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Action Tracks, Winter 2012-’13

Serving You Since 1951 HOME OF POND HOCKEY FEB. 8, 9, 10, 2013

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Serving from 5 p.m., Thursday, Friday, Saturday

“GREAT PIT STOP!!� MOTEL & SUITES VILLAS & CONDOS WITH FIREPLACES

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On the Eagle River Chain of Lakes at Watersmeet Lake Bridge

5260 Hwy. 70 West Eagle River, WI 54521 (715) 479-2000

Room Reservations

1-800-752-9193

The Alwards

715-479-4486 HOME OF: INTERNATIONAL SNOWMOBILE

HALL OF FAME

www.worldsnowmobilehq.com

200' North of Derby Track on Hwy. 45 Open Mon.-Sat. from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mid-May to Mid-Oct. and Mid-Dec. to Mid-March Tele: 715-479-2186

also featuring:

Antique and Vintage Museum has over 80 historic sleds on display from the ’50s through ’90s. Experience our history.

International Snowmobile Hall of Fame honors 92 pioneers, volunteers, industry and promoters who together have created and sustain the sport of snowmobiling.

Women on Snow Iron Dog Brigade Groomer of Year Kitty Cat Racers Video Theater Club of the Year Derby Hall of Fame showcasing the 49-year history of this race with over 250 photos plus championship sleds from the past.

Snowmobiler’s Gift Shop

                    


Action Tracks, Winter 2012-’13

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Winter events set across North Woods The North Woods is recognized across the Midwest as a winter recreation paradise, offering snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, ice fishing, snowshoeing and more. Besides the many outdoor activities, communities and organizations plan events as an added attraction to this winter wonderland. The events range from sled-dog races and snowmobile derbies to ice fishing contests and hockey games. Most of the activities include fun for the entire family, plus plenty of food and refreshments. The following list of activities was compiled by the Vilas County Advertising Department. There also are several Three Lakes and Sugar Camp events included in the list. Those planning to attend the events should call local chambers of commerce or information bureaus to confirm dates and times, as dates may change without notice. Some of the events are explained in greater detail in other parts of Action Tracks. NOVEMBER Nov. 23, Three Lakes — The Three Lakes Chamber of Commerce will host its annual Festival of Lights at 5:30 p.m. at the gazebo at Cy Williams Park. The event will feature Christmas carols, the lighting of the town holiday lights and a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus. Phone (715) 5463344. Nov. 23, Land O’ Lakes — Santa and Mrs. Claus will come to downtown Land O’ Lakes at 1 p.m. There will be a tree lighting ceremony, singing of Christmas carols, refreshments and gifts for the children. There will be a Christmas walk from 5 to 8 p.m. with shops open, carriage rides and a bonfire. Phone (715) 547-3432. Nov. 24, Eagle River — The Downtown Business Association will have its annual Christmas Kickoff with a parade at 1 p.m. down Wall Street. Youths can visit with Santa at the Depot Museum. Phone (715) 479-7656. Nov. 24, St. Germain — The annual town Christmas tree lighting ceremony will be held at the St. Germain Chamber of Commerce. Santa will join the tree lighting, which will be followed by treats at the St. Germain Fire Department. Nov. 30, Phelps — Santa will visit downtown Phelps, listen to children’s holiday wishes and light the town Christmas tree at 6:30 p.m. Phone (715) 545-3800. DECEMBER Dec. 1, Eagle River — The Northwoods Children’s Museum will hold its Santa Saturday event from noon to 1 p.m. Santa will hear Christmas wishes and will give a treat to each visiting child. Phone (715) 479-4623. Dec. 9, Manitowish Waters — Christmas for the Town will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the community center, with a visit from Santa, free lunch, baked goods, refreshments and children’s prize drawings. Phone (715) 543-8201. Dec. 15-16, Phelps — The Phelps Snowmobile Club will have a snowmobile benefit breakfast from 7:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Sunrise Lodge, with proceeds for trail maintenance and grooming. Phone (877)

In addition to outdoor recreational activities during the winter months, organizations sponsor many community events. The 13th

669-7077. Dec. 29, Boulder Junction — The chamber will sponsor its annual Winter Celebration at Boulder Junction Winter Park from 4 to 6:30 p.m. featuring a chili dump, bonfire, music, ice skating, crosscountry skiing, fireworks and more. Phone (715) 385-2400. Dec. 31, Woodruff — There will be chili and fireworks at the Woodruff Town Hall from 5 to 7:30 p.m. to kick off the New Year. Phone (715) 356-5266. JANUARY Jan. 5, St. Germain — St. Germain Lodge & Resort will host the 13th annual Polar Bear Plunge, with the plunge at noon. Proceeds benefit Angel On My Shoulder. Call for pledge sheets and registration forms. Phone (715) 542-3433. Jan. 11-13, Eagle River — The Vintage World Snowmobile Championship will be held at the AMSOIL Derby Track with sleds from the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s featured. Racing will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Phone (715) 4794424. Jan. 15, St. Germain — The PrimeTimers’ Snowflake Dance with live entertainment will be held at the Community Center from 7 to 11 p.m. Food and beverages will be served. The public is welcome. Phone (715) 479-6310. Jan. 17-20, Eagle River — The 50th

annual Polar Bear Plunge will be held in St. Germain Jan. 5, raising funds for Angel On My Shoulder. —NEWS-REVIEW PHOTO

annual AMSOIL World Championship Snowmobile Derby will take place at the Derby Track starting at 9 a.m. each day. The event will include Oval and Sno-Cross racing, with championship races Sunday, Jan. 20. Phone (715) 479-4424. Jan. 18-19, Three Lakes — The Tavern League will host a poker run with cash prizes and raffle drawings. There will be a social gathering at Mai Tiki Bar & Grill Saturday. Phone (715) 546-3344. Jan. 19, Conover — A snowmobile trail lunch will be held from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. at Maple View Resort. Proceeds benefit the Jim Scott Scholarship Fund. Phone (715) 479-8968. Jan. 25-27, Eagle River — The 27th annual Women on Snow will be a snowmobiling weekend for women only. Trail rides are planned throughout the area, leaving from Eagle River Inn. Phone (715) 8911915. Jan. 26, Conover — The Sno-Buddies Snowmobile Club will have a chili cook-off at Log Cabin to support area snowmobile trails. Phone (715) 479-8968. Jan. 26, Sugar Camp — The Northern Vintage Snowmobile Race series will be held at the Sugar Camp Town Hall, hosted by the Sugar Camp Snowmobile Club. Phone (715) 479-7488. FEBRUARY Feb. 1-3, St. Germain — A snowmo-

bile radar run will be held on West Bay of Little St. Germain Lake, with 660- and 1,000-foot tracks. Friday is for practice runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Trophy runs are planned Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Phone 1-(800) 445-5370. Feb. 2, St. Germain — The Plum Lake EMTs Holes for Life fishing tournament will be held at Fibber’s on Big St. Germain Lake from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Registration starts at 7 a.m. Phone (715) 891-0572. Feb. 2, Phelps — The Phelps School Winter Carnival will feature indoor games, along with a soup, chili and dessert contest at the school from 4 to 9 p.m. Phone (715) 545-2724. Feb. 6-7, St. Germain — A trail groomer show will be held at Vogel Enterprises from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m Thursday, with displays and demonstrations both days. Food will be served by the Bo-Boen Snowmobile Club. Phone (715) 479-4200. Feb. 8-9, Minocqua — Cruiserfest will be held throughout downtown and Lake Minocqua with food, music and a snowmobile parade Friday night followed by a bonfire. Activities continue Saturday. Phone (715) 439-0111. Feb. 8-10, Eagle River — The eighth annual Labatt Blue/USA Hockey Pond Hockey Championships will be held on To EVENTS, Pg. 4


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Action Tracks, Winter 2012-’13

Events

cultural demonstration, a horse pull, dogsled rides and refreshments. Phone (715) 891-2679. March 9, Three Lakes — A Northern Vintage Snowmobile 30-mile Endurance Race will be held on Spirit Lake starting at 11 a.m. Headquarters will be Bonnie’s Lakeside. Proceeds will benefit Three Lakes Trails. Phone (715) 891-3823. March 10, Conover — The Lions Club Kids Fisheree will be held on Denton Lake off Highway 45 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. It’s a special ice fishing contest just for children, featuring prizes and refreshments. Phone (715) 479-6673. March 16, St. Germain — Black Bear Lodge will host its fourth annual Ice Golf Tournament on Little St. Germain Lake from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. to benefit the Vilas Food Pantry. Phone 1-(800) 563-4340. March 22-24, Eagle River — The Ice Masters Classic 3-on-3 Hockey Tournament will be held at the Sports Arena with divisions for mites through bantams, including a girls division. Games start at 4 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. Phone (715) 617-9146.

FROM PAGE 3 Dollar Lake starting at 9 a.m. each day. There will be 250 teams in 15 divisions on 24 rinks on Dollar Lake. Phone 1-(800) 359-6315. Feb. 9, Land O’ Lakes — The Winter Festival flea market and craft show will be held at the elementary school from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. There also will be a bake sale and food. Phone (715) 547-3432. Feb. 9-10, Land O’ Lakes — The Three Bear Winter Sled Dog Races and Winter Games will be held both days with world-class competitors. There will be a Mushers Ball Saturday night. Phone (715) 547-3541. Feb. 10, Conover — Lions Club Winter Frolic, featuring sledding activities for children, plus plenty of refreshments and prizes for the adults, will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the town park. Phone (715) 479-6673. Feb. 15-16, Three Lakes — The Tavern League will have a poker run with cash prizes and raffle drawings. There will be a social gathering at Black Forest Pub & Grille. Phone (715) 546-3344. Feb. 15-16, Eagle River — The sixth annual Pink Ribbon Riders Wisconsin Snow Run will be headquartered at the Derby Track, with proceeds benefiting breast cancer victims. Phone (269) 7445157. Feb. 16, St. Germain — The 30th annual Ride With The Champs will start at Whitetail Inn at 7:30 a.m. The celebrity snowmobile ride will benefit the Snowmobile Hall of Fame and will include a breakfast, lunch and dinner. The Snowmobile Hall of Fame induction banquet will be at 7 p.m. at Whitetail Inn. Phone (715) 5424463. Feb. 16-17, Eagle River — The Great Northern Sno-Cross series will have races

Communities across the North Woods will offer winter events for the entire family, including the Conover Winter Frolic Feb. 10. —NEWS-REVIEW PHOTO

at the AMSOIL Derby Track starting at 9 a.m. each day. Phone (715) 479-4424. Feb. 23, Three Lakes — Vintage Oval Races will be held on Spirit Lake with races starting between 10 and 11 a.m. Headquarters will be Bonnie’s Lakeside. It’s part of the Northern Vintage Snowmobile Race Series. Phone (715) 891-3823. Feb. 23, Boulder Junction — The fifth annual Winter Fest will be held at Boulder Lake 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., with fishing, ice golf and other winter games. Proceeds benefit the Boulder Junction Landing Improvement Fund. Phone (715) 3852400.

Feb. 23, Three Lakes — The Lions Club will sponsor its 60th annual Ice Fishing Derby on Maple Lake from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. There will be prizes and food available. Phone (715) 546-3344. MARCH March 2-3, Eagle River — Trig’s Klondike Days will be held at Northland Pines High School and Rocking W Stables from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. The event will feature a dog weight pull, craft show, music and entertainment, historical displays, a trappers’ camp and Rendezvous, lumberjack contests, a Native American

APRIL April 16-17, Eagle River — The Silver Blades Ice Show will perform at the Sports Arena. Youths, advanced and professional skaters will perform in costume on the ice. Show times are 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday. Phone (715) 4891-5532. For more information on these or other events, contact the following chambers of commerce: Eagle River, (715) 479-6400; Three Lakes, (715) 546-3344; Boulder Junction, (715) 385-2400; Conover, (715) 479-4928; Lac du Flambeau, (715) 5883346; Land O’ Lakes, (715) 547-3432; Manitowish Waters, (715) 543-8488; Phelps, (715) 545-3800; Presque Isle, (715) 6862910; St. Germain, (715) 477-2205; SaynerStar Lake, (715) 542-3789; Winchester, (715) 686-2598; and Minocqua-Arbor Vitae-Woodruff, (715) 356-5266.

Index of Advertisers Builders

Pg.

Home Improvement

Pg.

Miscellaneous

Pg.

Pg.

CornerStone Custom Builders Inc. ..................... 35

Kwaterski Bros. Wood Products Inc. ................... 16

Snowmobile Map ........................................ 18 & 19

Headwaters Polaris ............................................. 30

Waldmann Construction ..................................... 28

Lampert Lumber ................................................. 32

World Snowmobile Headquarters ......................... 2

Land O’ Lakes Recreation Co. ............................ 16 Paul’s Rent-All/Snowmobile Rental .................... 32

Chambers of Commerce Conover Chamber of Commerce ........................ 30 Three Lakes Chamber of Commerce & Welcome Center ......................................... 20

Cross-Country Skiing/Equipment Afterglow Lake Resort ........................................ 34 Sylvania Outfitters ............................................... 32

Lodging Afterglow Lake Resort ........................................ 34 Bent’s Camp Lodge Restaurant* ........................ 20

Recreational Facilities

St. Germain Sport Marine ................................... 28

Ski Brule ............................................................. 17

Shoeder’s RV & Marine ...................................... 14

Sylvania Outfitters ............................................... 32

Ski-Doo .............................................................. 22 Sportsman’s Service Center ............................... 14

Best Western Derby Inn ...................................... 17 Chanticleer Inn* .................................................... 2 Dancing Eagles Resort Hotel* ............................ 14 Eagle River Inn & Resort* .................................... 2 Gateway Lodge* ................................................. 16

Restaurants/Taverns

The Toy Shop ...................................................... 16

Alexander’s Pizza ....................................... 24 & 28 Bucktale Inn ........................................................ 28

Special Events

Friendship House ................................................ 24

St. Germain Radar Run ...................................... 20

Tribute Brewing Co. Taphouse ............................. 32

World Championship Snowmobile Derby ........... 36

Financial Institution

Gogebic Lodge* .................................................. 30

Weber’s Wildlife-Bar & Petting Farm ................... 32

Peoples State Bank ............................................ 30

Lac Vieux Desert Resort & Casino* ................... 14

White Stag Inn .................................................... 30

Rustic Manor Motor Lodge .......................... 32

Stores Health Care Pharmacies .................................... 16

Gas/Grocery/Liquor

Thunder Bay Resort ........................................... 16

Snowmobile Sales, Service, Rentals

Nelson’s Ace Hardware ........................................ 8

Wild Eagle Corner Store ..................................... 30

*Dining facilities

Arctic Cat ............................................................ 12

WalkAbout Paddle & Apparel ............................. 10


Action Tracks, Winter 2012-’13

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Derby marks 50th anniversary Special activities planned for racers, fans ___________ BY GARY RIDDERBUSCH NEWS-REVIEW EDITOR

___________

The world’s most prestigious snowmobile race — the AMSOIL World Championship Snowmobile Derby — will have a grand 50th anniversary celebration in Eagle River Jan. 17-20. The “Indianapolis 500 of snowmobile racing” draws the best ice oval racers from the United States and Canada, and the 50th anniversary event will have additional incentives for racers and fans. “We feel the 50th anniversary of the Eagle River World Championship Snowmobile Derby is truly a historic milestone in the sport of snowmobiling,” said Derby Track general manager Todd Achterberg. It’s the oldest and grandest event in snowmobile racing, dating back to the first race on Dollar Lake in 1964. The race grew in the late 1960s and 1970s under the direction of the Eagle River Lions Club, which moved the race to a track between Highway 45 and Pleasure Island Road. Dozens of snowmobile manufacturers helped draw thousands of people to the event. The race show and Derby Track went to new heights under the direction of the Decker racing family, which purchased the race and facility in 1986. Today, the show includes world-class Oval racing, high-flying Sno-Cross battles and the first and best under-the-lights show — Friday Night Thunder. Under the direction of the Decker

