9 Things to Know Before Visiting WinMan in the Winter

Like any trail system, the more you know, the more you can let loose and have fun. To help make the most of your next visit, we’ve put together a list of 9 things you should know before visiting WinMan Trails this winter.

1) Explore Three Specific Trail Systems

We are delighted to offer winter users three distinct trail systems at WinMan Trails.

Each of these trail systems are sport specific. This means, the design and maintenance is catered to the demands of the sport. It also means we have enough adventures at WinMan to keep the entire family happy all day!

The kiosk at the main trailhead has maps and information about each of the trail systems. You’ll also find directional signage and maps at each post shown on the map. So, even if you are new to WinMan, you will always know where you are.

Rather carry a map with you? Download them to your phone or print off a copy at home. Just follow the links above.

Looking to try a new activity next time you visit WinMan? We have some great local retailers who can rent you any equipment you need. River’s Edge in Manitowish Waters or Coontail in Boulder Junction are great local options.

PRO TIP: If your adventures extend past sunset, grab a headlamp or strap a light onto your bike and enjoy the trails at night. The beauty of the trails and the magnificent night sky is captivating. It certainly is a must try experience.

2) Relax in the Heated Chalet by the Masonry Fireplace

If you’ve been here, you know. Our beautifully designed chalet is the perfect place to get ready for your adventures, take a break, or relax after a day on the trails. The chalet is a great place to warm-up and enjoy lunch or snacks with friends. Done for the day but not quite ready to leave? Kick your feet up and relax by the masonry fireplace.

The hearth and stone on the masonry fireplace radiate heat. This allows you to easily warm-up or dry off your clothing simply by being near any portion of the stone. It also allows us to remain energy efficient by effectively heating the room from timber we harvest on site.

The chalet also has restrooms, changing rooms, a microwave, as well as a waxing bench and iron.

When you’re done for the day, relax in a comfy chair or grab a seat at a table for a game of cribbage. You’re always welcome to share a few drinks with friends.

PRO TIP: In addition to our hand made cribbage board, there are puzzles available in the cabinets by the sink.

Speaking of drinks, WinMan also has a bar open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 12-5 all winter long. We offer canned beer, hard selzers, ciders, and craft cocktails. Even better, 100% of the profits go right back to building and maintaining the trail system.

Not in the mood for something alcoholic? Grab a beverage or a snack from the vending machine (credit cards accepted).

The chalet is open daily from 7 AM to 9 PM.

3) Get Your Heart Pumping with Classic and Skate Skiing

WinMan Trails offers 22 kilometers of cross-country ski trails for you to enjoy. All of ski trails are groomed for both classic and skate skiing.

Curious what the conditions are? Visit our trail conditions page to get the most up-to-date information on current conditions and our grooming schedule. The trails are groomed regularly, usually 4-5 times per week, but more often if we get new snowfall.

In addition to the conditions on the ground, we have a weather station at our trailhead. Follow the link at the top of our website titled “current weather” and you’ll find real-time information on things such as the current temperature and wind speeds right here at WinMan.

4) Groomed Snowshoe Trails for All Abilities

winman forest winter

We often get asked, “Why do you groom your snowshoe trails?” We are always seeking ways to provide you a unique trail experience while also making our trails accessible to everyone.

By grooming a portion of our snowshoe trails, you can enjoy walking side-by-side with friends and family. Groomed trails also make snowshoeing more accessible for children. Packed trails make it easier for kids to experience the beauty of snowshoeing in the Northwoods and help them keep up with the adults.

Additionally, groomed trails make it more accessible for dogs to join (especially “vertically challenged” dogs). We want the outdoors to be accessible to everyone, even our four-legged friends.

Even though the trails are groomed and packed, we do still require snowshoes. Walking in traditional hiking shoes creates “postholes” which can damage the trails and make it challenging for others to safely snowshoe. Furthermore, snowshoes provide the necessary traction you will need to navigate the terrain and stay safe.

5) Check out the Other Trailhead

We talk a lot about our main trailhead located on Highway W. After all, it is the heart of our operations. We have multiple starting options for all three trail systems, the chalet, and amenities located here, and we have enough parking for even the busiest of holiday weekends.

But perhaps you are looking for a little more solitude or a way to experience our trails in a new way. We offer another trailhead located on Papoose Lake Road. From this trailhead, you can access backcountry snowshoe trails, backcountry skiing trail, as well as groomed cross country ski trails.

Next time you’d like to mix things up, consider starting your adventures here.

6) Explore the New Backcountry Snowshoe Trails

Speaking of our Papoose Lake Road trailhead, this is a great place to explore the majority of our backcountry snowshoe trails.

winman backcountry snowshoe

This truly is one of the best ways to immerse yourself in the beauty of the Northwoods. The trails are all flagged, so you while you will feel like you are alone in the woods, you should never feel lost. Each trail is flagged in the same color as its corresponding line on the map. Furthermore, we use the same system as we do on our other trails, by providing a map at each of the posts shown on the map.

We also offer a backcountry trail called Lake Loop, which is easily accessed by starting on WinMan Passage from our main trailhead.

PRO TIP: Be the first one out after a snowfall to make fresh tracks and see the beauty of the trees draped in snow.

winman snowshoe

7) New for 2022 – Try Backcountry Skiing

We are excited to introduce a new ski trail offering at WinMan this winter – backcountry skiing. In cooperation with the Wisconsin DNR, we have flagged a 3.2K out-and-back route (1.6K each direction).

The trail begins about 50 feet east of the Papoose Lake Road parking lot. The entrance to the trail is marked with double red ribbon and is on the south side of Papoose Lake Road. The rest of the 1.6K trail is routinely marked with this same red ribbon.

winman backcountry ski trail

You’ll find yourself surrounded by the beauty of the Northwoods and the quiet serenity of nature. There is little elevation change on this route, making it a great option for anyone who’d like to give it a try.

8) Bring Your Pup – Trails are Dog Friendly

We love sharing the trails with our furry companions. Well-behaved dogs are allowed off leash on all our snowshoe and fat tire bike trails. Dogs are also allowed on designated cross country ski trails, so please check out the map to see the 8k of ski trail where dogs are welcome.

Remember these simple rules to make sure everyone has a great experience at WinMan:

  • Keep your dog within sight and control at all times.
  • Clean up after your dog immediately and properly dispose the waste in a trash can. Mutt Mitts are available with stations located at the kiosk and at the start of our trail system.
  • Keep dogs on a leash while in the parking lot.
  • Dogs are not allowed in the chalet at any time.

9) Thanks for Your Donation & Support!

WinMan Trails is 100% supported by the generous donations of our users.

Our mission is to inspire adventure and strengthen community by sharing an exceptional outdoor trail-related experience.

To achieve this, we rely on the generosity of our trail users and community. Our goal is to always keep our trails open and accessible for everyone. That is why we do not require you to purchase a trail pass or membership to access our trail system.

Please consider contributing so we can continue providing an exceptional trail-related experience for everyone.

Another way we are able to stay donation-based is through the hard work of our volunteers. We offer various ways for you to contribute and give back. If you are interested in learning more about upcoming volunteer opportunities, click the button below to fill out our 1-question survey.

Even More….

Believe it or not, WinMan Trails has even more to offer than what we listed here. From a new sledding hill near the chalet to winter events such as Yoga @ WinMan and Introduction to Fat Tire Biking Clinics, to an Apparel Shop with the latest WinMan gear….

We invite you to explore our website – and our trails – to learn more about what we have to offer. If you ever have any questions, email us at winmantrails@gmail.com. Happy trails!