The Northwoods is home to Eagle River, one of Wisconsin’s most amazing, adventurous small towns. Explore everything Eagle River has to offer throughout all the seasons. Keep reading to start planning your unforgettable excursion up North!
As the flowers begin to bloom after a long, cold winter, adventures await in Eagle River like the beginning of the fishing season. There are numerous lakes to choose from including the world renown chain of 28 lakes. The lakes are pristine after the ice melts which make for the perfect fishing conditions and a chance at a Northwoods big catch. Species include bluegill, perch, crappie, walleye, pike, and of course, monstrous musky.
But there is far more than fishing… Instead of casting a rod, try pedaling along the blossoms. Throughout the area, there are an array of trails to bike along through the scenic Northwoods such as the Anvil Lake Trail cutting through the National Forest. Explore the Northern wilderness by foot and hike among the budding trees and natural landscapes. A fan favorite is the Shannon Lake Trail which winds around the quaint Shannon Lake. Or kick it up to high gear and go ATV/UTVing on local club trails. Click here for a full list of area maps and choose your mode of adventure.
In addition to the countless outdoor activities during Spring, Eagle River puts on events you won’t want to miss like the Memorial Day Arts & Crafts Show & Sidewalk Sales in the heart of the historic downtown. At this noteworthy event, check out handcrafted pieces from artists in the area and on sale items by local businesses. Along your shopping outing, grab a bite to eat as you go and enjoy live music in the background. It’s the event of the season!
Sweet summertime in Eagle River is a favorite for outdoor enthusiasts. With numerous lakes and endless wilderness, you’re bound to have a summer of a lifetime. On the water, pick your vessel of choice from boats, kayaks, and paddle boards. Even better? Local marinas like Boatsport have it all ready for you. If you’re feeling lucky, grab your fishing pole and cast out in these prime Northwoods waters. On land, traverse through the vast green forest by bike at your own pace while you take in the gorgeous greenery.
Every Sunday of summer, Eagle River puts on the most charming Sunday Farmers Market! From 10 to 2 o'clock, stop by and see what these amazing local vendors have to offer. There is a wide variety of products including unique arts, crafts and fresh, flavorful foods just for you! Click here to see the calendar and save the dates.
There’s nothing better than local flavor and fun, especially in the summertime. Eagle River has fun-filled festivities you won’t want to miss. For a true Wisconsin festival, check out Up North Beerfest on June 9th through the 10th. These two days are filled with delicious brews from more than 25 breweries throughout the state. On July 15th, head to downtown Eagle River and get a taste of a Wisconsin foodie classic, the Burger Bash. Not only will you get to enjoy a home-grilled burger, but experience backyard games, music, and mega sales by local businesses. To top off your summer festivities, be a part of Paul Bunyan Fest on August 16th and witness first-hand chainsaw carvings while eating Paul Bunyan’s greatest gigantic beef sandwich. Party like you’re a local this summer in Eagle River.
One of the most scenic times of year in Eagle River is fall with the most beautiful foliage of vibrant reds, and warm goldens. Take in the scenery through the many outdoor activities including biking or hiking the wooded trails, camping among the trees, kicking the dirt up on an UTV/ATV or making a wake by boat. For a full list of area trails, click here.
Every Wednesday throughout the crisp fall season, make your way to the Wednesday Farmers Market! Local artists, crafters, and producers of various goods to take home from your fall visit. From arts and crafts to sweets and treats, you’ll surely find a souvenir.
Fall is the perfect time to celebrate and Eagle River is the perfect place! Say cheers at Old Fashioneds Up North where you can taste many renditions of the truly Wisconsin cocktail of choice, the Old Fashioned. For yet another flavorful festivity, participate in the WI-Does Wine Walk and taste an array of white and red wines. Celebrate our state fruit at Eagle River’s infamous Cranberry Fest, held at the Vilas County Fairgrounds. Try all sorts of cranberry creations from pastries, beer and wine!
If you’re still looking for more fall festivals, celebrate on two tires and pedal by bike among the colorful foliage during the SepTimber Ride. There are three routes to choose from that lead to Tribute Brewing Company and Three Lakes Winery. As the spooky season gets near, join in on the festive fun at Hallowfest in downtown Eagle River on October 28th. There is a treasure hunt, costume contest, dance performances, a free movie at the local Vilas Cinema and of course, treats from the Eagle River Lions Club. You can’t beat the fall fun in Eagle River.
