53 Things to do in
today's hustle and bustle world, so little time is available
for relaxation of the "natural kind". A true
"vacation" means that you displace yourself from all
that is ordinary in your life; to experience an exceptional or
uncommon activity, place or situation; to "rest"
from your work. Washburn County has been called the
"Roads to Relaxation" You won't find giant
amusement parks, (except for the natural ones Mother Nature
invented eons ago), you won't find huge water theme
for the ones carved out of the landscape by our natural
rivers-which, with a little imagination, are just as much
fun). You won't find many tall buildings or other man made
structures (The trees are the tallest things we have around
here.) You won't find many rock concerts, speed car races,
traffic jams or major league sports events. (you will find the
kinds of things that spark conversation, challenge your
imagination and creativity, promote family unity and
create family memories.
Price Code: Per Person
|$1 to $5
|$5 to $10
|$10 to $20
|$20 or more
BROWSE A BOOK STORE
Rain or shine may be just the time to visit
Book and Fiber Store on Walnut Street in Spooner. New books,
yarn (specialty yarns too!) and local information is available.
HIT THE TRAILS ON HORSEBACK
You may not be Billy Crystal trying
to reclaim your youth by going on a cattle drive, but
horseback riding is an enjoyable pastime that most youngsters
dream about. Visit the
horseback riding page.
There are numerous restaurants, resorts, and Bar & Grills that serve
everything from steaks & seafood to some of the best burgers and pizza
found anywhere. Foxxy's
Bar and Grill is famous for some of the best Chicago Style steaks in the
Midwest and their mouth-watering pizza and Italian dishes are top
| SPEND A DAY AT THE PARK
A vacation just isn't a vacation
unless you spend some time doing nothing.
Start the day with a late morning walk
down a wooded trail then indulge yourself in a picnic
lunch. After lunch grab a nap under a nice old shade
tree while the kids play on the jungle
gym or test their skills on the skate
All this can be enjoyed at the
Spooner City Park located at the north end of College Street.
Economart located on
South Hwy 63 in Spooner carries a full line of deli items,
broasted chicken, salads and other take out items perfect for
a picnic or day by the lake.
LEARN A CRAFT
Book and Fiber has classes such as Beginning Crochet, Mosaic
Knitting and Knit and Felt a Lucy Bag. On-going meetings of crafters who can
help you with your knitting, weaving, quilting and other artist's forums are
open to everyone and would love a chance to share their talents or learn
From making dream catchers, to canoe
building; from Muskie fishing to yarn dying, there is always
something to learn. Hunt Hill Audubon Sanctuary has a schedule
filled with learning opportunities. Another organization
"Theatre In the Woods", the local theatre group, provides
ample opportunities for people interested in learning about live
theatre and welcomes new faces. Brickyard Pottery holds an annual
"hands on" arts day. You can try your hand at things like
silk fabric painting or throwing a piece of pottery. Most of these
opportunities are listed in the Calendar of Events.
WORK OUT, TRY WALLY BALL
Northwest Sports Complex offers visitors day passes to enjoy all the
facilities. They have a complete cardio & weight room,
racquetball and wally ball courts, a walking track, Yoga and
Aerobics classes. Call 635-6144. 301 Walnut St. Spooner. $
VISIT THE WORLD'S
LARGEST WOOD CARVING MUSEUM
of Woodcarving is the showcase of the carving marvels of one
man, Joseph Barta, formerly a school teacher in Spooner. More than
100 life-size carvings grace the museum. The most impressive
is the full size "Last Supper". Seeing this wood carving
is worth the admission price alone. There are also over 400
miniature animal carvings. The museum is located just north of Shell
Lake on Hwy 63. Open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., May 1 to Oct. 31. $
SEE A PLAY
The community Theatre group "Theatre in
the Woods" is known for it's professional grade productions.
Visit their home page
or a complete listing of scheduled productions. One of the most
popular events is the annual fund raising 'Dinner Theatre'. $$
OLD FASHIONED ICE CREAM or an OLD FASHIONED SODA FOUNTAIN TREAT.
