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In the northernmost regions of the state of Wisconsin lies the picturesque Namekagon Lake. Remote, rugged and beautiful, Namekagon Lake is a hidden gem of a vacation destination. If you are seeking solitude and peace amidst gorgeous scenery, consider a visit to Namekagon Lake.
Located in Bayfield County, Wisconsin, Namekagon Lake is approximately 3,200 acres in size. This beautiful body of water is located in the heart of the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. In total, the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest encompasses more than a million and a half acres of Wisconsin wilderness. Although the Chequamegon National Forest and the Nicolet National Forest are actually two separate entities, both geographically and legally, they are managed as one through the National Parks Service. The Chequamegon portion of the park covers portions of Sawyer, Bayfield, Ashland, Price and Taylor counties of northern Wisconsin. The Chequamegon National Forest contains countless hiking trails and even provides information on self-guided natural history auto tours you can take in the comfort of your own car. Hiking enthusiasts should be sure to check out the North Country Scenic Trail. This lengthy trail, operated by the National Parks Service, runs from New York to North Dakota. Sixty miles of the trail run directly through the Chequamegon National Forest. The Ice Age Trail is another fascinating trek for hikers visiting the park. This trail is still under construction; however, upon its completion it will trace the path of the glaciers as they moved through Wisconsin during the Ice Age. Countless types of vegetation grow along the trails and roadways of this national park, including mushrooms, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, mosses, white spruce trees and balsam pine. Hikers in the region may even catch a glimpse of a bear, beaver, muskrat, wild turkey or even the rarer moose or elk as they explore the paths of the Chequamegon forest.
Immediately to the north of Namekagon Lake is Tank Lake. Bay Lake and Garden Lake are located directly to the east of Namekagon Lake. The word Namekagon itself derives from a Chippewa word meaning "lake of many sturgeons". The town of Cable, Wisconsin is the closest destination to the lake itself. Hayward, Wisconsin is also easily accessible from Namekagon Lake where visitors can enjoy the National Fishing Hall of Fame, a Lumberjack village, the Historyland Logging Museum and numerous golf and recreational opportunities. Additionally, Hayward is home to the Wilderness Walk Zoo and Recreation Center where visitors can take guided tours through the Northwoods. Children will delight at the opportunity to feed deer and other baby animals along the Wilderness Walk. Lake Superior and the Apostle Island National Lakeshore, including its historic and awe-inspiring lighthouses, are a short distance from Namekagon Lake and can be easily accessed for day trips. The charming town of Bayfield, Wisconsin is also located near the Apostle Island National Lakeshore. Visitors to this historic town can enjoy the sites of the Iron Bridge, the Carnegie Library and the stately, historic mansions of the area. Quaint shops, delectable restaurants and classy art galleries beckon patrons passing along the streets of Bayfield. Visitors can also enjoy taking tours of area orchards and flower farms in the Bayfield region. From Namekagon Lake, Bayfield is a delightful destination for a day trip.
Two hours to the south of Namekagon Lake lies Eau Claire, Wisconsin where visitors can enjoy a visit to the Chippewa Valley Museum to explore the rich history and culture of the region. Also in Eau Claire is Paul Bunyan's Logging Camp, a museum established in the 1930's to preserve the history of the logging industry and the impact it had on the establishment and development of Wisconsin. When traveling between Eau Claire and Hayward, be sure to make a stop in Chippewa Falls to tour the historic Leinenkugel's Brewery, established in the 1800's. Here, visitors can tour the operations of this historic brewery, explore the family's history and enjoy a bite to eat at Peg's Kitchen.
Adventure enthusiasts will delight in the whitewater kayaking opportunities of Namekagon River. Fishing on Namekagon Lake is plentiful for muskies, walleye, northerns, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, and panfish. In fact, some of the cabins and lodges of the region feature amenities such as special enclosed fish cleaning areas to accommodate their guests. From Namekagon Lake, the twin ports of Duluth, Minnesota and Superior, Wisconsin are a two hour drive. Namekagon is approximately three and a half hours northeast from Minneapolis/St. Paul.
When staying a Namekagon Lake, there are a variety of lodging options. From privately owned cabins and lake lots to public campgrounds, visitors are sure to find the perfect accommodations to fit their needs. A variety of privately owned vacation homes are available for rental or purchase in the woods surrounding Namekagon Lake. For travelers seeking solitude, peace and an opportunity to absorb the wonders of nature surrounding us, the Northwoods of Wisconsin, specifically Namekagon Lake, is an outstanding choice.
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