Five must-try craft beverages

Oneida County is a place that takes its craft beverages seriously—you’ll find unique local beers, wines and spirits perfect to enjoy with one of the county’s famous Northwoods sunsets. Pick up something to enjoy on the pier or inside by the fireplace—you’ll savor every drop of your time here. Here are five places you can fill your glass in Oneida County.

Rhinelander Shorty, Rhinelander Brewery

Great things come in small packages, and this pint-sized (actually, it’s a little less than half a pint) “Export Beer” has been quenching the thirst of Rhinelander travelers for generations. The stubby little bottles come in at just 7 ounces but they pack a crisp, refreshing taste that will bring back memories of lazy afternoons in Oneida County. Visit the taproom in downtown Rhinelander to pick up some Shorties or sample some of Rhinelander Brewing’s newer creations, including Hodag Ale.

Roadkill Red, Minocqua Brewing Company

This lakeside haunt in Minocqua is a must-visit for beer lovers in the Northwoods. The brewery’s restaurant serves standards like cheese curds and the traditional Friday fish fry, as well as delicious house specialties like Minocqua Meat Pie. Try some of their homemade beers with your meal—Minocqua Brewing Company’s offerings are substantial and worth exploring. Start with the Roadkill Red, a hybrid of Irish amber ale and American amber styles.

Sundance Cranberry Wine, Lake Nokomis Cranberries

Visit this 320-acre farm at Lake Nokomis for some of the best cranberries around. Its gift shop features gourmet food and gifts and the farm’s very own Lake Nokomis wines. Try the Sundance Cranberry Wine, which won a silver medal at the Wisconsin State Fair and is made with 100% local Wisconsin Sundance cranberries.

Original Moonshine, Northern Waters Distillery

Visitors to Oneida County can also sip some delicious spirits at Northern Waters Distillery, which operates out of a recently renovated space on Highway 51 in Minocqua. Visitors can stop in the distillery’s tasting room from 11am to 3pm Tuesday through Thursday and 11am to 6pm Friday and Saturday, and tours are available at 4pm Friday and 2 and 4pm Saturday. Try Northern Waters’ Original Moonshine—an unaged, unfiltered corn whiskey that goes great in a Moonshine Mule.

Musky Bite IPA, Rocky Reef Brewing

The Northwoods of Wisconsin is known for great musky fishing, but those aquatic beasts can be elusive. It’s a lot easier to find a Musky Bite—just head to Rocky Reef Brewing Company in Woodruff. This brewery, which opened in 2015, offers a great mix of handcrafted ales, porters and stouts. The Musky Bite is Rocky Reef’s IPA offering, made with a mix of Simcoe and Mosiac hops. Visit their tap room to sample their offerings or take some back to the cabin in a crowler or growler.

Four cross-country ski trails to try

Winter is here! Northern Wisconsin is (finally) covered in snow, so that means it’s time to get out and explore. Grab your skis or snowshoes and head to Oneida County, where you’ll find trails perfect for winter adventurers of all skill levels. Here are a few you shouldn’t miss.

Minocqua Winter Park

You’ll find this sprawling winter sports complex in far western Oneida County, about a half-hour drive from downtown Minocqua. More than 50 miles of trails—all of which are groomed regularly to keep them in tip-top shape—cut through 6,500 acres of beautiful Northwoods scenery. Trails are open to classic cross-country skiing, skate skiing, snowshoeing and fat tire biking. On the weekends, bring the family for fun on the 400-foot snow tubing hill. A trail pass (or snow tubing tickets) can be purchased at the Winter Park chalet. See a trail map here and learn more about Minocqua Winter Park here.

Three Eagle Trail

The Three Eagle Trail is a non-motorized trail that connects the Oneida County community of Three Lakes with Eagle River in Vilas County. In the winter, a five-mile section of the trail from Highway 32/45 west to Sundstein Road is groomed for classic track skiing and skate skiing. The trail, which generally offers good protection from the wind, traverses beautiful Northwoods scenery, including a bridge over Mud Creek. Parking is available off Sundstein Road or off Highway 32/45 near Clearwater Lake. There is no fee to use the trail, but donations are accepted at a donation box at the Sundstein Road parking lot. See a map trail here and learn more here.

