October 27, 2022: The Sawyer County and Hayward area Trails are still open to ride right now, but we do have some current closures and upcoming trail closures as the season progresses:
Trails Already Closed:
Trail 21 south from FR 203 and the upper portion of Hwy S in the Moose Lake Area – this is a seasonal trail/route that closes on October 23rd each year
Trail 31 – a short section between the Tuscobia and County Rd F closed on October 15th and remains closed until December 15th
Temporary Trail Closings Coming Up:
Tuscobia Trail – closes between November 15 and December 15th each year during hunting season. Re-opens after that.
Seasonal Trail Closings Coming Up:
Flambeau Forest Trails – these are in the southeast portion of the county and include trails 36, 1, and 25. These trails close to ATV/UTV traffic on November 15th and will not reopen until spring, approximately mid-May
Sawyer County Forest Land Trails (Seeley Hills Trails 63, 31, 8, 77, 15, 9-mile loop off the Tuscobia): All are open until grooming begins for snowmobiling. Once grooming starts, these trails are closed to UTV traffic until spring. ATVs 900 lbs and under can still ride the snow-groomed County Forest trails.
Trails Open All Winter
Chequamegon-Nicolet Forest Trails/Deadhorse Motorized Trail- trails within the Federal forest lands typically stay open all winter until the spring thaw closure. For detailed information and maps, visit their link: Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest – Maps & Publications (usda.gov)
Tuscobia State Trail – open all winter after the 11/15 to 12/15 closure.
Note about road routes: Our road routes, (other than the upper portion of Hwy S) are open all winter. As a reminder, PLEASE do not speed on our road routes- you do not want to be the rider that causes a route to be closed for others!
October 12, 2022 ATV Trail Report for Sawyer County and Hayward Trails:
Trails in Sawyer County are open to ride! We’ve had a beautiful, colorful fall riding season so far – and although the woods are past peak color, we still have some great riding to do! Most trails have been somewhat dry due to a lack of substantial rainfall.
Local ATV and snowmobile clubs have also been busy brushing and trimming trails, as well as updating and installing new trail signage.
Several hunting seasons are going on right now and you may encounter various hunters and vehicles on some of the county forest roads- use caution.
The Connors Creek bridge in the southeast part of the county, is supposed to be done but I’ve not checked it – watch for signs when riding in that area as the trail should be open again soon.
The Tagalder Bridge by Nelson Lake was replaced recently, so no need for that road detour either!
This time of year, some of the lake resorts cut back on business hours so it’s always a good idea to call ahead to plan stops. Most businesses in the city of Hayward are open all year, although some may adjust their hours as well.
Trail 21 coming south from the Namekagon area, down to the upper part of County Rd S to Moose Lake is a seasonal trail which closes to ATV use as of October 24- so get your riding in here soon!
An important reminder to all riders – please do not speed on our road routes! Don’t be the one who causes a route to be closed.
October 8, 2022 ATV Trail Report
Admittedly, I’ve not ridden much over the past week – my machine is in the shop for repair work. I’ve put 11K miles on it over the past year and its starting to show the miles.
I’ve spent a lot of time out on doing trail work though – and I’m on a campaign to resign and brush our Seeley Hills trails right now.
I do know the the detour around the Connors Creek bridge down in the Flambeau Forest, should be over soon – the bridge replacement is slated to be done by today. If you ride in the SE corner of Sawyer County, watch for signs.
There has been a lot of traffic on the trails when I’ve been out working on them – some pretty large groups making their way from one location to another. There was recently a group of 50 machines riding from Lakewoods over to Webb Lake, and they made stops in Hayward/Nelson Lake. Fun to see the large groups out enjoying our trails.
We haven’t had much rain lately so trails should be somewhat dry. We reached peak color in this area within the past week and now the windy days are creating a shower of colored leaves. Temps have been hovering in the high 50’s-low 60’s during the day, making for some great riding weather.
Any questions on our trails, don’t hesitate to call me, I’ll be glad to help you if I can. Cathy LaReau 715-558-8966
Sep 21, 2022 ATV Trail Report –
The bridge on Tagalder, near Nelson Lake, has been replaced and the road is again open for ATV use, no more need for the detour!
LCO had published an official statement that the trails and routes within the reservation boundaries are currently open – and the same as they had been with no changes – please ride respectfully!
