If the first sign of frigid winter temperatures sends your heart racing and has you test-revving your snowmobile in the garage, it's time to plan a trip to snowmobilers' paradise, Eagle River, Wisconsin. Surrounded by a chain of freshwater lakes, this part of the state is also an extremely popular fishing destination. In short, no matter the season, there's something buzzing around town.
When snow blankets this neck of the Wisconsin woods snowmobilers come out in force. This is ranked a top snowmobiling destination and with a 500-mile trail network (Eagle River 500) just a zip away it's not hard to understand why. Those more interested in quiet, peaceful winter pursuits aren't neglected either, with a good range of trails for cross-country skiers and perfect spots for snowshoers.
On days when rain dampens the snowmobile party, check out indoor attractions around Eagle River like the Carl's Wood Art Museum or the Northwoods Children's Museum. Older visitors might enjoy a tippling trip to Three Lakes Winery just out of town or an afternoon of souvenir shopping.
Leave a day or two free to reel in big fish during warmer months ? muskie are the top catch, but walleye and bass there if you know where to look (the National Championship Muskie Open takes place here annually). Local guides can point you in the right direction and provide a boat as needed. Those already equipped with some form of watercraft can take to the meandering string of lakes and rivers sparkling around Eagle River - also a perfectly good getaway for paddlers hoping to avoid awkward portages.
When spring thaw sends snowmobilers scurrying home, bikers and hikers take to the now quiet woods, and enjoy a relaxing break on a stretch of beach padded lakeshores.
Eagle River is 84 miles north of Wausau and 150 miles from Green Bay.