The 50th annual AMSOIL World Championship Snowmobile Derby will be held in Eagle River Jan. 17-20, bringing professional ice

family, the track itself took on new a look with indoor spectator seating called “hot seats,” corporate suites, motor home

The high-flying Sno-Cross racers will compete inside the oval, putting on a spectacular show for Derby race fans throughout the weekend.

oval racers from the United States and Canada to the biggest race in snowmobiling. —NEWS-REVIEW PHOTOS

parking with closed-circuit television, lighting for night racing, Jumbotron viewing for the fans and a large heated Expo Hall. 50th anniversary plans Achterberg said the 50th anniversary will feature special attractions for fans and racers, including a total payout of $81,600 for the championship race Sunday afternoon. “The 2013 Derby will have a large number of past World Champions returning to meet and greet their fans,” said Achterberg. “Their actual winning sled or detailed replicas will be here to be seen both on display and on the track that made them famous.” All the past Derby Queens have been invited and will be appearing with the former champs to visit with race fans. “Opportunities to meet past and current race drivers will be a big part of the weekend with a large heated VIP tent and an expanded Expo Hall loft,” said Achterberg. “The loft will be the site of the Saturday night Top Ten ring presentation, open to all fans.” There also will be visiting celebrities from the auto racing world, including three-time Indy 500 champion Bobby Unser and Paul Page, known as the “Voice of Indy.” Oval racers will compete on more than 15 inches of pure ice, a track created from more than 2 million gallons of water spread on subzero nights by a 4,000-gallon water truck. The ice oval interior, thanks to state-of-the-art snowmaking

equipment, will be transformed into a Sno-Cross course filled with jumps, moguls, hairpin turns and one monster platform near the start/finish line, for the ultimate in big air. Richest payout For the 50th anniversary Derby, Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches has put up $50,000 for the winner of the title race. The winner will take home another $10,000 from the AMSOIL Derby Track for a total of $60,000. Jimmy John’s also will put up another $10,000 for the “Jimmy John’s Freaky Fast Challenge,” which will be split up among the top four drivers in the championship race at the mandatory pit stop caution. The leader at lap 10 will pocket $5,000, with second getting $3,000, while third and fourth will each get $1,000. The big payday at the AMSOIL World Championship will continue to be spread out across the top 12 finishers when the final checkered flag falls and the ice dust settles. There is an additional $11,600 being paid out by the AMSOIL Derby Track. Achterberg said the total payout of $81,600 for the championship race will make it the richest payout in the history of modern day snowmobile racing. Last year, the mid-race champion was Matt Schulz of Wausau on a Ski-Doo, but in the end, Nick Van Strydonk of Tomahawk on a Polaris took the checkered flag. In what may have been the closest To DERBY, Pg. 6


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Derby FROM PAGE 5 race in Derby history, Van Strydonk outmaneuvered Schulz in the final turn to win his first World Championship. Schulz finished second and Dustin Wahl of Green Bush, Minn., placed third on a Polaris. Ryan Knisker of Marinette was fourth and P. J. Wanderscheid, a four-time champion, placed fifth. Both were piloting Arctic Cats. The 2013 AMSOIL Derby promises to be another battle of the greats, as the field will include four-time winner Wanderscheid, two-time champion Moyle and last-year’s title holder Van Strydonk. “The Top 10 field is so incredibly competitive and even, that it is impossible to predict who might emerge as the new world champion,” said Achterberg. “It could be any of the racers who made it to the final last year, and we saw several new, young faces.” Vintage starts first Achterberg said the 2013 event will actually be a 10-day show that opens Jan. 11-13 with the Vintage World Championships, presented by Woody’s. “Vintage racing is fast closing in on its contemporary counterparts and matching the entry numbers of current SnoCross and ice oval competitors,” said Achterberg. “Vintage entries and fan popularity have grown so large that vintage racing claimed its own three-day event the weekend before the Derby.” He said vintage race fans get to relive a bygone era by watching races that pit sleds from nearly a dozen different manufacturers. “The vintage machines today are meticulously restored, engines are tuned and reliable,” said Achterberg. “The competition is highly reminiscent of the good old days.” The Vintage World Championship will open with a special Friday night show Jan. 11, followed by a full day of qualifying and class finals Saturday, Jan. 12, and more finals Sunday, Jan. 13, concluding with the title race in the Super Mod 440 Class at 3 p.m. The big show But the event that put Eagle River and even Wisconsin on the international map starts Thursday, Jan. 17, with allday practice sessions for both Oval and Sno-Cross racers. Time trials for the Oval World Championship class will be run under the lights Thursday night. After a full day of qualification racing Friday in both Oval and Sno-Cross, fans will pack the AMSOIL Derby Track grounds Friday night for the most progressive and most popular event — the Parts Unlimited Friday Night Thunder show. In what Achterberg calls “indisputably” the best show in snowmobile racing, the under-the-lights show features races in Sno-Cross and Oval classes. Past events have rocked the city with blasting rock ’n’ roll music and an enormous fireworks display. Returning, by popular demand, is the Sweet Sixteen event where the top World Championship qualifiers go head-to-

Action Tracks, Winter 2012-’13 head under the lights to determine who will sit the pole in Sunday’s championship race. “We’re going to take the top 16 qualifiers, run two heat races with eight machines in each, and pull five racers from each heat for the final,” said Achterberg. “The winner is automatically qualified in the Top 10 and will sit the pole position. The winner won’t have to gruel it out in qualifications Saturday afternoon.” Achterberg said the under-the-lights show is “one of the innovative events that has made the Derby the Indy 500 of snowmobile racing.” For the seventh year, AMSOIL has emerged as the sponsor of both the famed Derby Track and the World Championship itself. “AMSOIL has long been active in race venues, from auto to motorcycle races, and this alliance is a potent indicator of the importance of snowmobile racing, and the 49-year-old Derby, in the promotion marketplace,” he said. Saturday will bring both class finals and qualifying in the morning, with the entire afternoon dedicated to qualifying the Top 10 finalists for Sunday’s 3 p.m. World Championship event. Sunday, championship day, means finals in the most competitive classes. The biggest races will be a Pro Open SnoCross championship at 2:30 p.m. and the Oval championship at 3 p.m. “The title race with Champ 440 sleds is, by all measures, the single-most important snowmobile race of the year,” said Achterberg. Besides drawing the world’s best Oval racers for a cash and prize purse that exceeds $150,000, Achterberg said the Derby attracts professional and amateur Sno-Cross racers for the high-flying, sharp-cornering thrills of what some call “motocross on sleds.” Hot seats, admission The viewing stand accommodates VIPs, manufacturers and race fans. It is in addition to the 17 indoor suites that have been built since 1993. The ice oval at Eagle River is the first racetrack ever to be constructed exclusively for snowmobile racing. Its design — an egg-shaped oval one-half mile in length on the outside wall, with banked corners — remains the most demanding configuration on the racing circuit. Trackside motor-home parking is one of the most comfortable ways to watch races at the track. There are 35 parking spots positioned between corners three and four. Electricity and closed-circuit television are included. New construction at the AMSOIL Derby grounds in recent years has produced thousands of indoor hot seats for race fans, an enormous exhibit building and a new media center that includes an imposing viewing stand on the front straightaway. Achterberg said numerous vendors and displayers will present their products inside the Derby Expo Hall. Ticket prices are $15 daily for Vintage Weekend Jan. 11-13 or $35 for all three days. Hot seats are priced at $120 for Vintage Weekend and that includes gate admission. For Derby Weekend, tickets are $15 for Thursday, $30 for Friday (day and evening), $25 for Saturday and $30 for

The 2013 anniversary Derby activities will get under way with the Vintage World Championships, presented by Woody’s, the weekend of Jan. 11-13. —NEWS-REVIEW PHOTO

Sunday. A four-day Derby pass costs $65, a savings of $35. After Dec. 25, a weekend pass is $75. Hot seats are priced at $225 for all four days (Jan. 17-20) for Derby Weekend or can be obtained separately on a daily basis. The hot seats include a Superticket that is good for all four days. Achterberg said the Derby is designating Saturday as Family Day, when two adults and up to three children can

get in for $65. Tickets can be purchased at the Derby office. Admission for children 10 and younger is free. Race fans also can get information on advance ticket sales and motor-home parking by writing the AMSOIL World Championship Snowmobile Derby office at P.O. Box 1447, Eagle River, WI 54521, or by calling (715) 479-4424. Tickets also can be purchased at derbytrack.com.

Snomo sno-cross series to race in Eagle River four times in ’13 The Great Northern Sno-Cross Series (GNSS) will visit the AMSOIL Eagle River Derby Track in Eagle River four times during the 2013 season. This year’s GNSS will feature eight race events, including Derby Weekend in Eagle River. Besides ice oval racing, the AMSOIL Eagle River Derby Track has offered high-flying sno-cross events since the early 1980s on a specially constructed track inside the oval. Sno-cross racers will open their season Jan. 17-20 at the AMSOIL Eagle River Derby Track during the 50th anniversary of the AMSOIL World Championship Snowmobile Derby, the most famous event in snowmobile racing. The race series will then move to Brakket Jan. 26 and Plymouth Feb. 2. The series will return to Eagle River for a doubleheader Feb. 9-10. Each day will count as a full round of racing.

The series will continue in La Crosse Feb. 16 and in Kaukauna Feb. 23. The GNSS finale will be back in Eagle River March 2 with the series banquet to follow. All event dates are tentative and subject to change, according to Todd Achterberg, manager at the AMSOIL Eagle River Derby Track. Achterberg said sno-cross racing is a popular event with fans, and the professionally-run regional circuit offers upand-coming racers a venue to hone their skills and showcase their talents. He said one of the focal points of the series is on entry-level racers with classes structured to attract new participation, along with support for the racers already involved. For more details about the Great Northern Sno-Cross Series, go to gnssracing.com.


Action Tracks, Winter 2012-’13

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Area snowmobile clubs, volunteers vital to North Woods trail system ___________

President Al Clemmensen at (847) 4907418 or visit boboen.com.

BY CAROLYN RITTER SPECIAL TO ACTION TRACKS

___________

Local snowmobile clubs and grooming organizations work hard each year to ensure that more than 1,000 miles of snowmobile trails located in Vilas and Oneida counties are in optimum condition during the winter season. Funded through snowmobile registration and applicable taxes, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources provides funding for maintenance of specified snowmobile trails. Vilas has 479 miles of state-funded trails and Oneida has 391, for a total of 870. In addition, clubs have hundreds of miles of unfunded trails, for a total trail system that exceeds 1,000 miles on state, county and private lands. Costs to maintain the unfunded trails are covered through business and individual donations, along with fundraisers the clubs hold throughout the year. These same groups also organize social events for members and host safety courses for young riders. To ensure that snowmobilers have safe and smooth trails to ride, work begins during the summer months. Club representatives secure easements with property owners for trails that cross private lands and coordinate with towns for access to town land. In fall, volunteer crews work hard to clear brush, remove any trees that have fallen, repair bridges, smooth out rough spots in the trails and install all necessary signs. In early December, club representatives and county trail officials inspect the trail systems to ensure clear and safe trails for all riders. Trails are set to open in mid-December, but are dependent on snow conditions. Trail grooming begins on a regular basis when there is enough snow and temperatures are subfreezing. Most clubs groom each night as conditions permit, and especially during busy weekends and holiday breaks. Most groups have more than $100,000 tied up in trail-grooming equipment and have additional expenses that include fuel, insurance and equipment maintenance. Most clubs pay their groomer drivers, but some have volunteers who drive the tractors. Clubs are reimbursed by the state at a rate of $250 per mile for funded trails, with the possibility of supplemental funds based on several variables. Donations and fundraisers provide for any shortfalls in expenditures clubs might have and cover the cost of the unfunded trail segments. Snowmobile maps have spaces for business ads, and that also generates funding for the clubs. Vilas and Oneida counties have many snowmobile clubs that keep the trails in order. Following is a brief description of some of those groups and contact information.

Frosty Snowmobile Club Land O’ Lakes The Frosty Snowmobile Club in Land O’ Lakes has 120 members and, using two groomers, maintains more than 46 miles of trails including 36 miles which are statefunded. Their trails connect with hundreds of miles of trails in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, allowing riders easy access between Wisconsin and Michigan on their winter rides. The group holds an annual raffle to raise funds, with the drawing held at the end of the season. Throughout the year, the club holds fundraising meals at local restaurants, sponsors the Fourth of July picnic and hosts a radar run during President’s Day weekend. For more information about trail conditions and upcoming events, contact Mike or Sue Keintz at (715) 547-8307 or visit landolakes-wi.org and click on the club link.

Snowmobile enthusiasts head to Vilas and Oneida counties —with more than 1,000 miles of trails — for some of the best snowmobiling in the Midwest. —NEWS-REVIEW PHOTO

Sno-Eagles Snowmobile Club Eagle River The Sno-Eagles Snowmobile Club in Eagle River has a membership of 175 and nonmembers are always welcome at club events. The club grooms about 100 miles of trails, including 60 miles of state-funded trails, operating three groomers and pulling SnoBoss drags built in St. Germain. The club raises funds throughout the year to ensure the trails in “the Snowmobile Capital of the World” remain in top condition each winter. They also participate in Take Pride and Ride, a fundraising raffle sponsored by WRJO 94.5-FM radio and other businesses. Each year, the club selects a Miss Sno-Eagles representative and this year’s recipient is Victoria Perkins, who is featured on this year’s trail map. For more information, contact club President Ken Storms at (715) 479-5599, trail boss Tom Tomlanovich at 479-1411, or visit sno-eagles.org. Three Lakes Trails Inc. Three Lakes The Three Lakes Trails organization is composed of 35 members, active volunteers who take care of the trails. Using four groomers, they maintain close to 190 miles of trails, including the Brule River area, giving them one of the largest grooming areas in the state. Almost one-half of those miles are funded by the state. This year, the club has a major route change on Trail 13 between Three Lakes and Eagle River, now running through Sugar Camp along Highway 17. Additional funds for trail maintenance come from the organization’s social part-

ner, the Northern Lights Snowmobile Club, which holds fundraising activities throughout the year. Other financial support comes from the group’s winter races and summer vintage grass drags and from donations from the Tavern League. For more information, contact club President Joe Terlizzi at (715) 546-3926. Northern Lights Snowmobile Club Three Lakes Primarily a social organization, the Northern Lights Snowmobile Club in Three Lakes also raises money for Three Lakes Trails. The group has 125 members and many volunteer to help with the fall trail-brushing and winter grooming activities. As part of its activities, the club sponsors weekly rides Wednesdays during the winter season and holds several special events throughout the year, including an overnight ride in February. For more information, contact Jim Nykolayko at (715) 546-8372 or visit northernlightsclub.com. Bo-Boen Snowmobile Club St. Germain With 450 members, the Bo-Boen Snowmobile Club in St. Germain is one of the largest snowmobile clubs in the state. The club maintains more than 100 miles of trails, of which 75% are state-funded. Recent trail updates include a new bridge over the Rainbow Flowage, which eliminates two crossings over Highway J and connects the trails with Lake Tomahawk. The club has three groomers and uses Arrowhead and SnoBoss drags, manufactured in St. Germain. For more information, contact club

