Vilas County Other Things To Do
Vilas County Information
Vilas County is home to wonderful opportunities for family fun.
This fun hobby is a great excuse to explore the beautiful outdoors in Vilas County. If you’re new to geocaching, it’s pretty easy – and fun – to learn. It’s a high-tech treasure hunt where participants use GPS devices to locate hidden treasures called geocaches. You can use the GPS on your smartphone – there are apps you can download that will get you started.
Where are the geocaches? Practically everywhere. See general locations and specific coordinates at geocaching.com. You can find large numbers of caches in and around Boulder Junction and Eagle River. You can find some caches hidden deep in public lands, including the Vilas County Forest near Conover. Other caches can be found right along Vilas County roadways, like US Hwy. 45 and Cty. Rd. G. Grab your phone and join the hunt!
Learn more at https://www.geocaching.com
There’s no better way to experience the beauty of the Northwoods than golf. Several courses are among Wisconsin’s oldest and most unique. Discover one of the Midwest’s best kept golfing secrets – golf Vilas County!
19th Hole Par 3 Golf Course
9067 Hwy. 70W, St. Germain, WI 54558
Eagle River Golf Course
527 E. McKinley Blvd., Eagle River, WI 54521
Lake Forest Golf Club
3801 Eagle Waters Rd., Eagle River, WI 54521
St. Germain Municipal Golf Club
9041 Hwy. 70W, St. Germain, WI 54558
Trout Lake Golf Club
3800 Hwy. 51N, Arbor Vitae, WI 54568
Big Sand Lake Golf Course
4710 Airport Ln., Phelps, WI 54554
Gateway Golf Club
4126 Cty. Hwy. B, Land O’ Lakes, WI 54540
Plum Lake Golf Club
3160 Club House Rd., Sayner, WI 54560
Timber Ridge Golf Club
10030 Timber Ridge Rd., Minocqua, WI 54558
Northern Wisconsin is a fertile hunting ground, and the vast expanses of wilderness in Vilas County make it an ideal destination for hunters, whether they’re going after deer, grouse or other game. The Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest, the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest and county forest lands account for more than 245,000 acres of public hunting land in Vilas County. Vilas County maintains County forest trails on a 3-year mowing rotation to provide wildlife habitat and access for non-vehicle outdoor recreation and forest management in Wisconsin’s Northwoods. Since the mid 1980s, Vilas County Forestry has been partnering with the Ruffed Grouse Society (RGS) on the development and maintenance of trails and wildlife openings.
Reminder: all hunters born on or after Jan. 1, 1973 must pass a hunter safety course, and all hunters must have a valid hunting license.
For more information, visit the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. https://dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/Hunt
Public Hunting Areas
- Beaver Creek Trail
- Blackjack Springs Wilderness Trail
- Catherine Wolter Wilderness Area
- Decker Lake Trail
- Deep Lake Trails
- Escanaba-Pallette Lake Trails
- Fallison Lake Trails
- Guido Rahr Sr. Tenderfoot Forest Preserve Trail
- Heart Lake Trail
- Langley Lake Trails
- Lumberjack Trail
- Madeline Lake Trail
- Mud Minnow Lake Trail
- Muskrat Creek Trail
- North Trout Nature Trail
- Pioneer Creek Cross-Country Ski Trail
- Pioneer Creek Trail
- Powell Trails
- Shannon Lake Trail
- Ski Hill Trails
- Snipe Lake & Ewald Lake Trails
- Star Lake Nature Trail
- The Tamaracks Off-Highway Motorcycle Trail
- Torch Lake Trails
- White Squaw Lake Trail
Lace up your skates: Vilas County is the place to enjoy the best frozen fun. The county’s communities maintain skating rinks that welcome skaters of all abilities and ages.
A lit ice-skating rink is located at Boulder Junction Winter Park, a quarter mile from downtown Boulder Junction. The park also includes cross-country ski and snowshoe trails, a sledding hill and a bonfire area. An on-site warming hut, equipped with lighting and electricity, has ice skates available to borrow.
At Conover Town Park, find an ice rink with lighting, a shelter and heated restrooms. The park is also home to a popular sledding hill and serves as the trailhead to several area trails.
Find a skating rink behind Eagle River City Hall on the corner of Silver Lake Road and Sheridan Street.
