Experience Washburn County Blog
Wisconsin Great Northern Railroad Debuts New Santa Car
November 26, 2018
The Wisconsin Great Northern Railroad in Trego, Wisconsin has recently completed the construction of what is believed to be the first dedicated Santa Car in the country. "This is the culmination of a dream we have had for over 10 years", said Greg Vreeland, General Manager.
The former Milwaukee Road Railway Post Office car, No. 2161, with its' six round porthole windows, had been in storage on the railroad since 2002. In August 2018, work began on gutting the car down to the frame. The rusty exterior was repainted in the railroad's orange and gray scheme and has had festive seasonal graphics applied including Christmas trees and Santa's Sleigh with reindeer. The car is a show stopper....
Snowmobiling Fun in the Northwoods
November 20, 2018
As winter is settling in along the landscape of Washburn County my mind is turning towards the upcoming winter season. If you remember the “Waiting for Winter” campaign that Arctic Cat ran a few years back, most of us know that feeling all too well. If you have no clue what I’m talking about, do an image search for “waiting for winter arctic cat”, the laughs will be worth your time. If you’re anything like me, you’ve been staring longingly at your snowmobile and gear wondering when the trails will open so you can get out and explore the winter wonderland. With the lakes already freezing and snow on the ground, we’re all waiting for the start of snowmobile season in Washburn County....
Fall Doesn't End in Early October
September 18, 2018
As the leaves begin to drop, you may think that fall is over in Washburn County, but that’s not the case at all. There are so many fun fall activities that happen in mid to late October. Here are some of our favorite ways to enjoy a weekend exploring the area during the late fall season.
- Spooner Tin Ceiling Tour - Wander Spooner’s beautiful downtown with authentic shops, but be sure to look up as you wander! Over a dozen of the stores have exposed the original tin ceilings. You’ll be in awe of the intricate designs and wide variety of colors. A brochure and an audio tour are available to help guide you to the shops with the tin ceilings and offers a historical perspective of the previous “lives” of the buildings.
- Head to...
Cranberries, Zombies and Late Fall Fun in the Northwoods
September 7, 2018
As we head into October, the fall colors may begin to fade, but the fun sure doesn’t. October kicks off with the 40th Annual Stone Lake Cranberry Festival. The quaint community of Stone Lake welcomes thousands of people the first Saturday of October each year as they browse the arts & crafts and taste the yummy cranberry treats. When you arrive, be sure to hop on one of the buses to go visit one of the area cranberry marshes where you’ll learn how these delicious red berries are grown. Fun fact: the berries are not grown in water as many folks think...
It's a 65 Year Tradition: The Spooner Heart of the North Rodeo
June 22, 2018
The Queen and Princess have official started their reign as rodeo royalty for the 65th Annual Heart of the North Rodeo. Coats of vibrant “rodeo red” paint have been put on the chutes that will soon hold the cowboys waiting for their 8 second ride to begin. The arena stands sit quiet waiting for those anxious rodeo fans to arrive to take in a tradition that has lasted for 65 years - one of the longest standing traditions for this community.
Summer Time Family Fun
May 31, 2018
Summertime: school’s out for some & almost done for others, the weather is beautiful, and that means it is time for a family vacation! Why not make Washburn County your family’s destination this summer? While you’re here there’s lot to do...so let’s give you a few of our family favorites!
Ainsley's Blog: Pizza Train Ride
May 19, 2018
Today I went to the Wisconsin Great Northern Railroad Train Station. We got to eat pizza on the train. It was a blast! I got to drink a soda. This was my first time on a train, so I didn’t know what to expect and I had lots of questions like were the seats going to be like a school bus. When we entered the station I was excited to see...
Spring has Sprung in Washburn County
May 11, 2018
It is currently warm and sunny in Birchwood, Wisconsin, a sure sign that spring has finally sprung. After months of dreary skies and repetitive snowfalls, Wisconsinites are welcoming the warmer weather with open arms. With sunny skies ahead, communities and individuals begin to start outdoor events and adventures..