Phelps Snowmobile Club Phelps The Phelps Snowmobile Club has 75 members and uses two groomers to maintain 40 miles of trails, all state funded. Many of the trails are in the scenic Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. Additional funding is raised for equipment through fundraisers including a fish feed in the fall and a spaghetti feed at the end of the season. For more information, contact club President Dick Schultz at (715) 545-3910 or trail boss Steve Doyen at (715) 8914601. Sno-Buddies Snowmobile Club Conover The Sno-Buddies Snowmobile Club of Conover includes 130 members. Using two groomers, the club maintains approximately 85 miles of trails, of which 45 are state funded. This year’s trail system includes a change in the route between Conover and Eagle River, the result of land acquired by the county. The new trail will provide snowmobile access from River Road South to Whiskey Trail Road. The club raises money for equipment, trail signs and grooming expenses through several fundraisers throughout the year, including meals, raffles and a silent auction. In addition, it raises funds for a $1,000 scholarship to benefit a Northland Pines High School student. For more information, contact club President Bob Payseur at (715) 479-8968, trail boss James Pusich at (715) 479-5311 or visit conoversnobuddies.com. Barnstormers Snowmobile Club Sayner The Barnstormers Snowmobile Club in Sayner maintains and grooms 62 miles of state-funded trails along with a few miles To CLUBS, Pg. 10


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Action Tracks, Winter 2012-’13

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Action Tracks, Winter 2012-’13

Page 9

Klondike Days set March 2-3 Mutifaceted winter festival geared to whole family ___________ BY GARY RIDDERBUSCH NEWS-REVIEW EDITOR

___________

Klondike Days, billed as one of the state’s most multifaceted winter events, will return to Eagle River the first weekend in March. The 2013 event will be held March 23 at Northland Pines High School and Rocking W Stable on Eagle River’s north side. The annual event is a two-day panoply of outdoor and indoor winter activities, exciting competitions and turnof-the-century exhibits, according to Klondike Days Executive Director Christine Schilling. All of the Klondike Days activities will be headquartered on the grounds of Northland Pines High School and Rocking W Stable on Pleasure Island Road just off Highway 45 North. Most of the events will last from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. Highlights of the festival will be River Country Red’s Rendezvous and Living History Encampment, the North Woods Championship Dog Weight Pull, the oneand two-horse Log Pull Classic, a lumberjack competition, a chain-saw carving contest, the Native American cultural exposition, a huge winter crafts show and a snowshoe challenge. Klondike Days typically attracts more than 8,000 people and is proudly sponsored by Trig’s stores in Eagle River, Rhinelander, Minocqua, Stevens Point and Wausau. Admission to Klondike Days, which includes free parking and entrance to all venues, is $15 for adults, $6 for children ages 6 to 16 and is free for those younger than 6. A family pass is available for $40, which is good for two adults and up to

three children. “That also includes free bus and hayride shuttles, horse-drawn sleigh rides through the woods, dogsled rides on the junior mushers’ oval, a chance to try snowshoes and lots of entertainment,” said Schilling. A free Bluegrass Festival featuring well-known artists will be held Saturday night at the north food tent at Rocking W Stable from 5 to 10 p.m. The following is a rundown of Klondike Days activities: Rendezvous camp River Country Red’s Rendezvous and Living History Encampment will amaze, entertain and educate festivalgoers. Nestled in the woods on the festival grounds is a re-enactment camp specially constructed to transplant visitors back in time to learn about the fur trade era and buckskinning. Native American shows The Native American cultural exposition will be held Saturday in the Northland Pines High School auditorium. Nick Hockings’ Waswagoning Dance Theatre will perform Saturday. The exposition will feature traditional dances and storytelling. A Native American powwow featuring Blue Winds Dancing is planned for the high school auditorium Sunday. Other activities in the high school field house will include the Teaching Drum exhibit, a mineralogical display, the Klondike Kids coloring contest, a trappers exhibit, the Northwoods Wildlife Center Raptor Education Group and gold-panning exhibit.

The River Country Red’s Rendezvous and Living History Encampment at Klondike Days will feature re-enactors from the fur trade era. —NEWS-REVIEW PHOTOS

Winter horse pull The one-horse and two-horse weightpulling competition will be held at Rocking W Stable. The Great Northern Log Pull Classic is the only winter pull in Wisconsin and starts the season for sanctioned pulls in the state. The two-horse pull will be Saturday, followed by the one-horse pull Sunday. The draft horses must pull loads of logs 27.5 feet. Some teams have pulled as much as 9,000 pounds of logs. Dog weight pull Professional and novice dogs will compete in a weight pull both days just behind the high school. Dogs must pull a sled, with loads of as much as 4,000 pounds, a total of 16 feet.

The Klondike Days two-horse pull will be moved to Saturday, March 2, as teams will attempt to pull more than 9,000 pounds of logs 27.5 feet.

Lumberjack contests Teams and individual lumberjacks will go head-to-head in a Hayward-style lumberjack competition at Rocking W Stable. It’s the Midwest’s largest lumberjack competition and the only competition in the winter. Events will range from the standing chop block and ax throwing to Jack-and-Jill sawing and the springboard chop. There also will be a cut, split and stack contest Saturday sponsored by Husqvarna chain saws.

Snowshoe challenge The Klondike Snowshoe Challenge will take place in the woods behind Rocking W Stable and the high school, with three- and six-mile challenges, a noncompetitive tromp and children’s races. The competition will take place Sunday with prizes for the top finishers. Chain-saw carving The chain-saw carving competition will be held on the grounds of the high school, with as many as 10 carvers competing head-to-head both days. Watch as six-foot tall pieces of wood are carved into works of art. A team of judges will present cash awards sponsored by First National Bank. Winter crafts show The high school field house will be the home of the expanded Klondike Kraft Show, with hundreds of crafters and artisans displaying their work. Food will be available in Northland Pines High School and on the festival grounds at Rocking W Stable. Festivalgoers are reminded the school building and grounds are alcohol- and tobacco-free. For more information about Klondike Days, contact Schilling at (715) 891-2679 or info@klondikedays.org or visit klondikedays.org.


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Action Tracks, Winter 2012-’13

Clubs FROM PAGE 7 of unfunded trails in the town of Plum Lake. With a membership of 125, the club has three groomers that run regularly. The club is in the process of moving a trail in the north section of its area near the connection to Land O’ Lakes trails to provide better and safer access for riders. For more information, contact club President Dennis Horan at (715) 5422952, Vice President Jim Krieck at 5423885 or visit barnstormersclub.com.

other 88 miles with the assistance of volunteer groomer drivers. The club plans various fundraisers throughout the year, the largest of which is Cruiserfest held in February on Lake Minocqua. The two-day event includes races, a swap meet, snowmobile dealer displays and refreshments. For more information, contact club Vice President Tom Bird at (715) 439-0222 or visit snowmobilewi.com.

Sugar Camp Snowmobile Club Sugar Camp With two groomers, the Sugar Camp Snowmobile Club maintains approximately 80 miles of trails each year, 30 of which are state funded. Costs to maintain and groom the other 50 miles are covered through the club’s fundraising efforts, which include a meat raffle and an ice fishing jamboree. For more information about the trails or upcoming events, contact Jack Kalies at (715) 272-1314 or sugarcampsnowmobileclub@yahoo.com.

Minocqua Forest Riders Club Minocqua The Minocqua Forest Riders Snowmobile Club grooms 157 miles of trails, primarily in the northwest section of Oneida County, including 57 miles of state-funded trails and 100 miles funded by the club. The club has a membership of 180 and holds various fundraisers, including meals and raffles. In the past, the trail system has used land owned by various paper companies, but some of that land was sold, causing the club to renegotiate access. A challenge this year for the club has been identifying all trail locations on land parcels on a global positioning system, a project requested by Oneida County. For more information, contact club President Pat Harkins at (715) 588-1747 or visit minocquaforestriders.org.

Cross Country Cruisers Club Arbor Vitae-Woodruff-Minocqua The Cross Country Cruisers Snowmobile Club of Arbor Vitae, Woodruff and Minocqua, with a membership of 280, grooms 100 miles of trail, of which 18 are state funded and include the Bearskin Creek trail area. With four groomers, the club covers the cost of maintaining the

Sno-Skeeters Snowmobile Club Manitowish Waters The Sno-Skeeters Snowmobile Club has 138 members and grooms 24 miles of trails, all state funded. During the winter season, the group holds a weekly ride open to everyone. The club holds fundraisers to cover the cost of equipment and maintenance, and major

Local snowmobile organizations are the backbone of the sport when it comes to developing and grooming snowmobile trails in the North Woods. —NEWS-REVIEW PHOTO

fundraisers are its summer and winter raffles. For more information, contact club President Barry Hopkins at (715) 5432455 or visit mw-snoskeeters.com. Presque-Isle Winchester Sno-Bunnies Presque Isle and Winchester The Presque-Isle Winchester SnoBunnies Snowmobile Club, composed of 230 members, uses two groomers to

maintain 42 miles of state-funded trails and another three miles of a spur trail. The club was able to regain access to resurfaced roads around the rearing ponds, and snowmobilers now have access to a park area in the vicinity with a shelter and heated bathrooms. The club holds several fundraisers each year including meals, raffles and duck races. For more information, contact club President Leo Crawley at (715) 686-2018 or visit sno-bunnies.com.

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Action Tracks, Winter 2012-’13

Page 11

North Woods offers hundreds of miles of cross-country ski trails for all levels The North Woods abounds with hundreds of miles of uncrowded, scenic Nordic trails tailored for beginner, intermediate and advanced skiers. Most trails in this area are groomed several times a week and heavy snowfall most winters in northern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan make conditions ideal for skiing. The great majority of trails here are on public land, while others are privately owned and operated with nominal donations requested. Most of the trails are groomed and marked for all ability levels. Many are groomed for both traditional and skating styles of cross-country skiing. Those more adventurous can blaze their own trails through vast forests of towering pines, hardwoods and aspen. There are hundreds of miles of old logging roads awaiting trailbreakers on public lands. The spectacular scenery offers an added bonus to photographers, who will find unlimited opportunities for potentially prizewinning shots while skiing. There’s also plenty of wildlife, from deer and coyotes to rabbits and chickadees. Novices will find expert instruction and rental equipment available at many locations. County, state and federal tourism officials, along with many private organizations, have compiled a list of scenic Nordic ski trails in the North Woods. A booklet featuring trails in Vilas County is available at the courthouse in Eagle River. To obtain the booklet, write to Vilas County Tourism & Publicity, 330 Court St., Eagle River, WI 54521, call (715) 479-3649 or 1-(800) 236-3649 or visit vilas.org. Nicolet trails Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest operates the Anvil Trail eight miles east of Eagle River off Highway 70. There are 12 miles of marked and groomed trails. The trail has gentle slopes and is wooded. Shelter, toilets and plowed parking are available. Nicolet North Trails, east of Eagle River off Highway 70 on Forest Road 2460, have about 15 miles of marked, groomed and tracked trails. The trails are double-tracked, with some suitable for beginners. The Anvil Trail and the Nicolet North Trails are connected by a short two-kilometer trail for those wanting a longer tour. A parking fee is required at both trails. State trails The Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest has nine trails in the area. The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) grooms and tracks the Escanaba, Madeline Lake and Raven trails. Skiers must buy a DNR park entry sticker in order to park and use the groomed areas. The sticker is used to offset grooming costs. The Raven Trail, with four loops ranging from one and one-half to five miles, is located off Highway 47 East on Woodruff

There are hundreds of miles of groomed cross-country ski trails in Vilas and Oneida counties, offering outdoor winter recreational op-

Road. It has both novice and expert trails. The Madeline Trail, with loops ranging from three to five and one-half miles, is located south of Woodruff off Highway J on Rudolph Road. It’s excellent for all classes of skiers. The Escanaba Trail, with four loops ranging from two to eight and one-half miles, is located seven miles south of Boulder Junction on Highway M, then east on Nebish Road three and one-half miles to the trailhead. Several steep hills are for experienced skiers only. Other state trails have plowed parking and are marked for hiking and skiing, but are not groomed for cross-country skiing. There is no fee at those sites. County trails The Vilas County Forest has one marked trail in central Vilas County, though there are many miles of logging roads on county forestland open for bushwhack skiing. The Langley Lake trail, located seven miles west of Conover on Highway K, has five and three-tenths miles of groomed trail as conditions warrant. It has a gentle, rolling terrain and plowed parking is offered at the site. Other county trail systems with ungroomed trails include Decker Lake west of Conover on Highway K, Heart Lake northwest of Conover on Highway S, Mud Minnow Lake west of Eagle River on Highway G, Muskrat Creek east of Conover on Highway K, Pioneer Creek

portunities for the entire family. These ski enthusiasts tried out the trails at Afterglow Lake Resort near Phelps. —Contributed Photo

east of Conover on Highway K, Snipe Lake/Ewald Lake west of Eagle River off Highway 70, Torch Lake north of Eagle River off Highway 45 and White Squaw Lake off Highway S northwest of Conover. A map of the county trails, including the groomed Langley Lake trail, is available at the Vilas County Forestry Department, just north of Eagle River on Highway 45. Local trails The Land O’ Lakes Cross Country Ski Trail is groomed and maintained by the Land O’ Lakes Fish and Game Club in cooperation with the national Forest Service. The trail connects with ungroomed Sylvania Wilderness Area trails. The Land O’ Lakes trail is seven and one-half miles long. It’s located on East Duck Lake Road off of Highway B. The Three Eagle Trail offers crosscountry skiing from the parking lot on Sundstein Road south of Eagle River to a gate along Highway 45 just south of Clearwater Lake, where there is a second parking area. The trail length is about five miles. The Nordmarka Cross-Country Ski Club grooms the six kilometers of Nordmarka trails at the Eagle River Golf Course on McKinley Boulevard in the city of Eagle River. Maps are available at the trailhead, where there is a trail box. Afterglow Lake Resort near Phelps grooms about 18 kilometers of crosscountry ski trails and the adjacent

Phelps Ski Trail in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service on the resort property and national forestland. The system is located on Sugar Maple Road off County Highway E. Razorback Ridges, west of Sayner on Highway N, offers about 12 miles of scenic trails for beginner to expert skiers. There are loops for both traditional and skating skiers. It’s maintained by the Sayner/Star Lake Lions Club. Boulder Junction Winter Park features nine miles of cross-country ski trails and snowshoe trails. There also is an ice skating rink and warming house. The trails are located just one-quarter mile west of downtown Boulder Junction on Old Highway K. Michigan trails When northern Wisconsin has a lack of snow, people may want to try the Upper Peninsula of Michigan for a unique cross-country ski experience. Many of the trails are located within one hour of the Eagle River area. Sylvania Outfitters Cross-Country Ski Center offers 24 miles of groomed trails on three different loops in the Ottawa National Forest. Some are groomed for skating, while others are groomed for traditional skiing. The trails connect with the 32 kilometers of ungroomed ski trails in the Sylvania Wilderness Area. For more information, call Sylvania Outfitters at (906) 358-4766.


