3 Ways to Explore Off-Road Wisconsin

Kortnee Hass

April 15, 2021

Northwestern Wisconsin is the perfect destination for so many adventurous families, outdoor enthusiasts, and those looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of their everyday lives. And for those craving the quintessential ‘Northwoods’ experience, there’s really only one way to navigate it: through motorized sports. 
Whether your vehicle of choice is a snowmobile, ATV, UTV, or something else, there’s no doubt that this is the prime way to navigate the Wisconsin Northwoods. Check out some of these ways you can ride the terrain of northwestern Wisconsin.

UTV (Utility Terrain Vehicles)

Photo Credit: Discover Wisconsin // The Crew riding along the trails of Northwestern Wisconsin

Utility Terrain Vehicles, or UTVs, are large and powerful machines that allow riders to seat passengers side by side, and are built with lots of storage space. While these vehicles are great for backroad transportation uses, they can also be a ton of fun. In Sawyer County, riders can take UTVs along to experience the well-groomed trails along the Chequamegon National Forest. The best part of riding a UTV on the trails of Wisconsin is the ability to see all of the different types of terrains, views, and wildlife Wisconsin has to offer for a truly unique experience. When you can sit back and enjoy the view with the wind at your face, there just isn’t another feeling like it. 

 ATV (All Terrain Vehicle)

Photo Credit: Discover Wisconsin // On the trails in Douglas County, WI

At its simplest, an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) is a vehicle with a straddled seating position, handlebar steering, and the ability to maneuver through a variety of terrain conditions. Without a doubt, this riding experience will leave you feeling like you filled an adventurous and rustic quota in your Wisconsin Northwoods bucket list. For a top-notch trail, we recommend hitting the trailhead of the Saunders Grade, which is an 8-mile county-operated trail that links with the Gandy Dancer State Trail south of the city of Superior in Douglas County for really diverse scenery. After you try it once, you’ll understand why ATVing is the preferred mode of transportation up in the Wisconsin Northwoods (all while getting a little dirt on your face).


Photo Credit: Sawyer County Snowmobile ATV Alliance via Facebook

Sawyer County is bountiful with 500 miles of well groomed and gorgeous trails for anyone to experience by snowmobile. Dan Schauder from the Sawyer County Snowmobile ATV Alliance explains that they have honed an intricate system in which they plow, groom, and smooth out the winter snow trails so that riders can enjoy the trails without interruption or snafu’s. It’s perfect for riders of any experience level to take advantage of the wooded trails throughout the Wisconsin Northwoods.
Further north in Douglas County, which is nestled in the upper northwest corner of Wisconsin and Lake Superior, Dusty Androski from the Northwest Trails Association explains that their forests are a great untapped resource. Androski explains, “Every single corner brings you a new view, a new look at life, and it is a good opportunity for people to get out, get together, and enjoy the winter months. [This is why] it is my favorite season.” As far as the snowmobiling aspect, northwest Wisconsin is bountiful with wide trails, railroad grades, and twisty, windy trails through the woods that everybody can enjoy. There’s a trail for everybody in Sawyer County and Douglas County.
Need more convincing of these great, fun, (and messy) ways of exploring off-road Wisconsin? Check out our newest episode on Discover Wisconsin:

If you also want to hear some behind the scenes secrets about working on this episode from the Discover Wisconsin crew, listen to episode 64 of The Cabin Podcast with Producer, Matt Edgar. 

Susan Fochs: Marketing Coordinator for Discover Mediaworks. A self-proclaimed non-profit aficionado, coffee connoisseur, marketing nerd, and lover of all things Wisconsin.

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