Whatever type of travel experience you prefer, you’ll adore northern Wisconsin’s forests, lakes, rivers, meadows and wetlands in the spring and early summer.
That’s when trillium carpet the forest floors, marsh marigolds rest in roadside waters, and columbines nod from rocky settings. That’s when you can pluck wild leeks and other edibles to spark your menu…
That’s when you’ll see and hear loons, eagles, and Great Blue Herons, enjoy the glorious sounds of hundreds of songbirds, and maybe spot a pileated woodpecker.
And, because the trees and plants fill in slowly, the wildlife, not as shy in the early season, are more viewable; and because there are fewer people around, your chances increase to see fawns, or tiny, black bear cubs following mom across a road.
In northern Wisconsin’s thousands of lakes and streams, the fish will have spawned and are hungry. This is a good time to teach yourself or a kid to fish. Dozens of bait shops and fishing guides will happily provide you with information, lessons, maps, and encouragement.
And, while you might need a pair of rubbers in case it’s muddy, the hiking, biking, golf, wildlife watching, and picnicking opportunities will be wonderful — before the bugs come out (except for ticks which get active as soon as it gets warm).
Many northern Wisconsin communities, areas, attractions, and resorts share the bounty of wonderful outdoor and indoor activities; local warmth; and an understanding of what you’re looking for. And of course, it’s the time when accommodations are more modest, with special promotions and packages.
The Eagle River area (in northeast Wisconsin, about 220 miles east of the Twin Cities), has mapped trails winding past some of the 28 lakes surrounding the community; an Historic Boathouses & Buildings self-guided waterway tour; and maps to excellent roads and trails through the nearby Nicolet National Forest. In the Eagle River area, you can even throw your golf clubs in a boat and cruise to several courses!
On your visit to Wisconsin, you may want to stay at a resort that has an indoor swimming pool and restaurant facilities, with the wealth of outdoor activities and nature just a step out the door.
Another great way to savor Wisconsin’s wildlife and scenery is to take a cruise.
And if it rains, visit one of northern Wisconsin’s excellent museums:
Eagle River’s new Northwoods Children’s Museum lets kids of all ages “play” forest ranger, catch and identify pretend fish, raid the period-clothes-hamper, blow a giant bubble, and many other interactive activities. Eagle River also boasts a new Historical Museum located at the Trees for Tomorrow Natural Resource Education Center, itself offering year-round nature seminars and workshops. Finally, Carl’s Wood Art Museum in Eagle River has welcomed thousands of visitors over the years to its collection of woodcarvings, memorabilia and whimsy.
Nobody said you HAD to wait until fall to take a fall color tour! Since the guidebooks exist, and the markers are up, get a brochure from the local Chamber of Commerce, and follow the signs to an area’s interesting sites, scenes, and natural highlights.
Northern Wisconsin resounds with golfing, hiking, biking, picnicking, ATV, antiquing, fishing, and shopping opportunities; as well as lots of events, parades, celebrations, fishing tournaments, and special activities throughout the season. Call ahead for schedules, events, information, and opening dates.
Although each area has a unique “flavor,” they share a common, almost elegant attention to nature, wildlife, scenery, and relaxing, and have a welcome mat out for visitors like you.
[Image: Courtesy of Mike Crowley; available for sale at his website Life in the Northwoods]