Adventure: family-fun

Learn more about family-fun


What makes Vilas County the best summer family vacation? Vilas County has entertained families for more than a century. Life here is simple and timeless in the summer – it’s a place families can have fun experiencing nature. Spend the day playing in the great outdoors and spend the evening relaxing by a crackling campfire. And the next day, wake up, have a hearty breakfast and do it all again. A walk on a nature trail is a great, and practical, way to introduce a young person to the wilderness. You’ll find a nice walk at the North Trout Nature Trail in Boulder Junction. The trail has nice views of Trout Lake and winds through a mature black spruce tamarack bog. Also, check out the Awassa Nature Preserve & Hiking Trail in St. Germain. The terrain is easy to navigate and the mixed forest is beautiful. In Vilas County, there are a lot of fun family events happening throughout the summer. Don’t miss the Musky Jamboree in Boulder Junction in August, a weekend-long celebration of Wisconsin’s state fish, complete with live music and fireworks. Paul Bunyan Fest happens in Eagle River in August, and features an arts fair and chainsaw carving demonstrations. If you’re looking for indoor fun, consider a trip to the Northwoods Children’s Museum in Eagle River. The museum has 24 interactive exhibits, including a fishing pond, a pioneer cabin and an art room.


Vilas County is a playground for active families. You can go horseback riding in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest: the Nicolet North Trail is open for equestrian use. You can play disc golf at the Northland Pines High School in Eagle River. You can hike Cathedral Point and admire 130-foot pines between North and South Lakes near Boulder Junction. The area was once a Native American garden. You can explore additional Native American culture and history in Lac du Flambeau at the George W. Brown, Jr. Ojibwe Museum & Cultural Center and the Waswagoning Re-created Indian Village. Head to Little Bohemia Lodge in Manitowish Waters to enjoy a meal and check out a bit of gangster history. John Dillinger and his gang had a shootout with the FBI here in 1934. There’s memorabilia from the incident you can see, and there are still bullet holes in the walls. You can also find plenty of motorized fun in Vilas County during the summer. Enjoy the thrill of watching the evening stock car races in Eagle River or ride the bumper boats in St. Germain. Looking for fun indoors? Bowlers will find open lanes in Eagle River and Land O’ Lakes.


Families that enjoy active adventure love Vilas County. Mountain bikers can find challenging single track trails at the WinMan Trails, located between Winchester and Manitowish Waters. The trails feature some fun, technical riding. You can rent mountain bikes and fat bikes in Boulder Junction. Families that have a bit of a competitive spirit can find fun races throughout the summer, including a canoe and kayak race in Conover, running events in Minocqua, Boulder Junction and Presque Isle and three triathlons. Boulder Junction, Manitowish Waters and Woodruff all host triathlons as part of the Northwoods of Wisconsin (NOW) Tri-Master Series. You’ll find zip line canopy tours near Minocqua; you can ride a zip line 1,000 feet over a lake. Or stay on dry land and play at the Eagle River Golf Course or at the Plum Lake Golf Club in Sayner. Experience wilderness camping deep in the 225,000-acre Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest or the 1.5 million-acre Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest.


Want more trails info?

Download the Map It Vilas County trails app or order the Vilas County Silent Sports Trail Map today.
For a full list of Vilas County events, click here.