A hot summers day wouldn't be complete
without a tasty treat to cool the day's temperatures. The
"Village Scoop" is located at 317 5th Ave. Minong.
"Scoop and Things" is located in Trego just beyond the
Dinner Bell Restaurant. $
| CAMP OUT!
When was the last time you sat around
a camp fire, singing songs and roasting marshmallows for
"Some mores". Experience the stars shining at night
and perhaps fishing for breakfast. Enjoy a picnic lunch, a
walk through the woods or sit under a tree with a good book.
Have fun exploring the surrounding area for climbing trees,
rocks, or forging streams. Sneak up on wildlife, take a
picture or just listen to the birds. $$
Young or old, who doesn't enjoy the wind in
your face as you race around the track in your go cart? Bulik's
Amusements on Hwy 63 on the north side of Spooner has go carts to
rent. It's fun to watch the kids take control and drive like the
"big guys" . Beside being an activity the whole family can
enjoy, it's a great picture taking opportunity! $
This is the north woods, so
what better place to visit a real taxidermist. Taxidermy is a unique
form of art. Using just the skin or hide from an animal the
taxidermist must bring the creature back to life using formed molds,
painting techniques and glass eyes. See a variety of mounting styles
for a variety of animals. If you ask very nicely they may even show
you see how it's done! Mounts are available for sale, take home a
trophy of your own.
There are 3 Taxidermy studios in Washburn
County; Gram's Taxidermy is located in Springbrook on Hwy 70. Call
Thompson Taxidermy also in Springbrook at 2511 County
Hwy AM. 766-3432 and Twin Pines Taxidermy Studio on Hwy V in
Birchwood. 234-3374. .
|| A BIKE TRIP
The quiet back roads of the county
beckon the cyclist to tour the wonders of the area. Each
season of the year, from crisp green spring through the long
warm days of summer and into the beautiful color splashed
fall, provides picturesque opportunities. With roads crossing
rivers, and winding along lake shores, wandering through
wooded areas and along farmers quiet homestead roads, you can
truly breath in the winds of the northland.
DRIVE, BETTER YET- A WALK DOWN A "RUSTIC ROAD"
Located off Hwy 70 just west of Stone Lake
is one of 2 Wisconsin's designated Rustic
Roads located in Washburn County. Walk along and let the quiet
whisperings of era's gone by soothe your senses and feel time stand
still. Listen to the sounds, stop to "smell the roses" as
they say. Ponder the past and melt into the surroundings.
HIKE A TRAIL
Washburn County offers a variety of nature
trails, one of which will suit your physical capabilities. Spring
and fall are great times to get away from it all and enjoy the quiet
woods. Trail Listing are located on the Nature
VISIT THE WORLD'S LARGEST MUSKIE HATCHERY
The Governor Tommy G. Thompson fish hatchery
has a very nice Visitor's Center with interactive displays for the
kid in all of us. Spring egg harvesting and late Summer fingerling
production times are the best for seeing how the operation works.
Visit the Hatchery Page for more info.
A northern sunset, enjoyed from a
lake shore or from atop a hill, shared with your family or
loved one can make a cherished memory. Another good place is
from the Hwy 63 Yellow River bridge, right in Spooner. You can
park the car at Veteran's park.
ENJOY A FESTIVAL
Summer is a time
of celebration and many of our communities sponsor events that
capture their unique interests or heritage. There are
"Cranberry", "Bluegill" and
"Snow" Festivals. There are also week-ends for
"Heritage Days", "Scandinavian Saturday", and
"Jack Pine" days.. We also have "Family Days",
"Old Fashioned Days", "Railroad Heritage Days"
and "Town and Country Days". Check the Calendar
of Events for location and dates.
