One Wonderful Week
Visit Wisconsin’s Oneida County, located just 3 hours from Madison and only 4 hours from Milwaukee. Rhinelander, Minocqua, Pelican Lake, Town of Pelican, Three Lakes, Hazelhurst, Lake Tomahawk, St. Germain, Tomahawk and Woodruff are home to the best trails in the Northwoods, including more than two dozen top-notch mountain biking and hiking trails. Hundreds of Oneida County lakes provide some of Wisconsin’s best fishing for musky, walleye, crappie, smallmouth and largemouth bass, and northern pike. You can even take a culinary tour of Oneida County!
Oneida County offers an outstanding selection of lodging options at affordable prices. The estimated cost for two people staying six days and five nights ranges from $600 to $750. For a family of four, the estimate is between $750 and $900. An Oneida County vacation is an excellent value.
Here’s a sample itinerary for a six-day, five-night Oneida County vacation.
Day 1: Arrive in Oneida County
3pm – Check into your lodging. Lakeside resorts, motels, bed & breakfasts, cabins, vacation homes—Oneida County has a full range of lodging options. You’ll find lodging in each of Oneida County’s nine unique communities.
5pm – Dinner Cruise – Take the Sunset Dinner Cruise aboard the Wilderness Queen. This two hour and fifteen minute cruise features dinner, live music and entertainment. For complete information and cruise schedule, visit www.wisconsinrivercruises.com.
Day 2: Trails and Links
Today, you’re going to hit the trails and golf courses. Oneida County is home to dozens of recreational trails. Choose from rugged mountain biking trails, smooth trails suitable for leisurely hiking or bicycling and quiet nature trails. Oneida County’s five golf courses offer you challenging play against a backdrop of towering forests.
8am – Grab breakfast and rent bikes in Minocqua. Rent mountain bikes from Z-Best Bikes. Rentals are only $15 per day and a helmet is included. While you’re there, pick up a trail pass too.
9am – Head south to the McNaughton Trail, just three miles north of the Town of McNaughton on Kildare Road, just off of Hwy 47. The McNaughton Trail features 13 miles of trails that loop around McNaughton Lake and two smaller lakes.
Noon – Lunch
1pm – Hit one of Oneida County’s golf courses. Area courses include Pinewood Country Club, Northwood Golf Club, Timber Ridge Golf Club, Big Stone Golf Club and the St. Germain Golf Club. Expect incredible golf including beautiful waterscapes and opportunities to see wildlife.
5pm – Dinner
6pm – Bowling – Visit one of Oneida County’s many bowling alleys. You’ll find bowling venues in Rhinelander, Minocqua, Woodruff and Tomahawk.
Day 3: Grab Your Paddle
In a landscape dominated by lakes, the best way of experiencing the natural environment is by paddling a canoe or kayak. The Willow Flowage of western Oneida County is arguably Wisconsin’s most beautiful wilderness area. It’s a vast complex of lakes, wetlands and wooded islands. Spend the day exploring this natural wonder and then head over to the Art Oemcke Fish Hatchery in Woodruff.
8am – Breakfast.
9am – Rent kayaks and pick up items for a picnic lunch in Rhinelander. Mel’s Trading Post in Rhinelander offers kayak rentals. For lunch supplies, stop at one of Rhinelander’s grocery stores.
10am – Paddling the Willow Flowage. Launch on the easternmost side of the flowage at Willow Dam Road. Bring binoculars and cameras—the flowage is home to many eagles, blue heron and songbirds. You might want to bring your fishing tackle as well to fish for some of the Willow’s walleye, bass, crappie and musky.
Noon – Picnic lunch – Find a sandy beach or island for lunch before heading back to the launch.
2pm – Geocaching – This fun treasure hunting game is fun for all ages and only takes a handheld GPS, a few coordinates and a sense of adventure. You’ll find that the woods and waterways of Oneida County are home to thousands of hidden geocaches.
5pm – Dinner
Evening – Mini-golf – If you didn’t do so well on the course yesterday, here’s a chance to redeem yourself. Play one of the mini-golf courses in Rhinelander, Minocqua or Woodruff.
Day 4: Northwoods Fishing
5:30am – Early breakfast
6:00am – Fishing – Head to the dock early to meet our local Fishing Guide. The best way to fish Oneida County lakes for the first time is to hire a Fishing Guide. Area Fishing Guides offer the experience and skills to help you learn the best tactics and techniques for catching fish. Oneida County is famous for its trophy musky fishing, excellent smallmouth and largemouth bass fishing, jumbo size crappie and fantastic walleye. To find a Guide, contact the Visitor Center or Chamber in the community where you’re staying—they’ll have some good suggestions to fit your fishing style.
Noon – Shore lunch – Your Fishing Guide will prepare a Northwoods specialty—the “shore lunch.” Every Guide has a different style—but it’s sure to be a meal you won’t soon forget.
1pm – Back on the water.
6pm – Dinner
Evening – See a star show at Kovac Planetarium in Monico. Visit the world’s largest mechanical globe planetarium. The 22-foot globe allows you to see a recreation of the night skies and all of the visible stars as you would see them. This one-of-a-kind experience is a thrill for all ages. For reservations, call (715) 487-4411.
Day 5: Beaches and Lumberjacks
The clean, clear waters of Oneida County’s lakes are perfect for watersports, swimming and just relaxing on a sandy beach. You’ll find many lakeside resorts offering excellent swimming beaches. Also, a number of public beaches, including several with lifeguards on duty during the summer months. Boat rentals are available in most Oneida County communities and from many resorts.
8am – Have breakfast and then hit a local grocery store to buy items for a picnic lunch.
9am – Head to the beach.
Noon – Lunch on the beach.
2pm – Lumberjack Show! Head to Woodruff to catch Scheer’s Lumberjack Show. Throughout the summer, see the exciting feats of skill and strength by these talented woodsmen. For a complete show schedule, visit scheerslumberjackshows.com.
5pm – Dinner
Sunset – Campfire – What better way to spend your last night in Oneida County?
Day 6: Shopping and Departure
8am – Breakfast
9am – Shopping – The nine communities of Oneida County offer an interesting array of shops, retailers and galleries. Shop for unique home décor, jewelry, sporting equipment, specialty foods, souvenirs and locally-crafted items.
Noon – Time to hit the road. Have a safe drive home. See you again in Oneida County!
No problem. Here are some great suggestions for the occasional rainy day in the O.C.
Culinary Tour – Take a culinary tour of Oneida County. Enjoy farm-fresh products, specialty foods, locally-produced wine and craft-brewed beer, and establishments that serve locally-made organic foods. Just follow your taste buds! Learn more about the Oneida County Culinary Tour.
The Arts – The Northwoods communities of Rhinelander, Minocqua, Pelican Lake, Town of Pelican, Three Lakes, Hazelhurst, Lake Tomahawk, St. Germain, Tomahawk and Woodruff offer unique shops selling the works of the many local artists who live and work in Oneida County. Annual art tours and a summer arts school offer opportunities for you to take classes from local artists. Learn more about art in Oneida County.
Catch a movie – There are movie theatres and/or drive-ins located in Rhinelander, Woodruff, Lake Tomahawk, Three Lakes and Tomahawk. See first-run films.