Monthly Archives: April 2013

April 26, 2013

Rivers Less Traveled: Three Outstanding Paddling Trips

Wisconsin is a great place for canoeing and kayaking. And with the recent explosion in the popularity of paddling, there are more people on Wisconsin’s rivers than ever before.

If you’re looking for an outstanding waterway but don’t like the crowds, these three rivers are perfect for you.

Paddling Rusk County

Jump River—Rusk County

The Jump River is one of Wisconsin’s wildest waterways. Pristine and dam-free for its entire length, it is a wonderful place for a spring paddle. The most popular trip on the Jump is the 10-mile section on the south fork of the river between Highway M and the river’s confluence with the Chippewa River. Bring your fishing rod: The Jump River is loaded with musky, smallmouth bass and walleye. Get more Jump River paddling information.

Kayaking in Oneida County by Dennis Deitz
Photo by Dennis Deitz

Tomahawk River— Oneida County

The Tomahawk River runs through some of Wisconsin’s most beautiful forests. It’s one of the state’s best kept secrets. A trip down the Tomahawk gives you a chance to see lots of wildlife. There are a number of put-ins and take-outs along the river. A popular stretch is between Lake Kawaguesaga Dam and Highway 70. Several sections of the river have rapids, so keep a look out and be prepared to portage. Information on six different Tomahawk River paddling trips.

Kayaking in Stevens Point by KT Elements

Plover River—Stevens Point area

The Plover River is another unsung Wisconsin waterway. This beautiful, winding river cuts its way through the Stevens Point area and provides excellent paddling. One of the best stretches is the segment between Jordan Park and Iverson Park. A canoe ramp can be found along Highway 66 in Jordan Park. From there, paddle your way down to Iverson Park and enjoy the wooded banks and plentiful wildlife. Don’t miss this relaxing stretch of river. See a map of the Plover River.


April 26, 2013

Two Incredible Courthouses

Courthouses are built to convey the power of the judicial system. They’re impressive buildings, often with many ornate features. In Wisconsin, there are a number of interesting courthouses.

Courthouse in Rhinelander

One such courthouse is the Oneida County courthouse, located in the Northwoods community of Rhinelander. Set at the center of town, the regal courthouse is the focal point of the community. Perched atop the courthouse is a Tiffany glass dome. It’s an impressive sight and one you might not expect in the forests of northern Wisconsin. Every year, the annual Art Fair on the Courthouse Lawn takes place on the grounds of the courthouse. This year’s event is June 8th. Learn more about the event.

Old Courthouse by Stephanie Bintz in West Bend

In the center of West Bend in southeast Wisconsin sits a very different looking courthouse. Clad in brick, the courthouse was built in 1889 in the Richardson Romanesque Revival  Style. Today, it houses one of the finest local history museums in the Midwest. Visitor will learn about the history of the area from the Ice Age to modern times. Plan your visit to the Old Courthouse Museum.


April 26, 2013

Get Revved Up – Three Wisconsin Car Shows

Ardy & Ed's Drive In

Wisconsin hosts a number of great car shows throughout the spring and summer. These three car shows are sure to please.

Sunnyview Spring Swap Meet and Show, May 11

Classic cars and vintage car parts will betake over the Sunnyview Convention Center in Oshkosh on May 11. The Sunnyview Spring Swap Meet and Show in Oshkosh will feature 26,000 square feet of vendors selling car parts and automobile-related items. There will also be a special area for 1975-and-older cars, a bicycle display and swap and a mini-bike display and swap.

Ardy & Ed’s May Cruise Night, May 30

Burn some rubber and head over to Ardy & Ed’s Drive In in Oshkosh for a fun-filled evening on May 30. See classic cars, enjoy great drive-in fare and listen to a live remote from WVBO Oldies 103.9. There will also be prizes. Other Ardy & Ed Cruise Nights will be taking place June 27, July 25 and August 29. Get more info.

