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Northwoods, Wisconsin
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Dave's Fall


Photo by Doug Alft, courtesy of Wisconsin Department of Tourism

The Wisconsin Northwoods is a magical family vacation destination that has been unaffected by time. Here, families can still enjoy life's simple pleasures: pristine wilderness, crystal clear lakes, roaring waterfalls, woodland wildlife and eagles soaring. It is a place for solitude and relaxation and, at the same time, one of cultural celebration and outdoor family fun. And whether you are traveling with grandma and grandpa, aunts, uncles, cousins or just the kids, a Northwoods vacation is all about family no matter how multigenerational your holiday may be.

Located in north central Wisconsin bordering Michigan's Upper Peninsula, the Northwoods encompasses Oneida, Price and Vilas counties and is roughly the size of Madrid and twice the size of the Caribbean island of Aruba. Yet with over 2 million acres (8093 sq. km) of public boreal forest, 100,000 acres (404 sq. km) of wilderness area and over 3200 lakes, streams and rivers this vast area is little more than the great outdoors.

In summer, June to August, relax on one of the many lakes. Hike, bike or horseback ride on one of the area's many trails. Canoe or kayak the backwaters. Camp at one of the forest or public campgrounds. And, of course, fish. Cast a line for musky, walleye, or bass. From December to February, the area trails are a winter sportsman's delight. Cross country ski, snowshoe, snowmobile and even dog sled on miles and miles of groomed and virgin track. Bird watching and wildlife viewing are spectacular at just about any time of the year.

But the Northwoods offers family travelers more than pristine wilderness and crystal clear lakes. It is a mosaic of sounds, flavors and experiences. Visit the Ojibwe village in Lac du Flambeau and discover more about North American's second largest Native American tribe. Stroll down Eagle River's main street and take in small town charm. Learn about the area's trapping and logging history at one of the many museums and cultural centers. Visit shops and art galleries in Boulder Junction. Or head to Minocqua for just plain family fun.
Getting There
The Wisconsin Northwoods is roughly 345 miles (555 km) from Chicago, 265 miles (426 km) from Minneapolis/St. Paul and 230 miles (370 km) from Milwaukee. Trans North Aviation Ltd provides commuter service between Eagle River and Chicago's Palwaukee Airport four times a week and between Minocqua 's Lakeland Airport and Chicago's Palwaukee Airport twice weekly. Midwest Airlines provides daily service between Rhinelander and Milwaukee and Northwest Airlines offers daily service between Rhinelander and Minneapolis. Regional airports are also located in Boulder Junction and Manitowish Waters.
Getting Around
Public transportation in the Northwoods is limited. Families flying into Rhinelander's Oneida County Airport or any of the other regional airports should consider renting a car. Hiking, biking and cross-country skiing are a great alternative to the automobile and offer families an opportunity to explore the area at a relaxed pace. Adventure travelers take note, the trail system is extensive and many top Wisconsin trails are located in the Northwoods.
When to Travel
Family activities are to be had year-around. Summer (June-August) is ideal for fishing and watersports whereas cross-country skiing and snowmobiling are best in winter (December-March). Head to the Northwoods in early fall (September thru mid-October) and discover why the changing of leaves is referred to as Colorama.
Health & Safety
Car seats are required for children 4 years of age and under and weighing 40 pounds or less. Booster seats are required for children under the age of 8 or less than 4 feet 9 inches tall. Children under 12 should sit in the back seat and buckle up.
Things to Keep in Mind
The weather varies considerably, even in summer. Pack rain gear as well jackets and sweaters. If you plan to rent a boat or any other equipment that requires towing make sure that your vehicle has the capacity to pull the desired load.
Travel Trivia
Puerto Madryn is located on the shore of which Ocean:
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