Monthly Archives: February 2014

February 26, 2014

Three Perfect Places to Swim this Summer

Stevens Point Area
– Sunset Lake

At just 18 acres, Sunset Lake Park isn’t very big. But, its location on 63-acre Sunset Lake makes it the perfect place to cool off and while away an afternoon. This is the very best swimming spot in the Stevens Point area, so you definitely won’t be the only swimmer at this beautiful beach. But the people are always friendly – and you won’t find a prettier place to swim! Get more information about Sunset Lake Park.

Boulder Junction – Crystal Lake Beach

Crystal Lake is precisely as advertised: crystal clear. These pristine waters are a favorite with bicyclists who ride the Crystal Lake Trail from downtown Boulder Junction. Pine trees surround this gem of a lake, and in the summer sun, the lake takes on an emerald hue. Take in the scenery, feel the warm sand between your toes, then take a running plunge into the cool waters. All your troubles will be washed away in an instant. Learn about the Crystal Lake Trail and find a map showing the location of Crystal Lake.

West Bend – Mauthe Lake in the Kettle Moraine State Forest

Just minutes from the bustle of Milwaukee, you’ll find the rolling, green Northern Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest. Set amid the forest’s hills and glades is Mauthe Lake. The blue waters of this glacially formed lake are the perfect remedy for a sweltering summer day. Nearby Long Lake offers two more quiet beaches. The forest also offers many miles of hiking and biking trails. Find information about the Northern Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest.


February 24, 2014

Super Summer Paddling Trips

Super Summer Paddling Trips

Kayaking in Stevens Point

Wisconsin offers some of the best paddling in the Midwest. Lakes and rivers abound, and public access is plentiful throughout the state. Here are four of the very best destinations for canoeing and kayaking.

Rusk CountyFlambeau River

The Flambeau River is one of the Midwest’s best paddling rivers, offering the perfect variety of whitewater and calm water. One of the most exciting stretches in Rusk County is from the Hervas Camp Landing down to Big Falls Dam. Be sure to wear your lifejacket – there are some nice rapids along the way!

Stevens Point AreaPlover River

Winding its way through the Stevens Point area, the Plover River offers a paddling opportunity perfect for beginners. The most popular stretch is from Jordan Park to Iverson Park, which features wooded shorelines and flat water. At the end of your trip, enjoy a swim at the Iverson Park beach. It’s a very relaxing way to spend the afternoon.

Black River Falls – Black River

The Black River is another great family paddling destination. Dotted with sandbars, canoeists and kayakers will find lots of places to stop and relax or have a picnic. Some paddlers even choose to camp on the sandbars. The friendly community of Black River Falls is your jumping off point for any trip on the Black River. You’ll find access points all along the Black River, from Hatfield to the Mississippi River.

Oneida CountyWillow Flowage

The Willow Flowage of western Oneida County is the state’s best wilderness paddling opportunity. Explore 6,400 acres of open water. Wind your way through secluded backwaters and visit some of the flowages 117 islands. The fishing in the Willow Flowage is outstanding, particularly for bass, walleye and musky.


February 12, 2014

Three Great Wisconsin Art Galleries

WI Arts Biennial at the Museum of Wisconsin Art

WI Arts Biennial at the Museum of Wisconsin Art

Right now is the perfect time to head indoors for some exciting, inspiring, breathtaking art. Wisconsin is home to a number of great art museums featuring everything from local artists to internationally known masters.

The Museum of Wisconsin Art in West Bend is a work of art in itself. Its simple, contemporary design stands out sharply against the waters of the Milwaukee River. Inside the museum, you’ll find two large collections. The first is the Carl von Marr collection, which includes huge oil paintings by the Milwaukee-born artist. Dating to the late 1800s, these paintings are filled with rich colors, masterfully painted figures and incredible drama. The second collection is Early Wisconsin Regional Art, which was assembled and unveiled for Wisconsin’s 1998 sesquicentennial. The Museum of Wisconsin Art also features a number of changing exhibits that include works from contemporary Wisconsin artists. Through April 13, see the glassworks of Beth Lipman from Sheboygan Falls and pastels from artists from throughout the state. The breadth and depth of Wisconsin’s artists will amaze you.

