View Full Version : UP Lake Gogebic vs. Minocqua

10-20-2009, 09:42 AM
My buddies and I have been sledding in the UP (Lake Gogebic are) for the past several years. We have really enjoyed the sledding and snow conditions of the UP. However, this year some of the guys have mentioned that they want to change things up a bit and are suggesting that we sled in the Minocqua/Eagle River area. We are planning the trip in late January or sometime in February.

Other than the riskier snow conditions, I would appreciate any feedback on the types of trails and conditions, density of sledders, accomodations, restaurants and things to do at night vs. what we have been used to in the UP.


10-20-2009, 10:53 AM
The trails in the Minocqua/Eagle River area can take you just about anywhere, and there is usually more than one route to get someplace. There are more trails to ride - from state corridors to lesser used club trails - than what is available in the UP. You can find RR grades to ride fast and also tight twisty trails in the Min/ER area, so you can ride whatever fits your style. Traffic can be a problem on weekends on the main trails, since it is a popular area to ride. Combine the traffic with less snow, and the trails can get worn out quickly - but Minocqua grooms daily. Typically, there is more snow the farther north of Minocqua that you go, but not always. We try to avoid going during Derby week in ER, since it is crowded.

You can find large hotels/motels, mom and pop motels, houses, cabins, etc. to stay in. Many choices for restaurants, bars, etc. to eat at - too many to list here. Whatever your tastes are, you can probably find it in the Min/ER area. Check out the supporters of this site in the Northwoods Directory for a list, and check out www.minocqua.org (http://www.minocqua.org) too. We usually stay in Minocqua at the Best Western Concord Inn, which is across the street from the lake/trail, has a small bar in the hotel, and is within walking distance of several restaurants/bars for nightlife - it works for us.

We have ridden in the UP and enjoy it there too, just fewer choices than in the Min/ER area.

With enough snow, you can't go wrong with either area.

10-20-2009, 02:04 PM
I ride in both areas, depending on which group I'm with and depending on the conditions. Mustardbucket2 is dead-on in his description. The UP is way more remote, but the conditions are usually better in a marginal snow year. The corridor from Minocqua, through St. Germain, to Eagle River has tons of restaurants and great lodging. My buddies and I like the Yacht Club on Lake Minocqua (great location and view of the lake). With the family, we stay at the Beacons on Lake Minocqua. When its just the guys, we save the cash and stay at one of the motels in Minocqua or St. Germain.

10-20-2009, 11:39 PM
Thank you mustardbucket2 and marty700. Your input is perfect

10-21-2009, 08:43 AM
Both areas are great, it just depends on what you are looking for. The UP trsils are wider, more snow covered and faster but not as many social establishments as WI. Remember too, with the big snow comes big moguls and rough trails. Not that trails dont get rough in WI but my feeling is that when the trails are at their worse, I would rather ride WI. In WI, avoid the busy towns...Minocqua, St Germaine, Eagle River and you will probably find better riding. The further from a tourist destination the less traffic you will find. Many people feel that the further north you go, the better the snow gets which is generally true. One thing to keep in mind is that if snow conditions are good you may want to try and head south. there are some great trails and not much traffic but you need good snow. At any rate you cant go wrong with the up or WI. They are just different experiences. Good luck.

10-21-2009, 03:04 PM
Much more traffic in Min & ER than LG & a lot less snow. I guess I would go with the change to ER than Min better trails lots to do north & south riding & can ride to LG easily. They will probably like LG more after ER experience. Hurley type nightlife available in ER & 3 Lakes if you like that sort of thing.

10-21-2009, 03:09 PM
Did you ever consider going further north east in the UP towards the Keweenaw...Twin Lakes area and up through Copper Harbor? That is one of my favorite places to ride. A bit further to travel but tons....tons of snow and some really beautiful trails. Just a thought.

10-22-2009, 10:40 PM
Thank you dragonwannabe...last year we rode from Lake Gogebic to Copper Harbor. I agree, the area was beautiful, but too far for us older farts to do back and forth in one day. Do you have any suggestions for lodging in the Keweenaw area if we decide to use that as our home base?

10-23-2009, 07:40 AM
If staying in Minocqua area, always head west to Price County. Less traffic and trails in that area are typically in better shape.

10-23-2009, 01:01 PM
That is a bit of a haul round trip from Gogebic. Im not sure how far you are looking to ride, but there are many options. Take a look at the Northwoods directory on this site and you will find a number of places and they should all be snowmobile friendly. I personally like the Parkview in Twin Lakes. Newer place with restaurant, bar, pool and hot tub. If you wanted to really take your time you could saddlebag from their to LacLaBelle Lodge and Bear Belly Bar and Grill. They have cabins (nothing special but clean)and they have recently remodeled the restaurant and bar. Friendly people and nice place. Im sure there are others on this site with far more experience than myself relative to lodging. Good luck.

10-23-2009, 01:24 PM
Stay at the Ramada in Hancock all you need & M&M too. Ride in don't drive in no need to.... then saddle bag anywhere you want to go.

Back to ER WI. Very good trails run thru town N-S & E-W & you can access anything & everything from the trail. Min difficult to access from trail & pretty darn hard by car too. ER geared to serve snomo biz Min could care less....tons of big IL money there that don't sled.

10-23-2009, 01:30 PM
"with big snow comes big moguls and rough trails"...

i can only speak for the west yoop but each of the last several years this site is flooded with comments about the trails being as flat and smooth as could be. when we get a long stretch where we are starved for new snow, they can get a bit choppy (hasnt happend much the last few years. local clubs are on every trail daily.

i havent heard a complaint in probably 3 years about rough trails.

10-23-2009, 01:42 PM
thebluff - Dont get me wrong...all of the clubs do an amazing job in the northwoods and should be commended for everything that they do. On a busy Saturday or Sunday it has just been my experience that towards evening the trails can get a little rough. No fault of the clubs as they do groom pretty much every day there just isnt much that you can do when you have lots of snow combined with sled traffic. They get rough in WI too...however I have ridden some trails in the UP on the weekends that I would like to forget about (2 foot moguls or larger). WI can be rough too, but it is hard to get 2 foot moguls when you dont have large quantities of snow. For that reason I try to ride as much as possible during the week. The comment was not a cut on the clubs...just a nature of the beast and definately not a complaint. The UP groomers kick butt...as do the WI groomers for that matter!!

10-23-2009, 05:28 PM
Then again WI has larger share of trail snirt. Pick your poison but I don't like snirt at all.

10-23-2009, 06:27 PM
I would stay around the Presque Isle area. That way you can head south if conditions are good. The last few times around Minocqua have been very good. I like staying north of Minocqua so you have options. Boulder Junction can be a good place to stay also. I just like Wisconsin if you are more of a trail rider. But in a few hours you can ride off trail in Michigan if thats what you are looking for.

10-23-2009, 09:16 PM
before I moved to the UP we did a trip out of Phelps near ER and that was a great area, could go many direction and loved it greatly. WI trails are very nice

10-23-2009, 09:18 PM
Yeah that Minocqua is really tough to get in and out of with a car..... Not to mention the snowmobile... [sarcasm]

10-25-2009, 09:53 PM
I dont judge the snow or the trails.both can change with just a few deep lug tracks and weather conditions! I like to ride where there are friendly people,friendly bartenders,friendly cops and wardens and the best pitstops with good food and beverage and gas for a honest price!!

10-25-2009, 11:40 PM
Yeah, so ride mainly in northern Wi., or the U.P., and you can't go wrong. I also like southern Wi. too. So basically the whole state of Wi., and the UP. Good luck and have fun.