Winter Recreation in Sheboygan
Whether you're an outdoor enthusiast looking for your next unique winter adventure or parents just wanting the kids to blow off a little steam, you'll find plenty of winter recreation around Sheboygan, WI near Blue Harbor Resort. In Sheboygan you can head to the beaches for freshwater surfing, find a pocket of nature right in town, or head to the woods for cross-country skiing or snowshoeing.
Being out in nature is a wonderful opportunity for peaceful contemplation, reinvigoration, and soaking up much-needed vitamin D during the winter months. There are many proven health benefits from physical exercise to emotional well being, so one foot in front of the other... let's get outdoors!
Sheboygan Winter Recreation Bucket List
Explore more than 30 miles of groomed and ungroomed cross-country ski trails, ice fishing after the lakes freeze over, and about 60 miles of snowmobile trails in the Kettle Moraine State Forest Northern Unit.
Cross-Country Skiing Greenbush Trail System
- 13+ miles machine-groomed trails for diagonal and skate skiers.
- Brown Loop (1.2 mile) is lighted for night skiing between 4:30pm to 9:30pm.
- A heated picnic shelter, sledding hill, picnic tables, grill, drinking water and vault toilets are near the trailhead. There is also access to the Ice Age Trail.
- Click for more information on trail conditions.
Cross-Country Skiing Zillmer Trail System
- 11+ miles machine-groomed trails for diagonal and skate skiers.
- The south trailhead has a heated shelter, vault toilets, picnic tables, grills and drinking water. Visitors can also access the trail from the visitor center.
- Click for more information on trail conditions.
For about three months each winter, the lakes freeze over for ice fishing. The forest does not monitor the thickness of the ice, so use your best judgement about safety. Access to Butler and Forest Lake is not maintained for winter.
Several miles of trails are not groomed for skiing and may be used to snowshoe, including:
- New Fane Trails includes two trail systems. Four loops of moderately challenging mountain bike trails (5.5 miles), interwoven with four loops of hiking trails (7.7 miles). A short connector trail allows access to the Ice Age Trail. An open-air shelter located near the trailhead may be reserved. Drinking water and vault toilets are available year-round.
- Moraine Nature Trail (0.75 miles) This easy trail loop begins at the Ice Age Visitor Center. Picnic tables are available at the trailhead. Pets are not allowed on this trail.
- Summit Trail (1 mile) This challenging loops scales Dundee Mountain to the top of the highest kame in the forest. Pets are not allowed on this trail.
- Tamarack Nature Trail (2 miles) This trail within the Mauthe Lake refuge loops around the lake. Flush toilets are available year-round on the headquarters side.
- Parnell Trail (3.5 miles) Overlapping the Ice Age Trail, a series of steps lead to the highest point of elevation in the forest. There is a 60-foot observation tower for a birds-eye view of the glacial landscape. Picnic tables, drinking water, and vault toilets are adjacent to the trailhead.
- Butler Lake Trail (3+ miles) A picnic table and drinking water available at trailhead.
The network of snowmobile trails within the Kettle Moraine State Forest - Northern Unit, join county and private trails connecting to adjoining towns and villages. These trails are groomed by local snowmobile clubs. Click here for the most up-to-date information about the opening and closing of snowmobile trails.
A Wisconsin State Park System vehicle admission sticker is required on all motor vehicles stopping in state parks, forests, and recreation areas. LEARN MORE
A Wisconsin state trail pass is required for all people age 16 or older biking or cross-country skiing on certain trails. A state trail pass is not required for walking or hiking. Wisconsin state trail pass fees are the same for residents and non-residents. The annual pass is good for the calendar year and the daily pass is good for the day of purchase. LEARN MORE
Sheboygan Lakers Ice Center offers indoor public ice skating during the winter.
