Focus on Northland trailsAll-terrain vehicle trails of the northwestern Wisconsin are a highlight for the 2014 season of Discover Wisconsin.
By: Shelley Nelson, Superior Telegram
All-terrain vehicle trails of the northwestern Wisconsin are a highlight for the 2014 season of Discover Wisconsin.
Production crews made their way north last weekend to get summer season shots for the episode planned for late March.
“The best trails in Wisconsin are up in that corner of the state,” said Casey Liddicoat, a producer with Discover Wisconsin.
The show, slated to air in late March, features trails in Barron, Burnett, Douglas and Washburn counties. This weekend’s shoot is just the first trip for the show’s producers.
“It appears to them that our winter recreation program is pretty unique,” said Mark Schroeder, Douglas County Forestry resource and recreation manager. Unlike many counties, Douglas County offers “winter recreational trails,” which allow snowmobile trails to be used by ATV and utility vehicle enthusiasts as well.
“We hoped people will learn that there is a wonderful trail system in our area, with scenery and wildlife that is spectacular, as well as great businesses, good food, friendly people,” said Sue Smedegard of the Northwest Trails Association, a volunteer organization that helps maintain trails and helped with this weekend’s production. “We will certainly highlight these scenic areas on the trails, the lakes, rivers, woods.”
The show will highlight winter opportunities on northland trails, Liddicoat said.
“This is actually our second episode featured entirely around the theme of ATVs,” Liddicoat said. “We had one last year and it was really successful. ATVing is one of those things that is blowing up a little bit. If that’s what people are doing, we definitely have to feature that.”
Liddicoat said one of the attractions to the northwest corner of the state — and Douglas County in particular — is the vast network of trails for ATV riders. Douglas County has 100 miles of trails in the summer, 300 miles of trails in the winter.
Schroeder said that’s because some easements and the county’s natural terrain only allow use in the winter.
In addition to the ATVing opportunities in Douglas County, Schroeder said he’s been working with Liddicoat to get footage of a single-track trail for motorcycles that links into the Minnesota motorcycle trail.
Another feature of the Douglas County trail system is a lodge created by the trail clubs on forestry land that provides a place to warm up, grill a meal, use the restroom and just relax, Schroeder said. He said there is also a logbook where people can note their stop.
“I think ATVing in this part of the state is special due in great part to the cooperation between the snowmobile and ATV clubs all working together, frequently on the same trails, to be sure the environment is safeguarded while keeping the trails safe to all to enjoy,” Smedegard said. “The trails are all maintained by volunteer workers who spend countless hours keeping these trails cleared of brush, as smooth as can be, and free of fallen trees, etc. We have so many wonders of nature in our area for people to enjoy.”
Crews will be back in the northland later to shoot the winter scenes later this year or early next year, Liddicoat said. When depends on the weather.
“I don’t believe many people realize that you can pretty much get on and ATV in the Douglas and Burnett county-area and ride all the way to Lake Michigan — the trails and routes are very well connected,” Smedegard said.