Monthly Archives: August 2011

August 23, 2011

Five Things You Shouldn’t Forget to Pack

Biker by Great River State Trail

Photo Credit: RJ & Linda Miller

Some items you should consider bringing along on your next trip to Wisconsin

Wisconsin offers a recreational bounty that’s unmatched in the Midwest. Hundreds of recreational trails, tens-of-thousands of miles of waterways, countless lakes and more public land than could be explored in a lifetime—it’s all waiting for you.

To fully enjoy Wisconsin’s recreational riches, it helps to have certain kinds of equipment. Here is a list of five things you might want to bring on your next trip to Wisconsin.

A bicycle – Wisconsin is one of the best places to bike in the Midwest. Bring your mountain bike and ride one of hundreds of Wisconsin mountain bike trails, like the renowned Great River State Trail. Or, just bring your road bike and pedal quiet country roads.

A canoe or kayak – Throw a canoe or kayak on top of your car and open up Black River. Or, drop your boat into any inviting body of water you see along the way to your destination—in Wisconsin, nearly every acre of accessible water is open to the paddler.

Birdwatching in the AutumnBinoculars – For birdwatching, binoculars are almost essential. But a good pair of binoculars can help with other tasks. Use your binoculars to scan a shoreline to find places to camp or stop for lunch or to get a better glimpse of beautiful landscapes from some of Wisconsin’s best scenic overlooks. Binoculars are outstanding for stargazing.

Your laptop computer – Having your computer along with you allows you to download maps, find places to paddle and learn more about area recreational options. When you book your lodging, ask about the availability of Internet access. Wi-Fi is available at a number of lodging properties, even in some of the most remote corners of Wisconsin. However, don’t let your computer ruin the “escape” aspect of your vacation!

Hiking in the Fall

Photo Credit: RJ & Linda Miller

Good shoes or boots – Nothing can ruin a trip faster than lousy shoes. Without good footwear, you’re going to be miserable. If you’re planning to hike the rolling Escanaba-Pallette Lake Trail, you’ll need a pair of comfortable boots. If you’re going to be strolling the trails of Middleton’s Pheasant Branch Conservancy, bring along some quality walking shoes. Blisters are not the mementos you want to bring home.


August 16, 2011

Five Fun Places to Have Your Picture Taken

Why not make your vacation pics as memorable as possible

Take some pictures of yourself at these five unusual locations. When you post your shots on Facebook, your friends will say, “Where were you?”

Sunny the Sunfish in Onalaska, WISunny the Sunfish in Onalaska
This giant sunfish sculpture is set on the bluff, high above beautiful Lake Onalaska, which is a 7,700-acre pool on the Mississippi River. Have your picture taken with the colorful fish and then enjoy a sunset over the river. Located on Hwy 35, just north of Onalaska.

Giant Musky in Boulder JunctionGiant Musky in Boulder Junction
Where would you expect to see a 30-foot musky? In the Musky Capital of the World®, of course! Stop by Lakes Propane Gas in Boulder Junction and snap a picture of yourself next to the giant fish painted on a huge LP tank.

The Rhinelander HodagHodag in Rhinelander 
Located next to the Rhinelander Visitor Center, you’ll find a huge replica of the area’s most famous inhabitant. If you haven’t heard about the Hodag, he’s an elusive woodland creature that plays pranks on unwitting visitors to the Northwoods.

Beer Museum in Potosi, WIGiant Bottle of Beer in Potosi on the Wisconsin Great River Road 
Wisconsin is beer country, so it’s no surprise that the Badger State is home to what is, arguably, the largest beer bottle in the world. Have your photo snapped next to this monstrous bottle and then stop by the nearby Potosi Brewery Museum. It’s all located along the Wisconsin Great River Road.

Train car in LadysmithTrains in Ladysmith in Rusk County
Ladysmith was once a major transportation center for shipping lumber throughout the Midwest. Today, that railroad history is preserved in a number of train engines and train cars located throughout the community. Your first stop in town should be the Visitor Center, which is located in a replica Soo Line Train depot.


August 16, 2011

Children’s Museums

Hands-on learning at its best

Kids love to learn and experience new things. When you’re on your next Wisconsin getaway, keep these museums in mind when you need something to do on a rainy afternoon or you want to throw a bit of education into your trip.
Children's Museum

Northwood Children’s Museum in Vilas County
Located in Eagle River, this small, but well-designed museum utilizes a hands-on approach to learning. The museum features 23 interactive and educational exhibits ranging from a pioneer cabin to an exploration of the science behind bubbles. There’s even a pond where kids can catch fish and learn about the importance of water. The museum is perfect for kids of all ages. Learn more about this excellent children’s museum.

Children’s Museum of La Crosse along the Wisconsin Great River Road
Three floors of hands-on exhibits await kids of all ages at the Children’s Museum of La Crosse. Kids can design and build bridges, scale a climbing wall, operate construction machinery, learn about dinosaurs and control the flow of water on the Mighty Mississippi River. Kids will learn about everything from construction to commerce. It’s one of the best museums of its kind in the Midwest. Find out more about this unique museum.


August 16, 2011

Giddyup Wisconsin!

Wisconsin isn’t the Wild West, but it does have good horseback riding opportunities

Horseback RidingSome of Wisconsin’s most beautiful woodland areas are home to excellent trails, perfect for exploring on horseback. Riders who trailer their horses will find hundreds of miles of equestrian opportunities. And vacationers who don’t own horses can still have the experience of getting in the saddle and riding. Here are three great horseback riding opportunities.

Black River State Forest in Black River Country.
The Black River State Forest is a natural treasure. Picturesque pines, beautiful rock outcroppings, winding rivers and abundant wildlife characterize this landscape. The forest offers more than 20 miles of horse trails. Learn more.

Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest in Boulder Junction
The Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest is home to myriad lakes and some of the tallest white pines in the Midwest. Logging roads throughout the forest are open to horseback riding. Explore the lakes and forests of this extraordinary wilderness area. Learn more about the forest’s trails.

Horses in Wisconsin

Guided Trail Rides in the Northwoods
Don’t own a horse? There are trail rides are also available from ranches in the Northwoods.