So… What’s it really like living in Northwest Wisconsin?

I’ve often been asked this question by buyers moving up from the Twin Cities, Milwaukee, Chicago, or other points to our south. They’re excited about the idea of escaping from the city, but they’re also wondering about the adjustment to life in the north woods.
If you ask someone who’s lived here all their life, it’s like asking a fish “how’s the water?” But my husband and I, although both from small towns originally, moved to the St Croix Flowage in Douglas County, Wisconsin from St Paul back in early 2003. We love it here, and I can tell you lots about the transition we experienced.

NW Wisconsin

Douglas, Bayfield, Washburn, Sawyer County

The shortest way to tell this story is that it’s all about trade-offs. Here’s an example. Yes, you’re several miles from the nearest grocery store. But since there’s no traffic, it takes less time to get there than it did to get to the store back in the city that was only three or four miles away.

And once you get there, you won’t be in a giant parking lot a quarter-mile across. You’ll often be able to pull up right to the front door. The store won’t be as large, and the aisles won’t be as crowded. Inside, you’re likely to encounter friends and neighbors. But don’t visit too long. Your ice cream is melting.

On a Sunday afternoon in February I took a quiet walk along the road in my neighborhood.  Winter is much quieter than during the high-summer tourist and seasonal cabin months. Still, I could hear the whine of an ice auger on the lake and the sound of snowmobiles on a trail somewhere in the area. Winter is a great time of year in my neighborhood for ice fishing and snowmobile enthusiasts.

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