URGENT LCO REPORT: On Aug 29, the Lac Courte Oreilles Tribal news outlet published an article about their recent Tribal Governing Board’s decision on ATV use throughout the LCO Reservation boundaries in Sawyer County. Although this article is very concerning, an LCO official, publicly announced at Sawyer County meetings this week, that the article is not correct and also that ‘everything is the same as it has been’. We’ve been told the Tribe is going to issue either a retraction or a correction of this article. Until then – if riding within the reservation boundaries, please make sure you stay on marked routes and trails, and follow the laws pertaining to speed, etc. I am only reporting what I know from attending county meetings and talking to the Tribe – but I cannot guarantee any accuracy until we gather more information.
September 1, 2022 ATV Trail Report:
Recent rains and cooler temps should bring us some great riding over Labor Day Weekend!
Here is a brief rundown of some of our Sawyer County Trail systems-
Seeley Hills (Trails 31, 8, 77, 15, 63): These trails are connected by a series of gravel fire lanes/roads (Thannum, Phipps, Rock Lake Rd) that are part of the trail system overall. We are always hoping for regular cloud bursts to keep the dust down on these sections. Keep in mind, these fire lanes are open to other vehicle traffic and users – stay in your lane to avoid problems. And PLEASE, no burn outs or donuts at intersections – our township maintenance departments are reporting the need for excessive grading due to these activities.
Trail 31 Parking, restroom, and trailhead off Chippewa Trail Rd. Sections north from Chippewa Trail all the way to Thannum Fire Lane – Trails wind through the rolling County Forest land and offer some hard-packed dirt and rocky trail beds as well as sand and a few shallow water holes.
Trail 8 from Nelson Lake heading north to Seeley Fire Lane – always a fun trail but slower going unless you want to test your suspension components. When we have substantial rainfall, this trail can be pretty wet, with many smaller and deeper holes along the way as well as a few larger, but shallow, water holes. Most water holes are rocky or harder bottom. Deep water can cover some of the large rocks at the bottoms of these water holes, so use caution going through them.
ROUTE CLOSED NOTE: the one-lane bridge on Tagalder is being replaced and the road closer to the bridge is closed. Road routes to get around the closure – Simons from Tagalder, right on Peterson, right on Larson – will take you to cross Hwy 63 and into Seeley Hills areas.
Trail 8 NE from Thannum Fire Lane all the way to Bayfield County – a winding trail through rolling, wooded terrain, crosses several roadways. The first section off Thannum Fire Lane has some rough sections of washout, washout tiles and rock, the rest is a mix of hard pack dirt and rock, with some newer gravel sections. Trails need a good haircut the closer to Bayfield County, and our Trail Boss has ordered this work for late fall. This trail continues onto Rock Lake Road.
Trail 77 – Actually, Phipps Fire Rd is considered a part of Trail 77 as well as when the trail darts off into the woods near Hwy 77 and heads northeast towards Bayfield County. This is another trail that is mostly wooded and winds through the Sawyer County forest in several sections/road crossings. Trail is dotted with a few water holes, none of which should cause problems for most riders.
Trail 63 – running parallel to Hwy 63, this railroad bed can use a good grading to smooth it out a bit. Be aware that ATV use is not approved on this trail as you get closer to Hayward.
Trail 15 – this short trail section off of Phipps Fire Lane (Trail 77) dead ends at Black Iron Bar. It also had some recent bulldozing and grading work done to it.
PLEASE NOTE: Snowmobile Trail 5 at the intersection of Thannum and Phipps Fire Lane is NOT an ATV Trail as it dead ends at the swamp.
LCO Loop (Trails 30, 29, 3, 777, 9):
Trail 30: Catch this trail from the Casino on Hwy B/Hwy K and head south for adventure, water and mud. Dirt trails with very few rocks, some sandy areas and lightly rolling terrain. Trails wind through the woods and cross a few roads. The first wooded section of trail has some fairly deep water holes, a few you can choose to drive around, the others should be easy to get through for most. CAUTION- there is one hole you cannot drive around and in the middle of it are deep ruts which will catch you- we were able to slowly cross it by driving on top of the ruts- 4-wheel and locked in case you start sliding into one of the ruts.
Trail 29- off of Trail 30, heads over to the Round Lake area and dead ends there at a few restaurants/bars. This trail has some deeper water holes closer to the lake.