Kornfest Car Show, August 18

If you’re looking for a car show with lots of variety, head to the Onalaska area for the Kornfest Car Show in Holmen on August 18. There will be classic cars, muscle cars, hot rods, vans, corvettes, imports, custom models, sport compacts and convertibles. Last year, more than 400 vehicles were on display! Learn more about the event.

Find more upcoming events.


April 26, 2013

Five Fantastic Spring Bike Rides

Wisconsin might be the best place in the Midwest for a biking. The huge variety of landscapes, the excellent trail systems and the well-maintained roadways all add up to great riding. Whether you’re a mountain biker, road cyclist or someone looking for an easy bike ride with the family, Wisconsin has something for you. These five riding opportunities are among the Midwest’s very best.

Bike Path in Oneida County

McNaughton TrailOneida County

This woodland trail offers mountain bikers a level terrain, very few steep hills and lots of wonderful scenery. The trail makes its way around Hawk, Helen and McNaughton lakes, giving riders a chance to see some beautiful waterscapes. It’s definitely one of the best mountain biking opportunities in the state. See a trail map.


Razorback RidgesVilas County

For the mountain biker who’s looking for more of a challenge, pedal your way north to Vilas County’s Razorback Ridges Trail.

Middleton Bike Path

Roads of Western Dane County—Middleton

If you’re a road cyclists, you need to ride western Dane County. Middleton is the ideal starting point for rides into the lush, green hills that stretch westward from the Madison area.  Find hotels in Middleton.

Biking Tomorrow River State Trail

Tomorrow River State TrailStevens Point Area

The 18-mile Tomorrow River State Trail runs along an abandoned railroad through the Stevens Point area. Paved with crushed limestone, the smooth trail is a joy to ride. The terrain is level and the countryside is picturesque. Learn more about this excellent trail.

Biking on Bridge by RJ & Linda Miller

Great River State Trail—Onalaska

Running north from Onalaska for 24 miles along the Mississippi River, the Great River State Trail is one of the best bike rides in the state. Waterscapes and wetlands await you along this level trail. Find complete information about this outstanding trail.


April 2, 2013

Welcome Home Waterfowl!

The arrival of spring means the return of millions of waterfowl to the lakes and wetlands of Wisconsin. Some birds, such as mallards, redheaded ducks, wood ducks and some Canada geese, stay in the state to nest and raise their families. Most waterfowl, however, are just stopping here to rest before heading to their breeding grounds further north.

In the spring, a Wisconsin birdwatcher has a chance to see a variety of birds they won’t see again until fall, when birds head back south to their wintering grounds.

Don’t miss the spring migration! Here are four great spots to see ducks, geese and other water-loving birds this spring.

Tundra Swans

Lake Onalaska — Onalaska

This 7,700-acre lake is actually a pool of the Mississippi River. It is located along the Mississippi River Flyway and attracts hundreds of bird species each year, including everything from bald eagles and white pelicans to ducks, geese and mergansers. Even tundra swans can be seen in the early spring.


Lake Winnebago — Oshkosh

At 138,000 acres, Lake Winnebago is probably the best inland lake in the state for observing migrating waterfowl. Canvasbacks, bluebills, mallards and Canada geese all spend time here as they make their way north from their wintering grounds. Menominee Park on Oshkosh’s east side is a good place to see waterfowl on the big lake. You’ll also find boat launches throughout Oshkosh. Bring your binoculars!

Geese by Bob Mosier

George W. Mead Wildlife AreaStevens Point Area

At 33,000 acres, the George W. Mead Wildlife Area provides a lot of habitat for birds. Spring brings water to the wildlife area’s wetlands and flowages, attracting ducks, geese and many types of shorebirds and wading birds. Sandhill cranes are abundant. In total, 267 species of birds can be observed here.

Mama with Geese

Black River Country

Located in the Black River State Forest, this complex of wetlands provides a number of opportunities for seeing migrating waterfowl. Mallards, teal, wood ducks and shorebirds can be seen feeding in the ponds and sloughs. Several observation areas make birdwatching easy. It’s a great place to spend a few hours with your binoculars.