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Explore hidden gems in northern Wisconsin

Perfect for a friends' getaway!

  • 10
  • 03:19
  • $17
  • 162 mi.

Created by Kampgrounds of America - July 11th 2016

The Midwest is the perfect setting for a group getaway: the natural setting mean that everyone can relax and enjoy themselves, and there are loads of activities that will please everyone in the party, from the experienced outdoorsmen to the culture-seeking explorers. Get everyone together and head to Wisconsin for an unforgettable trip!

Historic Downtown Ironwood

Welcome to Ironwood, a quaint town of fewer than 5,500 people where you can get a miner’s pasty (meat pie), chat with world-class skiers, and stand in awe at the foot of a 50-foot statue of Hiawatha all within a 6.5 square mile block. And, in Ironwood, you’re only about 18 miles from the largest freshwater lake in the world (by surface area).

This town has seen its share of trouble, (including a fire in 1887 and a mining accident in 1926) but today, it boasts a rich cultural life with two theatre organizations, a dance company that competes at national competitions, and the Pine Mountain Music Festival that brings top performers to the active ski resort community. If it’s your first time to the area, you might start with one of two self-guided walking tours of the area to get acquainted.

1
5.0

Saxon, WI

Superior Falls, a very impressive and almost wild waterfall, is located where a dam diverts the water from the Montreal River. You don’t have to be an adrenaline junkie to appreciate these majestic falls… you could easily spend hours listening to the water and feeling the spray on your skin.

2
Potato Falls

Just a short drive away from Potato Falls is a 90-foot drop into Potato River creating yet another incredible waterfall in the area. Finding it can be a bit of a challenge but its worth it; climb down to walk along the lower falls for an extra special treat. It’s definitely worth the stop! Pro tip: Late spring is a great time to visit.

3
4.7

Mellen, WI

At Copper Falls State Park, in addition to waterfalls, you’ll see lava flows and deep gorges, as well as log buildings from the 1930s. If you’re into biking or hiking, you can choose from three trails. Start with the Takesin, along which you’ll find numerous cascading waterfalls. The not-to-miss spot is the 80-foot-deep gorge at the scenic overlook. The Vahtera Trail rolls through a beautiful birch and maple forest, while the North Country National Scenic Trail skirts Loon Lake and crosses the marshland and woods to Mellen. You can fish, kayak, canoe, hike, and camp on-site, too.

4
Trails End Pub and Grill

Trails End Pub and Grill has a little bit of hipster cred, whether it knows it or not. While it’s a town favorite that hosts pool tournaments, fishing contests, and tractor pulls, you won’t find much more about it online—not easily anyways. If you’re looking for a taste of local life, though, Trails End is where you need to go.

5
Birchbark Books

Birchbark Books is bound (pun intended) to be a book collector’s dream come true. It’s operated by a self-described, “spirited collection of people who believe in the power of good writing, the beauty of handmade art, the strength of Native culture, and the importance of small and intimate bookstores.”

6
Explorer's Point Restaurant

A stop at Explorer’s Point Restaurant & Blue Heron Bar will do you good. They put an emphasis on using fresh ingredients, including plenty of regional seafood options, and their full bar offers several signature blended cocktails.

Even though the logging industry destroyed much of the original tree growth in this area, Chequamegon National Forest was established by presidential proclamation in 1933. Today, this area, along with Nicolet National Forest, offers trails designated for motorized vehicles and quiet, rustic campgrounds, as well as opportunities for fishing, skiing, and snowboarding.

8
National Freshwater Hall of Fame

For starters, any museum that lets you climb into the world’s largest muskie’s mouth for a photo op is worth a stop. The fish’s open jaw accommodates about 20 people and provides an awesome panoramic view of Lake Hayward. The museum offers something for visitors of all ages, even for those who don’t realize they have the angler’s spirit yet. Plan to spend a couple hours exploring the museum and the facilities, and then stick around and explore Haywood, the fishing village where the museum is located.

Hayward, WI

KOA Book with KOA

Click to find bookable tours and activities here

The Hayward KOA Holiday doubles as a fun zone for kids! Here you’ll find a 300-foot waterslide, a large heated pool, a Jumping Pillow, mini golf, and two playgrounds, as well as kid-friendly activities such as movies, ice cream socials, and a DJ on Saturdays. Fishing, golfing, hiking, ATV riding, and mountain biking are all just minutes away. Plus, if you want to explore some of the adventures that await nearby, give canoeing or tubing along the pristine Namekagon River a go. The campground staff will drive you to your starting point and pick you up at the end of your trip.

Whether your group of friends is looking for an exciting hike, or you just want to relax by the pool at the campground, there’s no better spot to do it than in the Midwestern beauty of Wisconsin.

Kampgrounds of America

Welcome to KOA. Whether you roll in with your RV, pitch a tent or prefer the comfort of a Deluxe Cabin, KOA is the place to create unforgettable camping memories. With 487+ KOA campgrounds across North America, it’s easy to find family camping fun near you!