Winnebago Winter Wonderland

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Yes, it is a bit chilly and you’ll need your boots, but the outdoors of Winnebago County in winter can be beautiful. Everything is quieter with a blanket of snow, well except for the snowmobiles. That said, where can you get out to enjoy Winnebago County in winter? Why, Winnebago County Parks of course.

Waukau Creek Nature Area— 2987 Delhi Road Waukau—The trails are rustic, so common sense and care should be taken when hiking. In the winter, self-guided, non-groomed cross-country ski trails make the preserve a special place to visit.

Waukau Dam Nature Area—Hwy 116 Waukau includes Waukau Dam Mountain Bike Trail is a roughly a three-mile, single track mountain bike trail that flows along the steep hillsides and through the deep ravines. The trail is open for riding year-round (fat tire bikes only in winter), weather permitting.

JP Coughlin Nature Area— 625 E Cty Rd Y Oshkosh. Winter recreation opportunities include marked snowshoeing routes and ungroomed cross-country skiing trails.

Winnebago County Community Park— 501 E Cty Rd Y Oshkosh. Cross Country Skiing on groomed trails, both traditional and skate ski. Winter disc golf and dog park open as well.

WIOUWASH Trail— snowmobiling, snow shoeing, cross country skiing, hiking/walking/running.

Mascoutin Valley Trail— snowmobiling, snow shoeing, cross country skiing, hiking/walking/running.

Asylum Point Park & Picnic Point—3400 Sherman Road Oshkosh. WDNR access for Picnic Point Trails, snow shoeing, hiking/walking/running.

Ken Roble Conservation Park— 3396 Walter St. Oshkosh officially closed to vehicles November 1 to April 1. Walk in traffic allowed for winter recreation.

Terrell’s Island— managed by Butte des Morts Conservation Club Rivermoor Road Omro. Walking trail.

Here’s some FAQs in case you were wondering.

Is there formal lake access from boat landings during winter? No there is no formal recognized lake access at boat landings during the winter.

Snow mobile trail opening indicators—who decides? The local snowmobile clubs who groom the trail call in with a condition report for the Parks Director to decide if and when to open/close some or all of the trails.

Can I blaze my own ski trail? You can blaze your own trail as long as you do not interfere with any already groomed trails.

What about my own snow shoe trail? The same goes for snow shoes as for skis.

Is Waukau Dam’s bike trail only for bikes? Fat tire bikes only in the winter but snow shoes are welcome also.

Will the Community Park trail be plowed? Not at this time. The parking lots at the north end of the park will be plowed as well as the roadway to access them.

Can I skate on the park ponds? What about ice fishing on them? Use of the park ponds is strictly at your own risk. There is no formal programming done on any of the ponds. All fishing is catch and release.

When can I make a reservation to rent a park shelter for 2019? Shelter reservations for the 2019 season are taken in person, on the first business day of the year beginning at 8:00 a.m.in the Parks Office at 625 E. Cty. Rd. Y #500, Oshkosh.

How can I find out info on upcoming events at the expo? Check out the event calendar on the Winnebago County website under the Sunnyview Expo tab. Contracted events are posted through 2022.

Where can I find maps of snowmobile, cross country ski and other trails? Winnebago County snowmobile trail maps are available in the Parks Office for a $2.00 donation to the WI Snowmobile Alliance. Cross country ski maps are available on the Winnebago county website under the Parks tab.

Can I ride my horse on the WIOUWASH in winter? No horseback riding is allowed on the trails during the winter months. Signs will be posted when the trails are ready in spring for horse traffic.

Is there a sledding hill nearby or can I use the hills in the park? There is no formal sledding hill on Winnebago County Parks properties though you can use the park hills at your own risk.

Is winter camping allowed anywhere on parks properties? No winter camping is allowed with the exception of those participating in events at the Sunnyview Expo Center.

When can I buy a boat launch parking permit for 2019? New permits for 2019 should be available for purchase at the Parks Office in mid-February.

Is Stan going to be out and about during the winter months? Absolutely! Stan will be traversing parks properties again starting in January. Watch for his exploits in this newsletter, on our Facebook page and listen to Cumulus Radio for clues to his whereabouts. Take his pic when you see him and send to us on Facebook to win great swag.

With all these options we have a few suggestions for your wish list.

Snow shoes- for checking out the JP Coughlin Nature Area

Fat tire bike— to use on the Waukau Dam Bike Trail

Gift certificate for time with someone special—maybe a wintery walk through Lasley Point

Picnic basket—great for a winter picnic at Asylum Point Park

Tennis ball— to toss for a furry family member at Best Friends Dog Park

Disc golf discs—Community Park course is open all winter

Trekking poles— take to the Mascoutin Valley Trail for a lovely winter hike

Snowmobile— the WIOUWASH Trail goes all the way through three counties

Pony—get ready to ride at a Sunnyview Expo horse shows this summer

Big bag o’ cash—Raise the Arch Fund

Here’s wishing you a sleigh full of fun while enjoying Winnebago’s Winter Wonderland this season.

 

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About Author

Vicky Redlin

Winnebago County Parks & Sunnyview Expo Center Program Manager, Parks News editor, and frequent Facebook commentator.

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