With more snowmobile activities than anywhere else on earth, Eagle River has earned the title of “The Snowmobile Capital of the World.”
It all starts with the Amsoil World Championship Snowmobile Derby, the oldest continually contested snowmobile race. Begun on nearby Dollar Lake near the Chanticleer Inn way back in 1964, the growing event was relocated to the modern Derby track right in downtown Eagle River. For 2017, Championship race weekend is January 19-22, and the increasingly popular Vintage Snowmobile Derby will run on January 13-15.
But this town is about a lot more than racing: Anytime in the winter is a great time to hit the superb northern Wisconsin trail system. More than 500 miles of excellent riding connects Eagle River to other communities and attractions throughout Wisconsin’s Northwoods region, and further on to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Vilas County trails have the best signage anywhere, with most sign posts showing multiple routes to destinations along with the mileage for each choice. The entire Eagle River trail system is groomed seven nights per week, with spot grooming during the day in high use areas. Trails provide direct access to most businesses in and around town, including excellent lodging and fine dining facilities. Dealer support and rental sleds are available, too. Trails typically open in mid-December and stay open to the end of March.
And when it’s time for a trail break, a visit World Snowmobile Headquarters (WSH) is a must. Located just one block north of the Derby track, this temple to the snowmobile lifestyle features the International Snowmobile Hall of Fame (ISHOF), the World Championship Derby Hall of Fame, permanent exhibits for the Iron Dog Brigade and Women on Snow, a museum with nearly 100 vintage sleds and a well-stocked gift shop featuring WSH and ISHOF apparel as well as many books on snowmobile history and other interesting and useful items.
Then marvel at the spectacular Ice Castle in the heart of downtown Eagle River. Constructed annually since 1927, this glacial palace showcases a beautiful display of colored lights. And wrap things up with the outstanding souvenir shopping and great night life in Vilas County.
A visit to Eagle River should be on every snowmobiler’s bucket list. Isn’t it time you made the trip? For more information, call 800/359-6315 or visit snowmobileEagleRiver.com.