Monthly Archives: April 2016

April 25, 2016

Land O’ Lakes Spring Fever Sweepstakes

Enter to win your own spring adventure including a two-night stay at the beautiful and secluded Quiet Place Cottage and $150 in Land O’ Lakes Chamber Bucks, good at dozens of unique shops, fun attractions and delicious restaurants.

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April 20, 2016

Your Guide To Wisconsin’s Best Dog-Friendly Travel

dog playing on the dock

Take a vacation, doggone it!

Our furry friends work pretty hard. Some perform complicated tricks like sitting and staying; others guard the front door, chase squirrels or even chew sticks. It’s a tough life and sometimes these dogs need a little break from it all. Fortunately, it’s easier than ever to bring man’s best friend along on a relaxing Wisconsin road trip. Your Wisconsin Travel Best Bets canine concierge has some advice that will keep everyone happy, even if it’s a little too breezy to hang your head out the car window. So pack those squeaky toys and prepare to embark on the ultimate summer vacation – a trip where no one has to be left behind. The summer driving season passes quickly and you don’t want to be caught napping in the back seat. Or maybe you do!

Here are some travel tips and ideas that will get everyone’s tail wagging this summer.

Consider a cabin

When you’re traveling in a pack, it’s nice to have room to stretch your paws. Wisconsin has scores of dog-friendly vacation rentals in places like Vilas and Oneida Counties that will allow you to bring your pet. Some places also offer amenities like sunset views or even the use of a boat – there’s no point in ruffing it if you don’t have to!

Trail time

There’s perhaps nothing more fun to do with a dog than take a hike in the forest. There are so many things to capture a pup’s attention – your pooch will surely have a fantastic time hearing the call of the wild. Just remember a leash – it’s required in some areas and generally a good idea, especially when you are deep in the forest. There are some great resources to plan a hike with a dog, including the Map it Vilas County trails app.

Rest stops

Wisconsin is filled with great dog parks in places like Middleton and West Bend that are open to vacationers. They are great places for a dog to blow off some steam after spending a day in the car. And who knows, your pooch may just make some new friends!

Water fun

If you have a water dog – or a dog who thinks he’s a water dog – consider a trip to a beach. Wisconsin has plenty of pet swim areas and dog-friendly beaches that are perfect places for your pup to enjoy some time in the sun. They are on clear, cool Wisconsin lakes that are perfect for a dog that likes to take a dip. The Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest has a beautiful area for pet recreation at the Crystal Lake Forest day use area.

Shop til’ you drop

Fido might like a little souvenir from the trip. The dog is in luck – there are specialty stores that cater to pooches and many welcome leashed animals into the store. It can be a nice chance for your dog to get out of the car and who knows, maybe your pooch will find something special. In the Stevens Point Area, the Companion Shop sells toys and homemade bakery and biscuits. Bon a-pup-tite!

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April 14, 2016

YOUR GUIDE TO WISCONSIN’S BEST WILDFLOWER HIKES

Butterfly on flower

Wildflower season is here and forests, fields and meadows are bursting with color. Wisconsin is a flower lover’s paradise and now is the perfect time to enjoy the best beauty that nature has to offer. Pay a visit to trails that were covered with white not too many weeks ago. That snow is now a memory and new flowers are blossoming from the earth daily. Just put on some comfortable shoes or boots and see the show unfold on Wisconsin’s beautiful hiking trails or walking paths. Take your time – some of the flowers are so small and delicate they are easy to miss. You’ll want to see it all because these flowers are incredible and they won’t be here for long.

Need some advice on where to see the most flowers? Here are some of Wisconsin’s best spots for a wildflower hike – and some blossoms you’ll likely encounter on the trails.

Where to hike

Kettle Moraine State Forest – Northern Unit. Just north of West Bend, you’ll find more than 132 miles of trails that wind through beautiful glacial terrain. Select from hiking options suitable for all ages and abilities and explore this rolling landscape that’s filled with spring wildflowers.

What to look for

Orchids: Keep an eye out for Yellow Lady’s Slippers, a flower that resembles a small, delicate shoe. The flowers can grow as tall as 30 inches but most are much smaller. Look for them in damp, shady areas of the forest.

Where to hike

Northern Highland American Legion State Forest, headquartered in Boulder Junction. This expansive forest covers more than 232,000 acres that are spread across three counties, giving you numerous great hiking options for wildflower viewing.

What to look for

Trilliums – this native flowering plant can be found throughout the Northern Highland American Legion State Forest. Emerging in April and May, this white perennial plant blankets the forest floor.

Where to hike

Green Circle Trail, Stevens Point Area. This 26-mile trail loops around Stevens Point, passing through forests, parks and wetlands. It’s popular with bicyclists, walkers and runners. Sights on the trail include the Wisconsin River, Stevens Point Sculpture Park and the Schmeeckle Reserve. See a map of the trail here.

What to look for

Marsh Marigolds. These showy yellow flowers don’t really look like marigolds – they resemble buttercups. Look for them in wetland areas near the trail.

Where to hike

Blue Hills Trails, Rusk County. Located in northwestern Rusk County, the rugged Blue Hills are remnants of an ancient mountain range. The area gets its name from the bluish color the hills take on when they are viewed in the early morning mist. You’ll find 23 miles of hiking trails in the Blue Hills.

What to look for

Bishop’s Caps. These tiny flowers look like they were dusted with a fringe of snow. They cling to flowering stalks that stand up to about 16 inches tall. Look for the flowers in shady, rocky areas of the forest.

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