Land O' Lakes
The Snowflake Ice Rink is located behind Town Hall in downtown Land O’ Lakes. It’s an indoor unheated rink, open from 9am-9pm daily. If you need skates, you can borrow some from the rink’s warming house.
There are two rinks in Minocqua. The first is located at Torpy Park in downtown Minocqua. The second rink is at Minocqua Winter Park, located about 15 miles outside of Minocqua. The park also features a chalet, tubing hill and 54 miles of cross-country ski, snowshoe and fat bike trails.
A rink is located at Pipke Park. There’s a warming hut, bathrooms and lights at the park, as well as a sledding hill.
There is a brand new ice skating rink in downtown Sayner at Old School Park on the corner of Hwy 155 and Lake Street. The rink is lighted with a pavilion.
Vilas County’s sledding hills entertain kids of all ages! Here’s where you can find the county’s four sledding hills.
A sledding hill is located at Boulder Junction Winter Park, a quarter mile from downtown Boulder Junction. The park also includes cross-country ski and snowshoe trails, a regulation-size ice skating rink equipped with lights, a warming hut with lighting and electricity and a bonfire area.
There’s a popular sledding hill at Conover Town Park. The park also has an ice-skating rink, picnic shelter, lighting and heated restrooms, and serves as the trailhead to several area trails.
A tubing hill is located at Minocqua Winter Park. Tubing sessions operate Saturdays and Sundays, weather permitting. A tubing pass must be purchased and includes a tube rental. The park also features an ice skating pond and 6,500 acres of forest with 54 miles of cross-country ski, snowshoe and fat bike trails.
A sledding hill is located at Pipke Park. There is lighting at the park as well as a warming house, ice skating rink and restrooms.
Vilas County is home to more than a dozen fascinating museums. These attractions bring the county’s rich history alive.
Discover the region’s logging history, experience native Ojibwe culture, learn through hands-on exhibits and discover how the railroad shaped the Northwoods. These museums not only give visitors a greater appreciation for Vilas County’s past, they are fun for all ages.
Museums in Vilas County
- Boulder Junction Historical Museum
- Dr. Kate Museum
- Eagle River Historical Museum
- Eliason Lumber & Hardware: “Birthplace of the Snowmobile”
- George W. Brown, Jr. Ojibwe Museum & Cultural Center
- International Snowmobile Racing Hall of Fame & Museum
- Land O’ Lakes Historical Society Northern Waters Museum
- Manitowish Waters Historical Society
- Minocqua Museum
- Northwoods Children’s Museum
- Phelps Historical Museum
- Presque Isle Heritage Museum
- The Mikwendaagoziwag Heritage Center
- The Old Schoolhouse Gallery
- Vilas Historical Museum
- Winchester Museum
- World Snowmobile Headquarters
Native American History
Vilas County has a rich tribal heritage that predates European settlement by thousands of years. You can learn about this history in beautiful Lac du Flambeau, home to the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians.
For more than 300 years, the Lac du Flambeau Band has lived in this area. Led by Chief Keeshkemun (Sharpened Stone), the Lac du Flambeau Band arrived in 1745 to gather wild rice, catch fish and hunt game. They called the area Waaswaaganing, “Place of fishing with torches.” During summer months, you can learn about what daily life was like – and is like – for Native American residents of the region.
The George W. Brown, Jr. Ojibwe Museum & Cultural Center features some fascinating exhibits including a 24-foot Ojibwe dugout canoe, Ojibwe arts and crafts, traditional clothing and a French fur trading post. A gift shop offers unique items made by local and other Native American People. You can also learn about the traditional harvesting of wild rice, fish and game.
The Mikwendaagoziwag Heritage Center is a historic landmark open to the public. The facility was previously the BIA Government Boarding School Boys Dormitory. It underwent a 20-year restoration project and it now houses the Legacy of Survival exhibit and gallery. The landmark is open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. and is located at 838 White Feather St. (Hwy. 47N).
Visitors to the Ojibwe Museum & Cultural Center will also notice a reconstruction project under way to create the new Waaswaaganing Indian Bowl Living Arts & Culture Center. The Indian Bowl hosted pow wows for more than 60 years in Lac du Flambeau and is undergoing an upgrade and expansion. The pow wow grounds and amphitheater are expected to be open in time for the annual Fourth of July Parade, Pow Wow and Fireworks Display in 2016, and pow wows will be held twice weekly in the summer.
