Boy fishing in Vilas County

14 Reasons We Love Vilas County

Published: February 13, 2013

How do we love thee, Vilas County? Let us count the ways…

  • Great lakes. Whether you’re a swimmer, angler or kayaker, you can find something to do on one of Vilas County’s 1,300 lakes, one of the largest collections of freshwater lakes on the planet.
  • Fishing. Vilas County boasts great angling opportunities for musky, walleye, smallmouth bass and more. And fishing isn’t just meant for open water, either: ice fishing in Vilas County is some of the best in the Midwest.
  • North Lakeland Discovery Center. A nature-based community center, North Lakeland Discovery Center in Manitowish Waters offers educational programs year round, as well as recreational opportunities galore.
  • Little Bohemia Lodge. Bullet holes can still be found in the walls of this Manitowish Waters resort, the site of bank robber John Dillinger’s infamous shootout with FBI agents in 1934.
  • Snowmobile trails. More than 600 miles of trails stretch across Vilas County, and snowmobilers can find hundreds more miles of trails in the surrounding counties and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
  • The Snowmobile Hall of Fame. Speaking of snowmobiling, Vilas County is also home to the Snowmobile Hall of Fame (located in St. Germain), which showcases the history of the popular Northwoods sport.
  • 12 great communities. From Arbor Vitae to Winchester, Vilas County’s diverse communities offer great lodging, dining and recreational opportunities for every visitor.
  • Natural areas. Vilas County means nature, and there are plenty of places to explore the area’s wilderness, including the Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest.
  • Wildlife. Wildlife enthusiasts can find an abundance of wild creatures in Vilas County, including bald eagles (found everywhere, especially near St. Germain) and the famous albino deer of Boulder Junction.
  • The Northwoods Children’s Museum. This Eagle River institution offers hands-on learning for visitors young and old through its interactive exhibits and fun events.
  • Fall color. Vilas County explodes with color in the fall, painting the scenery in vibrant reds, oranges and yellows. Travel Rustic Road 60 south of Boulder Junction to take in this amazing display.
  • Hiking and biking trails. Visitors to Vilas County can find dozens of hiking and biking trails that wind through some of the most beautiful scenery in Wisconsin’s Northwoods.
  • Unique retailers and restaurants. Find everything from art galleries and traditional fish fry fare to specialty shops and cafes in Vilas County.
  • Fun events year-round. Winter, spring, summer and fall, visitors to Vilas County can find fun festivals, kids’ activities and more.