The 657,000-acres of Nicolet National Forest stand adjacent to Eagle River, and offer hikers and backpackers plenty of non-motorized land to explore. Self-guided hiking tours and trails are available throughout the park, varying by degree of difficulty. If you’d rather ride than walk, you can bike along the many lakes or streams surrounded by thick forest. Bird-watching is also a favorite pastime, and you may just catch sight of a loon or woodpecker hiding among colorful wildflowers.
The Eagle River chain of lakes provides endless hours of water activities and entertainment. Many people come to boat, water ski, canoe, or fish for musky trophies. However, at one of the lakeside taverns, you can appreciate the surrounding scenery without getting wet.
Beat the summer heat by enjoying a hand-dipped ice cream cone before browsing one of the many local art galleries. The downtown area is filled with a wide variety of shops selling handmade crafts, antiques, moccasins, and sweet confections, and you’re guaranteed to find an item or two you just can’t live without.
If you need to quench your thirst, the Three Lakes Winery produces fresh fruit and berry wines, including Wisconsin’s first cranberry wine, and offers free daily guided tours from May through October. Be sure to sample some of the seasonal varietals during your visit.
There are plenty of places to stay in the Eagle River area. It all depends on what suits your fancy, as you can choose camping under the stars, cozying up in a B&B, sleeping soundly in a hotel, or being pampered at a resort for your getaway.
Read more of the 50 Affordable Stateside Escapes.
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