Door County welcomes snowmobilers from near and far! With 250 miles of well-groomed, picturesque trails and beautiful scenery, the possibilities are endless. The narrow, winding trails especially welcome families who are interested in the snowmobiling experience rather than competition.
“One of the neatest things about snowmobiling is that you can go places that you can’t go any other time of year,” said Steve Sohns, president of the Door County Trails Association. “Ninety percent of trails are on private property, and trails are also in places that aren’t accessible other times of year, like swamps and lakes.”
Seven snowmobile clubs help maintain and groom the state and club trails in the county, helping to welcome visitors. With four state parks along the peninsula and numerous other natural areas, there is always something fun waiting for anybody interested in getting out and enjoying a revitalizing Wisconsin winter.
Door Pioneer Trailblazers Snowmobile Club President Doug Schopf said he and other volunteers go out every year to ask farmers’ permission for public snowmobilers to cross the farmers’ property. The volunteers, who work with his club in the Carlsville area to brush, mark and groom trails, are what make them so beautiful and well-groomed for both visitors and locals, he said. If weather conditions cooperate, the trails can be open immediately following deer hunting season all through winter until March 31.
“Visitors need to know their machines must be registered on our trails with a Wisconsin state trail pass,” Schopf said. “They must purchase and display a current pass during their entire visit.”
With 300 miles of scenic shorelines around the Door Peninsula and 10,000 acres of parks, it’s easy to understand how Door County has something for everyone when it comes to four-season, outdoor recreation. While the winter views are truly one-of-a-kind, the county’s striking natural beauty makes it a dreamy vacation spot any time of the year!
Door County is home to 19 picturesque county parks, 11 historic lighthouses and 53 Lake Michigan beaches. With its small, waterfront towns full of home décor, art and clothing shops, its mouth watering local cuisine and its never-ending, magnificent terrain that ranges from bluff and forest to swamp and farmland, the peninsula provides some of the most beautiful experiences in the Midwest.
Zettel Sales, Rental and Service of Bailey’s Harbor rents snowmobiles by the hour, starting at $50 per hour. The company offers single and two-person snowmobiles and also offers suits and helmets for an additional fee. There is a $30 gas and oil fee associated with all rentals.
“We rent snowmobiles but also sell used ones and rentals,” said John Zettel, owner of Zettel Sales, Rental and Service. “We have 20 machines and have been in this business for 32 years. People simply come here for the northern scenery.”
Peninsula State Park showcases some of the county’s finest snowmobiling trails. Sightseeing is a must when snowmobiling through Peninsula State Park, as the winding trails take visitors around Tennison and Nicolet bays. The trails also showcase Sven’s Bluff, a steep cliff that attracts many visitors as a scenic overlook. Eagle Bluff Lighthouse Museum sits on top of a 76-foot bluff overlooking Green Bay’s glistening waters. This historic lighthouse tells the story of pioneers traveling through treacherous waters to northeastern Wisconsin to settle immediately following the Civil War. Visitors at Eagle Bluff are treated to a glimpse into American history. Click here to view a winter sports map of Peninsula State Park.
The Northern Zone encompasses the villages of Ephraim and Sister Bay and winds north up the peninsula. Several miles of state snowmobile trails run up the length of the peninsula, all the way to Gills Rock at the tip. While there are some club trails near Bailey’s Harbor, most of them run near Sister Bay and further north.
The state snowmobile trails from the Northern Zone continue meandering south into the Central Zone and wander down both sides of the peninsula. While there are bountiful state trails within the Central Zone, club trails are a bit scarce and run primarily in or near Bailey’s Harbor, Peninsula Center, Egg Harbor and West Jacksonport.
Numerous ambling state and club trails make up the Southeast Zone. The scenic Ahnapee State Trail crosses Sturgeon Bay as it continues to go south. Most club trails in this zone surround the city of Sturgeon Bay, going both north and south of the city for optimum sightseeing opportunities.
The Southwest Zone is also home to many miles of winding state and club trails. Riders can take in the sights all around the Little Sturgeon Bay and ride along several scenic, rural roads. The Ahnapee State Trail winds around Maplewood and the Village of Forestville before continuing south.
Updated trail conditions can be found on the Door County Parks website.
For more information on a wonderful winter wonderland vacation anywhere in Door County, and to obtain maps showing state-funded and club-funded trails, snowmobile dealers, repair shops and gas station locations visit www.doorcounty.com. Snowmobile and gear rentals are available as well as lodging accommodations, driving directions, hours, fees and schedules.