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Action Tracks, Winter 2012-’13


Action Tracks, Winter 2012-’13

Page 13

Hockey back to its roots National pond hockey tourney to attract record 346 teams ___________ BY GARY RIDDERBUSCH NEWS-REVIEW EDITOR

___________

After staging highly successful tournaments the past seven years, USA Hockey will return to Eagle River to host its eighth annual Labatt Blue/USA Hockey Pond Hockey National Championships. The four-on-four pond hockey event is set for Feb. 8-10, 2013, on Dollar Lake just east of Eagle River. “We look forward to seeing familiar faces and many new teams for the experience of a lifetime,” said Ashley Bevan, senior director of adult hockey for USA Hockey. “This year’s event is shaping up to be yet another tremendous success. Our continued growth is a sign both of the success of this event and the hard work of our staff, sponsors and local volunteers.” Last year, a record 284 teams competed in the three-day event on 24 rinks on the lake’s ice, bringing about 2,000 players to Eagle River. The event was named the recipient of SportsTravel magazine’s 2009 SportsTravel Award for the best amateur single-sport event. And in 2011, NBC aired a segment about the tournament on the telecast of “Hockey Day in America.” The recognition has resulted in record numbers for the tournament. A record 346 teams from 27 states and Canada have signed up for the 2013 event. “We look forward to celebrating the thrill of hockey in its purest form in the frozen tundra of northern Wisconsin,” said Bevan. “This event is about the teams, the experience and the camaraderie while enjoying hockey the way it used to be played.” The event, which will be staged outdoors on Dollar Lake, will feature teams of adults 21 years or older divided into 18

A record 346 teams will compete in the eighth annual Labatt Blue/USA Hockey Pond Hockey National Championships on Dollar Lake Feb. 8-10. —NEWS-REVIEW PHOTO

no-check divisions for men and women, including a 60-and-older division. The tournament will be structured using a round-robin format and each team will be guaranteed three games. “We keep coming back because it’s an awesome event,” said Bevan. “The adult hockey players are telling us — USA Hockey — that they want to be back in Eagle River. They’ve enjoyed this community and pond hockey is a great event.” Bevan said the event is coordinated

with the help of the Eagle River Recreation Association (ERRA) and the Eagle River Area Fire Department. “With the volunteerism here in Eagle River, it’s been great for us,” he said. Pat Weber, fire chief and ERRA volunteer, said the number of rinks will be expanded from 24 to 28 rinks for the 2013 event to accommodate all the teams. “We try to keep most of the snow off the lake leading up to the tournament so we can build more ice for the 75- by 150-

foot rinks,” he said. The ERRA gets involved by supplying referees and scorekeepers for all the games. “With 28 rinks going, we need referees and scorekeepers at all rinks during shifts throughout the weekend,” said Weber. “In the past, the ERRA has received a nice donation in return.” Jake Alward, owner of Chanticleer Inn, host resort for the event, said it’s exciting to have USA Hockey, a national organization, coming back to Eagle River for the eighth annual event. “The number of participants has increased each year, with 40 teams competing in the inaugural event in 2006, 80 teams participating in 2007, 142 teams in 2008, 196 teams in 2009, 224 teams in 2010, 250 teams in 2011 and 284 teams last year,” said Alward. “The players come from states across the country, so it puts Eagle River on the map.” The Labatt Blue/USA Hockey Pond Hockey National Championships will include a reception and raffle Saturday evening at the AMSOIL Eagle River Derby Track expo hall. Every participant will receive commemorative welcome gifts and division winners will receive prizes at the end of the tournament. Games will feature a two-minute warm-up period and two 15-minute halves. USA Hockey playing rules will be followed. Rule modifications, a registration form and a tournament schedule can be found online at usahockey.com/adult. For more information or to register, contact USA Hockey, Attn.: Adult Hockey Department, 1775 Bob Johnson Drive, Colorado Springs, CO 80906, or visit usahockey.com/adult. Information also is available at the Eagle River Area Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center, located at 201 N. Railroad St. in Eagle River.

Best Western Derby Inn caters to sledders People tied to snowmobiling, whether as a trail rider, fan of the sport or racer, find that the Best Western Derby Inn in Eagle River offers a unique stay for those visiting the North Woods. Eagle River is a premier destination getaway in the heart of the world’s largest chain of freshwater lakes, 28 in all. The area is a haven for boating, skiing, biking and golfing in the summer and snowmobiling in the winter. A feature that makes this Best Western unique is the trademark of Eagle River, which holds the title of Snowmobile Capital of the World®. The Eagle River area features a welldeveloped snowmobile trail system. Even more significant is that snowmobile racing was practically invented here, developing into the AMSOIL World Championship Snowmobile Derby. The race exists today

as the oldest continuous snowmobile race in the world. This January will mark the 50th running of this most famous and prestigious competition in the sport. The 17-year-old Best Western hotel borrowed on this fame by being named The Derby Inn. A close tie-in and respect for the nearby AMSOIL Derby Track fills the lobby and lounge area of the Derby Inn. From the two historic race snowmobiles on the inside ledge over the main entrance to a large display of snowmobile racing memorabilia in the lounge, this facility is almost a museum of World Championship history. Among the displays is a complete collection of Derby program books, photos, trophies, awards and other rare items. Most outstanding is a mosaic rendition in the pool of a snowmobile race sled that won the 1987 championship. It is an attraction

that many visitors long remember, according to Derby Inn Manager Mary Hayden. The hotel is the headquarters hotel for the many Derby Track events. Because of this designation, the hotel has had many noted guests. Most recent was race car celebrity Dick Trickle and four-time Indy winner Bobby Unser. The Derby Inn also has become the preferred lodging for many of the executives within the snowmobile industry, who use it summer and winter. A virtual museum of World Championship snowmobile racing, the Derby Inn underwent a major renovation of the property in May 2007. Part of the redecorating plan was to designate a room to each of the past snowmobile world champions. Each room displays a picture of a championship driver and specifies the brand of snowmobile he raced and the

name of his hometown. Some lucky guests may stay in a room that has been visited by the actual World Championship driver, evidenced by a dated signature on his picture. While walking the halls of the Derby Inn, visitors can view spectacular historical photos of the famed Derby Track. The Best Western Derby Inn has a strong attraction for recreational snowmobilers, many of whom choose this as their preferred vacation hotel. The trail that leads to hundreds of miles of snowmobile trails is just outside the door. There also is plenty of parking for vehicles with snowmobile trailers. Derby Inn managers say visitors are always impressed with the upscale luxury of the facility. It is rated one of the best of the Best Western hotels in the Midwest, with high quality-assurance scores.


Page 14

Action Tracks, Winter 2012-’13

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Page 15

View woodlands, ice-covered lakes on scenic Sylvania Outfitters’ trails ___________ BY CHRIS TEWS SPECIAL TO ACTION TRACKS

___________

About 40 years ago, cross-country skiing came to the North Woods as the new and exciting sport. Ski trails winding through the scenic forests were soon developed in response to people’s excitement and desire for new places to ski. Among the visionaries was the owner of Sylvania Outfitters in Watersmeet, Mich. Bob Zelinski caught the excitement of skiing himself and was impressed with facilities he saw that had already sprung up across the North Woods. Zelinski decided to have his outfitter business also become a ski center in the winter, offering cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, equipment rental and a children’s trade-up program to keep them growing in the sport. With his business bordering the Ottawa National Forest, it was a natural for skiing to start right from his door. In 1974, he started developing ski trails that followed old logging roads, skid trails and railroad grades from the logging era. By the second year, he and the Pineaire Motel near Land O’ Lakes had developed a long ski trail that connected loops at each of their businesses. While this connection is no longer maintained, the loop at the southern end is part of the trails currently maintained by the Land O’ Lakes Fish and Game Club. At the northern end of the system are Sylvania Outfitters’ more than 20 miles of Tidd Tech-groomed ski trails offering numerous loops and even a connection to the Sylvania Wilderness Area where there are an additional 32 kilometers of ungroomed ski trails. Zelinski said Sylvania Outfitters has kept its tradition of having ski trails and not a ski race course. The trails are mostly for classical-style skiing, with the excep-

The Sylvania Outfitters cross-country ski trail system offers a variety of terrain, taking skiers through hardwood ridges and hemlock forests. —Photo By Chris Tews

tion of the first three loops which can be used for skate-style skiing and skijoring. Upkeep of the trails is still done mostly by hand in the off season. Grub hoes, rakes and mowers are the tools used. This has kept trails in the near natural state, following the undulations of the land. This area of the Ottawa National Forest had been largely untouched by logging for nearly 50 years. From the moment skiers put on their skis, the meandering trails take them through a forest with a huge tree canopy. The trails offer a variety of rolling hills, hardwood ridges and vistas. Skiers will glide through areas of pine, white birch, oak, poplar and hemlock trees.

Old-growth pines are found throughout, especially around Ice and Rickles lakes. The Tidd Tech equipment grooms excellent trails for skiing, yet keeps the trails feeling close to the forest. One-way sections are single-tracked and two-way sections are double tracked, with the exception of Raven Loop and the trails to Rickles Lake, which are groomed with one track but are two-way. The design of the trails is a series of loops with the hilly sections one-way for the safety of skiers of all abilities. All intersections are well marked for location and trails are marked for degree of difficulty. The first three loops will meet the needs of both classical and skating skiers,

as well as snowshoers and skijoring enthusiasts. Camp Loop is great for beginners and small children. Two of the loops were created for those wanting to practice skijoring with their dogs. They appropriately are named Dog Leg and Woof. All other trails are tracked for classical-style skiing only. Ice Lake loop (one and six-tenths miles) is partly gentle and partly very hilly. The gentle section offers a nice connection with Valley Trails, which is another scenic, gentle trail leading to the outer loops. Deer Trail loop is narrow and full of hills and turns. Combine this with Hill Loop for double the skiing fun on close, winding and hilly trails. The fresh, deep snow provides smooth, slower skiing and more control. Deer Trail has many hemlock trees, while Hill Loop is known for its beautiful white birches. Hemlock Loop is the tightest loop of all. Skiers literally will brush shoulders with the pines. Pilot Loop is described by Zelinski as magical, with huge hemlocks and picturesque views. It also offers challenging downhills. Raven Loop, at six and six-tenths miles, is the longest loop, traveling through varied terrain. This trail is twoway, single-tracked and offers longer uphill climbs and downhill runs. It’s a great trail for stretching out and putting in some distance. The connecting trail that takes skiers to Sylvania Wilderness Area is about halfway around Raven Loop. Sylvania Outfitters has all skiers will need for a day of skiing. They rent and sell cross-country ski and snowshoeing equipment. Sylvania Outfitters is located 30 minutes north of Eagle River on Highway 45 and two miles west of Watersmeet on Highway 2. The center is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call (906) 358-4766 or visit sylvaniaoutfitters.com.

Winter Frolic, fisherees featured in Conover There are plenty of winter activities planned in Conover, including the Winter Frolic, Kids Fisheree and snowmobile club events. The Lions Club will host its annual Winter Frolic Sunday, Feb. 10, featuring toboggan races, children’s games, prizes and a cookout. The action will take place at Conover Town Park, one block east of Highway 45 on Highway K with activities planned from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Toboggan and sled races, along with downhill snowboarding, will be held for children throughout the afternoon with prizes for winners in every class. Everyone is welcome to take their sleds, tubes and saucers, but there will be some toboggans available at the site for those who don’t have one.

To make things easier for the children, they will be towed to the top of the hill by the Conover Sno-Buddies Snowmobile Club’s trail groomer. There will be free food and refreshments for all children, plus a cookout, complete with beer, brats and hot dogs available for adults for a small cost at the indoor shelter. Proceeds from the Winter Frolic will go to the many local and international causes with which the Lions Club is involved. Another event planned in Conover this winter will be the Conover Fire Department and Emergency Medical Services’ fourth annual Ice Fishing Classic on Pioneer Lake Saturday, Feb. 2. In addition, the Lions Club Kids Fish-

eree will be held on Denton Lake Sunday, March 10. This is a special ice fishing contest just for children. Denton Lake is located off Highway 45, north of Conover. The Kids Fisheree activities will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Conover Sno-Buddies Snowmobile Club has numerous benefits planned each winter as fundraisers for trail grooming. Contact the Conover Chamber of Commerce for those event dates. Conover features miles of scenic snowmobile trails and entertaining pit stops, ski trails in the Vilas County Forest, and plenty of lakes for ice fishing for walleye, northern pike and panfish. For more information on Conover winter events, call 1-(866) 394-4386 or (715) 479-4928.

Conover will host several ice fishing events this winter. —NEWS-REIVEW PHOTO


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Action Tracks, Winter 2012-’13

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Hwy. B Land O’ Lakes 715-547-3788

252 Hwy. 70 East St. Germain 715-479-7608

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715-547-3321 On Snowmobile Trail #6

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Thunder Bay Resort

Located on beautiful Lac Vieux Desert RESORT & BAR OPEN ALL YEAR LONG

Snowmobile Rentals Available

Kwaterski Bros. Wood Products, Inc. . . . the place known for Quality

Modern homes with full kitchens, microwaves, coffee makers, TV, fireplaces and whirlpool tubs. Direct access to hundreds of miles of groomed snowmobile trails as well as access to crosscountry ski trails. Also lake access for ice fishing on 4,200-acre Lac Vieux Desert.

Hand scraped wood flooring is one of the many different surface textures we manufacture, within a variety of species of wood.

(715) 547-3801 thunder@nnex.net • www.thunder-bay-resort.com

2198 South Shore Rd. • Phelps, WI 54554

906-544-2040 1702 Hwy. 45 North      www.lolrec.com

Your home is a reflection of who you are. Allow us to create a floor for your domain that is as unique as you.

-SALES -SERVICE -RENTALS -STORAGE -Check out our webcam for the latest trail conditions!

-Rental delivery available! Monday  Saturday 8:30am.  5pm. ÂŽ, TM and the BRP logo are trademarks of Bombardier Recreational Products Inc. or its affiliates

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kwaterskibros.com

715-479-5559


Action Tracks, Winter 2012-’13

Page 17

Best Western DERBY INN

RATING

• • • • • • • • •

Newly 100% Nonsmoking Pillowtop Mattresses Renovated Indoor Pool, Whirlpool & Sauna Deluxe Continental Breakfast Business Center - High Speed Internet Access Luxury Jacuzzi Suites Winner of Guest Laundry & Game Room “Best of th the e Best Award for Snowmobile & Boat Trailer Parking Best Western” Right on the Snowmobile Trail Your Headquarters Motel for all Derby Track Events

Best Western Derby Inn 1800 Highway 45 North • Eagle River, WI 54521 (715) 479-1600 • Fax: (715) 479-1143 Website: www.DerbyInn.com Email: DerbyInn@DerbyInn.com Toll Free Reservations:

1-888-499-0403 Evening Dining: Nov. 22 Thanksgiving Dinner: $12.95 Adult, $9.95 Jr., $5.95 Kids Dec. 31 New Year’s Dinner: $14.95 Adult, $11.95 Jr., $8.95 Kids Thurs. & Sat. Homestead BBQ: $12 Adult, $8 Jr., $5 Kids Holiday BBQ, Sleigh Ride & Tubing: Dec. 26, 27, 29, 31, Jan. 3, 5

Every Night - Hillside Dining: Brule Lodge, 5-8

2012/13 Ski Brule Events

Kids Ski free! *ages 9 & under

1-800-DO-BRULE • www.skibrule.com 397 Brule Mountain Rd., Iron River, MI 49935

Nov. 9 Nov. 22 Dec. 7-9 Dec. 24 Dec. 31 Jan. 7-13 Jan. 14-20 Jan. 28-Feb. 3 Feb. 2-3 Feb. 4-10 Feb. 18-24 March 2-3 March 15-17 March 23-24 March 30-31 March 31 April 1-7 April 13-14

Target Opening Thanksgiving Dinner CMSC Trip & Race Tree Decorating New Year’s Celebration Salute To Troops Fireman’s Salute Teacher Appreciation Super Bowl Bash Scrubs Week Law Enforcement Salute Anniversary Weekend CMSC Winter Carnival Brule Bash Easter Weekend Easter Brunch Friends & Neighbors Week Life’s A Mountain

Homestead BBQ & Sleigh Ride

New Year’s Eve

Homestead Tubing

Located On Snowmobile Trail


Page 18

Action Tracks, Winter 2012-’13

P RESQUE

Page 19

Snowmobile I Trails SLE

1

M ARENISCO

13

2

2

MICHIGAN 1

W INCHESTER

107

3

2

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P RESQUE I SLE 3

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L AND O’ L AKES 45

L AND O’ L AKES M ANITOWISH W ATERS B OULDER J UNCTION P HELPS C ONOVER S TAR L AKE Please stay on marked trails at all

S AYNER L AC

DU

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times!

