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Do You Like Winter & Winter Sports?

Bright red winter berries


If you really like winter and winter sports, Rice Lake, Wisconsin should be on your radar.  Rice Lake is a special place any time of the year, but it really kicks into high gear during the winter.  Located in northwest Wisconsin, Rice Lake (in Barron County) is a tad less than 300 miles from the northernmost Illinois city of Rockford.  This makes it an easy drive of about 4 ½ hours.  It is a most perfect and very convenient destination-hub for snowmobiling and plenty of other winter recreation.

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snowmobilers at sunsetLet’s begin with snowmobiling.  The Rice Lake area offers 250+ miles of groomed snowmobile trails that wend their way through Barron County.  These include – for starters: the Tuscobia State Trail (a 76-mile route heading east from Rice Lake, all the way to Park Falls), and  the Wild Rivers Trail (this one heads out from Rice Lake’s northern city limits, taking snowmobilers almost 100  miles north through Barron, Washburn and Douglas Counties).  It also connects with the Tuscobia State trail.

Excellent snowmobiling is also to be found on the well-groomed trails of the Christie Mountain Ski Area, just east of Rice Lake.  There is also an amazing network of trails in the forests of nearby Rusk County that continue farther north into Sawyer County.  It really makes no difference whether you’re a beginner or a veteran of the trails, there’s a track for you in the Rice Lake area of Northwest Wisconsin.  (You can download a copy of Barron County Snowmobile trails here)


snow outlawsOh, did I mention the Snow Outlaws?  Ya gotta see ‘em to believe ‘em.  On February 2nd & 3rd of 2024, they’ll be screaming along the lakeshore on the west side of the lake – right in front of the Elks Club and Moose Lodge in Rice Lake – at speeds approaching (and possibly exceeding) 150 mph during the Winter Nationals.

You can also follow them to Three Lakes, WI for the Spirit Lake Shootout on Feb 16th & 17th. Or head to Cable, Wisconsin for the World Finals Championship on March 1st & 2nd!  These are powerful and exciting sleds to watch, and well worth a trip to the various venues to experience what they can do – especially the lakefront in Rice Lake!

Believe me when I tell you this is one hot ticket on a cold winter’s day… or night!

(Special thanks to Snow Outlaws & Studio 77 for providing this graphic)


little girl behind sister in snowy winter landscape of giant mountains on cross-country-skiHow about cross-country skiing?  Just east of Rice Lake, you can certainly challenge yourself as you enjoy the undulating landscape of the beautiful Blue Hills ski trail system.  This is an area that will undoubtedly test your skills on terrain considered to be some of the best XC ski trails in the Midwest.

Speaking of challenges, don’t forget the Tuscobia Winter Ultra: a human- powered run, bike or ski event held on the Tuscobia and Wild Rivers State Trails in Northern Wisconsin, in the middle of winter (in 2022 – the event was held on Dec 30) .  And, it’s a qualifying race for Iditarod Trail Invitational!  And certainly don’t miss The American Birkebeiner.  It is the largest cross-country skiing race in North America, and one of the longest, with a 50 km skate and the 55 km classic races from Cable to Hayward, Wisconsin…


downhill skierPerhaps you prefer downhill?  Christie Mountain is a family-oriented downhill recreation area that is just 18 miles east of Rice Lake. Located high in the Blue Hills snowbelt, Christie Mountain offers 14 scenic, wooded mountain trails with the longest run about 4,000 feet with a 350′ vertical drop.  Special features include a snowtubing hill and an extensive snowboard park.  No matter your preference, Christie Mountain is a destination you’ll really like!


People in Curling RinkSo maybe you would rather be indoors – at least some of the time…

Well, the Rice Lake Curling Club may just be what you’re looking for.  The club got its humble start way back in 1967, and now has, arguably, one of the finest facilities in Wisconsin.  Observe a bonspiel event (curling tournament) or try it yourself.  (You can get some private ice time, and even lessons!)  It’s a popular sport, and great fun for all ages!


Sure, there’s plenty.  Rice Lake is the place to be during the winter months.  So, bring your sleds, your skis, your skates, your boards or tubes, or… whatever. Like I said, the Rice Lake area really kicks into high gear during the winter!  (Check out our page on (“Things to do in Winter”)

You should definitely plan to Head North to have some fun in Rice Lake this winter!  Need a place to stay?  Check out our Hotels page!  Some awesome accommodations await you!

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The authors of Visit Rice Lake

Visit Rice Lake Design Team

website design, marketing, social media, content management

We became full-time residents of the City of Rice Lake in 2021. It has been our goal and desire to contribute and give back to the City in a manner that will be as helpful as possible. It is also our goal to dedicate our efforts – and a steadily progressing and growing website – to the people and businesses of Rice Lake, Wisconsin.

Yvonne & Richard