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Book Across The Bay – The Best Cross-Country Ski Race on Lake Superior

Hi, it’s Mollie from Seagull Bay. I’m excited to write about one of my favorite winter events near Bayfield. It’s the Book Across The Bay – a ski and snowshoe race held each year on Lake Superior.

Back in high school, I competed as a member of my cross-country ski team in the biathlon event in Minnesota.

If you aren’t familiar with the biathlon it’s the event where you ski a distance of 7.5 km – 10 km, stopping to shoot a .22 caliber rifle at designated targets. From skiing with broken poles to participating in the state cross-country ski meet – skiing continues to be one of my favorite hobbies in the wintertime. I still wear my windbreaker style race suit out skiing. Yeah, it’s old school – and many people comment on it – but it sure beats getting cold.

Now, it’s been a long time since I’ve participated in a biathlon. But I still enjoy getting out cross-country skiing with friends and family. In Bayfield, we are blessed to have over 40 km of beautiful cross-country ski trails at Mt. Ashwabay.

But to help scratch my competitive itch, I love participating in the Book Across The Bay ski race with my husband Isaac, family, and friends.

One of the reasons why I like this race is because it’s not your ordinary cross-country ski and snowshoe race. The course begins on the shores of Lake Superior and winds its way over the frozen waters of Chequamegon Bay.

Imagine being surrounded by the excitement of 4000 skiers, snowshoers, walkers, and runners eager to make their way across the ice of Lake Superior on February 18th, 2023.

Not only is this a cool event because it’s literally on Lake Superior, but the course starts in Ashland, Wisconsin, at 6 pm. A night race under a sky full of twinkling stars, and the course is lined with ice luminaries.

It’s truly a beautiful and unique event – one I look forward to every year. Because of this, Isaac and I are beyond thrilled to have Seagull Bay listed as one of its sponsors.

And we’re inviting you to join us.

If you’ve skied this event in the past, you know how great it is. But if this is your first time, I’m sure you’re left wondering things like:

  • How far is Book Across The Bay?
  • Is the course groomed for skate skiers or classic skiers?
  • Is this event a fundraiser?

And other details. Let this be your guide to answering all of your questions and help entice you to participate in this annual event.

How Far is Book Across the Bay?

For the past 25 years, the Book Across The Bay has been a point-to-point event starting in Ashland, Wisconsin. Then skirting the shoreline of Chequamegon Bay and finishing at Thompson’s West End Park in Washburn, Wisconsin – for a course total length of 10 km.

But this year – the 26th year – the course has changed. It now starts at Kreher Park in Ashland, extending across the bay near Washburn. There you’ll ski around the infamous fire-breathing dragon and follow the luminaries back to the warming tent – completing a total distance of 11 km.

The course is groomed for:

  • Skate skiers
  • Classic skiers
  • Snowshoers
  • Runners
  • Walkers

The warming tent at Kreher Park will provide delicious hot chili, cold beer from South Shore Brewery, and live music. And there will be fireworks celebrating each and every Book Across The Bay participant.

Not only is this a fun and affordable event the mission of this event couldn’t be better.

Book Across the Bay Promotes Health and Well-Being of Children in the Chequamegon Bay

For the past 25 years, the Book Across the Bay has donated over $200,000 to charities and organizations that promote the health and well-being of children in our area.

To do this the Book Across the Bay is a nonprofit organization funded by its sponsors and through the work of volunteers.

The mission of the Book Across the Bay is to provide an affordable, world-class event unique to the bay area. And this spectacular event brings our community and others together to enjoy the wintry outdoors.

Has this event sparked your interest yet? Click on the link below and get more information at the Book Across the Bay website.

If you’re wondering about other cross-country ski race opportunities or even fat biking – you may be interested in learning about Mt. Ashwabay Summit Ski race or the Bike Across the Bay.

Mt. Ashwabay’s Summit Ski Race

If you’re looking for a cross-country ski race on land or craving more of a challenge – the Mt. Ashwabay Summit Ski Race may be just what you’re looking for.

This nordic ski event is for:

  • Middle school
  • High school
  • College
  • Community cross-country skate
  • Classic skiers

The courses start at 3.5 km in length working their way up to 30 km in length for skate skiers. Each course winds its way through the beautiful hardwood and evergreen forests at Mt. Ashwabay and up to its summit overlooking Lake Superior.

This community-loved event will be held on Saturday, February 4th, 2023. It’s best known for its homemade pies and giant cookies presented to the event winners.

Check out the link below to get more information about this event.

And if skiing isn’t quite your style, but riding on two wheels is – then the Bike Across the Bay may be the event for you.

Bike Across the Bay 2023

On Sunday morning, February 20th, 2023, the North Coast Cycling Association is hosting the Bike Across the Bay event in Washburn, Wisconsin. Although it’s not affiliated with the Book Across the Bay race – this event also helps benefit organizations in the Chequamegon Bay Area.

This year all proceeds from the Bike Across the Bay event will go to National Intercollegiate Cycling Association (NICA) Chequamegon chapter.

And like the Book Across the Bay, this event starts on the shores of Lake Superior and travels over its frozen waters toward “Dragon Island”. Then winds back to its starting location near the Harbor View Event Center.

Fat tires of 3.5 inches or wider are required. The course length includes a 10 km and 20 km option.

So whether you race on snow at Mt. Ashwabay or on the snow-covered ice of Lake Superior – we hope one of these events entices you to come to stay with us at Seagull Bay.

Seagull Bay Is a Proud Sponsor of Book Across the Bay 2023

This winter is already starting out to be a great one. With plenty of snow and lots to do, we think Bayfield is an ideal getaway for those who are looking for their next adventure.

If you’re a skier, snowshoer, fat biker, or hiker – one of these events is sure to get your heart pumping. Plus, the beauty of Bayfield, its Northwoods, and Lake Superior is the perfect backdrop for any sport.

And whether you come with a loved one, your family, or with friends – Seagull Bay has a room to fit your needs. From traditional-style motel rooms to rooms with kitchenettes, and multiple-bedroom suites Seagull Bay has lodging arrangements for you.

Our skis are waxed and we’re getting out on the trails to help prepare for the Book Across the Bay. And we can’t wait to welcome you too.

BOOK NOW and start training for this fantastic event.

We can’t wait to see you!

The Carriers,

Mollie, Isaac, Axel, Ridge, and Banks


Book Across The Bay

Mt. Ashwabay Summit Ski Race

Bike Across the Bay

January 17, 2023

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