Monthly Archives: August 2013

August 26, 2013

Oktober in the Air: Upcoming Oktoberfest Celebrations


Wisconsin has a strong German heritage. You can see it in the architecture, food and annual traditions. One of the strongest annual traditions is Oktoberfest. Here are two Oktoberfest celebrations you don’t want to miss:

Stevens Point – Saturday, September 21

This annual event at the Stevens Point Brewery features a beer tent, samples of all Point craft beers and Ciderboys Hard Cider, and live music. Learn more about “Pointoberfest.”

Black River Falls – Saturday, October 5

Enjoy a full day of fun including a motorcycle show, children’s games, brewery tours, live entertainment and dancing. Learn more about Black River Falls Oktoberfest.


August 26, 2013

Wild Walks: Four Fantastic Fall Nature Trails

Woman Hiking

The best wildlife viewing of the year – as well as the best scenery – can be found in the fall. The colorful days of autumn, when the oaks, aspens and maples blaze with color, are a magical time for a walk in the woods. However, it’s when the leaves fall from the trees that the wildlife viewing really gets good.

The bare trees and the shrinking vegetation allow hikers to see into the forest, giving them a chance to see wild turkeys, ruffed grouse, white-tailed deer and other wildlife. The woods and wetlands are especially peaceful during this time, as well. And, the ground is generally dry and most trails are in top condition. You can’t beat this time of year for a walk in the woods.

Fall brings hunters into the forests, although you probably won’t see them. As a precaution, wear bright colors, such as blaze orange, just to be sure you’re visible.

Get out there this fall for a walk on the wild side on one of Wisconsin’s many trails. Here are some of the best:

Schmeeckle ReserveStevens Point

The trails on this 280-acre natural area offers a wonderful mix of forests, fields and wetlands.

Raven Nature Trail – Oneida County

Hike and enjoy picturesque waterscapes along 13.5 miles of hilly Northwoods trails.

Holmboe Nature Trail – Rhinelander

This short but scenic trail runs for 0.75 miles along the Pelican River.

Blue Hills Trail System – Rusk County

Explore 23 miles of outstanding trails running through one of Wisconsin’s most breathtaking landscapes.


August 26, 2013

Three Fun Ideas for Short Vacations with the Kids this Fall

Northwoods Children's Museum

Northwoods Children’s Museum

Fall is a great time to travel with the kids. With the hot summer weather behind you, traveling is easy and comfortable. But, with children back in school, weekend trips are in order. Here are three cool ideas for short vacations with the kids this fall.

Wisconsin River Cruise

Looking for a fun way to enjoy fall color? Take a cruise aboard the Wilderness Queen in Rhinelander. Throughout September and through the first two weekends in October, visitors can take a scenic cruise along the Wisconsin River. See the birches and maples blazing with color. Watch bald eagles and keep an eye out for deer and other animals that come to the water for a drink. It’s an activity that’ll entertain young and old alike. Find out more about Wisconsin River Cruises and other things to do in Rhinelander.

A Museum Made for Kids

Take a trip to the Northwoods Children’s Museum in Vilas County for 23 interactive exhibits. Kids can learn about science, nature, history and medicine through hands-on activities. The museum is located in the friendly Northwoods community of Eagle River. Surrounded by forests, Eagle River is dazzling in the fall. Hop in the car and head north to this fun museum. Get more information about the Northwoods Children’s Museum.

Family Paddling Trip

A paddling trip on the Flambeau River in Rusk County is an unforgettable adventure. Most of the river offers fairly easy paddling, with miles of quiet stretches punctuated by occasional rapids. Where the river runs through the Flambeau River State Forest, you’ll find riverside campsites. Further downstream, the river widens into large flowages, perfect for fishing. Learn about some of the most popular paddling trips on the Flambeau River.


August 26, 2013

Get Ready for the Fall Migration: Fall Birdwatching Hotspots


Fall is a great time to see migrating birds in Wisconsin. Millions of birds pass through the state each fall on their trip south to their wintering grounds. By the time winter comes, more than 300 species will have passed through the state.

Canada geese are the most prominent migrant, leaving James Bay in Canada and staying in Wisconsin throughout the fall before making their way down to southern Illinois and beyond. Songbirds pass through Wisconsin in early fall, with warblers leaving long before the leaves begin to change color. Shorebirds arrive in September and spend a few weeks before cold weather pushes them south. Ducks begin to gather on lakes and ponds. Duck species include teal, mallard and widgeon as well as canvasback, bluebill, red-headed duck and bufflehead. Tundra swans make an appearance along the Mississippi River and on some larger lakes and wetlands. And, bald eagles, hawks and owls can be spotted moving southward as the season progresses.

Wisconsin offers a long list of refuges, parks and natural areas for birdwatching. Here are some of the state’s top fall birding destinations.

Pheasant Branch ConservancyMiddleton

This 550-acre nature area surrounded by neighborhoods is a birdwatching gem.

Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife Refuge – Onalaska

Running for 261 miles along the river, this is the best place in America to see migrating waterfowl.

Dike 17 – Black River Falls

This wetland in the Black River State Forest is a top spot to see a wide range of bird species.

State Natural Areas – Vilas County

Choose from 29 different state natural areas for fall birdwatching.

Northern Highland–American Legion State ForestBoulder Junction

Birdwatchers can explore 230,000 acres of lakes, forests and wetlands.

Godfrey and Maybelle Erickson Audubon Park – Stevens Point

Discover this outstanding birding area located on McDill Pond.


August 19, 2013

What is Your Northwoods Personality? Photo Contest!

Win $100Thank you for entering!

Thank you to everybody who entered the “What is Your Northwood Personality?” Photo Contest! We’re looking through all the entries now and will announce our winners in November!

And, if you’re looking for your next photogenic destination, consider the Northwoods of Wisconsin’s five unique counties!