VISIT THE ST. CROIX NATIONAL SCENIC
RIVERWAY VISITORS CENTER
Located on Hwy 63 just east of Trego,
National Scenic Riverway Visitors center is the place to visit
for information on the National Park Service system of scenic riverways. These waters, 252 miles in the upper Midwest, are
maintained in their natural state and form a riverway that offers
outdoor enthusiasts a chance to enjoy a wilderness-like experience
and other outdoor activities. The Visitors Center
offers information, and exhibits on river history . Books for all
ages on river history and wildlife are for sale. The Center is open
weekdays beginning mid-May, daily July 4 through August and
week-ends through September. The mailing address for more info is
P.O. Box 100 Trego, WI 54888
VISIT HUNT HILL AUDUBON SANCTUARY
The "Friends of Hunt Hill"
manage the Audubon Center in Sarona. Here you'll find nature trails,
summer camps for the kids, a variety of educational and fun programs
for the whole family and a sanctuary for flora and fauna found no
where else in the state. Visit
their page for a listing of their programs and more info about
the Sanctuary grounds.
A RAILROAD EXCURSION RIDE
Spooner is home to The Wisconsin Great
Northern Railroad which runs regular excursions between
Spooner and Trego. Two restored plush 1920's era Pullman
passenger cars, pulled by an orange and green World War II
vintage diesel engine, made the 14 mile trip to Trego and back
in approximately. 1.5 hours. Specialty "Pizza
Trains" and "Hobo Nights" are favorite trips.
See the Railroad
Excursion page for more info. $$ to $$$
TUBE THE RIVER
The Namekogan River which traverses
the northern part of the county is part of the National Scenic
Riverway. Summer is a great time to raft, canoe, or for the most
relaxing fun "Tube" the river. There are tube rentals
available. Find them Here. $$
SEE A MOVIE
You don't have to miss the latest
releases when you go on vacation. The
at 328 Walnut
Street in downtown Spooner has two viewing theatres. Shows every
night and matinees provide amply chance to take it easy and watch a
great movie. Call 715-635-2936 for schedule. $
|| VISIT AN AMISH FURNITURE STORE
If you are not familiar with the Amish, here is a place to
find out about their crafts. The Amish people are famous for
their finely handcrafted furniture. The simple style and
superb quality fits any style home. Handcrafted pieces are a
wonder to see and a joy to own.
The many unpopulated areas and the variety of bird
habitats make Washburn County a great place to spend some
quiet time watching natures' small feathered friends. The Hunt
Hill Audubon Sanctuary in Sarona. is one place in particular
that has a concentration of varied habitats and offers seasonal
"Bird Watching" programs. The trails are always open to
explore on your own. Trail maps are available on site and the gift
shop has a good selection of bird books for sale if you don't have
one of your own. The best times for bird watching are the Spring and
Fall migration periods. Sorry, but due to some of the fragile
eco-systems within the boundaries of the sanctuary, "No
ENJOY A LOCAL SPORTS EVENT
Watching a local sports event can be an
exciting and fun way to spend some time. There's nothing that
says "Fall" like an evening spent watching a high school
football game. The cool crisp air of fall is tempered by the thrill
of watching the kids battle it out on the field to the cheers of the
home crowd. $$
CROSS COUNTRY SKI
This area has been called the "Mecca' of
cross country skiing. There are seven marked and groomed
trails in the county, several of which you'll find just right for
your ability. For more information and to view on-line ski trail
maps, visit the "Cross Country
ARCHERY - SHARPEN YOUR SKILLS OR TRY IT FOR THE FIRST TIME.
Perhaps you need to sharpen
your archery skills for the up-coming deer season, or you want to
try your hand at archery before buying equipment. A bow and arrow
can be used for hunting, but archery is also a recreational sport.
Gene's Beaver Brook Archery (635-3874) has a 100 yard indoor archery
range that you can use if you have your own equipment or has
equipment you can try out or firstname.lastname@example.org $
County has trout streams where you can wet your line, enjoy
the sound of a babbling stream and catch a trout for a great
outdoor meal. Visit the Fishing Page
to find out where the streams are located.
