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Wisconsin > Northwest Wisconsin
Destination Locator: (24 options)

Northwest Wisconsin

Amnicon Falls State Park
Big Bay State Park
Brule River State Forest
Brunet Island State Park
Buffalo River State Trail
Cattail State Trail
Chippewa Moraine Ice Age SRA
Chippewa River State Trail
Copper Falls State Park
Flambeau River State Forest
Gandy Dancer State Trail
Governor Knowles State Forest
Hoffman Hills SRA
Interstate State Park
Kinnickinnic State Park
Lake Wissota State Park
Old Abe Trail
Pattison State Park
Red Cedar State Trail
Saunders State Trail
Tuscobia State Trail
Whittlesey Creek National Wildlife Refuge
Wild Rivers State Trail
Willow River State Park

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General Information

Description - Northwest Wisconsin is a land of exceptional beauty with forestlands comprised of aspen, hemlock, balsam fir, oak, sugar maple, red maple, yellow birch, and white ash creating a spectacular fall display and a land where solitude and wildlife reign. Archeologists have traced the cultural history in Northwest Wisconsin to 10,000 years ago, a time when the last ice age sculpted the landscape leaving behind a broad band of hills and hollows with poorly draining landscape dotted with lakes, marshes, and bogs. Lumbering made a large impact on the area, still visible today. Forestlands that escaped the 19th century development are now protected lands where visitors can view 300-year-old trees. The mighty Mississippi forms the western boundary of the region while the Brule, Chippewa, Eau Claire and St. Croix Rivers slice the landscape. Dominating the northshore is the Apostle Islands, a landscape of 21 forested islands with pristine stretches of sand beach, spectacular sea caves, and remnant old-growth forests, all equally impressive. Discover Wisconsin's first park, a land known as the Dalles of the St. Croix featuring two hundred foot basalt sheer cliffs. Wetlands such as the Whittlesey Creek National Wildlife Refuge have an enormous value to fish and wildlife with its unique location at Chequamegon Bay where coldwater penetrates the streams and wetlands. Wildlife enthusiast descend on Northwest Wisconsin for its waterways lush with brook, brown and rainbow trout and its woodlands that contain black bear, deer, fox, and ruffed grouse. Each spring and fall, bird watchers have the opportunity to view a remarkable variety of bird species along the Mississippi Flyway, a route from the Arctic Coastal Plain and the MacKenzie River Valley in Canada down through the Mississippi River Valley.

Attractions - Discover Northwest Wisconsin on foot, on bike, snowmobile, ski, horse, or auto. This fabulous area, much of it sculpted by glaciers, is a recreation Mecca for all. Bird watching at the Chippewa Flowage is grand. The area is a sanctuary for bald eagles, blue herons, loons, geese, swans, and ducks. Explore the fascinating Apostle Islands National Lakeshore available for sailing, canoeing, kayaking and hiking amid the ambiance of an unspoiled environment. Discover the Tuscobia Trail, a 74-mile route through the fabulous Flambeau State Forest or explore the unspoiled wilderness of Chequamegon National Forest. Hike the rugged backcountry of the Blue Hills or enjoy a leisurely trip along the Gandy Dancer State Trail, a route along the abandoned Soo Line that trudges across the 520-foot bridge over the scenic St. Croix River. Expect the unexpected at Amnicon Falls State Park where hidden waterfalls and rapids punctuate the Amnicon River. Feel the thrill of whitewater excitement at Flambeau River State Forest or unveil the reason Interstate State Park, "Dalles of the St. Croix," was Wisconsin's first state park. Touring the Ice Age National Scientific Reserve and the Ice Age Interpretive Center can satisfy the most discriminating natural history lover. See photographs, murals and other information about the great glaciers.

Northwest Wisconsin is one of the least populated areas of the state yet offers bustling cities with small town atmosphere that entice tourists year-round. Superior, a city named after the largest body of freshwater in the world is a gateway to the 156 miles of Lake Superior shoreline. Strewn off the tip of Bayfield Peninsula are the gem-like Apostle Islands. These 21 forested islands and 12 miles of mainland Lake Superior shoreline feature pristine stretches of sand beach, spectacular sea caves, remnant old-growth forests, resident bald eagles and black bears, and the largest collection of lighthouses anywhere in the National Park System. The town of Menomonie sits on Red Cedar River featuring a rich harvest of antique shops, beautifully restored historic sites including the Mabel Tainter Theater, and serves as the entrance to the popular Red Cedar State Trail.

Three Wisconsin Travel Information Centers lie within Northwest Wisconsin; one rests across the state line in Mall of America, 125 W. Market Street, Bloomington, MN. The three Wisconsin locations are Hudson (I-94, exit 2), Hurley (Hwy 51), and Superior (Rest Area 23, Hwys. 2 / 53). Each of these centers is open year-round.

Recreation - Recreational opportunities abound in Northwest Wisconsin. Visitors will find hiking, biking, camping, horseback riding, boating, bird watching, fishing, swimming, paddling, off-road vehicular use, skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling.

Climate - Northwest Wisconsin has four distinct seasons with warm summers and long winters. Great Lakes Michigan and Superior tend to make summers cooler and winters milder close to shore. January's average temperature is in the single digits F (-teens C). During summer, temperatures can climb to above 90 degrees F for several days (32 degrees C). Nighttime summer temperatures occasionally dip below freezing. The area's average yearly precipitation ranges from 32-34". Annual snowfalls in the Northwest Region have a wide range; the southern areas may receive 20" while the northern areas may receive in excess of 200". Dressing in layers is a good way to remain comfortable in Wisconsin.

Location - Northwest Wisconsin boasts a western boundary of the Great Mississippi, a northern boundary with Great Lake Superior, an eastern line falling just west of U.S. Highway 51 and a southern boundary line dipping slightly below U.S. Highway 10.

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More Information

Contact Information:
Wisconsin Department of Tourism, 201 W. Washington Avenue, P.O. Box 7976 , Madison, WI, 53707-79761, Phone: 800-432-8747

Additional Information:
Wisconsin Regions - The four travel regions of Wisconsin are divided into near proportionate quadrants.

Wisconsin Department of Tourism - Official agency website.


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