mid-May to mid-September as well as interpretive signage along the trail. Bicycling & pets are not allowed on this trail. Cross-country skiing is allowed on these ungroomed trails; however, there are sets of stairs you may need to walk around.
Length: Loops of .5, 1.0, 2.0 and 2.5 miles.
Location: Head north from St. Germain on Highway 155 to Sayner. Head west on N about 5 miles. Trail head is across from Crystal Lake Campground on Highway N west of Sayner.
Fallison Lake Trail Map (PDF)
Razorback Ridges Trail
One of the best trail systems in Wisconsin, with loops for everyone from beginners to experts. These phenomenal trails are maintained by the Sayner–Star Lake Lion's Club. You'll find some difficult rides as well as some fairly easy trails for beginners. Trails are marked as to their degree of difficulty. Look for lots of twists and turns as well as a good deal of variety over the 12 miles of trails. This is one of the most popular mountain biking trails in the Northwoods. In winter, Razorback Ridges has excellent cross-country skiing. Located 2 miles west of Sayner off County Highway N.
Length: 12 miles.
Location: From St. Germain, head north on Highway 155 to Sayner. Continue west on County Highway N approximately 2 miles. Trail head is by The Corner Store.
Snipe & Ewald Lake Trail
Classic trail with incredible scenery & part of the Vilas County Forest System.
Length: 16.4 miles.
Location: From the intersection of Highways 17 and 70 west of Eagle River, continue west on Highway 70 approximately 6 miles to Wilderness Trail. Turn north on Wilderness Trail and continue approximately 1 mile to game trail access OR continue on Wilderness Trail another 2 miles past the Snipe Lake Boat Landing with numerous trail locations on the left.
Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest Trails
- Cross-Country Ski Trails - Located in Wisconsin State Parks & Forests.
- EEK! Environmental Education for Kids - Electronic magazine for kids. Learn about the great outdoors!
- Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest Recreational Overview Map - Recreation & facilities map in the NHAL State Forest (PDF).
- Oneida County Hiking & Biking Trails (PDF) - Map for hike/bike/ski trails, canoeing routes & birding locations. Click here for detailed Oneida County trail maps.
- Snowshoe Trails - Located in Wisconsin State Parks & Forests.
- Things to See & Do in Vilas County (PDF) - Fun spots to visit in Vilas County.
- Trail Etiquette & Safety - Department of Natural Resources online publication.
- Vilas County Cross-Country Skiing & Snowshoeing Trails - Links to trail maps in Vilas County.