Episode 6: Bayfield County Wild Talks with Ron Bergin of Cross Country Skier Magazine

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Hit the trails in this episode of Bayfield County Wild, as Co-hosts Nancy Christopher and Mary Motiff, director of Bayfield County Tourism, talk to Ron Bergin, publisher and editor of Cross Country Skier Magazine and an outdoor sports enthusiast, about Bayfield County’s highly-rated trail system for cross country skiing and mountain biking, as well as some of the best ways to cure cabin fever in February.

An Event-Full February

Fat Tire Biking is all the rage in Bayfield County with groups like the North Coast Cycling Association leading Fat Bike Safaris at a new location, either on ice or through the woods, every Saturday. Locations for the Saturday rides are posted each week on North Coast Cycling’s Facebook page and bike rentals are available for visitors.

Visitors who enjoy the great outdoors have many opportunities to watch or take part in events:

Feb. 3: The Mt. Ashwabay Summit Ski Race has cross-country classic and skate ski races for kids 8 and under, middle schoolers, high schoolers, and adults.

Feb. 3 and 4: The 23rd Annual Apostle Islands Sled Dog Race is held both Saturday and Sunday with two main races: a 10-dog, 80-mile race and a 6-dog, 60-mile race. There’s also a 40-mile Sportsmen’s’ Race, a 6 to 8-mile Family Race and a 6 to 8-mile Youth Race (16 and under). Multiple spectator locations are available with amenities including a warming tent, concessions and bonfires.

Feb. 11: The North End Classic Ski Race is an annual 25k and 12.5k cross-country classical ski race to benefit the North End Ski Club.

Feb. 17: The “Book Across the Bay Race” , is open to skiers and snowshoers of all ages and ability. The 10-kilometer course is groomed for both classic-style and skate skiing, starts in Ashland and ends in Washburn, and follows a route not on land, but over the frozen surface of Lake Superior, the world’s largest lake. The event is held at night, and the course is lit by the stars above and up to 1,000 candles in ice luminaries that line the entire route.

Feb. 17: The 19th Annual Drummond Bar Stool Race is the craziest bar stool race across snow you’ll ever witness in Drummond, Wis.

Feb. 18: The “Bike Across the Bay” is a 10k and 20k race on fat tire bikes across Lake Superior, starting on the Washburn shore with gorgeous ice formations on the brownstone cliffs along the shoreline.

Feb. 24: The American Birkebeiner is North America’s largest cross-country ski marathon, attracting over 10,000 racers and featuring a 50k Skate and 55k Classic race from Cable to Hayward, Wis.

March 2-4: Bayfield WinterFest is a wild weekend of fun celebrating winter with on last hoorah

March 10: The Fat Bike Birkie is the premier on-snow bike event in North America. Riders test their skill and endurance on the professionally groomed American Birkebeiner Ski Trail!

Lots of Valentine dining specials are available in mid-February. Find options on our website: travelbayfieldcounty.com.

Trail Blazing

Bayfield county is a hub for cross-country skiing activity and has been a training ground for winter Olympians, and host to the Junior Nationals, the IPC Paralympic Games and Super Tours. Ron Bergin shares his involvement with two great organizations that have literally blazed trails, creating cross country skiing and mountain bike-specific trails. The North End Ski Club has developed a great trail system with a warming cabin and more than 30km of groomed trails interconnecting with the Birkie Trail and Birkie Classic Trails. Another organization, the Chequamegon Area Mountain Bike Association (CAMBA) has developed the longest, uninterrupted mountain bike trail system east of the Rockies. The trails were recently designated as an International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA) Ride Center, recognizing the trail as large-scale mountain bike destination that offers something for every rider.

Ice Cave Update

Mary Motiff gives the latest news regarding walking access to the famous ice caves. While the caves are not currently accessible, Mary says don’t give up. The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Facebook page gives frequent updates for visitors.

Bayfield County’s New Story Map

Located on the Tourism home page of the Bayfield County website is a button that takes visitors to Bayfield County’s new story map that explores where to “play, eat and stay” in the county. Every point of interest is mapped and listed alphabetically, so that visitors can look up the location and information about what they are interested in. Also new, are listings for “adventure lodging” where you can find more exotic places to stay, including Yurts, a treehouse and sailboats.

March Preview

We’ll talk about Frog Bay Tribal National Park in Red Cliff, Wis. It is the first Tribal national park in the nation.

If you like what you’ve heard, and want to learn more about Bayfield County, be sure to subscribe to our podcasts.

Get a little WILD at travelbayfieldcounty.com, and don’t forget to explore our interactive map.

Affiliate Notes

Lakewoods Resort - Lakewoods Resort in Cable, Wis., is next to more than 600 miles of super-groomed trails in Bayfield County. You can ride for a week and never cross your tracks.

Spot Supper Club & Resort – Nestled in the Northwoods with a million-dollar view, the Spot Supper Club & Resort in Iron River, is a year-round feast of outdoor adventure. If you have a hunger for great food and adventure, this resort is for you.

Winfield Inn & Gardens – This is the perfect family vacation destination. There are lots of lodging options, plus a spectacular view of Lake Superior and close proximity to attractions and events in Bayfield.

Legendary Waters Resort & Casino – On the shores of Lake Superior in Red Cliff, the hotel offers 47 deluxe rooms and premiere suites, each with a Lake Superior and Apostle Islands view. The Casino has 24/7 entertainment, featuring all your favorite slot machines and table games.

14 episodes available. A new episode about every 30 days averaging 25 mins duration .