SHOP FOR THAT PIECE OF DREAM PROPERTY!
Whether it's a retirement home, second home or piece of land
for hunting or fishing you've been dreaming about why not take
some time to see what's available. Talk to a local Real Estate
professional in the area. Who knows, maybe you can stop dreaming
your dream and start living it!
|COME FOR THE RODEO!
The three day Spooner Rodeo is a
world class event with more prize money the famous
"Mesquite Rodeo". Top riders compete in 6
events. There are 3 rodeo performances, a parade, live country
music, top vendors and just a whole lot of kickin' up fun for
the whole family. For a complete Schedule of Events, ticket
prices and dates visit the "RODEO"
Combine a beautiful winter's day, a dog and owner, a
pair of skis, a skijoring harness and a little bit of training
to join the sport of skijoring.
|| VOYAGE ON A
PRIMITIVE CANOE ROUTE
The Loyhead and Sawmill Lake Primitive
Canoe Routes let you relive the voyageurs that ran these
rivers over 250 years ago. The Loyhead journey is
trail-marked, including portages. The system meanders through
30 lakes, if you choose to go, including some beautiful
landlocked glacial lakes with steep banks and wooded
shorelines. The Sawmill lake route has 20 primitive campsites
plus a boat launch and dock. There are 9 lakes accessible by
portages. Visit the "Canoe"
Page for maps and other information.
THERE'S LOTS OF GREAT TRAILS FOR
Our trail system has been ranked the 3rd best in North
America behind 2 Canadian systems. With over 250 miles of uncrowded
groomed trails and an abundance of services, Washburn County is a
snowmobile lover's paradise. For on line trail maps and more
information visit the "Snowmobile"
On a cool fall evening,
away from the light pollution of the big cities, the stars come out!
If you are lucky, you may even get to see the Aurora Borealis. The
Milky Way is a highway across the sky and Orion is just peaking his
head up over the horizon. A couple of blankets, a star gazer's guide
and a red flashlight to see the book without affecting your night
vision, is all you need for a wonderful, and perhaps romantic,
evening under the stars. Remember that it takes about 20
minutes for your eyes to completely adjust to the darkness. Only
then will you be able to see the "Billions & billions"
of stars that make up our night sky.
Washburn County has 5 golf courses. That's
right five! Whether you are an experienced golfer looking for a
challenge, a beginner, or a family group, there is a golf course to
suit you. There's nothing is quit like teeing off with the birds
chirping, the dew on the grass and the crisp morning air all around
you. For a complete listing of the golf courses in Washburn County,
visit the "Golf Page" $$$$
LOCAL ART GALLERY
Browsing a gallery is a great way to spend
some leisure time. To see life or nature through the artist's eye is
always enjoyable and thought provoking. Art can magnify a piece of
nature, bring to life things we do not know, take us to places we
would like to be or transport us to a different time and place. It
can bewilder us, calm us, make us laugh or make us shed a tear. Art
IS life- experience it!
VISIT A HISTORICAL MUSEUM
Washburn County's Museums are quite varied.
THE RAILROAD HERITAGE MUSEUM is a fabulous
and extensive collection of railroad memorabilia and is housed in
the old Spooner Depot building.$
WASHBURN COUNTY HISTORICAL MUSEUM- Located
in Shell Lake, the museum was a century old German church which now
houses pioneer, logging, farming and native American memorabilia. A
parson's house and one room school house are also on the premises.
There are extensive local history and genealogical files, and a
multi-volume library of regional history.
THE WASHBURN COUNTY HISTORICAL
MUSEUM-SPRINGBROOK - This Church was originally built in 1906 as the
St. Magdalene Catholic Church. It has been recently restored to
reflect its original turn-of-the-century style. It serves as a
church museum and as a local history museum.
There are lots of scheduled museum events during the
Spring through Fall seasons. Check the Calendar
of Events. More...