A RBOR V ITAE W OODRUFF M INOCQUA

S T . G ERMAIN

E AGLE R IVER

WARNING! Do not cross water until trails are marked as open!

C LEARWATER L AKE

Indicates Cross-Country Ski Trails

H AZELHURST

Indicates State Corridor Trails

L AKE T OMAHAWK S UGAR C AMP

T HREE L AKES

Indicates State-Funded & Club Trails


Page 18

Action Tracks, Winter 2012-’13

P RESQUE

Page 19

Snowmobile I Trails SLE

1

M ARENISCO

13

2

2

MICHIGAN 1

W INCHESTER

107

3

2

W ATERSMEET 2

P RESQUE I SLE 3

6

L AND O’ L AKES 45

L AND O’ L AKES M ANITOWISH W ATERS B OULDER J UNCTION P HELPS C ONOVER S TAR L AKE Please stay on marked trails at all

S AYNER L AC

DU

F LAMBEAU

times!

A RBOR V ITAE W OODRUFF M INOCQUA

S T . G ERMAIN

E AGLE R IVER

WARNING! Do not cross water until trails are marked as open!

C LEARWATER L AKE

Indicates Cross-Country Ski Trails

H AZELHURST

Indicates State Corridor Trails

L AKE T OMAHAWK S UGAR C AMP

T HREE L AKES

Indicates State-Funded & Club Trails


Page 20

Action Tracks, Winter 2012-’13

Home of the Fastest Shaved Ice Track in Wisconsin ! !

February 1-3, 2013 Held on the West Bay of Little St. Germain Lake FRIDAY

SATURDAY

SUNDAY

Fun Run & Practice 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Fun Runs & Trophy Runs 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM

3 Lane Drag Racing 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Twilight Bar 660’ on Groomed Snow Thunderbird Pass 1000’ on Shaved Ice Entrance Fees: 660’ on Snow $5 each or 5 runs for $20 1000’ on Shaved Ice $25 fee includes 3 runs & extra runs are $5 each Prizes: All classes are sponsored for trophies and prizes.

Saturday Special Events

Bo-Boen Club Food • Parson’s Chevrolet Vendor Row • All Day

Camp’s SuperValu Grocery Cart Races • 1 PM Knocker’s Pizza Co. Benefit Bikini Run • 2 PM Cash, Trophies & Prizes for the top 4 point totals plus Angry Dave’s Top Speed Trophy

LODGE RESTAURANT On the Famous Cisco Chain of Lakes 6882 Helen Creek Rd., 10 miles west of Land O’ Lakes on Cty. B (715) 547-3487 Closed Tuesdays

Proceeds from the Bikini Run races will be donated to: Pink Ribbon Riders, St. Germain Fire Department & Plum Lake Ambulance

The Lodge Restaurant at Bent’s Camp – featuring a full menu with everything from burgers and pizza to great steaks and walleye prepared seven different ways!

Weber’s Wildlife World Record Speed Show • 3 PM

Now serving breakfast Sat. & Sun. 8-11 a.m.

Trophy Presentation & Prizes will be at Knocker’s Pizza Co. • 5:30 PM Top speed wins the Sno-King Traveling Trophy on display at the Snowmobile Hall of Fame.

EVENTS

Sunday Drag Racing

Sponsored by the St. Germain Drag Racers Food by the Bo-Boens • 3 Lane Drag Racing • Cash Payouts

For more information: email info@radarracers.com or visit www.radarracers.com

Full bar with the best jukebox around!

Pigskin Poker Run FRIDAY, FEB. 1 & SATURDAY, FEB. 2

Benefit Radar Run SATURDAY, FEB. 16, 2013 . . . you won’t want to miss our Bikini Run and outside snow bar!

NEW BLOODY MARY BAR Weekends Only starting at 8 a.m.

715-547-3487 www.bents-camp.com


Action Tracks, Winter 2012-’13

Page 21

Try exploring the North Woods on ‘shoes’ ___________ and wind- and water-resistant, like nylon wind pants and a lightweight jacket. Mittens are warmer than gloves, but don’t allow the dexterity needed to get your snowshoes on in cold conditions. Polypropylene glove liners under mittens allow you to adjust the bindings without completely exposing your hands. For your feet, polypropylene sock liners under wool socks work well. Waterproof hiking boots or pack boots work great, but make sure there is some air space around your toes for insulation and circulation.

BY SANDY LOTTO SPECIAL TO ACTION TRACKS

___________

There’s nothing like fresh, deep, powdery snow to make it a perfect day to be on snowshoes. Snowshoeing has had a surge in popularity because it is so easy to do. Just tighten the snowshoe bindings around your winter boots and go. If you can walk, you can snowshoe. It’s that simple. To make it even easier, try using ski poles to help with balance. And the best part about snowshoeing is you can go just about anywhere and experience solitude and serenity. While there are a lot of great trails in the area, it’s more fun and adventurous to blaze a trail and get into places like wetlands that are inaccessible the rest of the year. But, if you do decide to go off trail, be prepared with a good map and compass (or global positioning system unit), and know how to use them. Also, carry some basic survival kit items like a Swiss army knife, matches, high-energy food, some water and a flashlight or headlamp. Take a cell phone if you have one, but be aware that it may not always get reception, especially in remote areas. Also, tell someone where you are going and what time to expect you back. Selecting “shoes” Most of the snowshoes on the market today are high-tech snowshoes as compared to the traditional wooden-framed models. There are pros and cons of each. High-tech snowshoes have lightweight aluminum frames and a solid deck of neoprenelike material. The deck holds more weight inch per inch, so these snowshoes are smaller, lighter and more maneuverable. However, a solid deck is more slippery than a woven one, so hightech snowshoes also have crampons on the bottoms for safety. A disadvantage of the metal frames and crampons is that they make a little tinny sound with each step, and some fling snow up onto the backs of your legs. If you plan to break your own trail in deep snow, you may want to consider going with a traditional style of snowshoe. There are many styles to choose from. Ojibwa snowshoes are pointed at both the tips and tails. Bear paws have rounded tips and tails. The most common is the Green Mountain bear paw, which is what most high-tech snowshoes are modeled after. Many traditional snowshoes have rounded tips and pointed tails. The rounded tips give better flotation in deep snow and pointed tails help the snowshoes track in a straight line, which is easier on your knees. Bindings hold the snowshoes to your boots and these come in different styles. Most are one size fits all. Look for bindings that are easy on, easy off and hold the snowshoe securely to your foot. A good way to test the effectiveness of a binding is to pick up your foot with the snowshoe on and rotate your foot from side to side. If the snowshoe moves with your foot as if they are one, that is the

There are numerous area trails which offer opportunities for snowshoeing, an activity which has enjoyed a recent upswing in popularity. —NEWS-REVIEW PHOTO

sign of a good binding. If you would like to try before you buy, snowshoe rentals are available at several area outdoor stores. Dress in layers As with other active winter sports, it’s best to dress in several thin layers that can be adjusted quickly. It is easy to work up a sweat while snowshoeing, even when it is very cold, and wet skin is cold

skin. Ideally, the first layer of clothing should be a wicking type of fabric, like polypropylene or silk, which takes moisture away from the skin and moves it to the outer layers of clothing. Try to avoid wearing cotton, especially next to your skin, since it holds moisture. Over the wicking layer wear several insulating layers, like fleece or wool. The outer layer should be light, breathable

Places to snowshoe There are three cross-country ski trail systems in this area that have other trail segments specifically designated for snowshoeing. Afterglow Lake Resort in Phelps has eight miles of well-marked snowshoe trails among its 11 miles of cross-country ski trails. Afterglow’s trails are open to the public for a fee. They also rent snowshoes to be used on site. There are three miles of marked snowshoe trails adjacent to the Three Eagle Trail starting at the Sundstein Road trailhead near Eagle River. The Three Eagle Trail has a five-mile stretch of groomed cross-country ski trail, well suited for beginning skiers. Donations are accepted. There is a one-mile snowshoe trail within the Razorback Ridges ski trails near Sayner, with donations accepted to keep up on trail maintenance. In addition, there are thousands of acres of public lands to venture out on and blaze your own trail. There also are many marked hiking trails to help snowshoe enthusiasts find their way. In the Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest, trails include Fallison Lake, Star Lake, North Trout Lake, Powell Marsh, Lumberjack and Shannon Lake. In the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, hiking trails suitable for snowshoeing include Franklin Lake, Sam Campbell, Giant Pine, Luna-White Deer, Scott Lake and Blackjack Springs Wilderness Whispering Lake Trail. The Vilas County Forest also has trail systems with map boards, including Ski Hill, White Squaw Lake, Pioneer Creek, Snipe Lake, Ewald Lake, Heart Lake, Torch Lake, Muskrat Creek, Mud Minnow Lake and Decker Lake. Snowshoes generally are not allowed on groomed ski trails, but some ski trail systems also have snowshoe trails. If a snowshoe trail crosses a ski trail, remember that skiers have the right of way, since they can’t stop as quickly. Snowshoers also should avoid stepping on any ski tracks. There are roughly a million acres of public lands within 30 miles of Eagle River and plenty of trails to choose from. Get out and enjoy winter! Sandy Lotto is the owner/instructor of Lotto’s Log Cabin Outdoor School at 2831 E. Hunter Lake Road in Eagle River. For more information, call (715) 479-8773 or go to lottoslogcabin.com.


Page 22

Action Tracks, Winter 2012-’13

NOTHING RIDES LIKE A SKI-DOO. 2013 MX Z

®

With seven Rotax® engines available — from the 163 hp* E-TEC® 800R to the 29 mpg ACE™ 600 — there’s an MX Z® with just the power, technology and price you desire. No wonder more MX Z sleds have been sold in the last 10 years than any other model.

Stop by to learn more about the MX Z and to experience our excellent customer service.

Ron Hallstrom Sports & Marine, Inc. Woodruff, Wis., (715) 356-5551

Track Side

Eagle River, Wis., (715) 479-2200 © 2012 Bombardier Recreational Products Inc. All rights reserved. ®, ™ Trademarks of Bombardier Recreational Products or its affiliates. Products are distributed in the United States (US) by BRP U.S. Inc. *Offers valid in the U.S. at participating Ski-Doo® dealers on new and unused 2012 and 2013 Ski-Doo snowmobiles (excluding racing units and spring-only units) purchased, delivered and registered between now and November 30, 2012. †NO Down Payment, NO Interest and NO Payments for 6 months. On a purchase made between now and November 30, 2012, your down payment is $0; no interest charged and no payments for 6 months. Thereafter, 60 consecutive monthly payments. Annual percentage rate is 13.95%. [Annual percentage rate subject to increase after promotional period.] The above financing program is offered by Sheffield Financial, a Division of BB&T Financial, FSB. Minimum Amount Financed $1,500; Maximum Amount Financed $40,000. Subject to credit approval. Not all consumers will qualify for financing offer. Approval, and any rates and terms provided, are based on credit worthiness. Other financing offers available. Financing promotions void where prohibited. BRP is not responsible for any errors, changes or actions related to financing provided by Sheffield Financial. ^Up to $2,000 rebate on 2012 models (amount depends on the model purchased). Promotions are subject to termination or change at any time without notice. See your participating Ski-Doo dealer for all details. Offer may not be assigned, traded, sold or combined with any other offer unless expressly stated herein. Offer void where restricted or otherwise prohibited by law. BRP reserves the right, at any time, to discontinue or change specifications, prices, designs, features, models or equipment without incurring any obligation.Always consult your snowmobile dealer when selecting a snowmobile for your particular needs and carefully read and pay special attention to your Operator’s Guide, Safety Video, Safety Handbook and to the safety labelling on your snowmobile. Always ride responsibly and safely. Always wear appropriate clothing, including a helmet. Always observe applicable local laws and regulations. Don’t drink and drive.


Action Tracks, Winter 2012-’13

Page 23

Ski Brule receives Favorite Resort award ___________ BY GARY RIDDERBUSCH NEWS-REVIEW EDITOR

___________

Family-focused Ski Brule, known for giving skiers and snowboarders the longest season in the Midwest, won the prestigious Visitors’ Choice Favorite Resort award for the fifth straight year in 2012. Entering its 56th season, the experts at Ski Brule say they’ve committed themselves to the promise of being “the first to open and the last to close,” and they take every opportunity to ensure a season that averages well over five months. Because the sounds of snow making fill the air as soon as the temperature drops, the ski resort usually opens in the first half of November and closes in midApril. In fact, right now, they’re open for skiing and snowboarding. Jessica Hammer, marketing director, said Ski Brule is geared to the family and offers top-rated children’s programs and family/group discounts. “It was the skiers and snowboarders in the Midwest who voted Ski Brule their favorite resort,” said Hammer. More than 60,000 people have learned to ski and snowboard absolutely free at Ski Brule with its Family Learn Program, which includes a free lift ticket, lesson and rental to first-time skiers or snowboarders ages 10 and older. Advance reservations (minimum 24

Ski Brule offers a redesigned terrain park for snowboarders. —Contributed Photo

hours) are required and may be made by calling 1-(800) DO-BRULE. For this season, the program will begin Jan. 11, 2013. The Kids Center at Ski Brule provides a positive learning experience with emphasis on fun indoors and out. Ski Brule is dedicated to making a child’s first experience on snow a fun event. “Fun is the key to getting children interested and keeping them involved. Programs are three hours of fun inside and out, complete with activities and hot chocolate. Minimum age for SKIwee is 4 years,” said Hammer. She said parents will feel the security that comes from knowing that their children are being cared for in the best programs available. “For generations, parents have trusted their children’s snow-sports future to the professionals at Ski Brule. Their children are now doing the same,” said Hammer. Ski Brule offers a $43 Wednesday special, except from Dec. 24 to Jan. 6, that includes lift, lesson and downhill ski rental, and reservations are not needed. Beginner lessons are at 10:45 a.m. and advanced lessons start at 1:15 p.m. Challenges for all For snowboarders, the Rapids and Snowshoe runs in the terrain park have been redesigned featuring a hitching post, rainbow box, cannon box, angled boxes and more. The Rapids and Bambi Playground are open for the night session. Hammer said Ski Brule’s dedication to snow continues with knowledgeable and proficient slope maintenance staff. Skiers and snowboarders will find challenges for all skill levels. Timber Doodle’s bumps, berms and turns provide a playful ride for everyone young at heart. Homestead Trail is a special treat with a gentle pitch and Homestead Lodge. “The mid-mountain Homestead Lodge features an all-you-care-to-eat barbecue on Thursday and Saturday evenings and during the holidays,” said Hammer. For those who are confident in their ability, Double Doodle’s roller-coaster ride of serious steep and banked switchbacks is a thrill. In all there are more than a dozen runs and 11 lifts. Hammer said group trips and youth programs involving 20 or more people can take advantage of big discounts that include lift tickets, lodging, meals, bever-

Ski Brule, billed as the first to open and the last to close, offers more than a dozen runs and 11 lifts. It’s located just 45 minutes from Eagle River. —Contributed Photo

ages, lessons and activities. As an example, the Sunday to Friday (excluding holidays) group plan offers savings of more than 50% for adults and juniors. She said packages are available starting at $21 a ticket or $31 for a ticket/ski rental combo. “Ski Brule is a perfect location for group outings with breakfast, lunch and facilities for worship service and meetings. Weekend lodging packages are available. Reservations are required, with a minimum of 20 people,” she said. Other activities Homestead Tubing is traditional tubing (no tow) and is available from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday and Saturday nights. An unlimited tubing pass is $4 and free to guests of Brule Village Thursday nights with a nightly activity pass. White Water snow tubing is offered Mondays from 5 to 7 p.m. and Fridays through Sundays from 1 to 3 p.m. The cost is $5 for five runs. For the silent sports enthusiast, Ski Brule’s 33 kilometers of scenic snowshoe and cross-country trails are a must. The trail system winds through the wooded and rolling terrain of the Brule River Valley. The cost is $5 for snowshoeing

and $10 to cross-county ski. A daily lift ticket also is valid on the trails. Ski Brule provides the finest Nordic skiing surface, including flat groomed for ski skating and tracked for individual Nordic skiing. Beginner, intermediate and advanced skiers can find a comfortable route or a new challenge on one of Ski Brule’s many trails. With its increasing popularity, snowshoeing offers an easy and enjoyable experience in the winter North Woods beauty. A snowshoe trek may be a casual walk through the woods or a physically demanding adventure. Trail maps for both Nordic skiers and snowshoers are available on Ski Brule’s website. The more than 300 miles of snowmobile trails located in that area of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan are known for quality grooming and endless trail systems, with direct trail access from Ski Brule. The Bear’s Den Pro Shop has everything guests need to make their day on the slopes great. It is open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and from 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. For more information on all the Ski Brule activities, call 1-(800) DO-BRULE or visit skibrule.com.

