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RELATED TOPICS: SNOWMOBILE TRAVEL | MIDWEST | CANADA
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BLACK HILLS, SOUTH DAKOTA
If you believe great things come in small packages, the Black Hills are for you. This compact mountain range features beautiful scenery, a great trail network and lots of snow because of its elevation. There are 350 miles of beautiful trails (50 of them in nearby Wyoming), with plenty of places for off-trail exploration. Two of the highlights are the Cement Ridge Lookout where you can see far into Wyoming and Spearfish Canyon, site of a scene from the movie Dances With Wolves. The lively and trail accessible town of Deadwood features numerous lodging options, fine dining and gambling – a winning combination!

Trail Towns: Deadwood
Highlights: Cement Ridge Lookout, Spearfish Canyon
Info: blackhillsbadlands.com; for a Black Hills snowmobile map, call (605) 584-3896
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GREEN LAKE COUNTY, WISCONSIN
Although many visitors to Badgerland are fixated on riding in the northernmost counties of Wisconsin, there are countless locales in the middle and southern parts of the state offering first-class trail systems. Green Lake County is one of them – a mix of wooded and agricultural land with gently rolling terrain and beautiful scenic vistas. A route circles the county’s namesake lake and includes a segment over the Snake Creek Wetlands Trail between the towns of Princeton and Green Lake. The network offers connections to six neighboring counties, all with trails that are just as outstanding.

Trail Towns: Berlin, Green Lake, Princeton, Markesan, Manchester
Highlights: Green Lake, Snake Creek Wetlands Trail
Info: greenlakecountysnowmobiletrails.com; (920) 294-3220
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WALWORTH COUNTY, WISCONSIN
The Lake Geneva and Delavan Lake areas are popular summer destinations for visitors and that’s true for winter enthusiasts as well. Walworth County is 24 square miles and features a combination of rolling agricultural land, lakes and woods. At its center is Elkhorn, western terminus of the White River State Trail that connects to Springfield and Lyons. The trail network is extensive and well-maintained by the county snowmobile alliance’s four Tucker Sno-Cats – amazing for a place so far south! Every March the ISOC Snocross season wraps up with the Ram Trucks & Nielsen Enterprises Grand Finale, which draws thousands to Lake Geneva’s Grand Geneva Resort (March 15-17, 2019).

Trail Towns: Elkhorn, Springfield, Lyons, Delavan, Darien, Sharon, Zenda, Genoa City
Highlights: White River State Trail, Kettle Moraine State Forest, trail loops around Delavan Lake and Geneva Lake
Info: walworthcountysnow.com; snow conditions phone line (262) 742-2664
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MATTAWA, ONTARIO
Ontario is a huge province renowned for its outstanding trails – and if you like to rack up big miles, this is the place. Mattawa is an historic town on the beautiful Ottawa River, which was an 18th century avenue for the legendary voyageurs and today marks the border with Quebec. Most of the area’s many ATV trails become prime snowmobile routes in winter, including the Explorer’s Loop with marked waypoints and the vast Voyageur Multi-Use Trail System (VMUTS). Mattawa is also a popular starting point for the RAP (Round Algonquin Park) Tour, a specially marked 500+ mile loop that circles the gigantic park.

Trail Towns: Mattawa, Deux Rivieres
Highlights: Explorer’s Loop (featuring the Purdy Mica Mine), VMUTS, RAP Tour
Info: Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs: ofsc.on.ca. R.A.P. Tour: northernontario.travel/snowmobiling/ofsc-rap-tour-loop
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NORTH SHORE, MINNESOTA
Lake Superior’s northwest shore is a prime location for snowmobiling. The backbone is the C.J. Ramstad/North Shore Trail, named in honor of the renowned snowmobile writer and photographer who died in 2007. The trail runs through the uplands for 146 miles between Duluth and Grand Marais. Numerous spurs provide access to communities along the lake, while connections to the Pequaywan, Sawtooth and Tomahawk Trails offer routes to interior destinations such as the Mesabi Iron Range and Ely. Near Grand Marais, the legendary 125-mile Gunflint Trail system heads northwest into near-wilderness areas, providing deep woods riding at its finest.

Trail Towns: Two Harbors, Silver Bay, Lutsen, Grand Marais
Highlights: Gunflint Trail
Info: northshorevisitor.com/winter/
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KEWEENAW PENINSULA, MICHIGAN
It only makes sense that the snowiest place in the Midwest has some of the best snowmobiling to be found anywhere. Every season, when the prevailing west and northwest winds cross unfrozen Lake Superior, this 80-mile finger of land on the south shore receives prodigious amounts of lake effect snow. The peninsula also features some rocky, rugged hills that make it a scenic treasure. Copper Harbor and Brockway Mountain are popular destinations near the end of the peninsula, and crossing the massive double deck bridge over the Portage Ship Canal connecting the cities of Houghton and Hancock is a special treat.

Trail Towns: Calumet, Lake Linden, South Range, Mohawk, Gay, Copper Harbor
Highlights: Brockway Mountain, Houghton / Hancock, Eagle Harbor Lighthouse, The Gay Bar
Info: johndee.com, keweenaw.info
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