- Sunday 1:30pm - 3:30pm
- Monday through Friday 1pm - 3pm
- Friday 8pm - 10pm
PUBLIC SKATING COSTS
$4 (ages 0-12)
$5 (ages 13+)
Night Admission: $7 (all ages)
Skate Rental: $3
Every third Thursday of the month from 9:30am - 10:30am (September - February) for a free skate with toddlers 5 and under - admission and skate rental included.
Helmets are strongly encouraged for youth skaters.
WEDNESDAY'S SENIOR SKATE
Seniors can skate safely with their peers every Wednesday from 9:30-11:30 a.m. without an instructor, while listening to throw-back tunes. Admission is $3, skate rental is $2; cash only. Adults only.
Dates may vary due to rink events. Please check calendar for any cancelations.
Enjoy picturesque Kohler-Andrae State Park during the winter with cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
- Cross-Country Skiing (2 miles) This trail has flat to gentle slopes starting in the picnic area and traveling through the wooded southern campground, hooking up with Woodland Dunes Nature Trail, looping through the picnic area and back to the beginning.
- Snowshoeing (1 mile) This trail begins at the amphitheater and winds south through the wooded campground area, looping back through the picnic area before returning to the beginning. There is an additional 2.5-mile snowshoeing trail available on the Black River Trail and throughout the park.
The cross-country skiing trail is groomed regularly when snow conditions and weather permit. The Snowshoeing trail is not groomed and snowshoeing is not permitted on the groomed ski trail. Pets are not permitted on trails at any time. All trails are one way.
Sheboygan, WI is known as the Malibu of the Midwest and the freshwater surfing capital of the world for a reason. Because we're located centrally along the coast, winds from many directions will create waves on our shoreline sometimes 6 to 10 feet high. These waves are ideal for surfing!
It may seem strange, but the best months for good surfing waves in Sheboygan are around September through March, when cooler, denser air pushes water into bigger and more powerful waves. You'll definitely want to pack your wet suit for winter surfing in Sheboygan!
Surfers will enjoy uncrowded waves and a lack of sharks on Lake Michigan as well as a friendly Midwestern welcome!
Fat tire biking continues to gain in popularity during winter in Sheboygan because the snow adds to the fun! Nine miles of trails await you in the Greenbush Recreation area of Kettle Moraine State Forest - Northern Unit where trail passes and state park stickers are required.
Sheboygan County Cycling is improving trails at Evergreen Park, grooming winter mountain bike trails at Greenbush, and enhancing trails at Rocky Knoll in Plymouth. They are working with IMBA (International Mountain Bicycling Association) and the City of Sheboygan to develop and build new trail systems in Evergreen Park and ensure these trail systems are accessible by all park users.
Time to get competitive! Whether you have children or you are a child at heart yourself, winter sledding is an exciting, playful, and active winter activity here in Wisconsin. Sheboygan has several beautiful park options for going on a stroll, playing with a dog, taking the kids to play, to picnic and read in, but most notably during the winter, there are plenty of hills for sledding. One popular park destination for sledding is Vollrath Park, located just slightly North of North Point Park. Grab your sled of choice and a friend, partner, or your family, and head out into the snowy cold to race your sleds down the slopes. Playfulness is an important component of enjoying winter here in Wisconsin, release your inner child and experience the excitement winter presents when you were a kid. Winter can sometimes feel long and dark, this is precisely why it’s particularly important to incorporate elements of play into these colder months. Sledding, building ramps and racing lines, coming up with competitions like who can slide down the hill backwards the fastest and creating teams, are all activities that will help make the wintertime fly by. Consider making your sledding adventure a true contest by including a winter treat to indulge in and warm up with as motivation when you’re done. That could be going to The Z Spot for hot chocolate or coffee, or going to the West Side Bakery for a fresh baked good.
Get out in nature, right here in Sheboygan, WI at Ellwood H. May Environmental Park featuring 135 acres of nature. Park and trails remain open 4am - 10pm daily. A few options for outdoor winter activities include:
- Pine Forest Trails (0.7 miles) loops through a less traveled area in the northwestern portion of the park and features evergreens and plenty of opportunity to observe birds and wildlife. In the winter, the ski trail uses portions of this area.
