Wisconsin Northwoods Travel Guide

2019 - 2020

Thousands of lakes, sprawling forests, and small-town charm… welcome to the Northwoods of Wisconsin.

Since there isn’t an official geographic location for the Northwoods, I’ve chosen to focus this guide on three Wisconsin counties: Lincoln, Oneida, and Vilas. Most of the recommendations will be based within these counties as well as just outside their borders.

To see a complete overview of everything listed below, check out my interactive Google map of the Northwoods! You can also find the map at the very bottom of this post.

Your go-to Wisconsin Northwoods Travel Guide.

My name is Kristen Carlson, photographer and blogger behind Miss Northerner. As a permanent Northwoods resident who’s constantly discovering new things up here, I wanted to put together a comprehensive guide sharing my personal recommendations for the area. Similar to my Door County Travel Guide, this one features restaurants, events, outdoor adventures, etc. I’ll be adding more to this guide over the next few months so keep an eye on it for new content!

I hope it inspires you to visit or to explore your own backyard. Welcome to the North!

Kristen

Your go-to Wisconsin Northwoods Travel Guide.

My name is Kristen Carlson, photographer and blogger behind Miss Northerner. As a permanent Northwoods resident who’s constantly discovering new things up here, I wanted to put together a comprehensive guide sharing my personal recommendations for the area. Similar to my Door County Travel Guide, this one features restaurants, events, outdoor adventures, etc. I’ll be adding more to this guide over the next few months so keep an eye on it for new content!

I hope it inspires you to visit or to explore your own backyard. Welcome to the North!

Kristen

Where to Stay

Cabin Fever at Wildcat Cabins.

Alderwood Resort | Manitowish Waters

Located in Manitowish Waters, Alderwood Resort has four beautiful red cabins and a stately brick house. The property is situated on Alder Lake and oozes luxury. Read about my stay at The Brick House last winter!

High Point Village | Ogema

Just outside of Lincoln County is a whimsical place featuring five chalet-style cottages. In addition to these cottages, there’s also a restaurant and coffee shop that goes by the name Hill of Beans. Read about my visit here.

White Birch Village | Star Lake

A beautiful resort located on the shores of White Birch Lake. The resort grounds are impeccably well-kept and the cabins are stunning. I stayed here last September, check out the blog post here.

Wildcat Cabins | Boulder Junction

These individually-owned cabins are cozy and well-kept. They’re set on Big Kitten Lake, just outside of Boulder Junction, and they each have their own private docks. Read about my weekend stay here.

The Brick House at Alderwood Resort.

The Eagle’s Nest at White Birch Village.

More Top-Rated Recommendations

(alphabetically listed by town)  boulder junction • eagle river • manitowish waters • merrill • minocqua • rhinelander • tomahawk

Dorner’s Big Bear Hideaway

location | boulder junction

.

Island View Lodge

location | eagle river

.

Log Cabin on Lehto Lake (VRBO)

location | manitowish waters

.

Copper Lodge (VRBO)

location | merrill

.

Log Cabin on Little Arbor Vitae Lake (VRBO)

location | minocqua

.

Two Sisters Lake Home (VRBO)

location | rhinelander

.

Loon Bay Cabins

location | tomahawk

Acorn Lodge & Hotel

location | boulder junction

.

Best Western Derby Inn

location | eagle river

.

The Lodge at Manitowish Waters

location | manitowish waters

.

AmericInn

location | merrill

.

The Pointe Hotel & Suites

location | minocqua

.

Holiday Acres Resort

location | rhinelander

.

Shady Rest Lodge

location | tomahawk

Dorner’s Big Bear Hideaway

location | boulder junction

.

Island View Lodge

location | eagle river

.

Log Cabin on Lehto Lake (VRBO)

location | manitowish waters

.

Copper Lodge (VRBO)

location | merrill

.

Log Cabin on Little Arbor Vitae Lake (VRBO)

location | minocqua

.

Two Sisters Lake Home (VRBO)

location | rhinelander

.

Loon Bay Cabins

location | tomahawk

Acorn Lodge & Hotel

location | boulder junction

.

Best Western Derby Inn

location | eagle river

.

The Lodge at Manitowish Waters

location | manitowish waters

.

AmericInn

location | merrill

.

The Pointe Hotel & Suites

location | minocqua

.

Holiday Acres Resort

location | rhinelander

.

