Chillin’ Out in Wisconsin: Barron, Menomonie, Sauk County & Land O’Lakes

Hailey Rose

January 11, 2023

Photo Credit: Discover Mediaworks

As the cold weather approaches, see the beautiful fall foliage in its prime and watch as Wisconsin turns into a mystical winter wonderland throughout four local communities! Travel to the City of Barron, Menomonie, Sauk County, and Land O’Lakes to enjoy all festivities of the chilly fall and winter seasons! Read on for exclusive inside details. 

Barron County

Photo Credit: Discover Mediaworks

As the leaves are in their prime of changing vibrant colors, head to City of Barron to experience the beautiful fall foliage and make memories of a lifetime! There’s no better way to celebrate than stopping by The Church Barn booming with a lively, joyful atmosphere!

For all the foodies out there, this one’s for you! The Country Lane Market and Pantry is open year-round and has local products such as cheese, curds, chicken, and homemade fudge with more flavors than you can count. Beginning in June through October, each Thursday, over 100 vendors are a part of the local outdoor Farmer’s market with the finest and freshest foods, treats, and even unique artwork to take home as a souvenir. See where some of the tastiest greens of the state come from at Dragsmith Farms, operating since 1988. They grow over 30 kinds of microgreens and deliver them to restaurants all over the Midwest!

Now it’s time for some outdoor fun spent exploring and experiencing the fall foliage! Grab your clubs and tee off for a new adventure in Barron County at Rolling Oaks Golf Course. Before you go, swing by the adjoining Rolling Oaks Restaurant & Lounge for a bite to eat. If golfing isn’t for you, you can see the scenic landscape throughout all four seasons on the rustic roads. Tour Barron County on these unique roadways by hiking, biking, or by car. Check out Rustic Road 18, starting and ending on County Road M. This 6.8-mile loop traverses through the numerous trees and thick wilderness. Be sure to keep a lookout, you may spot wildlife along the way! Click here for more roadways in the area to explore!

Speaking of food, the City of Barron has their very own dining guide to tasting their very own local flavors! Start your day with the one and only Barron Bakery! This hometown bakery is known for their homemade breads, donuts, and cookies fresh from the oven each morning. For more local flavor, kick start your day at The Blueberry Line Coffee House for delightful baked goods, and crafted coffee drinks. Another popular local joint is Kate’s Bar, serving a variety of foods and special dishes throughout the week! Try their lunch specials, fantastic Friday fish fry, and prime rib dinners, exclusive on Saturdays.


Photo Credit: Discover Mediaworks

As the snowflakes begin to fall across Wisconsin, you will want to head to Menomonie to immerse yourself into a true Wisconsin winter wonderland! Explore the outdoors on the Red Cedar State Trail and right off the beaten path, Devil’s Punchbowl Nature Preserve will leave you in awe from its natural beauty. 

For more outdoor thrills, you have to check out Woodwind Park, a restored legacy full of outdoor adventures for everyone from tubing, ice skating, cross-country skiing, and more! Speaking of cross country-skiing, join in on the Menomonie Candlelight Ski, Hike & Snowshoe for a memorable experience only found in Menomonie. Cast a line out into the best local ice fishing hotspots! Get your gear and head to Lake Menomin for the biggest catch!

Seeing the outdoors of Menominee is a must-do, but let’s not forget about the fun waiting to be had in the heart of downtown! Snuggle up in Mabel Tainter Theater for a historic and entertaining experience. Or, hit the town for some local shopping! There are several local shops to choose from with their own niche of antiques, art, books, boutiques, and more! See all of the goodies you can find in Menomonie by clicking here

After a day out in the frosty weather, dine & drink Menominee’s finest meals and brews! Start off by visiting a one-of-a-kind brewery in a train station, Brewery Nonic. To get a taste of Menomonie, dine at any outstanding restaurant nearby including casual dining, bar & grill, and supper club experiences open all year long.

Sauk County

Photo Credit: Discover Mediaworks

There’s nothing but endless beauty in the driftless area of the state, especially in Sauk County during the winter time! See their beautiful signature sights including Hemlock Park, Lake Redstone Park, and White Mound County Park. Each park offers a unique experience to connect with nature.

At Hemlock Park, there are endless opportunities to explore the area’s innate natural beauty. With about 73 acres of property, pave your own way on the scattered, unmarked hiking trails. You will be mesmerized by the scenery of the wooded landscape and quaint slough. Bring your fishing poles and have a chance to catch northern pike, largemouth bass, and even panfish! 