Eagle River is winter recreation paradise With a variety of recreational activities and community events for the entire family, Eagle River can give visitors a whole new perspective on how much fun winter can be. Eagle River has made the most of the snow and winter beauty by diligently mapping out and grooming trails for snowmobilers and cross-country skiers.

The local members of snowmobile clubs and cross-country ski organizations volunteer many hours of time and energy to manicure and maintain trail systems for winter guests. Eagle River is noted for the world’s largest chain of inland freshwater lakes and for being the home of the AMSOIL World Championship Snowmobile Derby.

The resort area is packed with pit stops along the wooded trail system and in the city. For cross-country skiers, the Nordmarka Ski Club maintains machinegroomed trails at Eagle River Municipal Golf Course for both skating and traditional skiing through the woods, where deer often are seen.

Just south of Eagle River on Sundstein Road is the Three Eagle Trail, offering cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. For more information on the Eagle River area, call the Eagle River Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center at (715) 479-6400 or visit the chamber website at eagleriver.org.


Page 24

Action Tracks, Winter 2012-’13

For a traditional pizzeria, try Alexander’s ___________ BY NEWS-REVIEW STAFF

___________

About 38 years ago, two brothers came to the North Woods for summer jobs. They came from a strong Italian community in Chicago where pizza was the staple at home and at college. Since there were no pizzerias in the area, the brothers realized a great opportunity existed and opened their own pizzeria in Eagle River — Alexander’s Pizza. Sources say the locals at the time looked down at them jaundice-eyed and called them brash boys from “Chitown.” But now the pizzeria has become a landmark. Today, customers come from all over the country to try what many say — and a survey showed — is the best pizza in the area. For snowmobilers, it is conveniently located right next to the north-south trail that runs through the heart of the city. After riding the trail, visiting a cross-country trail or screaming at a hockey game, Alexander’s can satisfy your appetite. Even though the business opened many years ago, one thing remains the same — the traditional method of making pizza at Alexander’s. The pizza is made the way Grandma Del Cristo said, “Use the best to make the best.” The ingredients used are only the best, which is stressed by the owners. The cheese used is 100% full cream mozzarella, which is straight from the most

Another pizza is pulled from the oven at Alexander’s Pizza in Eagle River. The pizzeria is located on Railroad Street and next to the snowmobile trail. —NEWS-REVIEW PHOTO

award-winning dairy in Wisconsin, along with nine-month-aged Romano. The owners say the soul of a pizza is the crust, which is made with high-gluten flour. Adding flavor to the pizza is the thick, rich sauce that is made with toma-

to puree from pear tomatoes, the meatiest of tomatoes. The meat is also high quality at 90% lean meat, with no soy fillers. For the more adventurous pizza connoisseurs, Alexander’s offers broccoli, shrimp, albacore and pineapple to create

BREAKFAST SERVED ANY TIME AT

original gourmet pizzas. Diners can also try an oven-roasted cheese bread appetizer — one-half loaf of freshly baked French bread, basted with butter, seasoned with garlic and aged Romano, covered with mozzarella, roasted to a honey-golden brown and finally, lightly sprinkled with oregano. Employees at Alexander’s Pizza have come from countries around the globe. Exchange-student employees from Hungary, England, Spain, Scotland, Lithuania, Jamaica, Poland, Belarus and the Czech Republic have worked at Alexander’s Pizza. Although the brothers have experimented with high-tech, cost- and laborsaving methods, the pizza-making method at Alexander’s remains traditional. At Alexander’s, the pizza is cooked on a 150-pound stone deck. Pizza is not the only item on the menu. Savory sandwiches are made to order with toasted French bread, creamy mozzarella, California tomato sauce and a choice of ham, Italian sausage or meatballs, and any of your favorite pizza toppings. Parking for vehicles and snowmobiles is available across the street. Customers can dine in or carry out, and can call ahead to have the pizza ready when they arrive. Tradition, customer service and fun can always be found at Alexander’s Pizza. Alexander’s does not accept credit or debit cards. To enjoy the “best pizza in the North,” call (715) 479-7363.

#1

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Recently, the Small Business Institute/Small Business Administration/UW System conducted anonymous independent surveys of pizza customers of the 11 major pizza restaurants in the Eagle River area. The survey considered quality of food, cleanliness, service and atmosphere. Alexander’s Family Pizza was rated #1!

• Senior Menu • Kids’ Menu • Daily Specials

“Out of 11 restaurants mentioned — Alexander’s was ranked number 1,” an independent was second, and a national chain was third, “both far behind in customer choice.”

Family Restaurant

OPEN DAILY 6 A.M. TO 9 P.M.

Serving Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Alexander’s was found to “offer a quality product at a reasonable price. According to the survey, quality has proven to be of more importance to the customer. Alexander’s has excellent pizza. It uses the highest quality ingredients.” Alexander’s Family Pizza wishes to thank all the many people who participated in the surveys. We truly appreciate the fact that our long-term goal of wanting to be known for quality pizza has been realized.

ALEXANDER’S FAMILY PIZZA Downtown Eagle River

715-479-7363

(211 Railroad St., between stoplights)

Minocqua 715-356-2628

101 W. Wall St., Eagle River, Wis. • 715-479-1070

QUALITY PIZZA — NOT JUST FOR KIDS


Action Tracks, Winter 2012-’13

Page 25

Razorback Ridges ski trail system favored among Nordic enthusiasts ___________ BY WILL MAINES SPECIAL TO ACTION TRACKS

___________

When the Arctic winds howl and snow piles up thickly on this part of northern Wisconsin, there is a certain company of people who rejoice, knowing that for the next three months or more their time has come. They are cross-country skiers, skinnyski enthusiasts who come from near and far to kick and glide their way along the quiet trails of winter. A popular destination for nearly 30 years, Razorback Ridges has been one of the most highly favored set of cross-country ski trails in all of the North Country. The trails, begun by a group of crosscountry enthusiasts who banded together to form a club in 1982, started out as a roughly 12-kilometer system groomed with old snowmobiles, bed-spring drags and a homemade wooden track setter. They now encompass 28 kilometers of trails groomed to perfection with an ASV rubber-tracked groomer and a Yellowstone Ginzu drag. The Sayner-Star Lake Lions Club took over the trails as a community service project in 1983 and have been maintaining and improving them ever since. The Lions were fortunate to have trail founders as members and, under their leadership, equipment and other facilities have constantly been upgraded and expanded. The club has maintained operation of the trails through a land-use agreement with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and, from the day the trails opened for business, the Lions have never charged a trail fee. Skiers, along with summertime hikers and mountain bikers, have sustained trail maintenance with their donations, along with fundraisers put on by the

The Razorback Ridges cross-country ski system near Sayner is groomed for both classical-style and skate skiers. —NEWS-REVIEW PHOTO

Lions Club. And the ski trails at Razorback Ridges are not the only attraction anymore. For several years, the club has maintained additional single-track trails for mountain bikers, separate loops for snowshoe enthusiasts in the winter and the Bernie Van Acker Memorial Park

skating rink for recreational skaters, which is lighted for nighttime use. The skating rink is adjacent to a warming building, built in 1996 through a grant made possible by the town of Plum Lake in cooperation with the DNR. At that time, the Lions built the chalet/equipment garage which provided

not only an area for parking and maintaining groomers, but more importantly for visiting skiers, provided a large heated room with picnic tables for lunching and indoor bathrooms. The chalet is open seven days a week year-round and, along with skier use, is available for private parties such as graduations, birthdays and anniversaries. The Lions do not charge for such use, but welcome all donations. The Lions have long prided themselves in the fact that Razorback Ridges trails are groomed by skiers for skiers. All the volunteer groomers are avid skiers who have completed many American ß and other ski races between them. Over the past several winters, the Lions have modified grooming at Razorback Ridges to better accommodate both classical-style kick and gliders and skate skiers. Essentially the east side of the trail system is groomed exclusively for classic skiers. Among those trails are Doug’s Folly, a 5.1-kilometer loop; Hair Raiser, 6.4 km; Lions Pride, 11 km; and Wild Thing, a fast, challenging loop that adds 2 kilometers to any of the other loops. Will’s Crossing is a 5.3-kilometer ski which is accessed by following a portion of skate-groomed Roller Coaster. Ridge Trail is 3.2 kilometers and provides the connection to all skate loops while also being groomed for classic skiing. Loops groomed exclusively for skating include the 8.5-kilometer Roller Coaster, 9-kilometer Mary’s Frolic and Long Rider, which has been extended to 14.5 kilometers for the 2011-’12 season. Suicide Hill is a short side loop accessible to both skaters and striders, and it always lives up to its name on the thrill meter. Big Valley allows skaters to shorten any of their loops by nearly 2 kilometers. For additional information on Razorback Ridges or trail condition updates during the winter, call (715) 542-3501.

Sayner blessed with ski, snomo trails Blessed with an abundance of lakes and thousands of acres of public forests in the Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest, the Sayner-Star Lake area in central Vilas County is a great place to visit in winter. Whether a snowmobiler, skier, ice fisherman or just a sightseer who loves the great outdoors, the Sayner-Star Lake region has the natural facilities to handle them all. One of the main events in Sayner this winter is the annual Sayner-Star Lake Lions Club’s Ice Fishing Tournament Saturday, Feb. 9. The tournament will be held on Plum Lake from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. The headquarters will be at the Plum Lake public landing. Awards will be presented at 4 p.m.

There will be prizes for the largest fish as well as door prizes. Food and refreshments will be available. For more information on the fishing tournament, phone (715) 542-3501. Also set to take place this winter is the inaugural Jesse Roman Memorial Vintage Snowmobile Show Saturday, Feb. 23, at Danny’s Roadhouse Saloon and Grill in Sayner. The show will be held in memory of Roman, a vintage snowmobile enthusiast and restorer, who passed away in 2008 from a brain tumor at the age of 23. The event will begin with registration at 9 a.m. with judging for sleds at 12:30 p.m. and prizes at 2:30 p.m. The cost to register is $5 per sled with a maximum of $20. There also will be a vintage clothing

contest, raffles, prizes and a silent auction. Trophies will be awarded for first and second places in original and restored classes for the years 1969 and earlier, 1970’73, 1974-’76, 1977-’87 and racing sleds. For more information, call Kelly at (715) 536-9845. Event proceeds will benefit the Vilas County Historical Museum, a favorite stop of Roman’s. Danny’s Roadhouse is located at 2486 Lollycoogan Lane. Birthplace of snowmobile Snowmobiling is very popular in the Sayner area, and rightly so. Sayner is the birthplace of the modern snowmobile, and the community still carries on the snowmobiling spirit that inventor Carl Eliason began in 1924. He mounted a small engine on a toboggan equipped

with skis under the front part and a continuous tread under the rear. He patented the snow sled in 1927 and manufactured 40 of them. Upon receiving an order for 200 from Finland, Eliason sold the patent. The snowmobile industry took off, with the U.S. government buying 300 for military use. Eliason died in December 1979, at the age of 80, and his funeral procession was fittingly a parade of snowmobiles. Many of the early day snowmobiles can be seen at the Vilas County Historical Museum in Sayner. Today, the Sayner-Star Lake area has more than 75 miles of snowmobile trails. For more information on Sayner-Star Lake area, call 1-(888) 722-3789 or (715) 542-3789 or go to sayner-starlake.org.


