Vilas County Attractions
Vilas County is in the heart of Wisconsin's Northwoods lake country with one of the world's highest concentrations of inland freshwater lakes! Vilas County boasts of having over 1300 lakes and 73 rivers and streams, which provide great fishing or leisure activities within minutes of your door. Besides the numerous lakes, Vilas is also known for its over 600 miles of well groomed snowmobile trails. Vilas County is ranked among the top cross country ski areas in the country, and provides world class cross country ski trails that wind down pine and hardwood ridges through fragrant balsams.
Take advantage of the half million acres of public forest lands all open for your hiking, biking, scenic driving or wildlife watching adventures. With a full calendar of delightful small-town festivals, celebrations, and attractions, the whole family will enjoy a short stay or a long visit to Vilas County!
The world famous Chain O'Lakes, the Nicolet National Forest, numerous festivals, and a plethora of other attractions and recreation opportunities make coming to Wisconsin's great Northwoods a serious consideration for your next vacation or weekend trip . . . Come Join Us!
Parks and Nature Centers
Nature Hiking Trails
Vilas County offers a variety of hiking, biking and cross country ski trails, many of which are marked and located in many communities throughout the County. Nine of these are on Vilas County forest lands in the eastern part of Vilas County. Many of the trails offer hunting, hiking and biking trails and double as cross-country ski trails in the winter. Click here for Vilas County Trails Info
Eagle River Hiking Trails
Anvil Lake: 12 miles long and 8.5 miles east of Eagle River off Hwy. 70, Anvil Lake is part of the National Recreation Trail System. Parking is available just east of Anvil Lake Campground.
Franklin Lake: Home to "Avenue of the Giants", 400 year old giant white pines and one of the finest old growth hemlock stands in the state, the Franklin Lake trail is only 1 mile in length and is accessible via Franklin Lake Campground, 16 miles east of Eagle River on Hwy 70.
Mud Minnow Lake: A 3 mile trail off Mud Minnow Lake Road, 7 miles west of Eagle River on Hwy.
Nordmarka Ski Trails: Just over 4 miles long, the Nordmarka Ski Trails are maintained by the Nordmarka Ski Club of Eagle River, and can be found 1 mile north of Eagle River Chamber of Commerce & Visitor's Center on McKinley Blvd. at the Eagle River Municipal Golf Course.
Snipe Lake & Ewald Lake Game Trails: Part of the Vilas County Forest System, the Snipe & Ewald Lake game trails combine for a total length of 16.4 miles, and can be found 6 miles west of Eagle River on Hwy 70 to Wilderness Trail, then 1 mile to Snipe Lake Game Trail
Walleye Rearing Pond
Walleye Rearing Pond is the largest in the State of Wisconsin and is located within the village of Presque Isle. Hundred of thousands of small walleye fry are reared and stocked in Northern Wisconsin lakes.
Crystal Lake Picnic Area Campsite and Swimming Beach
Sayner and Boulder Junction
Located between Sayner and Boulder Junction on Hwy N, Crystal Lake is noted for its clear waters, white sand beach and is an experimental lake in the planting of splake, a species of Trout.
Blackjack Springs Wilderness Area
Located about 5 miles southeast of Phelps on Deerskin Rd., the Blackjack Springs Wilderness Area covers approximately 5,800 acres. It is about 4 miles long and 2 ½ miles wide. Travel by foot only. Motor vehicles and other motorized equipment are not permitted.
Museums and Historical Sites
Vilas County Museum
217 Main St.
Sayner, WI 54560
The Vilas County Historical Museum, founded in 1959, offers an extensive collection of history exhibits and artifacts dating back to the pioneer days of the late 1800's in northern Wisconsin. www.vilasmuseum.com
North Lakeland Discovery Center
Located in Manitowish Waters, North Lakeland Discovery Center is a community oriented non-profit center offering natural, cultural, historical, and recreational programs on a former DNR Camp. Sixty-six acres, includes a main lodge, bunkhouses, trails, beach, recreation field and secluded lake.
Points of Interests
Eagle River Derby Track
Eagle River, WI 54521
No one has been doing it longer and better then the Eagle River Derby Track which been setting the standards for snowmobile competition for 38 years. This small Wisconsin town is instantly recognized across the globe as the home of the Valvoline World Championship Snowmobile Derby.
Special Things To Do
Located in the Little Bohemia Lodge in Manitowish Waters is where you can find the hideout of the notorious bank robber John Dillinger. See the actual bullet holes that remain in the lodge from Dillinger's escape from an FBI trap.