With nearly 150,000 acres of county forest land, nearly a thousand lakes, and the Namekagon River: Wisconsin’s Moving National Park, Washburn County is a premier outdoor recreation destination. When we asked what was the “Best of the Outdoors”, we knew we’d get a lot of votes. Folks around here are passionate about their favorite places. Before you head out to explore, be sure to check out these three outdoor adventures:

Hunt Hill Audubon Sanctuary – This 600 acre nature sanctuary offers seven miles of scenic hiking trails and some of the most beautiful views in Washburn County. This is a super family-friendly spot with a natures playscape for kids and even a Discovery Trail where you’ll find hidden objects throughout the trail – and the theme changes out every month! Throughout the year, Hunt Hill offers a variety of educational programming and events including their ever-popular Cakes at the Lake and Birds & Beer series.

Shell Lake & Shell Lake Beach - A local hot spot during the summer, Shell Lake Beach offers a spacious, sandy beach on one of Washburn County's most beautiful lakes. With an adjoining playground, courtesy dock, fishing pier, campground, and even a bandshell, Shell Lake Beach is the perfect place to cool off on a hot, summer day. The beach and park are located at the end of Shell Lake's main street (5th Avenue) where you'll find ice cream shops, restaurants, gift shops, and more.

Namekagon River: Wisconsin's Moving National Park - A true gem tucked away in Wisconsin's beautiful Northwoods, the Namekagon River received the top votes for the 2024 Best of WashCo: Best of the Outdoors. Whether you're looking to paddle down the river by canoe or kayak, or spend a leisurely afternoon floating on a tube, the Namekagon is the perfect way to spend a summer day on the water. 

Offering such different experiences, these three outdoor destinations are true Wisconsin hidden gems. To check out more outdoor adventures or to gear up, visit: https://www.washburncounty.org/outdoor-activities/