Monthly Archives: April 2017

April 26, 2017


Spring is here in Wisconsin and the warming weather is opening up new possibilities for outdoor recreation. Here are four ways – and four places – to experience the season.

Birdwatching in Middleton.

Just 10 minutes from Madison, you’ll find the beautiful community of Middleton, a favorite destination for spring birdwatchers. Middleton is filled with parks, trails and green spaces, but one of the best places for birdwatching is the Pheasant Branch Conservancy, which has nearly 500 acres of woodland, wetlands and oak savannahs as well as more than 200 species of birds. See a Middleton trails map here.

Geocaching in West Bend

Just 45 minutes from Milwaukee you’ll find the Geocaching Capital of the Midwest™. New to geocaching? It’s like a modern day treasure hunt that you can play with your smart phone. West Bend is crazy about this fun game – the town has 1,600 caches in a 10-mile radius of the city. You can see the high points of the city by taking the West Bend Four Seasons Geotour, which includes 20 special caches hidden at places like Museum of Wisconsin Art. On Aug. 11-12 come to West Bend for the $1,000 Cache Ba$h, the Midwest’s only geocaching “mega” event. It draws thousands of geocachers from around the world.

ATVing in Rhinelander

Explore some of the best trails in the Northwoods. Rhinelander is quickly becoming one of the state’s premier ATVing destinations. It’s the gateway to two great trail systems – the 16-mile Lynne/Little Rice Lake ATV Trail System west of Rhinelander and the 13-mile Enterprise ATV Trail located south of town.

Biking in Vilas County

One of the state’s premier paved bike trails traces more than 40 miles of the Northwoods in Vilas County. The Heart of Vilas County Paved Bike Trail System connects Manitowish Waters with Boulder Junction and Sayner-Star Lake and St. Germain. Some highlights:

  • In Sayner-Star Lake, the trail is just a block off Main Street where you’ll find unique stores to pick up a souvenir, pubs, cafes to grab a drink or a meal.
  • Near Boulder Junction there are some scenic detours that run along parks and beaches, including down to Crystal Lake – one of the most beautiful lakes in the Northwoods.
  • On the western part of the trail are some incredible bridges that cross the rapids of the Manitowish River and Rice Creek.

April 20, 2017


Fishing on Trout Lake
There are few outdoor pursuits as exciting and rewarding as bass fishing. Wisconsin is home to both largemouth and smallmouth bass, and you’ll find bass in nearly every Wisconsin lake. These fish are known to put up a tremendous fight, so when one hits your line, you know you’re in for some action.

Wisconsin has more than 15,000 lakes, 84,000 miles of rivers and millions of acres of wetlands. But some Wisconsin bass fishing opportunities are in a class all their own.

Here are three of Wisconsin’s top bass fishing destinations.


Pelican Lake – Rhinelander Area

There are a lot of good bass lakes around Rhinelander, but Pelican Lake is one of the finest. In addition to numerous smallmouth bass, the clean waters of Pelican Lake harbor largemouth bass, perch, bluegill, crappie, northern pike, walleye and musky.

If you’re targeting the lake’s beautiful bass, start your hunt for bass along the weed edges. Look for variations in the weed line and bottom structure. Another good technique is tying on a plastic worm and slowly fishing along the piers and other shore structures. The reward is a fight with one of Pelican Lake’s well-fed smallies.

Flambeau RiverRusk County

For smallmouth bass fishing, there are few destinations as good as the Flambeau River in Rusk County. Smallmouth in the Flambeau River grow big and beefy, with wonderful color and markings.

In flowages, you’ll want to fish like you’re on a lake. The dark-stained waters of the Flambeau lend themselves to spinner baits, buzz baits and crankbaits that send a vibration out into the water. With the Flambeau’s numerous muskies, don’t be surprised if you hook a toothier predator than you expected.

Trout LakeVilas County

Trout Lake is most famous for two types of fish: lake trout and musky. This big, deep, cold lake is home to an outstanding lake trout fishery—something that’s unusual in Wisconsin. The gin-clear waters are also home to some of the biggest muskies in the state, and their enormous size is as famous as their elusiveness. Trout Lake even supports an excellent population of whitefish.

But we’re interested in bass, and in that category, Trout Lake doesn’t disappoint. Big smallmouth bass are the rule on this lake. Trout Lake smallies stay close to structure and close to shore. The clarity of the water means you need to approach with more stealth than you would on darker water. One of the best reasons for fishing Trout Lake is the beautiful surroundings. Tall pines line the shores. Bald eagles are often seen overhead. The clean water allows you to see to surprising depths. Catching fish here is just icing on the cake. Learn more about fishing in Vilas County.



April 6, 2017

Your Guide to Wisconsin’s Best Historic Dining

Gateway Lodge Dining
Taste the heritage of the Northwoods

Take a delicious trip back through time by making dinner reservations at one of Wisconsin’s historic Northwoods restaurants. There’s nothing like soaking up the warm, wood-paneled ambiance of a lodge dining room with some of the best meals in the north. These places are treasures that have survived the generations and they provide a unique and relaxing dining experience that’s unmatched by modern big city restaurants. Here’s a guide to three of Wisconsin’s best lodge dining experiences.

Gateway Lodge, Land O’ Lakes

Located on the Wisconsin-Michigan border, Land O’ Lakes is a destination vacationers have enjoyed for more than a century. In the center of town, the Gateway Lodge Restaurant has been serving up delicious meals since 1938. The warm and rustic dining room serves up dishes like Great Lakes perch, roast duck & raspberry almond chicken. In cooler months, take time to warm up near the lodge’s impressive wood burning fireplace.

Little Bohemia, Vilas County

This charming restaurant in Manitowish Waters dates back to the 1920s. It’s known for a delicious fish fry, some tasty German specialties and the bullet holes in the wall. Bullet holes? Yes, this is a lodge with a bit of a story. In the 1930s, John Dillinger and his gang had a skirmish with the FBI that would give this lodge its own chapter in the books of gangster history. Learn more about the gangster past and see the history yourself (including those bullet holes) with dinner at the lodge. Plan your visit to Little Bohemia and your Vilas County vacation at

Hintz’s North Star Lodge, Sayner-Star Lake.

In Sayner-Star Lake, you’re never far from a great meal – or a great view – and you can find both at Hintz’s North Star Lodge. This historic restaurant is located in a beautiful wood-paneled 1894 lakeside lodge. Owner Bill Hintz is an expert chef who offers delectable menu items such as stuffed walleye, roasted duck and Black Angus ribeye. In the summer, arrive early to admire the beautiful flowers and manicured grounds that surround the restaurant.