Winter & Spring Trout Fishing
January 29, 2018
A Winter Wonderland in Washburn County
December 27, 2017
It’s winter time in Wisconsin. That means that old man winter has graced us with frozen lakes and snowy trails. What a great time of year! Whether you want to set up a shack on one of our nearly 1,000 lakes and catch a trophy northern or you want to jump on a snowmobile and explore the over 150,000 acres of forest land in Washburn County, you’re bound to find something fun to do this winter. Here are some fun ideas to get you outside & exploring the area during this enchanting time of year...
Winter Fun: Eight Great Ways to Enjoy Winter in the Northwoods
November 28, 2017
Load up your fat bike, ice fishing equipment, or your favorite book and enjoy a trip up north this winter. Located in the northwest part of the state, Washburn County is home to the quaint communities of Birchwood, Spooner, Minong, Stone Lake, and Shell Lake. The area offers a peaceful Northwoods getaway with cozy cabins, modern hotels, a bed & breakfast train ride and even a yurt. In addition to plentiful lodging, you’ll find a wide variety of activities to enjoy during the winter months as well. Here are our top picks for your Washburn County getaway this winter...
Late Fall Adventures in Washburn County
October 19, 2017
The fall season in Washburn County seems to be stretching out this year providing an extended time for fall color viewing, pumpkin patch fun and so much more. If you thought you missed out on all of the fall fun, you should check out our list of fun activities for the remainder of October. Eleven late fall activities you won’t want to miss: 1. The Burch Barn- Not only can you sit on a gunny sack and careen down a 100 foot slide...
Ainsley's Blog: WI Muskies
October 4, 2017
Saturday night I went to a hockey game in Spooner. I went to see the Wisconsin Muskies play their first game in Spooner. When my dad told me we were going that day, I got really excited! I wanted to make a sign to use to cheer for the Muskies. I tried to draw a picture of a musky. Before leaving, I tried to dress warm for the game, but this was my first hockey game so I didn’t know how cold it would be. When we got there...
Fall Fun in Washburn County
September 15, 2017
The leaves in the north woods begin to change to enchanting hues of red, orange, and yellow. This means that fall is in the air in Washburn County. There’s no better time to visit the area than during September and October when the evenings are crisp, the days are warm and the fall fun is plentiful. Here are a few of our favorite ways...
Ainsley's Blog: The Burch Barn
September 9, 2017
Today I went to the Burch Barn in Spooner! The first thing we did was buy tokens to the “Grain Train” and then went into the fun areas! The first thing I did was went straight to the barn bouncy house. It was good. Then I tried to milk a pretend cow. It had water in it. Then I did bouncy horse races. It was good. After that...
Ainsley's Blog: Namekagon River
August 30, 2017
I’m really excited to tell you about my first canoeing trip! We went canoeing and camping on the Namekagon River. I was really excited to sleep in a tent. After packing our stuff we drove to the river and we dropped a car off to where we were going to end our trip. Then we drove to the beginning of our trip on the river. We used a canoe and...
Favorite Fish Fry: Washburn County
August 10, 2017
This is Wisconsin. In Wisconsin, we celebrate Friday nights by frying up some of the most delicious fish you can find. With nearly 1,000 lakes in Washburn County, it’s no wonder that some of our favorite fish fries are made right at home, but let’s take a second to talk about where we go on Friday nights when the last thing we want to do is cook our own food. Admit it; we all have nights like that! We asked you where you can find the best fish fry in the Washburn County area and you had some great...
Ainsley's Blog: Washburn County Fair
August 7, 2017
I went to the Washburn County Fair. The first thing we did was buy tickets for the rides. The first thing I chose to go on was the obstacle course and then the bouncy house. They were fun. Next I went on a ride that was like a spinning baby swing. After that I rode in a little boat in a circle. Then I rode a train. After some rides I really wanted to play some games. I really wanted to throw ten darts at balloons...
Ainsley's Blog: Relay for Life
August 1, 2017
On July 21st I went to the Relay for Life Event in Shell Lake. It was a superhero theme and I dressed like a superhero. I had my picture taken next to Spiderman. I got to help put the paper bags with candles in them around the sidewalk and on the dock. The bags were to remember people who died from cancer. It made me feel good to be able to help. When it started to get dark, they lit the candles...
Insider Tips: Jack Link's Northwoods Music Festival
July 31, 2017
It’s a quaint community in Northwest Wisconsin on a gorgeous summer weekend. Your camper is all set up, tickets in hand; you head over to the festival grounds, set up a couple chairs and get ready for some of the best county stars to hit the stage. Welcome to Minong, Wisconsin and the Jack Link’s Northwoods Music Festival. For the third year in a row, Jack Link’s is bringing some of country’s hottest acts to Minong, population 527...
