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With its breathtaking scenery and endless list of outdoor activities, you’ll never run out of things to do in Northwoods Wisconsin. Here’s our list of the five best things to see and do:
1. Eat fish fry at a supper club. There’s nothing more Northwoods Wisconsin than fish fry, a Friday night religion. Supper clubs are an upper Midwest tradition but nearly every type of restaurant offers fish fry at least once a week; cod is most popular, but walleye, perch and bluegill are more flavorful. Don’t be afraid to wander into the most remote, rustic-looking fish fry joint — those are often the best.
2. Book a fishing guide. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or you’ve always wanted to give fishing a try, the Northwoods affords the perfect opportunity. Wisconsin boasts more than 15,000 lakes, a large number of them concentrated up north. Boulder Junction is the Musky Capital of the World and Northwoods waters are also rich with walleye, trout, bass, perch, panfish and salmon.
3. Hike a nature trail. The Northwoods is thick with trails for hikers, bicyclists, cross-country skiers and snowshoers, but a relaxed, serene nature hike is the best way to slow down and absorb the true Northwoods vibe. In Woodruff, tucked in the northeast quadrant of Wisconsin, Fallison Lake Nature Trail is 100-percent public land and pin-drop quiet, save for the loon calls. Trudge 2.5 miles through bogs and hemlocks, beaver dams and the 50-acre Fallison Lake formed by glaciers.
4. Visit Minocqua. With more than 3,200 lakes, ponds and streams, the Minocqua area offers one of the largest concentrations of fresh-water bodies in the world, making it a compelling destination for boaters, swimmers, skiers, tubers and anglers. The local tourism industry has responded with restaurants, bookstores and antiques — there’s great beer and food at Otto’s Beer & Brat Garden or Minocqua Brewing Company, and quaint shopping at this informal “capital” of the Northwoods.
5. Cruise the Apostle Islands. A harbor town perched near the northernmost tip of Wisconsin, Bayfield’s unique shops, galleries, apple orchards, and eateries offer a charming, cozy welcome to the dazzling Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. Hop a ferry, island cruise or kayak to explore the ice and sea caves, sandstone cliffs, lighthouses, 12 miles of crashing shoreline and 22 rugged islands that render the Dairy State nearly unrecognizable.