Three to See: Vilas County

George W. Brown Jr. Ojibwe Museum & Cultural Center, Lac du Flambeau

George W. Brown Jr. Ojibwe Museum

You’ve made the decision to hit the open road and visit one (or all) of our dozen unique destinations. So what are you going to do once you get there? Here are three local highlights to help you plan your trip.

1. Bicycling/hiking/snowmobiling/skiing trails. More than 50 hiking, bicycling and skiing trails – as well as 600 miles of groomed snowmobile trails – wind through the 12 communities of Vilas County, one of the most popular travel destinations in the Midwest. From bicycling to bird watching, there are endless opportunities to explore Vilas County’s 240,000 acres of public land and take in its scenic vistas along the well-established trail system. And be sure to bring your camera, too, as you might catch sight of the area’s abundant wildlife.

2. Little Bohemia Lodge, Manitowish Waters. When you think about Wisconsin’s Northwoods, you think of pristine forests and crystal-clear lakes, not 1930s gangsters. But, in April 1934, Little Bohemia Lodge in Manitowish Waters was the site of a famous shootout between FBI agents and infamous gangster John Dillinger. Little Bohemia was built five years earlier, and the resort is proud of its history – including the famous shootout, which was recreated on site for the 2009 Johnny Depp movie “Public Enemies.” The resort’s website puts it best: “Remember … Dillinger only left because he had to!” 142 Highway 51 South, Manitowish Waters; (715) 543-8433;

3. George W. Brown Jr. Ojibwe Museum & Cultural Center, Lac du Flambeau. Native American culture has played a role in Wisconsin’s Northwoods for centuries. Lac du Flambeau’s George W. Brown Museum celebrates that culture’s impact with unique displays and historical artifacts. Visitors can see a 24-foot Ojibwe dugout canoe, examples of Ojibwe arts and crafts, a replica of a French fur-trading post, and a world-record sturgeon taken from one of Lac du Flambeau’s lakes. Something to note: from November through April, the museum is open only on Tuesdays and Thursdays. 603 Peace Pipe, Lac du Flambeau; (715) 588-333

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