Page 26

Action Tracks, Winter 2012-’13

Afterglow Lake Resort is a hidden gem Moline family caters to cross-country skiers ___________ BY CROSS COUNTRY SKIER MAGAZINE SPECIAL TO ACTION TRACKS

___________

Afterglow Lake Resort in Phelps is a cross-country ski destination that could be called a “hidden gem.” It is not just a ski resort, it is a skier’s resort. While it caters to other segments of the winter tourism market — ice skating, tubing, ice fishing, snowshoeing and broomball — cross-country skiing is the obvious passion. Owned by Pete and Gail Moline, Afterglow is a small, second-generation family-owned cabin-based resort. On 240 acres, it is perched aside its namesake lake two miles north of Phelps. With 15 housekeeping cabins (dogs are permitted in some cabins), each with a fireplace and full kitchen, Afterglow is an ideal destination for individuals, groups and especially families. A wellequipped indoor recreation center with everything from table games to exercise equipment for après ski and the obligatory whirlpool and sauna, show they know how to round out a great ski day. Trails literally start at the cabin door. Walk to the end of the sidewalk, clip in and ski away. Garnering a well-deserved cult following among Nordic skiers in the upper Midwest, Afterglow attracts cross-country enthusiasts trekking from Madison and Milwaukee and the Twin Cities area of Minnesota and beyond. Besides its hominess, Afterglow chalks up other things in its favor. Located on the south edge of the snowbelt, it is less subject to the vagaries of fickle snowfall patterns. Snows also get a bit of a bump due to occasional lake-effect weather. Its other claim to fame, and that which keeps skiers coming back, is grooming. Pete Moline, a former U.S. Ski Team moguls star, long ago embraced Nordic skiing and, more importantly, grooming. To say that he is a fanatic about grooming is an understatement, failing to do justice to the time he puts in and the quality of his product. For years, Moline has participated in

The cross-country ski trails at Afterglow Lake Resort in Phelps are some of the best in the Midwest. They are groomed for traditional and skate skiers. —Contributed Photo

grooming research that helped the Tidd Tech company develop the Generation 2 (G2) ski trail grooming implement. Moline uses a Tidd Tech G2 to groom Afterglow’s trails. “We don’t see much of Pete once ski season gets under way,” joked Gail Moline. Her loss is the skier’s gain, however, as Moline has groomed as much as 100 times in a season. Grooming during the day allows skiers to damage the quality of the trail surface before it has time to harden. For the highest quality, Moline grooms almost exclusively at night, usually starting by 2:30 a.m. and finishing by 6 a.m. This allows three hours for the trail to harden, and for Moline to plow

and get ready for the arriving skiers and snowshoers. But Moline is more than just an avid groomer. He has fully embraced the “art” of grooming. Though he uses a snowmobile and pull-behind Tidd Tech, one would swear he’s been over the trails with a Pisten Bully or other snowcatstyle machine. The trails, 12 to 14 feet wide, require two passes with this rig. Unlike many trails groomed in this fashion, in the middle of the trail where one groomer path crosses on top of the other, there is no bump, ridge or discernible joint. The trail surface is virtually flat and seamless. “I have a couple of tricks,” he hinted

with a smile. One is the use of an add-on smoothing bar, a simple piece of PVC pipe that he slips over the cutting tines of the groomer. “This helps level the trail and erase any seam that might be created when making the second pass around the trail,” he explained. At 18 kilometers, the Afterglow trail system is not large, and one can ski most of it in a morning. But it is such a delight to ski that repeating parts of it in the afternoon is totally within reason. There are nine trails, most skate with a classic track, numbered simply 1 through 9. None threaten with large challenges, though three expert loops — Nos. 4, 7 and 8 — provide short, steep climbing and rewarding descents. Leaving the Afterglow property, No. 5 tours a bit in the adjoining Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest on a wide, flowing out-and-back trail where skiers can practice their V2 or just cruise along. Classic skiers will delight in the Phelps Trail. This trail also ventures off Afterglow property, winding its way onto adjacent national forest land that Moline grooms under an agreement with the U.S. Forest Service. Single-track most of the way, the 4-kilometer loop starts out innocently enough, but as the signs intimate, it tosses in some swooping and winding descents about two-thirds of the way into the trail. To complement the great skiing, Afterglow also offers a network of mapped, marked snowshoe trails. With distances from 0.3 miles to 1.8 miles, the halfdozen trails can be ganged together for a much longer tour, up to 8 miles total. None are overly strenuous. All intersect ski trails, so getting lost is not an option. Afterglow Lake Resort is the kind of place cross-country skiers dream about. With a family environment, dedication to quality grooming, quiet and comfort, this hidden gem begs discovery. This article originally was printed in Cross Country Skier Magazine. It is reprinted here with permission from Cross Country Skier Magazine, crosscountryskier.com.

Scenic trails, fishing events found in Phelps Phelps, located in the northeastern corner of Vilas County, is a winter paradise offering snowmobiling, ice fishing, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. The Phelps Snowmobile Club keeps about 40 miles of trails groomed throughout the winter, offering trails into the scenic Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The snowmobile club has several fundraisers during the year. The club will have a benefit breakfast Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 15-16, at Sunrise Lodge from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. For more information, call Sunrise Lodge at (715) 547-3684.

Because much of Phelps is located in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, there also is plenty of public land available for bushwhacking on cross-country skis and snowshoes. There are logging roads galore, just waiting to be explored. Excellent skiing is offered at the Afterglow Lake Resort trails and the Phelps-Nicolet National Forest trail. These scenic trails, maintained for both classical and skating styles, are groomed by former pro mogul skier Pete Moline. To get to the trails, travel north on Highway E from Phelps for one mile. Turn right on Sugar Maple Road, go one

mile and then turn right into Afterglow Resort’s drive. The office is on the right. The telephone number is (715) 545-2560. The Phelps area is probably best known for its great ice fishing, with lakes such as North and South Twin, Lac Vieux Desert, Long and Big Sand all within five miles of the community. Because Phelps caters to ice fishermen, the community has several ice fishing tournaments each year. The Phelps Lions Club will sponsor the 27th annual Great Northern Ice Fishing Tournament Saturday, Jan. 26, on Lac Vieux Desert. There will be an evening din-

ner. For information, call (715) 545-3327. The 12th annual Northern Exposure Ice Fishing Tournament will be Saturday, Feb. 9, on North and South Twin lakes. Register fish at the boat landing. Call Doug at (715) 545-3555 for more information. The Big Sand Lake Ice Fishing Tournament will be held Saturday, Feb. 16, and also will be headquartered at the boat landing. It is sponsored by Sand Lake Pub. Call (715) 545-3200 for more information. For more information on winter activities and fishing tournaments in the Phelps area, people can call the Phelps Chamber of Commerce at (715) 545-3800.


Action Tracks, Winter 2012-’13

Page 27

Snowmobile trails, annual radar run top attractions for St. Germain area If you have never visited St. Germain during the winter, you are missing some incredible winter fun. With towering pines and downy-white snow, the North Woods is absolutely beautiful during the winter months. Winter also is one of the best times of the year for wildlife viewing, especially amid the postcard-perfect surroundings. And during the winter, the St. Germain community hosts an array of events that celebrate what many feel is the most wonderful season in the North Woods. For the seasoned snowmobiler and novice alike, St. Germain is the center of snowmobiling in Vilas County. The area is webbed with an incredible network of trails which lead throughout northern Wisconsin and beyond. You simply won’t find a better snowmobile destination than St. Germain. For many years, St. Germain has been home to the largest snowmobile club in the state of Wisconsin, the Bo-Boen Snowmobile Club. Weekly rides and other events are planned throughout the winter. When you’re not on your snowmobile, be sure to visit the Snowmobile Hall of Fame and Museum just west of town, off Highway 70. For many in the North Woods, the real fishing season begins when the lakes freeze over. The ice fishing in St. Germain is tremendous. With an endless selection of lakes to choose from — and excellent populations of walleye, crappie, perch, bluegill and northern pike — you’ll have no trouble finding a lake to suit your personal style of fishing. You also won’t want to miss the local ice fishing tournaments held throughout the winter season. Other winter sports in St. Germain include snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and hiking. There’s really no better time to explore the woodland trails than winter. Experience the quiet and solitude of being deep in the forest, where the only sound you’ll hear is a nearby chickadee and the crunching of pristine snow underfoot.

When it comes to snowmobiling in the St. Germain area, one of the top attractions is the annual radar run. This year’s event on Little St.

If indoor activities are to your liking, check out St. Germain’s vast array of local restaurants. Whatever your mood or appetite, St. Germain has something to offer, from fine dining to a burger and fries. And shopping doesn’t stop because the snow flies. The local shops and businesses are open all winter and eager to offer “retail therapy.” Community events The 13th annual Polar Bear Plunge at St. Germain Lodge and Resort on Big St. Germain Lake is a fundraiser to benefit Angel On My Shoulder. It will be held Saturday, Jan. 5, with registration in the morning and the plunge at noon. If dancing is your thing, join the PrimeTimers at their annual Snowflake Dance held Tuesday, Jan. 15, at the St. Germain Community Center. Food and beverages

Germain Lake will be Feb. 1-3 and will feature timed speed runs and the always popular bikini radar run. —NEWS-REVIEW PHOTO

will be available from 7 to 11 p.m. There will be a trail groomer show at Vogel Enterprises Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 6-7, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday. This is a great chance to see the equipment with which St. Germain’s trail system is maintained, and will provide interested professional groomers with insight into the latest grooming equipment. There will be displays and demonstrations both days. Food will be served by the Bo-Boen Snowmobile Club. A snowmobile radar run will be held Friday through Sunday, Feb. 1-3, on West Bay of Little St. Germain Lake, with 660and 1,000-foot tracks. Friday is for practice runs starting at 11 a.m. and trophy runs are planned Saturday starting at 10 a.m. The Plum Lake Emergency Medical Service will have its Holes for Life ice fish-

ing tournament on Big St. Germain Lake Saturday, Feb. 2, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Registration is at 7 a.m. The 30th annual Ride With The Champs will be held Saturday, Feb. 16, with headquarters at Whitetail Inn. The event is a fundraiser for the Snowmobile Hall of Fame and Museum in St. Germain. The event will start at 7:30 a.m. with registration and will include breakfast, lunch and the Hall of Fame induction dinner banquet. The winter events will wind down with the fourth annual Ice Golf Tournament hosted by Black Bear Lodge on Little St. Germain Lake Saturday, March 16. The event will take place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will benefit the Vilas Food Pantry. For more information about all the St. Germain winter activities, call the chamber of commerce at (715) 477-2205.

Hall features racing displays, vintage sleds One of the most popular winter attractions in the North Woods is the Snowmobile Hall of Fame and Museum in St. Germain, with racing history displays and vintage sleds showcased. The Hall of Fame offers something of interest to everyone in the family. Admission is free, although a donation box is provided. The Hall of Fame is a nonprofit corporation that depends on donations from visitors, fundraisers, individual memberships and corporate sponsorships. Open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays, the hall is located at 8481 Highway 70 W., just one mile west of the St. Germain Chamber of Commerce office, at Sled World Boulevard. Museum hours

increase after the trails open (call ahead). In the winter, the museum is accessible by snowmobile trails that run along Highway 70 near the facility. “All operations are in one location — on the beautiful 20-acre Hall of Fame campus,” said Hall of Fame President and founder Loren Anderson. The new Warning Gallery has added 5,000 feet of exhibit space. Visitors can look at the exhibits and read the exciting histories of more than 40 inductees into the Hall of Fame. Videos of famous and historic races also play in the mini theater. Racing videotapes are available for purchase in the Hall of Fame gift shop, along with T-shirts, sweat shirts, caps and jack-

ets. Each has the Snowmobile Hall of Fame logo on it. Sleds of some of the Hall of Famers are on display. Many makes of snowmobiles have been donated to the hall, ranging from Polaris, Arctic Cat, Yamaha and SkiDoo to Moto-Ski, Chaparral, Bolens and Ariens. Clothing worn by racers through the years is also on display. “Stop in and see historic race sleds, trophies, clothing and the Ramstad photo collection,” said Anderson. “Championship sleds on display include oval, enduro, hill climb, cross-country, water cross, SnoCross and drag sleds raced by championship drivers such as Karpik, Wicht, Musselman, Coltom, Hayes, Elsner, Solem, Bernat, Fransen, Nelson, Bender, Maki,

Hibbert, Morgan and Vincent.” The hall holds its annual Ride With The Champs as a fundraiser for the Hall of Fame. The 30th annual ride will be held Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013, starting and ending at Whitetail Inn in St. Germain. The 2013 Hall of Fame inductees will be honored that evening. Memberships to the hall are available as follows: individual annual, $25; individual life, $500; business annual, $100; and business life, $1,000. For information on the Snowmobile Hall of Fame and Museum in St. Germain or to make a donation to the new building, contact Anderson at (715) 542-4488 or visit the museum website at snowmobile halloffame.com.


Page 28

Action Tracks, Winter 2012-’13

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Action Tracks, Winter 2012-’13

Page 29

Three Lakes a premier destination for wide variety of winter events ___________ BY ANTHONY DREW NEWS-REVIEW ASST. EDITOR

___________

The town of Three Lakes near the Vilas-Oneida county line is a winter sports paradise, offering forest trails and scenic lakes to suit snowmobilers, cross-country skiers and ice anglers. A gateway to the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, this quaint little town offers 150 miles of groomed snowmobile trails, access to national forest ski trails and the world’s largest chain of freshwater lakes. The Three Lakes Chain and other lakes in the area, such as Thunder Lake to the west and Butternut and Sevenmile lakes to the east, offer angling diversity that ranges from good crappie, perch and other panfish action to tip-up fishing for walleye and northern pike. To provide more winter excitement for residents and vacationers alike, organizations sponsor several winter events, including poker runs for snowmobilers in January and February, a fishing derby in late February and guided snowmobile rides every Wednesday and Friday. With the use of three groomers, Three Lakes Trails Inc. keeps 150 miles of statefunded and club trails groomed to the best possible condition all winter. Volunteers with Three Lakes Trails Inc. and the Northern Lights Snowmobile Club put in hundreds of hours to prepare and maintain the trail network. A favorite of snowmobilers is a 65-mile loop encompassing the Kimball Creek trail that includes trails in Three Lakes, Eagle River and south to Hiles, all passing through the national forest. There are county maps of the entire trail system available for both Oneida and Vilas counties, making touring less confusing. The Three Lakes Tavern League will sponsor weekend poker runs for cash prizes Fridays and Saturdays, Jan. 18-19

Three Lakes offers a variety of winter activities, ranging from snowmobiling to crosscountry skiing. This is a scene along the Three Eagle Trail. —Contributed Photo

and Feb. 15-16, with proceeds going to benefit Three Lakes Trails Inc. Raffle drawings are scheduled after 9 p.m. each Saturday night of the weekend poker runs. For the fourth straight year, Bonnie’s Lakeside will be the host site of snowmobile races as part of the Northern Vintage Snowmobile Race Series on Spirit Lake. Oval racing is set Saturday, Feb. 23, and endurance races are scheduled March 9. Cross-country skiers will find miles of groomed trails and unlimited bushwhacking opportunities on the nearby national

forest. Skiers can venture east toward Franklin Lake, where they will find the Anvil Lake and Nicolet North trails. Ice anglers will find walleye, northern pike and a host of panfish species in the Three Lakes Chain of Lakes and dozens of nearby lakes, including national forest favorites such as Butternut, Franklin and Sevenmile. Perch and crappie can be found in good numbers all winter off the many rock bars on the Chain. Other nearby lakes, such as Thunder, Maple and Spirit, hold northern pike, panfish and some walleyes.

The Three Lakes Lions Club will stage its 60th annual Ice Fishing Derby from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23, on Maple Lake near downtown Three Lakes. The fishing contest offers merchandise prizes. Fish from the Three Lakes area are accepted for registration up to 2:30 p.m. Participants will have a chance to win hundreds of prizes during the afternoon, including special raffle prizes. Sunday, Feb. 17, the Northern Lights Snowmobile Club will stage a weenie roast from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Trail No. 8 in the national forest. For information on the ride, contact President Jim Nykolayko at (715) 546-8372. The club also coordinates weekly rides beginning the first Wednesday in January. The casual, family-oriented rides are offered each Wednesday and Friday starting at 9:30 a.m. at the Three Lakes Shell Station. A longer, more spirited ride starts at 8:30 every Wednesday morning, also starting from the Shell Station. Saturday, Dec. 29, a chili cook-off and meat raffle will take place from noon to 4 p.m. at Mai Tiki Bar & Grill to benefit Three Lakes Trails. For more information, call (715) 546-3520. Whether by snowmobile or vehicle, winter visitors can tour the Northwoods Petroleum Museum free of charge six days a week. It is located two miles north of Three Lakes on Highway 45, and is close to the snowmobile trail. “A trip through the museum will bring you back to a time when the local gas station was run by a friendly neighbor who thanked you for your business, might have offered you Green Stamps or free dishware, and who cleaned your windshield,” said museum founder Ed Jacobson. The museum is open noon to 4 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. For information on accommodations or winter events in Three Lakes, call the Three Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce and Welcome Center at (715) 546-3344 or visit threelakes.com.