- Prairie Trails (0.7 mile outside loop) traverse the 21-acres prairie with snowshoeing available during the winter.
- Hillside Trails run down the southern slope to the rivers and ponds and portions are used for cross-country skiing in winter.
Bulitz Pumpkin Farm features more than pumpkins and gourds! During the winter they provide traditional sleigh rides for groups or couples by appointment.
Grab a cup of hot chocolate, bundle up, enjoy the views of the 40-acre farm, and relax in front of the indoor fireplace after the ride. There’s nothing quite like romanticizing winter with this cozy experience.
Enjoy the scenery of a winter wonderland while getting fresh air, without any worries. A sleighride is accessible for all.
Families are sure to love this outdoor winter activity, there is much to be seen between the piles of snow, the gorgeous countryside, the horses pulling the sleigh, and being able to cozy up under a blanket as a family.
The Old Plank Road Trail in Sheboygan, WI runs from the Kohler Erie Avenue Trailhead in the city west roughly 21 miles to the county line where it joins Fond du Lac County's portion. The terrain varies from flat to gently rolling with one large climb or descent near County Highway S just east of Greenbush. The trail is wonderful for hiking or snowmobiling in the winter months.
There are four trailheads along the route:
- Erie Avenue Trailhead
- Meadowlark Trailhead
- Plymouth Trailhead
- Greenbush Trailhead
In Sheboygan, enjoy the North Point Recreational Trail on Broughton Drive. This two-mile trail offers spectacular views of Lake Michigan as well as an exceptional array of birds, especially during Spring and Fall migrations. Along the trail you can also visit the Harbor Centre downtown Sheboygan, Harbor Centre Marina, or the Wreck of the Lottie Cooper.
Sheboygan Broughton Marsh Park is a popular park and recreational haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Snowmobile trails connect with the county-wide 228 mile trail system and the 13,000-acre Wildlife Area attracts hunters, fishers, and nature lovers. This 30-acre year round park boasts Wisconsin's tallest wooden observation tower clocking in at 80 feet.
The Sheboygan River empties right into Lake Michigan, and has a very accessible Boardwalk on both the North and South side. The Boardwalk is home to many loved local Sheboygan businesses ranging from restaurants to retail. It’s a neat destination any time of year because of its prime location on the two bodies of water guarantee great views 365 days a year! During the wintertime, there are lights strung up around the businesses, benches, and trees, ice covers the river and floats slowly but surely towards the lakeside, storefront windows illuminate with the promise of warmth inside their doors. Head to South Pier and go for a winter coffee Boardwalk stroll, stopping inside Eb and Flow Coffee or Weather Center Café to pick up a hot drink to hold while on your stroll. This is an easy way to get outdoor activity in while staying close to warm buildings you can pop into if you need a break from the frosty air. This is also an excellent solution for connecting with nature without having to leave town. We can’t get over how many great water views there are in Sheboygan, it’s one of our favorite aspects of this neat Midwestern beach town! Round up your Boardwalk stroll with some warm food at one of the many waterfront restaurants, and thaw yourself from the inside out. You’ll feel quite rewarded after braving the cold and exploring everything that South Pier and the Boardwalk have to offer.
Travel Wisconsin Snow Report
Don't let the dropping temperatures in Wisconsin keep you indoors, Sheboygan is an outdoor playground any time of year. Dress in layers and head out into the woods for snowshoeing or cross country skiing once the snow starts to pile up! Check out Travel Wisconsin's Snow Report for up-to-date information on accumulation before your arrival in Sheboygan.
More Winter Activities
Blue Harbor Resort in Sheboygan, WI is a winter wonderland and a perfect cabin fever reliever for winter fun from our 84 degree indoor waterpark to local activities perfect for a couples getaway!