Rhinelander Area trails

If you’re visiting Rhinelander (a.k.a. Hodag Country), you’ll discover some great trails maintained by the Northwoods Nordic Ski Club. The Northwoods Nordic Ski Club is an all-volunteer nonprofit organization that oversees approximately 30 kilometers of trails at three sites: the Rhinelander Northwood Nordic Ski trails near Northwood Golf Course, the Rhinelander Community Trails near Rhinelander High School and the CAVOC Trails just east of Rhinelander. Learn more about the trails and see the latest snow report here.

Underdown Recreation Area, Tomahawk

This popular winter sports destination sits about 16 miles southeast of Tomahawk in Lincoln County, but it’s a worthwhile drive. Skiers can traverse more than 20 miles of cross-country trails of varying difficulty at Underdown Recreation Area, making it a popular destination in the winter. Trails are groomed weekly as conditions allow. Trail passes are required and can be purchased on-site (at the parking area on Copper Lake Avenue) for $8 a day or $25 for the season. See a trail map here.

Find information about more Oneida County trails here.

What to know about Oneida County snowmobiling

Planning a snowmobile getaway to Oneida County this winter? Good idea—we’ve got hundreds of miles of trails, so there’s plenty to explore. Got questions about snowmobiling in the Northwoods of Wisconsin? We’ve got answers.

Where can I snowmobile?

More than 1,000 miles of trails are open to riders in Oneida County—that means a lot of great snowmobiling. Plus, you can connect to hundreds of more miles of trails throughout the Northwoods. Learn more.

Do you have snow?

Oneida County usually gets a lot of snow, so it’s a great place to ride, but it’s always best to check conditions before your trip. To find the latest snow report for Oneida County, click here. You can also get the snow report for specific Oneida County communities below:

Where can I stay?

From cabins and cottages to amenity-laden hotels, Oneida County has plenty of places to stay, some of which are located right on the snowmobile trails. Find lodging options for Oneida County communities here.

Where can I stop to eat along the trail?

  • Bonnie’s Lakeside, Three Lakes. This popular establishment on Spirit Lake serves up great steaks, seafood, soups, sandwiches, broasted chicken and a Friday night fish fry.
  • Silver Birch Supper Club, The Silver Birch has delighted diners for more than a century, providing fine dining and friendly service in a warm and unique atmosphere.
  • Roadside Pub, Pelican Lake. Hungry for pizza or a hot sandwich? Head to the Roadside Pub in Pelican Lake, a good place to relax or enjoy a quick meal that will get you back on the trails in no time.
  • Bitters + Bull, Lake Tomahawk. This establishment near the trails in the Minocqua Area incorporates locally sourced ingredients and craft cocktails.
  • Backwaters Bar & Grill, You’ll find this bar on the northern end of the Boom Lake Chain in Hodag Country. Enjoy something off the grill or choose from a variety of craft and tap beers.

Snowmobile adventures

Oneida County is home to some of the finest snowmobile trails in the Midwest—1,100 miles in all. Snowmobilers return to Oneida County year after year for the great snowfall, the many resorts and restaurants that cater to snowmobilers and the routes that will take you through the beautiful Northwoods. Here are a few of our favorite spots.

Bearskin Trail

This 18-mile trail in the Minocqua Area is a level ride that will take you through some beautiful snow-covered forest. The trail is constructed on a former railroad corridor that was built in the 1880s to transport logs from the Northwoods. You can continue riding south on the same corridor via the Hiawatha Trail that runs to Tomahawk.

Three Lakes

From the heart of Three Lakes, snowmobilers can explore the beauty of northeastern Oneida County, including a portion of the Thunder Lake State Wildlife Area. Three Lakes’ trails connect to nearly 200 additional miles of snowmobiling trails, including Eagle River to the north.

Willow Flowage

The Willow Flowage Scenic Wildlife Area is a 27,000-acre parcel isolated from roads and development. Designated snowmobile trails will take you through a portion of this beautiful property. Learn more about the Willow Flowage here.

Enterprise Block, Oneida County Forest

In southeastern Oneida County, this 20,000-acre swath of county forest land is a scenic destination for trail riders who like getting away from it all. There’s very little development in this part of the county—riders will find a dense forest of hardwood, aspen, oak, balsam fir and spruce. Learn more about the county’s snowmobiling lands here.

Click here to learn more about snowmobiling in Oneida County.