Three Eagle Trail is groomed, marked More and more people are discovering one of the hidden gems of the North Woods winter sports scene right between the communities of Three Lakes and Eagle River. The Three Eagle Cross-Country Ski Trail, groomed for both classic and skate skiing, follows the same route as the northern five miles of the familiar biking and walking trail. The two-way trail is easily accessible from both the Sundstein Road trailhead, located four miles south of the Vilas County Fairgrounds, or from a trailside parking lot three miles north of Three Lakes on Highway 45. The trail winds through uninhabited

forestland on generally flat terrain. The two-mile stretch from Sundstein Road to the Mud Creek bridge does have a few gently rolling hills that novice skiers can handle with ease. More advanced skiers looking for an aerobic workout appreciate the distance markers posted every half-mile, making it easy to judge pace and mileage. Skiing end-to-end and back can be a very pleasant 10-mile (16-kilometer) outing. Scenic boardwalks and a bridge provide landmarks along the way. The wooded landscape affords good wind protection along with an abundance of beautiful winter scenery. Wildlife sightings are not unusual and deciphering their tracks

in the snow can be quite entertaining. Trail grooming is, of course, dependent on snow throughout the season. Still, thanks to the relatively smooth limestone surface providing a uniform base under the snow, this is often one of the first skiable trails in the area and it often remains open and skiable after many others have closed in the spring. Area volunteers use equipment owned by the Three Eagle Trail Foundation and Tara Lila LLC to groom the trail. Although there’s no fee to use the trail, donations made in the trailhead donation boxes help with the cost of maintaining the trail. In addition to the groomed ski trail,

there is a separate snowshoe trail on the Tara Lila property accessible from the Sundstein Road trailhead. Like the ski trail, the snowshoe trail is an out-and-back course with the exception of a short but scenic loop at its far end. A map of the snowshoe trail is displayed on a kiosk just inside the Sundstein Road trailhead gate. Both the ski trail and the snowshoe trail traverse private lands and users are encouraged to stay on the designated trails and observe the trail guidelines posted at both trailheads. For more information about the Three Eagle Trail, including maps and photos, visit 3eagletrail.com.


Page 30

Action Tracks, Winter 2012-’13

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Action Tracks, Winter 2012-’13

Page 31

Early ice is best time for walleyes ___________

The bait, a golden shiner minnow, sucker minnow or fathead, should be attached to the hook and located just a couple of inches off the bottom. However, anglers may have to raise the bait in heavy weeds. The depth can be marked on the line just below the tip-up with a small bobber or button. On the jig rod, try using imitation jigging minnows or jigging spoons tipped with a minnow. Medium or large fatheads are a good first choice. Drill extra holes and move around with the jigging pole, searching for walleye. In Wisconsin, it’s legal to set three lines, so many anglers set up two tip-ups and jig with the third pole.

BY YUKON JACK SPECIAL TO ACTION TRACKS

___________

Once the lakes are iced over, the North Woods turns quiet and it is a good time to pursue game fish, especially walleyes. The walleye is some of the best table fare of all freshwater fish and the period from mid-December to mid-January is one of the best times to catch walleyes through the ice. Walleyes often feed voraciously during this period, especially during lowlight times. Beware of early ice First ice is a time when anglers should not be stupid or macho on the ice. Wear a personal flotation device at all times. Some anglers during early ice have walked out to the fishing area and fished with no problems, only to break through on the way back off the ice. Beware of lakes with springs because the lake can have 6 inches of ice in one area, but near a spring it may be only an inch thick. For most anglers, the general rule of thumb for ice thickness is: 3 inches to walk, 6 inches for all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and snowmobiles, and 12 inches for trucks and cars. Equipment needed Early ice is walking time; therefore, a sled to pull any equipment on to the ice is essential. An auger, fishing gear and bait can go in the sled. If there is enough early ice, anglers can pull the sled behind a snowmobile or ATV. A sled cover can be used to keep snow, ice and water off the equipment that might be thrown from the snowmobile or ATV. An ice spud is essential to test the ice when venturing out on thin ice and a hand drill is needed to bore the holes. A power auger will work but is not necessary during early ice. Tip-ups and a jig rod should be part of the angler’s arsenal. There are many styles of tip-ups on the market. Some anglers use the wind tip-ups as they provide more action for the bait.

When it comes to walleye fishing through the ice, mid-December to mid-January is the peak time. Low-light times are the most productive. —NEWS-REVIEW PHOTO

Rig the tip-ups with a minimum of 6- or 8-pound test line. Tie the terminal tackle directly to the line, but do not use snap

swivels or leaders for walleye. Terminal tackle can be a standard No. 6 hook, a treble hook, small spoons or flashers.

Locating early walleyes During the early-ice period, walleyes are very predictable and are easy to locate. Simply find a shallow weed bed along the shoreline of the lake and place your setup. When ice fishing, your setup is stationary and the fish move to you. Other great fishing areas are pockets in the weed edge that protrude toward shore. Walleyes have a tendency to move into these pockets and hold in these areas. Another area to try are the shallow points submerged in the lake. Anglers should set up on either side on the break line. Most walleye anglers will be set up an hour to one-half hour before daylight and fish until mid-morning. Once the sun gets above the tree tops, walleyes will not feed much until near sunset. This means that the late afternoon and early evening hours are very good times to have walleye action. It it’s a heavy-overcast day, the walleyes will feed later in the morning and earlier before sunset. When the sun has totally set, the fish slow down for a couple of hours. But don’t give up; usually about 8 p.m. the walleyes become active again and will respond on and off all night. Be aware that Wisconsin has a variety of bag and size requirements for walleyes, so check for notices at the boat landing or a regulation book for details. Yukon Jack is a hunting and fishing guide in Eagle River and can be reached at (715) 479-3219 or yukonjackegv.com.

Ice fishing derbies planned in North Woods Communities and organizations throughout the North Woods are planning ice fishing jamborees this winter. Most of the ice fishing derbies are family-oriented events, offering prizes for the largest fish as well as door prizes. Participants should call organizers at the number provided to confirm dates and locations. The following is a rundown of the ice fishing jamborees in this area. Jan. 26, Phelps — The 27th annual Great Northern Ice Fishing Tournament, sponsored by the Phelps Lions Club, will be held on Lac Vieux Desert, with the headquarters at the West Shore Boat Landing. Phone (715) 545-3327. Feb. 2, Conover — The Conover Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department will

sponsor its fourth annual Ice Fishing Classic on Pioneer Lake from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., with headquarters at the public boat landing off Chicago Avenue. Call (715) 477-2036. Feb. 2, St. Germain — The Plum Lake EMS will host the Holes for Life ice fishing tournament on Big St. Germain Lake, with registration at Fibber’s Restaurant at 7 a.m. Fishing will last from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. There will be raffles, cash prizes and door prizes. Entry fee is $25. Phone (715) 891-0572. Feb. 9, Phelps — The Northern Exposure Ice Fishing Tournament will be held on North Twin Lake, sponsored by Northern Exposure Bar and Restaurant. Call (715) 545-3555. Feb. 9, Sayner — The Sayner/Star

Lake Lions Club will host its annual ice fishing tournament on Plum Lake from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m., with registration at the boat landing on the south side of the lake. Awards will be presented at 4 p.m. Tickets are $25 per person. Call (715) 542-3789 or (715) 542-3501. Feb. 16, Sugar Camp — The annual Sand Lake Ice Fishing Jamboree will be held at Pitlik’s Sand Beach Resort in Sugar Camp from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Prizes every hour, food and beverages available. Call (715) 479-4955. Feb. 16, Phelps — The Big Sand Lake Ice Fishing Tournament will be headquartered at the boat landing, sponsored by Sand Lake Pub. Entry fee is $15 per person, with prizes awarded after fishing. Call (715) 545-3200.

Feb. 23, Three Lakes — The Lions Club will sponsor its 60th annual ice fishing jamboree on Maple Lake from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. There will be prizes and food available. Call (715) 546-3344. Feb. 24, Land O’ Lakes — The 17th annual Kids Fishing Jamboree will be held on Lac Vieux Desert at the West Shore Boat Landing from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The free event will include food, prizes and bait. It’s open to all youths up to age 18. Call (715) 547-3434. March 10, Conover — The Lions Club Kids Fisheree will be held on Denton Lake off Highway 45 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., with headquarters at Club 45. It’s an ice fishing tournament just for children, with prizes and refreshments. Call (715) 479-6673.


Page 32

Action Tracks, Winter 2012-’13

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Action Tracks, Winter 2012-’13

Page 33

Mushers coming to Land O’ Lakes Connecting Vilas County with the Upper Peninsula of Michigan is Land O’ Lakes, a popular destination for snowmobilers, cross-country skiers, ice fishermen and winter sightseers. The community celebrates winter with the Three Bear Winter Sled Dog Races set for Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 9-10. The event will bring some of the top sled-dog teams from across the country to Land O’ Lakes to compete for cash and prizes. Land O’ Lakes also will have its Winter Festival flea market and craft show Saturday, Feb. 9. The event will be held at the elementary school from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. There also will be crafts, a bake sale, food and a snowman-making contest. The festivities will continue Saturday night with the Mushers Ball. Many winter recreationists travel to Land O’ Lakes for cross-country skiing, as the popular Sylvania Trails are located nearby in Watersmeet, Mich. Land O’ Lakes also offers its own 7.5mile cross-country ski trail, groomed and maintained by the Land O’ Lakes Fish and Game Club. To get to the trail, take Highway B west to East Duck Lake Road, turn north and continue past North Moon Lake Road to a parking area on the east side of the road. The Land O’ Lakes area offers plenty of snowmobile trails, connecting Wisconsin trails with those in Michigan to the north, Boulder Junction to the west, Eagle River to the south and Phelps to the east. The Frosty Snowmobile Club is in charge of grooming the trails and fundraisers. An activity that should not be overlooked in Land O’ Lakes is ice fishing. Some of the more popular lakes in the area include Lac Vieux Desert, Portage, Forest and Black Oak. Several ice fishing tournaments are planned on Lac Vieux Desert during the winter months, including the 27th annual Great Northern Ice Fishing Tournament Jan. 26, sponsored by the Phelps Lions Club, and the 17th annual Kids Fishing Jamboree on Lac Vieux Desert Feb. 24, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information on Land O’ Lakes events, call the chamber of commerce at (715) 547-3432.

Land O’ Lakes will host the Three Bear Sled Dog Races Feb. 9-10, bringing world-class sled dog racing to Vilas County. Other festivi-

ties will include a flea market and craft show, bake sale and a Mushers Ball. —NEWS-REVIEW PHOTO

Women on Snow to hit North Woods trails The 27th annual Women on Snow trail ride will be Jan. 25-27 on Eagle River area trails, with the Women on Snow Tour 2013 to follow Jan. 28-30. Plans are well under way for this popular event. This women-only snowmobile adventure will begin with a weekend of riding based out of Eagle River Inn & Resort. This year, more than 100 women will come together to explore the scenic snowmobile trails through the North Woods and visit many local pit stops and restaurants Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 25-27, 2013. Friday will offer an afternoon trail ride of approximately 50 miles leaving about 3 p.m., highlighted by a traditional Wiscon-

sin fish fry at a local establishment. There will be time for meeting old and new friends, relaxing and socializing. It will be up with the sun Saturday to hit the trail by 8 a.m. Riders will be divided into groups of 18 to 20 and all will meet for lunch. There also will be morning and afternoon pit stops at North Woods establishments. About 100 miles will be logged on the trails before shutting the sleds down around 5 p.m. The traditional Saturday night banquet will bring everyone together for an evening of food, socializing, surprises and entertainment. The theme for the 27th annual Women on Snow weekend is “Super Heroes.” Costumes will be part of the fun. There will be one last ride of approxi-

mately 50 miles for the participants Sunday morning and brunch at a local restaurant. All groups will return to Eagle River Inn by 1 p.m. to load up and head home. Group leaders on the trail in 2013 will include Bev Dittmar, Julie LaRiviere, Judy Pacanowski, Marie Simmer, Sharon WeMett, Georgia Henricks and Sue Minor. The Women on Snow Tour riders will meet early Monday morning, Jan. 28, 2013, at Eagle River Inn and then hit the trail. The first full-day’s ride will depart Monday morning and will head to Phillips for an overnight stay. The group will stay overnight and leave for Boulder Junction, the second destination, Tuesday morning. The final ride will be back to Eagle River

Inn, arriving Wednesday afternoon. The tour presents the opportunity for experienced riders to challenge their riding skills and endurance by venturing into new territories and riding up to 130 miles per day. The tour is limited to 30 riders. The cost for the Women on Snow weekend is $250, while the cost is $285 for Tour ’13. The cost for both rides is $535. The prices include all lodging, meals, entertainment and gas for the snowmobile. Refreshments, oil and incidentals along the trail are not included. For a brochure, contact Women on Snow, P.O. Box 2465, Eagle River, WI 54521. For more information, visit womenonsnow.org.


Page 34

Action Tracks, Winter 2012-’13

Eight groups call World Snomo Headquarters home Many snowmobile groups or organizations did not have a physical presence until the World Snowmobile Headquarters opened its doors in Eagle River in 2006. Now eight groups call the headquarters home and showcase their snowmobile-related programs in the large facility next to the AMSOIL World Championship Snowmobile Derby Track on Highway 45 North. “With the eight different groups and organizations on display, the headquarters gives them all a physical presence they did not have,” said Tom Anderson, president of the World Snowmobile Headquarters. The most impressive display at the headquarters is the prestigious International Snowmobile Hall of Fame that recognizes the recreational side of the sport with 92 inductees’ plaques on display, each featuring a photo of the snowmobile enthusiast. With the cooperation and sponsorship of the Derby Track, the World Championship Derby Hall of Fame honors the first 23 winners of the Derby with their photo plaques on display. At this year’s Derby, the final class will be inducted. Plans are being made to make the gala celebration part of the 50th anniversary of the most famous race in snowmobiling. Nearby, the Radloff Derby Gallery features a huge display of Derby photos starting from the first race in 1964. This impressive collection highlights the faces of racers and crews as they compete for the title of “World Champion.” Two exceptional snowmobile museums

at the headquarters feature the Antique Snowmobile Club of America and the Vintage Snowmobile Club with more than 80 classic and vintage sleds on display. “The historical machines are rotated frequently to keep the display new and interesting,” said Anderson. Representing the Iron Dog Brigade’s 130 members is a display of their history, their major events and current membership. Founded in Eagle River back in 1986, the Women on Snow have their special display area with information on past and upcoming rides. The Thirsty Dogs has hundreds of members, whose dues have contributed more than $44,000 to charity since 1985. For $10 anyone can join this fun club that only has one rule: “There ain’t no rules.” People can join at the headquarters. Reflecting the tremendous contributions to the safe and enjoyable trail systems sledders enjoy is the International Groomer of the Year program sponsored by Arctic Cat. This year’s winner was Jerry Emery of Aitkin, Minn. Keeping the trail systems funded and intact are the thousands of clubs in the snowbelt. One special club is honored each year with the International Snowmobile Club of the Year recognition. This year’s winner was the Osgoode Carleton Club from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. The headquarters also features a large gift shop with hundreds of snowmobileroriented specialty items including books, magazines, DVDs, photos, cups, T-shirts,

The World Snowmobile Headquarters in Eagle River features vintage trail and race sleds. It also is home to the International Snowmobile Hall of Fame. —Contributed Photo

jackets, clothing, jewelry and tapes. Each year, the World Snowmobile Headquarters is visited by more than 3,400 snowmobile fans who come to see the history of the sport and trace the development of the machines that made it winter’s No. 1 pastime. “We have 7,500 square feet of displays and there is something for everybody who stops in,” said Anderson. “A common re-

mark is, ‘That is the sled I learned on’ or ‘That was my first snowmobile. Wish I would have kept it.’ ” The World Snowmobile Headquarters offers free admission. Hours are Mondays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. from mid-December through mid-March and from mid-May through mid-October. For more information, call (715) 4792186 or go to worldsnowmobilehq.com.

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Action Tracks, Winter 2012-’13

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Action Tracks, Winter 2012-’13


Nov. 21, 2012  

ACTION TRACKS

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