Sawyer County allows licensed or registered off road motorcycles on ATV/UTV trails in Sawyer County. This includes the Tuscobia Trail and trails in the Flambeau Forest. Non-licensed or non-registered off-road dirt bikes are only allowed to ride on the Dead Horse Run Motorcycle and ATV Trail in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. For more information, click on this link to the DNR website.
No, unless you personally own the property. Please stay on marked trails and routes. Many of our trails cross private property and run along planted fields and pastures. If you are off the marked trail you are trespassing! The Alliance works hard to maintain good relationships with landowners so that these trails remain open. Please help by staying on the trails, being respectful of the land owner’s property and never leave garbage along the trails.
When snowmobiling on lakes, be sure to stay on marked trails and away from ice fishermen and fish shacks. During the winter, dangerous ice heaves can form on the lake that may be difficult to see when coming up on them. There are also areas where thin ice can be an issue. Remember that many of our land trails cross swamps and other wetlands which may not be frozen under the snow cover. If there is a gate up on a trail, do not go around it! The trails are marked for your safety. When it is safe to ride the trail in that area the gate will be removed.
Riding safety tips:
- Obey traffic signs and speed limits.
- If you stop along the trail, do so in a safe area. Do not stop at a corner or on a hill where others riding can’t see you.
- ALWAYS ride on your side of the trail! Remember anyone can be around that corner and lives can change in a second!
- Be smart, be alert!
When are lakes safe enough to ride snowmobiles?
Do not ride on lakes that are not staked. Although there may be plenty of ice in some areas on the lake, that doesn’t mean that the entire lake is safe. The club members who stake Sawyer County lakes have been doing so for 25-40 years, they are extremely knowledgeable about their areas and check ice depths regularly to ensure they are safe before they are staked for riding. Sometimes the ice depth is not consistent. It must be safe not only on the trail area, but also in the bays and other areas traveled to get to lodging and restaurants. Their main priority is always your safety. Mother Nature is in charge – please be patient!
Where can I get up-to-date information on trail conditions?
Our Facebook page is the main source of information: https://www.facebook.com/Sawyer-County-Snowmobile-ATV-Alliance-380359278827866. This is where the most current and accurate information will be posted all year long.
Other options. Call for Trail conditions and questions:
- Hayward Lakes Visitors & Convention Bureau 715-634-4801 or 1-800-724-2992, www.hayward lakes.com
- Sawyer County Forestry 715-634-4846
- Chequamegon National Forest 715-634-4821
- Hayward Power Sports 715-462-3674
- Flambeau State Trail 715-332-5271
The snow trails in Sawyer County travel across several different land management area’s and private properties with different times and policies for opening and closing.
- Tuscobia State trail is open year round for snowmobiles…just in case we get a snow storm in June 🙂
- Sawyer Co Forest trails are also open year round for that June blizzard.
- Flambeau State Forest and Chequamegon National Forest do not have a set opening date. They require an adequate snow base before opening. They notify the Alliance when they are open and we update our Face Book page immediately upon notification. The snow trails have a close date of April 1st unless otherwise determined.
- Many trails in the center of the county cross private property. Many land owners hunt so they want their property closed until mid-December.
Remember if the trails are open and you encounter a closed gate to private property NEVER go around it. We are so grateful to land owners who allow us on their land and we need to remain respectful and enter only when allowed, stay on the trail, do not leave garbage (this includes belts and other parts) and remember there are noise laws and speed limits. If you can’t obey the laws, please leave your sled at home.
Also remember we have amazing lakes here in Sawyer County (approximately 20) and many of our great trails cross lakes and swamps to your favorite destinations, lodging and connecting trails. These all need to freeze well before they are staked and open. Some private property trails may lead to swamps so if there is snow, but not adequate ice on those wetlands, the gates will stay closed to ensure safety.
Grooming depends not only on the snow conditions and temperatures, but also whether the swamps and wetland areas are adequately frozen. Trail captains a very careful to avoid damage to the grooming equipment and damage to the underlying trail. Repair parts are expensive and time consuming. Having a groomer down for repairs can delay or stall grooming in an area altogether.
During the snow season, trails are groomed regularly, weather and conditions permitting. Generally, they are groomed a couple times each week. The work is often done overnight when the snow and temperature is coldest and just before and after weekends.
You may not see many groomers out on Saturdays, and for good reason. Being out on a Saturday can be very dangerous with the heavy traffic on the trails. They aren’t out because they don’t want to be, they are concerned about safety.
