News From the Historic Montreal Trails

The Penokee Rangers are a volunteer group of local trail stewards. This is our 48th year of maintaining the Montreal and Uller Ski Trails. We are happy to announce that we have recently been named as a Non-Profit 501c3 public charity. This means that any donations made to our organization will now be deductible! Donations, as always, go 100% towards trail maintenance, communications, events and equipment. If you, your company or employer are interested in supporting our efforts to keep bringing the community beautiful trail systems for free use, please reach out via our website:

The Montreal Ski Trails are 11km of trails located in Montreal and Pence WI. Trails are groomed for classic XC skiing with room for snowshoers, walkers and dogs. All abilities are welcome. You will be traveling through remnants of the old Montreal Mine. Over 5000 feet deep, the mine produced high-grade iron ore for a growing nation from 1900 – 1962. A series of interpretive signs highlight a few of the mining era artifacts that remain along the trail. The Montreal trail lies in the middle of the Montreal River Watergap. The trail receives hundreds of inches of lake effect snow each year. We still aren’t sure how the miners put up with it; but we’ll take it and enjoy it. We hope you will too.

We will be partnering with NICER again this year for the Hygge Hike at Night! This year’s event will take place on February 26th from 6-8pm on the Montreal Trails, starting behind the Rose Wreath building. If the last few years are any indicator, it’s going to be a blast. More information is available on NICER’s Facebook page.

The Uller Ski Trails are 29km of trails located near Weber Lake and Iron Belt, WI. Uller extends from Whitecap Mountains to Pence, where it now connects to the Montrail Trail System. Trails are groomed for classic XC skiing with room for snowshoers, walkers and dogs. All abilities are welcome and catered to, although Uller really lends itself to those looking for a truly back-country, rustic experience. This trail is a unique experience in our area and we recommend it to anyone looking to see the heart and soul of Northern Wisconsin.

We are in close cooperation with the Iron County Forestry and Parks Department (ICF) in the maintenance and grooming of Uller Trail. In the past four years, ICF has invested significant time, money and equipment on this trail. Three loops have been built on the west end. (Weber Lake / Whitecap end) A new cabin has been constructed and improved trail maps and signage have been installed. The Iron County Forest is the third largest county forest in the state. They are responsible for nearly 300,000 acres of forest management for multiple use. We are proud to be a partner with ICF and thank them for their continued efforts.

This year marks 40 years since Charlie Zinsmaster, the Penokee Rangers’ Chief of Trails cut the ribbon for Uller Trails – a system which he and some intrepid friends initially broke by ski, saw and shovel through the range near Whitecap Mountains. We’ve seen many evolutions of the trail since those days and we’re more excited than ever about the future prospects on the horizon for Uller and Montreal Ski Trails. Many, many thank-you’s go out to all of the volunteers, donors and participants over the years that make this all possible.

Ski, Freely!