Make your visit to Eagle River in the winter a truly magical experience by visiting the Ice Castle in all its glory. Volunteers throughout the community, including local firefighters, come together every winter to build this magnificent 20 foot high royal fortress for all to enjoy. After more than 700 hours of work, including hand-cutting huge ice blocks from Silver Lake, transporting them to Eagle River’s center, and creative construction, you will be in awe of the final result. The Ice Castle is assembled on the closest weekend to New Years and stands proud until the ice begins to melt near the middle of February. Come and see this glorious tower this winter!
The cold doesn’t stop locals and visitors alike in Eagle River from enjoying the great outdoors! During your visit, take part in the various outdoor activities such as ice fishing. There are many lakes to choose from, including the world’s largest chain of 28 connected lakes. If you’re looking to embark by snowmobile on a high speed adventure, Eagle River is the perfect place for you. It’s the Snowmobile Capital of the World! For visitors who want to go by foot or skis, there are numerous trails to snowshoe and cross country ski through the beautiful northwoods wilderness offering views of the glistening, snowy landscape.
To celebrate the joy of the winter season, the community of Eagle River gathers together and puts on several events and festivities that are known for creating precious memories. Kick off your next winter season with Eagle River’s Christmas Kickoff in the iconic Riverview Park! The fun doesn’t stop there… add Mistletoe Magic to next year’s calendar for Christmas shopping fun in this amazing community and charming small town.
Speaking of next winter season, in February, you won’t want to miss this one-of-a-kind event, the Pond Hockey Championship! More than 300 teams from all over the country make their way North to Dollar Lake to play right on the lake’s natural ice. The Eagle River Fire Department makes 24 rinks all across the lake that make for a whole weekend of fun.
AnaElise Beckman, producer of the recent episode, “The Seasons of Eagle River” shares her thoughts on the production of the episode:
“Producing up in Eagle River was a tough but rewarding experience. The four hour drive up to Eagle River four times was quite the trek. However, it was really quite amazing to experience the change in scenery during each season. One of my favorite experiences was hiking along the Anvil Lake Trail. It was a last-minute decision and we hiked for over a mile but once we got to our destination we pulled out some bird seed and the chickadees started eating right out of our hands. If we put seeds on our hats, they’d even land on our heads. During another trip, I remember going for a run one spring morning. We were staying in a house on a lake in a pretty secluded area surrounded by pine trees. I saw a ton of wildlife along my route. Outside of the beautiful scenery, I was really surprised by how much there is to do in the downtown and surrounding area. The chamber of commerce does a really fantastic job of putting on events throughout the year that cater to kids and adults. Ultimately, though, my favorite part about Eagle River is the people. We met some amazing business owners, artists, fishermen and locals in the area. To say each one was kind would be an understatement. They were such a huge help to the success of this episode and I will be forever grateful to have met each one of them.”
In front of the camera, Eric Paulsen, describes his experience hosting this adventurous episode:
"Ah, Eagle River... where the show got started! It's always fun to go to the source - of both the show and the Wisconsin River - and explore the area's phenomenal beauty and unique natural features, like the World's Largest Chain of Interconnected Freshwater Lakes. We had a blast filming and it was particularly awesome to bring my finacee and her little guy to do everything from shopping at local markets to observing eagles from pirate ships. We filmed across the seasons too, which made it even better. We fat tire biked in the snow and waded through cool cranberry bogs. We froze and baked in the same show. Love doing the episodes like this, it's definitely a fun watch!"
Eagle River is truly a Northwoods gem during any season. From the winter, spring, summer, and fall, there’s so much to explore and many adventures in store. Plan a visit to Eagle River during every season to experience everything this spectacular small town has to offer!
Can’t get enough of Eagle River? Check out the recent Discover Wisconsin episode, ‘The Seasons of Eagle River’ now:
Hailey Rose: Writer for Discover Mediaworks. A born & bred Wisconsinite with a love for fishing, hunting, and enjoying the great outdoors.
*Narration provided by WondervoxAI.
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