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Presque Isle starts grooming cross country ski trails at the Catherine Wolter Wilderness AreaSubmitted: 01/16/2018
Story By Katie Thoresen

Presque Isle starts grooming cross country ski trails at the Catherine Wolter Wilderness Area
PRESQUE ISLE - The Town of Presque Isle dubs itself "Wisconsin's Last Wilderness."

One of the best places to enjoy the outdoors is at the Catherine Wolter Wilderness Area owned by the Nature Conservancy. 

Thanks to the town, it's now more accessible to people who enjoy silent sports in the winter.


"I've been skiing out here for years and years. I live nearby, [I] love it," said Presque Isle Town Supervisor Cathy Logan Weber. 

True to its name, the Catherine Wolter Wilderness Area is wild and untouched.

"It's such an undeveloped area. It's a beautiful area," said Logan Weber. 

In the wintertime however, it can be hard to get to that beauty.

Up until this year, if you wanted to go cross country skiing or snowshoeing at the wilderness area you'd have to break the trail yourself. 

In fact, if you wanted to go skiing or snowshoeing anywhere in Presque Isle you wouldn't find groomed trails.
"A lot of people don't want to ski on an ungroomed trail or a wilderness trail," said Logan Weber. 

Logan Weber wanted to change that. 

With the nature conservancy's permission, the Town of Presque Isle now grooms two and half miles of trail at the Catherine Wolter Wilderness Area.

"It should bring more people up and hopefully those people are coming in, using the gas station, restaurants, and coming to town," said the Nature Conservancy's Director of Conservation Matt Dalman.

It's an agreement that will hopefully be good for the town.

"We have a lot of beautiful trails in Boulder Junction, Manitowish Waters, Winchester, but we didn't have a groomed trails in Presque Isle. So it puts us on the map essentially, for cross country skiing," said Logan Weber. 

It also works out well for the Nature Conservancy. 

"We're one of the largest global organizations that are working in conservation. We're still fairly unknown and this way here we get access to people and they can enjoy the nature we've worked to protect," said Dalman. 

Of course, it should also be good for cross country skiers. 

Since it's the first year, Presque Isle is just grooming the two and a half mile loop. 

But both the Nature Conservancy and the town are open to grooming more in the future if it goes well. 

The Catherine Wolter Wilderness Area is located east of Presque Isle off County Highway B and East Bay Road. 


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