Ski one of the best trails in Wisconsin!
The Lakewood cross country ski trail system was established in 1977 by Ed Zebrasky, Lakewood, and a small number of local business people and skiers. This handful of dedicated people developed the trail system on Nicolet National Forest roads previously established by the logging industry. Lee Spletter, Lakewood, essentially single-handedly led the club in its formative years. He and his colleagues cut trails, posted signs and raised funds from local businesses and skiers. The trails were lovely and the work arduous.
Transforming the trail system to accommodate both skating and classical skiing styles began in 1987 when the Wisconsin National Guard widened and improved the first 10K of the main trail. In 1991, using a matching funds grant through the State of Wisconsin and direct grants from Oconto County, the Town of Lakewood, the Lakewood Area Chamber of Commerce, the Grouse Society and through a fund drive involving individual skiers and local businesses, the second part of the main trail system was widened and the “Black Loop” created. This was a $30,000 effort. During the years 1982 - 1992 the club invested in excess of $50,000 of its own funds into trail grooming, development, and improvements. These funds came from Club memberships, business donations, ski race profits and trail donations by skiers.
Originally the trails were groomed by the skiers who skied in the tracks after each new snow. In the early 1980’s, the club tried to use an old Alpine snowmobile for grooming. The machine was no match for the hills and snow. In 1984 a well-used Tucker Sno-Cat was purchased. While the old “Tucker” served the club well when it ran, keeping it running was the major problem. Replacement parts were rare and hard to find.
A new machine was a must if groomed skiing were to continue at Lakewood. In July 1994 the club purchased a new Piston Bully BR160 grooming tractor with tiller and track setter. The purchase price for the machine was $82,000, quite an undertaking for an individually funded not-for-profit club.
Over several years the club worked to establish the down payment fund of $22,000. In addition, individual skiers and a few businesses contributed $15,000 to the Helen Swain Memorial Fund. These funds plus a loan of $45,000 enabled the club to purchase the new machine.
The quality of skiing at Lakewood has become recognized in ever-widening circles. In 1993 the NCAA Regional Championships were held here.
With your help and support the Lakewood Cross Country Ski Club dream will continue.
Thank You for visiting our website and skiing our trail system!