Unforgettable fall hikes

The leaves are gorgeous in Oneida County and now is the ideal time to take the spectacle in, one step at a time. Our networks of scenic hiking trails are the perfect path to enjoying the county’s best fall beauty. We have options for experienced hikers seeking a challenge, as well as gentle paths that will offer anyone an unforgettable experience.

Bailey Lake Equestrian Trail, Three Lakes

On this picturesque trail, you just might see a horse walking through the leaves. The unpaved scenic path, which was once used by loggers, runs 15 miles through a wilderness camping area east of Three Lakes. 

CAVOC Trails, Rhinelander

This 5-mile unpaved trail is hilly and scenic, perfect for those seeking a challenging hike through the woods. There are lots of looped options to explore. You’ll find the trail east of Rhinelander with an entrance off South Shore Drive. 

Enterprise County Trail, Enterprise

In southeast Oneida County, explore two unpaved four-mile loops featuring some hilly terrain through the Oneida County Forest. 

Madeline Trail, Woodruff

This 16.5-mile trail features easy to moderate terrain and some rolling hills. There are spots to take in nice views of Madeline lake. You’ll find the trailhead off Rudolph Road, about two miles southeast of Woodruff.

McNaughton Trail, Lake Tomahawk

This beautiful 13-mile trail south of Lake Tomahawk rings a few small lakes. It features largely gentle terrain, although there are a few steep hills. 

Fall golfing

This fall, bring your clubs to Oneida County! There’s nothing like enjoying a beautiful autumn afternoon on the course, golfing amid a sea of brilliant foliage. Our course clubhouses also offer food and drinks for when you need refueling on a crisp fall day. The season’s best days are here–check out these great places to book a tee time.

Minocqua Area

You’ll find several great options in the Minocqua Area, including Timber Ridge Golf Club, Minocqua Country Club and Trout Lake Golf Club.

Rhinelander Area

Hodag Country is home to some beautiful courses: Northwood Golf Club, Pinewood Country Club and the Rhinelander Country Club.

Three Lakes

Golfers will find fantastic color at the 9-hole Big Stone Golf Course.

Tomahawk

Tomahawk’s scenic golf courses include Inshalla Country Club and Edgewater Country Club.

Scenic spots in Oneida County

Fall is arriving, and colors will be peaking soon! Our scenic corner of Wisconsin’s Northwoods is filled with beautiful forests and lakes so it’s the perfect place to enjoy a hike or bike ride, cast a line, ride an ATV or just relax and enjoy the season. Here are some of our favorite scenic spots.

Almon County Park

About five miles south of Rhinelander, you’ll find this scenic park that flanks the shore of Buck Lake. Take the Almon Park Trail for a scenic stroll that will take you to the water’s edge.

Squirrel River Pines State Natural Area

In this natural area, you can wander through massive pine trees that are more than 100 years old. There are more than 1,300 acres to explore!

Rustic Road 58

This lightly traveled wilderness road, located southwest of Minocqua, passes cedar lowlands, dense pine and hardwood forests. Travelers will also encounter abundant native wildlife.

Thunder Marsh Wildlife Trails

A pleasant place for a fall stroll is located about three miles north of Three Lakes. The Thunder Marsh Wildlife Trails will take you through part of a 3,000-acre property that’s managed to protect wetland wildlife. The trails will guide you onto a dike system that’s a great place to observe migratory birds.

Washburn Lake Trail

About seven miles west of Rhinelander, you’ll find this hilly 15-mile trail system that offers beautiful forest vistas. Mountain bikers will enjoy 9 miles of single track trails.

Fall golfing in Oneida County

One of the best ways to experience the brilliant fall colors of Oneida County is on a golf course. There are scenic courses spread across the county so you’re never far from a tee time. Our courses offer unforgettable fall views, with greens and fairways that are lined with dazzling displays of yellow, red and orange. The temperatures are comfortable this time of year and the air is fresh. The only challenge to golfing in all this beauty is keeping your eye on the ball!

In the Minocqua Area, there are several great options for fall golfing, including the picturesque Timber Ridge Golf Club and the historic Trout Lake Golf Club.

The Rhinelander Area is home to two great public courses that are an easy drive from the center of town: Northwood Golf Club and  Pinewood Country Club in Harshaw.

Golfers will find some great golfing and great views at the Big Stone Golf Course on Big Stone Lake in Three Lakes.

Tomahawk’s scenic golf courses include the beautiful Inshalla Country Club and Edgewater Country Club on Lake Alice.