Vilas County Shooting Range
The Vilas County Parks and Recreation Department maintains the Vilas County Shooting Range located 5 ½ miles north of Eagle River off Highway 45 on the east side of the highway. The Shooting Range consists of 8 backstops, 5 signs, 1 fire ring, 5 benches, and parking for about 10 vehicles. There is a donation tube on site; all donations received are used for range maintenance and improvements. There is a shotgun area, and shooting lanes of 50 feet and 25, 50, and 100 yards.
Caywood Memorial Shooting Range
The range, located in Woodruff on U.S. Highway 51. Those planning to use the range should be aware of a few changes in shooting operations, implemented to ensure safety at all DNR ranges, support a positive recreational experience by users and maintain good relationships with range neighbors.
Boulder Junction Shooting Range
The Boulder Junction Shooting Range is open to the public year round with a rifle & pistol shelter and 300-yard range. The trap and skeet area, equipped with voice pulls, is comprised of 3 trap fields & 2 skeet fields. A new Five- Stand field has been added to one of the skeet fields. Enjoy the view from a spacious club house.
Gateway Gun Club
Gateway Gun Club is located at the historic Gateway Lodge in beautiful Land O’Lakes, Wisconsin. The club is one of the Midwest’s most extensive trap fields. The club has hosted annual tournaments in both the spring and the fall, and sport shooters from across the country have made the Gateway Lodge a premier destination for decades. Sport shooting is available at the Gateway Gun Club from May to October for the public, as well as to guests of the Gateway Lodge.
VILAS COUNTY WINERIES
Vilas is a robust wine producing county in Wisconsin! Wineries produce a variety of wines. They include fruit wines, meads, reds, whites, and ports. Many of the wines are produced from grapes and fruit grown in Wisconsin. Here are some of the best wineries in Vilas County.
Lake Nokomis Cranberries
Lake Nokomis Cranberries, Inc. is a family owned cranberry farm for over 40 years with 320 planted acres. The Gift Shop/Winery offers wine tasting daily and carries a large assortment of cranberry themed products including gourmet food and candy, candles, wine accessories, soaps, lotions, ceramics, apparel and much more. Free marsh tours are offered from mid June through the fall harvest. Visit their website for more information on tours and Gift Shop hours.
Three Lakes Winery
Three Lakes Winery has been making the Original Cranberry Wine since 1972. As the second oldest winery in Wisconsin, we have our roots in tradition of authentic wine flavor. The McCain family's unique wines are made from whole fruits and berries, no flavorings or juices added. If you've never tasted a fruit wine before - start with these! You can taste up to 6 wines for free, but you’ll have a difficult time choosing! The staff are friendly and knowledgeable, with a variety of award-winning wines, cute gifts and specialty foods available. Rain or Shine, it’s definitely worth a look around! http://tlwinery.com
Brigadoon Winery is located in the beautiful Northwoods of Wisconsin. They produce red, white, dessert, and fruit wines. FREE wine tasting is available year-round. Visit their website for more information about special events and hours of operation. http://www.brigadoonwinery.com
Vilas County’s Cranberry Farms
See where some of the state’s top crops are harvested on a cranberry marsh tour in Vilas County.
Head to Manitowish Waters in fall—that’s harvest season for cranberries—for free cranberry marsh tours starting at the Manitowish Waters Community Center, 5733 Airport Road. As harvest goes into full swing (generally late September through mid-October), the bogs are flooded and become a sea of crimson red.
The free, hourlong tours start at 10am Friday; no reservations are required. Tours are held rain or shine.
The tour includes a video about the cranberry harvesting process, cranberry samples and a Q&A. Visitors can then drive over to the Vilas Cranberry Company and take a tour, which may include an up-close look at the bogs and the harvesting process, depending on when you make your trip. All ages welcome. You can also visit the Cranberry Square Farm Market and Gift Shop for unique cranberry and Northwoods gifts and foods.
The remaining four local marshes (Bartling’s Manitowish Cranberry, Indermuehle’s Alder Lake Cranberry, Folsom Farm and Rayala Cranberry) do not accommodate drive-throughs; however, you can see some of the bogs as you drive along Alder Lake Rd.
If you’re up for a drive, head to Lake Nokomis Cranberries in Eagle River (about 45 minutes southeast of Manitowish Waters) to take a guided tour of the marsh, visit the winery and check out the Cranberry Wine & Gift Shop.