If you enjoy the outdoors, Oconto County is the place for you. The county is made up of Townsend, Lakewood, Mountain, Suring, Gillett, Lena, Oconto and Oconto Falls, and its gorgeous forests, lakes and rivers and historical ties make it the perfect destination no matter the season. Check out some of our Oconto County favorites:
- Ride the 100s of miles of ATV trails
Oconto County is divided into three distinct sections – Nicolet National Forest, Oconto River Valley and Historic Bay Shores – making it easy to navigate its 450 miles of fully interconnected trails. Cruise through the county’s towering forests between May 1st and October 31st.
- Stop at Sweet Memories Candy Shoppe in Lakewood
[Photo by @k1tty.pryde, Instagram]
Sweet Memories has all the charms of an old fashioned candy shop: an old fashioned player piano, an original 1959 vintage Coke machine, delicious gourmet ice cream, homemade chocolates and candies, and games and puzzles. Step into the simplicity of the 1950s and enjoy some of Oconto County’s favorite sweet treats.
- Snowmobile the miles of trails
[Photo by @jen.ingish, Instagram]
Much like the area’s ATV trails, Oconto County offers over 400 miles of snowmobile trails and is less than a full tank of gas round-trip from the Green Bay area and less than three hours from the Milwaukee area. Oconto County is home to the Nicolet State Recreational Trail, one of the most well-known trials in the state, and provides a true Northwoods riding experience.
- Visit Cathedral Pines
Cathedral Pines Trail is full of pine, hemlock and hardwood trees that have been preserved and never logged, thanks to Lucy Rumsey Holt who, in the early 1900s, saw this land as a sacred place and named it Cathedral Woods. This beautiful location in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest is owned by the US Forest Service and was designated a State Natural Area in 2007.
- Camp on the bank of the Oconto River
[Photo by @fefefondoo, Instagram]
Holtwood Campground sits right on the banks of the beautiful Oconto River and is the perfect place for a weekend getaway. Holtwood Campground has a bit of everything, whether you’re looking for a relaxing experience or an adventurous one. Take a canoe trip down the river, relax near the campfire, play some mini-golf or venture 30 minutes down the road to Green Bay. During the winter, Holtwood Campground is transformed into a Winter Wonderland with over 100 lighted displays and trees decorated by local businesses, organizations and families.
- Stop by the Lakes Country Arts & Crafts Show
[Photo courtesy of Grandma Dottie's Dips]
For a small community, Lakewood sure knows how to put on an arts and crafts show. With over 250 booths and nearly 200 vendors offering their original work, the Lake Country Arts & Crafts Show, held on the first Saturday in August, is one that you won’t want to miss.
- Visit Copper Culture State Park
[Photo by @cdorski, Instagram]
Copper Culture State Park is a 48-acre space that has farmlands, natural areas, archaeological sites and a Native American museum. The park’s history goes back almost 6,000 years ago to the Copper Age when it was used as a burial ground by the Old Copper Complex Culture of early Native Americans, and was only recently discovered in 1952 by a 13-year-old boy playing in an old quarry. With so much history right in Oconto County, Copper Culture State Park is impossible to pass up.
- Visit Copperfest
[Photo courtesy of Oconto County Tourism]
Well, now we know where the name “Copperfest” came from. This annual celebration in June features everything from camel rides, pig races, volleyball tournaments and a hamburger-eating contest to food stands, fireworks, a petting zoo and a giant parade.
- Visit Daniel E Krause Chase Stone Barn
[Photo by @farmandranchliving, Instagram]
The history of the Chase Stone Barn goes back to 1867 when the Daniel Krause family immigrated to the town of Chase from Germany. Daniel, along with his wife and nine children, ran the farm, owned and operated a sawmill and co-owned Krause and Krause Sales and Service. In 1903, the stone barn was built of fieldstones and has withstood the test of time. It is now on the State and National Register of Historic Places.
- Take a tour of the Beyer Home
[Photo courtesy of the Oconto County Historical Society]
The Beyer Home, built in 1868, is believed to be one of the first brick homes in Oconto county. It was built as an Italianate-style home, but when the Beyer family bought it in 1881, they remodeled it into a Queen Anne style home, complete with a wrap-around porch, three-story tower room and new windows. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979 and represents how the small town wealthy lived during the 19th century.
- Visit the Oconto Fly-In
[Photo by @intoweapons, Instagram]
This unique event is coming up on its 9th year and features a wide range of military and other aircraft, as well as antique tractors, classic cars, model As and Ts, and offers airplane and helicopter rides, crafters, vendors and food. Recreations of US Civil War and German field encampments will also be viewable by visitors. The event has seen more than 10,000 guests and continues to grow.
- Relax at one of Oconto County’s sandy beaches
[Photo by John Floyd]
City Park really is one of Wisconsin’s hidden gems. The 24-acre park is located on the shore of Green Bay and is the perfect spot to enjoy a day at the beach or in the bay, having a picnic, playing horseshoes and sand volleyball or camping.
- Fishing in lakes, streams and rivers in Oconto County
[Photo by @oconto_county, Instagram]
Given its location on the Bay of Green Bay and its hundreds of lakes and streams, Oconto County is the perfect place for fishing aFISHionados. Hook (get it?) up with one of the many fishing guide services in Oconto County, such as Fishin’ Addiction, Nice Catch Guide Service or Walleye Mafia, for the best possible fishing experience.
It’s safe to say we’re obsessed with all that Oconto County has to offer. What did we miss? Share some of your Oconto County favorites on social media using #DiscoverWisconsin.
Kristen Finstad is a member of the Discover Wisconsin crew. Having grown up in River Falls, attending UW-Stevens Point and now living in Madison, she’s a Wisconsin girl through and through. Watch Discover Wisconsin TV Saturday mornings at 10 on Fox Sports Wisconsin. (Twitter: @DiscoverWI)