Ainsley's Blog: Shell Lake Beach
July 25, 2017
Tonight we went swimming at the Shell Lake beach. I like to swim under water and tonight I swam under the water with my eyes open! The water was good. It was a little cool at first but dad and I got used to it. He even swam a little bit. I also swam out to one of the yellow rafts. I jumped off of them. I did a couple of cannon balls, jumped off backwards...
Ainsley's Blog: Fairy Tour
July 17, 2017
Today we went on a fairy tour in Spooner. We walked around the town and found the fairy doors. We could see what was in them. One of them had earrings and they were so cute and beautiful. One of the fairies helps the other fairies find their missing glasses. One of the doors...
Super Sunfish Action on Spooner Lake
July 3, 2017
Rick Anderson may be the hardest working fishing guide in Wisconsin. Anderson specializes in panfish trips in the Spooner area, working out of a 24-foot pontoon boat—equipped with a galley. “My favorite trips are with families,” Anderson said. “The Spooner area has many great panfish lakes, and a pontoon boat is a wonderful fishing platform for kids of all ages.”...
Exploring a Free National Park: The Namekagon River
June 29, 2017
A free national park flows through the vast forests of northwest Wisconsin. This incredible gem is part of the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway. The Namekagon River begins in Bayfield County, flowing through Sawyer, Washburn and Burnett counties prior to meeting up with the St. Croix. While many people recognize the name, Namekagon River, few realize that this is part of the national park system...
Summer Festivals to Mark on Your Calendar-July/August
June 22, 2017
There have been some exciting events happening all throughout Washburn County, and summer has just begun. Get ready, because we’ve got way more to come during July and August. From the world-famous Spooner Rodeo to Jack Pine Savage Days, get those calendars out and mark these festivals down....
ATVing: Explore the Trails of Washburn County
May 19, 2017
ATVing. That one simple verb brings loads of excitement for young and old alike. What do you think of when you think of “ATVing?” Do you think of getting together with friends to explore places that you simply can’t reach by vehicle? Do you think of getting away from it all and spending some time in the vast forests of Northwest Wisconsin...
Summer Festivals to Mark on Your Calendar-May/June
May 19, 2017
Summer is coming to Washburn County, and this summer is jam packed with events, festivals, and activities sure to have something for the whole family. From the Wisconsin Canoe Heritage Day to the Tri-County Dairy Breakfast...
Quest for the Best Bloody Mary
April 28, 2017
The quest for the best bloody mary seems to be never ending, not that we mind, really. Recently we asked our locals and visitors “Who, in Washburn County, has the best bloody?” It led us to a very important question...
Wisconsin Great Northern is Welcoming Sweethearts
January 18, 2017
The Wisconsin Great Northern Railroad wants to offer something special for all those sweethearts the whole month of February now that they are open for their first year round operation.
Fall in Love with Washburn County
September 23, 2016
What is better than Washburn County in the Summer?…Washburn County in the Fall!! With much to do during the summer, you can stay just as busy around here during the beautiful fall months. With the luscious green trees changing to the beautiful reds, oranges, and yellows there are many different ways to...
Kids Scavenger Hunt for Family Fun
August 2, 2016
Have your kids ever been glued to a screen while on vacation? Washburn County has the perfect solution; take them on the Kids Scavenger Hunt to discover Washburn County. On the scavenger hunt there are a variety of activities to do such as visiting Hunt Hill Audubon Sanctuary, going swimming at a local beach, taking a train ride...
ATV Scenic Tour: A Cool Way to Explore the Trails
July 15, 2016
Washburn County has a fun new way to explore the area ATV trails. The Washburn County ATV Scenic Tour allows ATV enthusiasts to learn about over 35 points of interest located along the 100+ mile ATV system. If you have ever been riding on a trail and wondered...
Take a Step Back in Time with Washburn County's Antique Shops
July 1, 2016
Do you absolutely love searching for the perfect treasure? If so, Washburn County has a treasure hunt for you! The area offers a variety of antique shops that will take a true treasure-hunter days to explore. You'll find...