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Spring Eco-Adventure

“Don’t Tread on Me” Eco-Friendly

National treasure. God’s country. Up north. Natural gem. Yup, that’s all we really need to say to set the tone for a getaway to Vilas County, Wisconsin. For anyone who likes to tread lightly on the earth even when they’re on vacation, have we got an eco-friendly itinerary for you.

Hit the trails, but gently
Please change wording to – The trails in the St. Germain area, are tailor made for the heart healthy hikers in the group. Those who like to take in nature and scenery by pedaling will take in the quiet roads that meander through pristine forests and through equally pristine lakes. If you have time to do just one trail, make it the St. Germain Bike and Hike Trail. It is 12 miles of paved pleasure for bicyclists, hikers, and birdwatchers that dovetails with 27 miles of Vilas County trails.

If you want to see natural beauty from a higher vantage point, check out the new Northwoods Zip Line Canopy Tour. Plus there’s always geocaching…who knew there were so many options in our neck of the woods.

Skim the surface of the water
Canoe, kayak, raft or tube down the Wisconsin River with assistance from Hawk’s Nest Canoe Outfitters. Or stay put and use the complimentary kayaks and canoes provided by Black Bear Lodge to get out on Little St. Germain Lake.

Go in for a little “upcycling”
The St. Germain Flea Market and Farmer’s Market runs Mondays from 8:00AM to 3:00PM, Memorial Day through Labor Day. Other Flea Markets in the area within the Summer season are in Boulder Junction on Tuesdays and in Land O Lakes on Thursdays.

Toast to local producers
The Minocqua Farmer’s Market is a producer’s only market featuring produce from the surrounding eight counties on Fridays at 8:00AM to 1:00PM starting in the latter part of May till the end of summer.  You may also take a tour of the family-owned Three Lakes Winery to see how cranberry wine and other fruit blends are produced.

We all scream for Ice cream
When it comes to the farming heritage in the state, it’s dairy, and that means ice cream. In the beginning of June is the annual ice cream social at Cathy’s Ice Cream n’ Candy Shoppe in St. Germain. Cathy’s offer several delectable choices of ice cream sure to please your family’s palate along with numerous candy choices from yesteryear.

Visit do-gooders
Check out the Northwoods Wildlife Center in Minocqua to learn how orphaned and wounded wildlife are nursed back to health. Trees for Tomorrow in Eagle River, founded in 1944 for the purpose of reforesting northern Wisconsin, is another notable eco-conscious destination offering nature programs and interpretive hikes.

Look to the sky
Birder’s Unite! Be very quiet and move slowly! In Wisconsin’s great north woods there are loons, bald eagles, and great blue herons to observe, plus more elusive species like pileated woodpeckers, hummingbirds and gray jays. You may also want to attend the annual birding festival towards the beginning of May at the North Lakeland Discovery Center, during the peak of spring migration.

Try one unexpected thing
Bond Falls is about an hour drive to Upper Michigan from the resort but well worth the drive. It is the most impressive waterfall in the western part of the Upper Peninsula – a great place for those special photo taking opportunities.  While in the area, check out the mysterious Paulding Light. Reports of the light have been documented since the 1960s, with popular folklore providing such explanations as ghosts, geologic activity, or other supernatural reasons.