ANTIQUE TREASURE HUNTING
After seeing the history in the Museums, you may want to visit some
of the area Antique Shops to pick up a
piece of history for yourself ! Perhaps you are a collector of rare
items, or just like scrounging through "junk" looking for
that missing piece of something, it is always fun to go
"treasure" hunting! You never know what you'll find!
You may not be a singer yourself, but fun is always on the agenda
for an evening at a Karaoke bar. Local lodges, bars and taverns
offer Karaoke nights throughout the year. It's fun to hear others
sing their favorites, and it's even more fun to sing your favorites
yourself. If you don't know what Karaoke is, here is an explanation.
A "music machine" plays the background music and chorus to
your choice of songs listed in the Karaoke Song ( a list of
hundreds). Then the words are displayed on a monitor for you to
read...and they are keyed (highlighted) as they are supposed to be
sung. It's easy and fun to get the hang of! $
TAKE A FALL COLOR DRIVE.
Early October is "Fall Color Time". The
hustle and bustle of the summer crowds has been replaced by
the peace and quiet of the countryside. The colors burst forth in a
way that can only be described as "the woods look to be on
See Scenic Drives page.
HAVE A PONTOON BOAT PARTY
Pontoon boats are the "do anything" boat. You can
fish from them, swim from them and they make a great party room
since they will accommodated up to 10 people. You can picnic on
them, dance on them, decorate them, meander around the lake
and besides that, they are a great place to be to watch a sunset.
Many resorts have pontoons for rent .$$$$
DON'T FORGET A "FRIDAY NIGHT
It's known to be a Wisconsin tradition to go out
for a fish fry on Friday night. Although fish, cooked in a variety
of ways such as baked, broiled pan fried or deep- fried, is
generally on the menu, lots of fish fry buffets now include chicken
and/or shrimp also. Fish fries are generally "All you can
eat" affairs and range from buffet style to family styles. Fish
fries are also offered at a variety of eating places, from supper
clubs to taverns and lodges and also family style restaurants. Ask
any local where the best fish fry is and you'll get a different
answer each time because they're all good! $$
FOLLOW THE AUTO TOUR
The State of Wisconsin has put together a series of "Auto
Tours". These are 1-2 day trips that guide you to the things to
do and see along a pre-planned route. Washburn County is located on
the Wisconsin Auto Tour # 18, "The Rivers and Wildlife
Tour". Spooner is a good place to start or spend the night
halfway around. For the complete description of what the tour
includes visit the "Auto Tour"
Stay at the
centrally located Country
House Motel & RV Park
We have to admit that the
weather up here in the north country doesn't always cooperate
for outdoor activities. Bowling has always been a great
alternative to sitting around a motel room watching TV.
and Pin is located at 410 River St. (Hwy 63)
in Spooner. Bowling is fun for the whole family. Like they say
"Get out and BOWL! $
WALK THE RIVER TRAIL IN FALL
A walk along a river trail and through the woods accompanied by the
sounds of leaves crunching under your footsteps, the calls of
migrating birds, the wind rustling the colored leaves, the rich
smells of Autumn and the coolness in the air are things to
savor. Explore the woods that now expose themselves to you. without
the dense underbrush of summer to hide their secret hollows and
hills. It is a refreshing way to spend part of your "relaxing
vacation". There are two River/Lake trails. The Trego
Nature Trail and the Trego Lakes Ski Trail. Find more info about
both on the "Nature Trails"
Follow THE "HERITAGE TOUR"
Thanks to the efforts of local citizens, an enthusiastic
historian and the Spooner Area Chamber of Commerce, a tour of some
of the historic buildings and places in the downtown area has been
organized and published into the "Heritage Tour" book.
Along with names and dates are fascinating tidbits about the
prominent and memorable characters that make up the history of
Spooner. You can walk the tour or drive it. Visit the "Heritage
Tour Page" for more information. The only cost is the
nominal cost of the book $
BAG YOUR PRIZE GAME.
With over 250,000 acres of public land, any season will
provide the sport hunter with a variety of quarry. From Whitetail
Deer trophies to a variety of waterfowl and upland game.