Snowshoe into peace and quiet in Boulder Junction

January 5, 2020

Stroll among soaring white pines, find serenity among old-growth hemlock trees or traverse a landscape dotted with icy lakes. Here are three wild places near Boulder Junction where you can find your next snowshoeing adventure.

First things first: If you want to rent (or purchase) a pair of snowshoes, head to Coontail in downtown Boulder Junction.

Van Vliet Hemlocks

This 400-acre nature preserve in nearby Presque Isle sits on the shores of Van Vliet Lake and has several cross-country skiing and snowshoeing loops on either side of the lake. The routes range in distance from less than half a mile to more than 3 miles, offering wonderful views of the lake and a serene setting in the area’s old-growth hemlocks.

Getting there: From downtown Boulder Junction, head west on County Highway K for about 8 miles to County Highway P. Turn right and follow County P for about 2 miles, then turn right on Crab Lake Road. Stay on Crab Lake Road for a little over 2 miles, then turn left on Van Vliet Road, which will lead to a plowed parking area.

Cathedral Point

Wander among towering white pines (some reach more than 120 feet high) on this peninsula that separates North and South Trout Lake just a short drive from downtown Boulder Junction. The area is slightly elevated, so it offers a wonderful, snow-covered view of the surrounding area. While there’s not a designated trail here, it is a beautiful place to explore in the winter; you can even walk out on the narrows between the two sections of the lake if the ice is thick enough.

Getting there: To reach Cathedral Point Park, from downtown Boulder Junction go south on County Highway M. Stay on County Highway M until you reach Cathedral Point Lane. Turn left and park by the Forestry Headquarters. The road to Cathedral Point is not plowed past the Forestry Headquarters so you will need to snowshoe into Cathedral Point.

Catherine Wolter Wilderness Area

This secluded spot near the Wisconsin-Upper Michigan border is a wonderful spot to find serenity amid the snow-covered pines. The wilderness area spans more than 2,1000 acres and contains 15 wild lakes and ponds—snowshoers can traverse trails of varying lengths along their shores. Keep your eyes peeled for deer, birds and other wild animals at the site, too.

Getting there: From downtown Boulder Junction, head north on Highway M for about 5 miles, then turn left on County Highway B and follow that for another 4 miles. Turn right on East Bay Road and the wilderness area will be about a half-mile down on the right side.