Shady Rest Lodge

location | tomahawk

Where to Dine

The Guides Inn | Boulder Junction

One of my all-time favorite Wisconsin supper clubs, The Guides Inn is an elegant spot to dine. 

Rena's Restaurant at Pitlik's | Eagle River

This is a cozy spot just outside Eagle River. Make sure to try their famous beef sandwich called The Bomber!

Aqualand Ale House | Boulder Junction

This is one of those restaurants where you know you’re always going to get a good meal in a nice atmosphere. I highly recommend trying this place!

Bitters & Bull | Lake Tomahawk

A new restaurant in the tiny town of Lake Tomahawk (not to be confused with Tomahawk). Known for their locally-sourced ingredients and old-fashioneds.

The Historic Davenport House | Rhinelander

Fine dining in an elegant and upscale setting.

Monical's Pizza | Minocqua

My favorite pizza place in the Northwoods! 

Favorite Trails

Raven Trail | Minocqua

14.5 miles of trails just 10 minutes from Minocqua. Read about my hiking experience here

Lumberjack Trail | Boulder Junction

This scenic hiking spot has 12.5 miles of trails winding through tall timbers and along the edge of the Manitowish River.

WinMan Trails | Manitowish Waters

A 1,300-acre silent sports destination with 5 miles of snowshoe trails, 12+ miles of ski trails, and 8 miles of bike trails. Read about my winter experience here.

Schlect Nature Trail | Minocqua

This is a great spot right outside of Minocqua. You can go cross-country skiing in the winter and hiking in the summer and fall.

Anvil Lake Trail | Eagle River

A 6.6 mile loop, great for hiking, mountain biking, or cross-country skiing.

Annual Events in 2020

January

St. Germain Arctic Warrior | Jan 11, 2020 | St. Germain

World Championship Snowmobile Derby | Jan 17-19, 2020 | Eagle River

February

9th Annual Tara Lila Snowshoe Celebration | Feb 1, 2020 | Eagle River

15th Annual Adult Pond Hockey | Feb 7-9, 2020 | Eagle River

37th Annual Ride with the Champs | Feb 15, 2020 | St. Germain

March

Taste of Tomahawk | Mar 21, 2020 | Tomahawk

April

9th Annual Maple Syrup Fest | April 4, 2020 | Phelps

May

34th Annual Lions Club Pork Steak and Chicken Dinner | May 23, 2020 | Boulder Junction

Boat and Car Show | May 23, 2020 | Manitowish Waters

June

16th Annual Northwoods Birding Festival | June 5-6, 2020 | Manitowish Waters

24th Annual Lakesfest | June 13, 2020 | Lac du Flambeau

July

Tomahawk’s Annual Arts & Craft Show | July 3, 2020 | Tomahawk

38th Annual Bear River Pow Wow | July 10-12, 2020 | Lac du Flambeau

August

7th Annual Sayner Street Fair | Aug 3, 2020 | Sayner

64th Annual Musky Jamboree | August 7-9, 2020 | Boulder Junction

September

Fall Ride | Sep 17-20, 2020 | Tomahawk

Beef-A-Rama | Sept 26, 2020 | Minocqua

October

Cranberry Fest | Oct 3-4, 2020 | Eagle River

25th Annual Harvest FestOct 10, 2020 | Boulder Junction 

November

Old Fashioneds Up North | Nov 14, 2020 | Eagle River

December

New Years Eve Fireworks | Dec 31, 2020 | Woodruff

Did I Miss An Event?

Fill out the form below if there’s an annual event in the Northwoods that should be listed here!

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Northwoods Lifestyle Posts

Two Fall Wardrobe Pieces I’ll Be Wearing All Season Long

Two Fall Wardrobe Pieces I’ll Be Wearing All Season Long

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Sunset Dinner at Helene’s Hilltop Orchard

Sunset Dinner at Helene’s Hilltop Orchard

Last week, Helene’s Hilltop Orchard hosted their first-ever Thursday Night Sunset Dinner. It was an elegant, farm-to-table, culinary experience complete with four courses, wine pairings, and good conversation. Set amongst the beauty of central Wisconsin farmland, this...

Northwoods Beach Day

Northwoods Beach Day

I live for these long summer days where the sun doesn't set until 9 and the air is warm and sticky. Where afternoons are spent lounging on sandy shores and jumping headfirst into cold lake water. It's days like these that make the winter months worth it. And last...

Interactive Google Map

Everything listed in this guide is pinned in the map below.