In Oshkosh, you’ll find the beautiful Paine Art Center and Gardens. Housed in a Victorian mansion, the gallery presents exhibitions throughout the year. Past exhibits have included Chihuly glasswork, Ansel Adams photography and the portraits of William Merritt Chase. Now through June 1, the gallery will feature the work of Ruth Grotenrath and Schomer Lichtner, important figures from the Milwaukee art scene. In addition to the art in the gallery, the mansion boasts dozens of excellent works of art, from painting and sculpture to woodwork and tapestry. It’s one of the loveliest places in the entire state.

The Stevens Point area is a community filled with art. Many artists call the area home, and the local art scene is thriving. One of the community’s best art galleries is the Carlsten Gallery. Located on the second floor of the Noel Fine Arts Center on the University of Wisconsin–Stevens Pont campus, the Carlsten Gallery is home to a permanent collection that includes the a Print Collection, Ceramics Collection and the Wisconsin Sesquicentennial Portfolio. The museum is also home to the largest early-American pressed glass goblet collection in the world. From March 9 through April 14, the museum will present “A New Look at Glass.” April 17-27 and May 1-11, the museum will present the works of University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point’s graduating fine art majors. Then, from June 1 through September 15, “Art from Korea!” will display the works of well-known Korean artists. No matter what’s on display at the Carlsten, it’s always interesting.

Check out these museums and galleries – you won’t be disappointed.


February 5, 2014

Wisconsin’s Top Late-Winter Cross-country Ski Trails

Cross Country Skiing

For cross-country skiers, this winter has been one of the best in decades. With good snowfall throughout the winter and consistently cold temperatures, skiers have been on the trails all winter long. Don’t miss out on the great skiing. Here are eight of Wisconsin’s finest late-winter cross-country ski trails.

Rusk County – Blue Hills Trail System

If you’ve never skied the Blue Hills, you’re missing out on one of the best cross-country skiing experiences in the Midwest. Explore 35 kilometers of groomed trails running through the remnants of an ancient mountain range. The nearby Sisters’ Farm Trail is also an excellent cross-country ski trail.

Stevens Point area – Standing Rocks County Park

Ski 15 kilometers of trails at this scenic park located seven miles east of the Stevens Point area. About three-quarters of the trails are rated intermediate. Downhill skiing is also available in the park on weekends. If there’s snow on the ground, Standing Rocks County Park is the place to be.

Black River Falls – Black River State Forest

The Black River Falls area is quite unique, full of rock outcroppings, babbling brooks and forests of yellow pines. The cross-country ski trails of the Black River State Forest wind their way through this beautiful landscape.

West Bend – Northern Unit Kettle Moraine State Forest

The Northern Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest protects the land formations left behind by the last ice age. The rolling landscape is ideal for cross-country skiing. The forest includes several excellent trails.

Vilas CountyRazorback Ridges

This 12-mile trail system has a number of different trail loops ranging from beginner to expert. It’s an ideal place to test your skills and enjoy some wonderful scenery.

Oneida County  – Cassian County Two-way Trail

The Cassian County Two-way Trail is one of the best trails in the Northwoods. The 15-mile trail is groomed for classic-style skiing. The terrain is flat with some moderately rolling sections. Don’t miss this trail.

Rhinelander  –  Nose Lake County Trail

A fifteen minute drive west from Rhinelander will take you to an outstanding cross-country ski trail. The Nose Lake Trail is great for beginners. Choose from a 5-mile loop and a 9-mile loop running over a level terrain.

MiddletonPleasant View Golf Course

Don’t be fooled by the fact that this trail is on a golf course:  this is one of the best cross-country ski trails in southern Wisconsin. The trails here are groomed for both skating and diagonal striding.

Late winter can be the best time of the year to go skiing in Wisconsin. Some winters, the cross-country skiing season can run well into March. Get out there and take advantage of the snow and the scenery – you’ll be glad you did.