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Contact: Susanne Thiede-Barnet, 608-242-8895
Going Extreme For Less
Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula offers thrill seekers the best extreme activities in the Midwest
(April 27, 2010)—For years the territory of rebels and danger-seekers, “extreme” sports are becoming mainstream. With snowboarder Shaun White now the proud owner of two Olympic gold medals, sports that were once regarded as counter-cultural are attracting wider audiences. Thanks to their “outdoorsy” culture, pristine waters, and great extreme sports facilities, Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula are home to some of the best thrills in the Midwest.
Diving Wazee Lake
Located in Black River Country, Wazee Lake is among the best diving locations in the Midwest, and presents a challenge for any diver. The 355-foot plunge to the bottom of Wazee Lake makes it the deepest inland lake in Wisconsin.
For a truly extreme experience, dive during the winter! Ice divers cut holes in the thick surface ice and descend to an otherworldly realm. Wearing a wetsuit to fend off the cold, you’ll explore Wazee’s depths, traversing massive boulders and shear walls. Visibility, which is an impressive 30-40 feet during the summer months, is even better during the winter.
Wazee Lake’s depths hide the remnants of the former Jackson County Iron Mine, whose closure in 1983 shut off the pumps that kept the mine from filling with water. A series of circular haul roads wind around the pit where divers often find artifacts like chains, pipes and iron shovel teeth.
New to diving? The Wazee Sports Center is on-site and caters to divers of all experience levels. The Center will provide you with all the equipment and training you’ll need to get started.
Nearby Black River Falls offers great lodging, dining and a variety of shopping retailers—everything you need for the perfect diving adventure.
Skateparks offer a great vacation asset for families looking to engage teens while the rest of the family pursues other activities. Best of all, most skateparks are free! Here are several of Wisconsin’s best:
Middleton’s Quarry Park — This 10,000-square-foot facility is designed for skateboard and rollerblade use. The park is open from mid-March to December and includes a pyramid, rails, and a four and six-set.
Boulder Junction Skatepark — Accessible by bike path, this community park includes a skatepark with a bank, quarterpipe, and three-sided pyramid in between. The park also includes a grind box and flatbar.
Rhinelander Skatepark — This Northwoods skatepark offers skaters three quarters of three-, four-, and eight-feet tall, and a ton of rails.
Porcupine Mountains Wilderness Camping
The popularity of television shows like “Survivorman” and “Man vs. Wild” demonstrate the ongoing fascination Americans have with self-sufficiency and surviving in the wilderness. Although these shows tend to feature their hosts in rather remote and exotic locales, some of the most untouched wilderness areas are located within a day’s drive of the Midwest’s largest population centers.
The Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park protects the largest track of old-growth hardwood forests outside of the Adirondacks. And while park regulations would prevent you from hunting rabbits with sharpened sticks or building your own wigwam out of hemlock boughs, the vast acreage of completely untouched forests gives the wilderness camper a real test of their skills.
Black bear, white-tailed deer, beaver, wolf and moose live in these woods, which maintain a character that hearkens back to a time long before white settlement of the region. Numerous streams and waterfalls give you a chance to test your water purification skills. And the views – this is arguably one of the most beautiful places you’ll find anywhere. Gaze out over Lake Superior, ponder the blue waters of the Lake of the Clouds and spend your nights counting stars in a sky completely devoid of manmade lights. Wilderness camping doesn’t get any better than this.
Get complete information on the Wazee Lake diving experience – visit www.blackrivercountry.net.
Learn more about visiting the Porcupine Mountains at www.porcupinemountains.com.
For more information about these and other Wisconsin destinations for extreme sports, contact Susanne Thiede-Barnet at 608-242-8895 or [email protected].