State To Add ATV Trails At Wildlife Area Near Rhinelander

DNR Board Says Trails Will Help Aging Hunters

The back of an ATV
ATVs were the most common recreational vehicle to be involved in crashes in the state in 2022. Brian Gautreau/Flickr

The Department of Natural Resources Board has taken the unusual step of approving a trail for all-terrain vehicles in a state wildlife area.

The board has approved a master plan for the Woodboro Lakes Wildlife Area west of Rhinelander. The site has a snowmobile trail; now, an ATV trail will be added.

The majority of comments during a public input period opposed the ATV trail, but DNR Board member Greg Kazmierski said the trail will help hunters, especially older ones.

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“The aging population of hunters is getting older,” Kazmierski said. “They’re not going to walk in two miles to get to a hunting spot. This would provide more opportunities for those who can’t walk long distances to hunt.”

Opponents argued the ATV trail will disturb wildlife, along with and peace and quiet, and establish a bad precedent for similar trails in other wildlife areas. But DNR staff said the trail can be routed in an environmentally sound way.