Skip to main content

Winter Recreation

Copper Falls State Park

Groomed Ski Trail at Copper Falls State Park
Groomed Ski Trail at Copper Falls State Park.

With annual snowfall totals averaging near 100 inches, Copper Falls State Park is a winter sports destination. The park offers groomed cross-country ski trails, snowshoeing, winter camping and ice fishing on Loon Lake. Over 15 miles of trails are open to winter enthusiasts. The Doughboys Trail is not maintained during winter and is closed for safety. Copper Falls State Park Winter Map.

Pets Notice

If you are bringing a pet to Copper Falls, please note that pets are not allowed on the Purple Trail Loop that goes to Copper and Brownstone Falls. There is no trail to view Copper and Brownstone Falls with your pet. During winter, pets are permitted on the Red Granite Falls Trail only. Please remember pets cannot be left unattended at any time while in the park, this includes in your vehicle or campsite.

Cross-country skiing

The park features 13.7 miles (22 km) of classic ski trails and 6.5 miles (10.5 km) of skate ski trails. The park has trails to suit all skill levels from beginner to experienced skiers. Trails are groomed on a regular basis as the Lake Superior Snow Belt is known for constant snowfall. Hikers, snowshoers and pets are not allowed on the groomed ski trails. 

Pipeline/Blue Loop. Groomed for skate and classic skiing. Featuring 7.4 km of rolling meadows, cruising downhills, and rolling, wooded terrain. This trail winds throughout the park and is the most complete skier experience the park offers. Skiers frequently see wildlife tracks, beaver ponds, tamarack bogs, dense hemlock stands and mature hardwoods. Park at either the Office Lot or Ballfield Lot to access this trail.

Meadow/Yellow Loops. Groomed for skate and classic skiing. Featuring 2.4 km of combination skate deck and classic track winding through a large meadow with gently rolling hills. Optional climbing sections are available. This area of the park receives the most snow and has the most reliable early-season ski conditions. This family-favorite skiing area has multiple loop choices with short, optional distances that are ideal for beginner skiers, yet offer enough variety to build the experienced skier’s skills. Park at the Office Lot to access this trail.

Vahterra/Orange Loops. Groomed for classic skiing only. Ski through 3.2 km of northern hardwood and pine forest in the center of the park. Sections of this trail meander through clumps of Eastern hemlock that give the feel of a snow-covered tunnel. The longer loop features topography changes that are a pleasant, roller-coasting ski with one of the more moderate downhills in the park. Park at the Ballfield Lot to access this trail.

Takesson/Green Loops. Groomed for classic skiing only. This trail goes through 3.9 km of northern hardwood and boreal forest along the Bad River. The longer loop has a majestic vista of the Bad River with hilly sections most appropriate for the experienced skier. The shorter loop has some of the same Bad River views but avoids a moderate downhill. Both loops exit past a classic northern Wisconsin tamarack bog. Park at the Ballfield Lot to access this trail.

Red Granite/Red Loop. The Red Granite Falls Trail is packed for skate skiing, however, skiers must share the trail with snowshoers, hikers and pets.

Snowshoeing and Winter Hiking

There are two multi-use trails at Copper Falls State Park, the Winter Waterfalls Trail (Purple Loop) at the north end of the park and the Red Granite Falls Trail (Red Loop) near Loon Lake. The Doughboys Trail is not maintained during winter and is closed for safety. Snowshoeing and winter hiking are also allowed off-trail in the park, except on the groomed ski trails.

Winter Waterfall/Purple Loop. Snowshoe or hike from the park’s waterfall winter access parking lot to the backside of the park’s namesake waterfall, Copper Falls. Continue east to the observation deck where Brownstone Falls and the canyon can be observed. Throughout this 1-mile loop see mature hardwoods, hemlock, cedar, pine and perhaps some wildlife tracks. Park at the Winter Waterfall Access Lot at the end of the main access road. This trail is closed to pets.

Red Granite/Red Loop. This 3.2-km multi-use trail features a wide 9-foot base packed weekly for skate skiing, snowshoeing and hiking. Meandering through hilly terrain, this trail leads down to the banks of the Bad River. Snowshoers and hikers can get down to the river’s edge to view pillows of snow and ice spilling over red granite outcroppings. The trail makes a figure-eight, taking users to the very southern part of the park between the Bad River and Loon Lake to see additional outcroppings, some larger than an average home. Just before the trail winds back to the parking lot is a beautiful vista across Loon Lake. Park at the Loon Lake Lot to access this trail. This is the only winter trail open to pets. Pets must be on a leash 8 feet or shorter and under control at all times.

Ice Fishing

Ice fishing is available on Loon Lake near the park entrance. Please remember park staff members do not monitor ice conditions.