Remember all groomer operators in Sawyer County are unpaid volunteers giving their time and expertise to make the trails in Sawyer County the best in the State. Be kind, be respectful, and thank them when you see them. Without them, we would have no trails to ride!
Yes!!! All snowmobiles operating in Wisconsin are required to display a Wisconsin State Trail Pass in addition to their State Registration Sticker.
Annual passes for snowmobiles registered in Wisconsin are $30 through the DNR, or may be purchased for just $10 by anyone who belongs to a Wisconsin snowmobile club AND the Association of Wisconsin Snowmobile Clubs (AWSC). Out-of-State Trail Passes are $50 dollars per year and can be purchased at gowild.wi.gov. JOIN A CLUB AND GET YOUR PASS FOR JUST $10!
If you are riding in Sawyer County consider joining one of the clubs listed on the Which Club do I join? Page of our website: Sawyer County Snowmobile & ATV Alliance. To order the discounted pass on-line or to learn about clubs in your area go to www.awsc.org.
Don’t Wait! Get Your Trail Pass Now! The fine for operating a snowmobile without the pass is $200.50. DNR and County Officials Will Be Enforcing the Law.
Most ATV/UTV trails in Sawyer County are open on a year-round basis. However, storms or adverse weather conditions can cause unexpected closures. Here is a list of the normal trail closings:
- Tuscobia Trail #10 is closed every year from:
- 11/15 – 12/15 from West of Angus through Sawyer County to Price County line.
- 11/15 – 4/15 closed from Price County Line to Park Falls
- Flambeau Forest Trails 1, 25 & 36: closed 11/15 – 5/15
- Trail 31: from Trail 10 to Co. F closed 10/15 – 12/15
- Chequamegon National Forest: All ATV trails and forest roads closed 3/15 – 5/1
- County forest trails: Sawyer County Forest access plan calls for County forest trails and forest roads to be closed to ATVs, bikes, and motor vehicles 4/1 – 5/15. County Forest Administrator may open trails during this period if he feels there would be minimal impact to trails.
- Washburn County Trails: Closed from 4/1 to the Friday before Memorial Day
Watch our Facebook page for information on trail closures or contact Sawyer County Forest Department at 715-634-4846 or the Hayward Chamber of Commerce at 715-634-8662.
The Wisconsin State Legislature passed new laws in 2020 intended to keep this sport as safe as possible and reduce injuries and deaths. Please follow the rules!
ATV Passenger Rules: Passengers are not allowed in or on any part of an ATV that is not designed or intended to be used by passengers. (Previously this law applied only to use on roadways.) After-market seating does not comply with the law.
New ATV/UTV Legal Definitions:
- Low-pressure tires are no longer required for ATVs or UTVs.
- ATVs are required to have 3 or more tires. They are required to be commercially designed and manufactured and their width cannot exceed 50 inches as measured laterally between the outermost wheel rims on each side of the vehicle.
- UTVs are required to have 4 or more tires. They are required to be originally manufactured with, and must maintain, a width of not more than 65 inches as measured laterally between the outermost wheel rims on each side of the vehicle.
Lighted Headlamp Display Requirements:
- ATVs and UTVs must have a lighted headlamp and tail lamp during operation regardless of time of day and location.
- No person (except emergency services persons) may operate an ATV or UTV equipped with the following:
- A lamp visible from directly in front of the vehicle that is any color other than white or amber.
- A lamp visible from directly behind the vehicle that is any color other than red, yellow, amber or white.
- A flashing, oscillating or rotating lamp that is any color other than yellow or amber.
- ATV and UTV operators must dim the high-beam headlamps and any auxiliary lamps when within 500 feet of an approaching ATV/UTV or other vehicle, and within 500 feet to the rear of another ATV/UTV or vehicle.
Operational Requirements and Modification Restrictions:
- ATVs and UTVs cannot be operated with anything other than tires, except on private property or frozen waters.
- ATV and UTV operators born on or after January 1, 1988 who are at least 12 years old for an ATV, and at least 16 years old for a UTV, must complete an ATV safety certification course to operate in Wisconsin, except on private property owned by the operator’s immediate family. DNR Conservation Wardens recommend all ATV and UTV operators complete a safety course.
NOTE: This is not a complete list of the laws. To learn more about ATV/UTV regulations go to: dnr.wi.gov.