Trail 3 – Trail 30 hooks into Trail 3. If you continue straight on Trail 3, you will wind through a moderately hilly area with some water holes, and end up over on Hwy K by the Little LCO Casino and gas station. From there you can road-ride in three directions; South on Hwy E along Lac Courte Oreilles, to Gurno Lake Rd, Southwest on Hwy K into the Northwoods Beach areas, or Northwest on Hwy E to get back into Hayward.
Trail 777 – if, at the intersection of Trail 30 and 3, you head Southeast on Trail 3, you will head to Green Lake Rd and then right onto the first section of Trail 777; a challenging, steep, wet and rocky section that ends up at the top of Indian Lake Rd. Turn right and drive down Indian Lake Rd then left onto the second section of Trail 777, an even rockier/hillier section than the first. At Gurno Lake Rd, you can head South on Larson Rd, towards the Tuscobia, or left on Gurno to a right on Hwy NN takes you towards resorts south of the Chippewa Flowage. Some of this is road riding, but there are short stretches of trail as well. DO NOT randomly drive down logging roads in this area- the Tribe has some areas here that they regard as sacred, so please stay on the trail.
Trail 9 – Off of Conger Rd you will find Trail 9, and if you take it south you will end up on Ashegon Fire Lane, Devil’s Lake Rd then South on Smith Rd, cross Hwy 70, left on Jos Chafer and then to the Tuscobia. The first part is fairly level and grassy with some rocky areas, the southern part of this trail is hilly, rocky and very wet.
NOTE: It is critical to our trail system within the LCO Reservation boundaries that you remain ON the trails, and obey traffic regulations while on road routes. We are one complaint away from some of these being closed.
Eastern Sawyer County – I recently rode down Fire Rd 203 in the Chequamegon Forest, south to Trail 21 and then down to the Moose Lake area. 203 is a gravel fire road, but it’s pretty scenic, and of course, Trail 21 is one of my favorites- a narrow dirt trail through the woods between Teal Lake and Ghost Lake. I took the newly-approved ATV route on Highway S, just south of Hwy 77 to get down to Moose Lake. Louies Landing has gas and food plus down the road on Hwy S there is a newer place, JB’s Moose Lake Shack for food as well.
Trail 5 – I hooked into Trail 5 at Moose Lake. This trail had some recent grading work done for a long stretch, which dislodged some rocks from its dirt-base. This trail winds through a few sparsely-treed flatter areas as well as heavily-wooded forests A few trail sections, before you hit Barker Lake Rd, are fairly challenging; steeper hills with larger rocks and muddy/stagnant water pits.
Southwest area– Trails near Birchwood and those in the Spider Lake Loop are reported to be in good condition, some banked trails observed in the Spider Lake Loop areas. Ed’s Pit Stop in Birchwood just recently changed ownership and they have been redoing the parking lot and store.
Tuscobia – This gravel railroad bed runs from Price County line down to Birchwood in Sawyer County. Many different places to stop along this trail; gas is available in Winter as well as Radisson and Birchwood. Due to recent rains, there are a few minor washouts in the Ojibwa area that we are repairing.
Flambeau Forest/Oxbo Loop – I ran the Oxbo loop recently, from the Tuscobia I jumped onto Trail 36 all the way down to Big Bear on Hwy W on the Flambeau River- always scenic and a lot of fun. Several gates to go through, bridges over streams, mostly gravel/dirt trails, some rocky areas in gently rolling terrain. Some gravel routes inbetween trail sections.
Re-Routes in the area: Trail 5 -Wolf’s Eagle Lodge permanent re-route (watch for signs). Trail 25/Connor’s Creek – temporary re-route until this bridge is replaced early fall- ATV Trail expected to be open during October. Trail 8/Tagalder Bridge near Nelson Lake- temporary reroute while bridge is replaced (watch for signs).