Lake Redstone Park, about 30 acres in size, has a variety of experiences that will spark your connection with the outdoors. From a playground for the kiddos, sandy beach, and waterfall, there’s something for the whole family to enjoy! 

While in Sauk County, White Mound County Park is a must-visit. This idyllic park is vast in size with almost 1,100 acres! The park surrounds White Mound Lake, offering unlimited water fun in the summertime. But in any season, this pristine park is open to explore and admire its wild beauty. Overlooking White Mound County Park is the Prairie Smoke Terrace to keep you warm in the chilly weather. Snuggle up by a cozy fire, enjoy a home-cooked meal, and make memories with those you love with games and stargazing at the bright night sky above.

To learn more about Sauk County’s past, visit Pioneer Log Village, capturing the essence of society from back in the day. There are over 14 sites and cabins to admire, brought to you by the Reedsburg Historical Society that began in 1965. Learn more about the community, programs, and events throughout the year here and be a part of the history!

Land O’ Lakes

Photo Credit: Discover Mediaworks

Looking for a winter destination that has outdoor activities like no other? Land O’ Lakes is the perfect place for you! The community will welcome you to join in on the fun at the Radar Run where snowmobilers, including brave women in their bikinis, race on frozen lakes of the Cisco Chain! You won’t believe it’s true until you see it for yourself!

Hop on your own snowmobile and explore the many trails through the Northwoods, including trails that go all the way up into the Upper Peninsula of Michigan! Along the Northern Arch Trail, travel all the way to Bond Falls, a truly magnificent sight in the winter, or any season.

For more year-round adventures only found in Land O’ Lakes, explore the trails in the Sylvania Wilderness, a remote and rugged destination that awaits the ultimate discovery. The Sylvania Wilderness Area is home to pristine, untouched terrain including 34 known lakes, beaches, and high peaks of up to 1,700 feet! Let the explorations begin throughout all four seasons with cross-country skiing, hiking, and even paddling the clear lakes.

After a day of wild rides and adventures, Bent’s Camp Bar & Restaurant has got you covered with warm, delicious food. Their menu includes a wide variety for everyone to enjoy from homemade pizzas, burgers, and sandwiches. Grab a souvenir from your Northwoods adventure at their gift shop!

Other local joints surround the area, too, such as The Alley Lanes & Tavern. Bowl as your delicious meal is hand-crafted. And you can’t forget about Brew’s Pub Bar & Restaurant, offering their own spin on a true Northwoods dining experience.

From The Producer

Photo Credit: Discover Mediaworks

Discover Wisconsin producer, AnaElise Beckman, discusses the highlights of producing the latest episode, ‘Chillin’ Out in Wisconsin: Barron, Menomonie, Sauk County, and Land O’Lakes’:

“I don’t think I’m alone when I ask myself in January and February “WHY DO I LIVE HERE!?” As the title of this episode implies, the filming of ‘Chillin’ Out in Wisconsin’ was COLD. However, it definitely shed light on all the amazing places and businesses in Wisconsin that make this state feel a little warmer. The rustic charm of Barron was extremely unique and such a great secret to discover. The business owners and locals we met in Menomonie were some of the most genuine and down-to-earth people I have ever had the opportunity to spend time with on a set. I can’t even begin to describe White Mound County Park in Sauk County. The driftless area is amazing but this place was complete solace. I went for a run on a location scout here and I have never felt so at peace. One of my favorite places we filmed at was the gateway to the UP. It was a magical winter wonderland up there and the tip of every tree was a frosted silver. 

The entire production of this episode definitely answered the question I ponder each year; after discovering many Wisconsin winter gems and engaging with such amazing people, it’s pretty funny how fast I forgot about the cold.”

Wisconsin is filled with amazing communities who offer once-in-a-lifetime adventures tucked into the beautiful scenery in both fall and winter. Join the communities of the City of Barron, Menomonie, Sauk County, and Land O’Lakes as they celebrate the brisk seasons through a wide variety of activities and outdoor experiences you won’t want to miss! 

Want to learn more about what you can do during the fall and winter seasons across the state in these local counties and communities? Check out Discover Wisconsin’s episode, ‘Chillin’ Out in Wisconsin: Barron, Menomonie, Sauk County, and Land O’Lakes’ 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. 

From the team at Discover Wisconsin: We believe in making our content accessible to all, which is why we offer an audio version of our blog posts. By clicking the play button above, you can listen to our blogs!

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