XC Skiing/Snowshoeing

Cross Country Skiing

Cross country skis on an evening ski trail.There are 5 cross-country ski areas on the Ottawa National Forest with a total of just over 62 kilometers or almost 39 miles of skiable trails!

  • Bergland - 4.38 km or 2.72 miles
  • Courtney - 10.3 km or 6.4 miles
  • Ge Che - 15.5 km or 9.63 miles
  • Land O Lakes - 12.5 km or 7.78 miles
  • Groomed trails out of Sylvania Outfitters - 19.7 km or 12.25 miles

Here's a printable guide. For current ski trail conditions, please call the Ottawa National Forest at 906-358-4551.

Ski Trail Report Links


Snowshoes stood up in the snow.

The Ottawa offers a winter wonderland for snowshoe enthusiasts. Encompassing nearly one million acres, there is sure to be something for everyone on the beautiful snow-covered landscape.

While there are no specific trails designated for snowshoeing, with a compass and map a person can go virtually anywhere on the Forest. Some of our favorite spots to snowshoe are:

The Black River Harbor Recreation Area is a beautiful spot to enjoy winter’s serene beauty. There are several waterfalls located along the Wild and Scenic Black River that are a spectacular site to see. It is possible to snowshoe the North Country National Scenic Trail segment along the Wild and Scenic Black River from this location as well. For those not looking for quite the adventure, there is always the opportunity to snowshoe along the shores of Lake Superior.

The Trap Hills area, near Bergland, is another scenic spot for snowshoeing. The area is hilly and is recommended for those more skilled in the sport and have the proper equipment for this type of terrain.

O Kun de Kun Falls, located on the Ontonagon Ranger District is a popular area for snowshoeing. The trail to the falls is approximately 1.3 miles long and has a few hilly areas. Parking is available at the trailhead just off Highway 45. It is possible to access the North Country National Scenic Trail from this same trailhead.

Other options to consider:

Waterfall areas are great places to go for scenic views. The Ottawa has an abundance of waterfalls which reflect their winter splendor with ice crystals and trickling water during the winter months. Please see our waterfall page for more information and a map of their locations. Please keep in mind that not all of the falls listed in our waterfall brochure are accessible during the winter months because of unplowed roads.

For current road access information, contact the local Ranger District you wish to visit or the Ottawa Visitor Center at 906-358-4724.

XC Skiing/Snowshoeing Areas

  • Bergland Ranger District
  • Iron River Ranger District
  • Ge-Che Hiking Trail
  • Ontonagon Ranger District
  • Courtney Lake Campground
  • Watersmeet Ranger District
  • Ottawa National Forest Visitor Center
  • Sylvania Wilderness Backcountry Camping

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities