I think everyone here at Discover Wisconsin can agree that we’ve spent our fair share of time around rivers this past year. Our great state is home to thousands of miles of beautiful, rushing water, and nearly 230 of those miles belong to the Wolf River. One of the longest in Wisconsin, the Wolf River begins way up north at Pine Lake in Forest County and winds all the way down to the Fox Valley before emptying into Lake Butte des Mort.
The #DWcrew spent some time at a few communities along the Wolf River: Langlade County, the Menominee Nation, Shawano and Fremont. While they all share the gem that is the mighty Wolf River, each place offers unique activities perfect for the adventurer and vacationer alike. Here are just some of our favorite experiences we had while winding down the Wolf:
This is arguably what the Wolf River is most famous for…and for good reason. Nothing gets your blood pumping quite like navigating through the rapids! Plus, you’ll enjoy crystal clear water and breathtaking views along the way. There are a number of outfitters in the area—like Herb’s Wolf River Rafting in White Lake and Big Smokey Falls in Keshena—that will get you geared up for your rafting adventure. If you’ve never gone whitewater rafting before, aim for the middle of the summer when the water is warmer and calmer.
Langlade County’s Trail System
The Nicolet National Forest covers much of the eastern portion of Langlade County. An extensive trail system offers plenty of opportunity for hiking, biking and even horseback riding!
The Wolf River is every fishing enthusiast’s dream! Trout? You got it. Walleye? Definitely. White bass? Fremont is only considered the White Bass Capital of the World! If you’ve never fished a river before or are just looking for some advice, there are plenty of guides in the area that will be happy to help you out.
Sturgeon Pow Wow
A centuries-old tradition, great food and prehistoric fish? Count me in! Every spring, sturgeon make their journey down the Wolf River, and thousands of years ago, the Menominee people would celebrate the return of the sturgeon following a long, hard winter. However, when dams were installed on the river, the sturgeon were unable to reach Menominee lands. Today, the Menominee work with the DNR to transfer 100 sturgeon a year to the portion of the Wolf River that runs through the Menominee nation to preserve this important cultural tradition. The public is welcome to attend the pow wow and feast (fresh sturgeon, wild rice and maple syrup cake!) after the sturgeon transfer every spring.
Menominee Cultural Museum
Missed the sturgeon celebrations in the spring but still looking to be immersed in Menominee culture? Well, lucky for you the Menominee Cultural Museum is open year round. See beautiful displays filled with artifacts and learn about the history of the Menominee people in Wisconsin.
Okay, last sturgeon-related activity, I promise, but this one is too cool to miss. Shawano is the last stop for sturgeon when they run during spawning season, and Sturgeon Park is a great place to catch a glimpse of these massive, prehistoric fish.
Bike the Barn Quilts
Did you know that Shawano is the Barn Quilt Capital of Wisconsin? There are over 300 barn quilts in Shawano County, and you can see many of them on the Bike the Barn Quilts tour held every year at the end of September. Enjoy the colorful quilts and bucolic Shawano scenery as you pedal your way through the countryside!
Need a cold beverage after all that biking? Swing by Twig’s Beverage and Sample Bar in downtown Shawano. Twig’s has been bottling and distributing Sun Drop for years, but did you know they also have their own line of soft drink flavors? Sample everything from butterscotch root beer and blue raspberry to more unique flavors like caramel apple and rhu-berry (a combination of rhubarb and strawberry—delicious!).
Sandbars, Beaches & Boats
For everyone that wants to kick back, dip their toes in the water and soak in the sunshine, Fremont is the place to be. Trade in your car keys for a life jacket, because the best way to get around Fremont is on a boat. Beach yourself at one of the many sandbars or dine dockside at a riverfront restaurant!
Webfooters Water Ski Show
In the mood for some on-the-water entertainment? Look no further than the Webfooters Water Ski Show in Fremont. Watch daring flips, tricks and downright jaw-dropping stunts during their weekly shows in the summer.
Jennifer Ingish is a producer for Discover Wisconsin. Born and raised in Milwaukee, Jennifer is a proud UW-Madison graduate and an avid Wisconsin sports fan (Go Pack Go!). Stream Discover Wisconsin online at discoverwisconsin.com or tune in every Saturday morning at 10 on Fox Sports Wisconsin.