PLEASE mind your speed and noise when riding our road routes! Recent complaints of speeding ATVs/UTVs on Small Rd near Nelson Lake as well as on Gurno Lake Rd between Lac Courte Oreilles and Chief Lake of the Flowage, may cause us problems trying to keep these roads open for use. Don’t be the LAST STRAW that breaks the camel’s back and closes these roads for all riders
Riders – please report any trail issues/downed trees to us right away! firstname.lastname@example.org or call/text Cathy directly at 715-558-8966
Do you need a non-resident Wisconsin ATV Trail Pass? Go Wild link below takes you to the WI DNR site – $35 for a year trail sticker (expires Mar 31 of each year) or you can purchase a 5-day pass for $20 (paper receipt-no sticker)
May 16, 2022: The Sawyer County Snowmobile & ATV Alliance Ambassador, Sawyer, rode with me all opening weekend. I put him to work – we chainsawed more storm-damaged trees, did more trail cleanup both in Seeley Hills and in the LCO Loop by the Casino. Trails are looking better after each work day, but still lots to do. Sawyer even helped me install and later check on trail counters! Hope to see you on the trails!- Cathy
May 12, 2022: Here comes ATV Season in Sawyer County! County Forest and Federal Forest trails open for use on Friday May 13th. Important- during March, our area suffered an ice storm and workers had spent many hours on chainsaw work & cleanup, especially in the Seeley Hills trails on County Forest land. Ride with caution as these trails are still ‘dirty’ with smaller downed limbs. PLEASE take a few minutes to throw branches off trails when you are enjoying your ride. Grading has been done on the Tuscobia, and is currently happening on Trail 5 from Moose Lake to Trap N Fish. Until Seeley Hills trails are graded, watch for washouts as we’ve had several heavy storms recently. We are planning to get out to do some signage work over the next few weeks as well. Enjoy your ride and reach out if you have questions!
March 18, 2022: Well its officially over – Most Sawyer County trails are melted down and gates to many trails on private land have been closed, surrounding counties will close their trails after this coming weekend. Always a sad time!
Wednesday March 9, 2022: We have our NW Relic Riders ride to lunch tomorrow. This is sure to be the last one of this snowmobile season as warm temps next week will decimate the trails. Most of the trails in the central to northern portions of our county are in bad shape from the recent ice storm as well- we suffered a lot of damage that will take a lot of time to clear. Volunteers had been out all this week working to clear what they can, but it was slow-going. Most realized that we are not going to get the trails cleared enough to groom again this season. If you decide to ride, call ahead to make sure your destinations will be open, and use extreme caution on the trails. There was still a good base a few days ago, and this weeks’ cooler temps hopefully kept it there. I guess I’ll find out tomorrow!
Sunday March 6, 2022: Relentless late-night rain turned to sleet, then a few inches of snow overnight here. Many areas report branches down on trails – use caution if you ride, and please help the groomers by throwing downed limbs off the trail. Just about the entire Chippewa Flowage is still without power, as of mid-morning today. Deerfoot reported their power is back on, but I’ve not heard from the others. Be sure to call destinations if you are riding out that way. North of Hayward reports excellent trails with again, downed branches here and there. I’ll fire up my machine in a few hours to check it all out.
March 4, 2022: Amazing! I rode the Seeley Hills trails, several lakes today and the trails are absolutely wonderful! Sure, some of the trails along Hwy 77 are getting down to the dirt/snirt stages, but off those main thoroughfare trails, the rest are just great riding!
I didn’t make it up to Weenie Roast today as I planned, but heck, got on the trails and just kept riding and riding. Very enjoyable day, and its March 4th! Last year I couldn’t ride beyond March 2 so this is a bonus.
So Saturday March 5, 2022 gets here – the forecast is all over the place; rain, sleet, snow. I woke up to a thick layer of glare ice covering everything. Many resorts throughout our area, were without power and announced closings until tomorrow. I only saw a few sledders out today – it was quiet around here. Forecast is for snow tomorrow, maybe mixed with sleet. We’ll see….
Almost all resorts/restaurants on the Chippewa Flowage close after this weekend and stay closed until fishing opener. Always a sad time especially when there is so much more riding to do into March. Well…. a few staples should be open for gas, food, drinks; Nelson Lake bars, Sawmill Saloon, plus a bunch along Hwy 77/Trail 5; Blackiron, Twin Lakes Tap, Dows, Wheel Inn. The Moose Lake area has JB’s and Louie’s Landing. There are more that are still open – but this time of year, make sure you call ahead, especially if you are needing gas stops along your ride.
Late February 2022: Soon, this will be all about Sawyer County, Wisconsin snowmobile and ATV/UTV trails. Updates will include news on trails and routes, new ATV routes, club events, public rides and so much more. Stop back often as this site develops.
Ride hard! Have fun!