The communities of Douglas, Bayfield, and Washburn Counties offer a quiet, relaxed place to live or to visit. Gordon, Wascott, Solon Springs, Barnes, Minong, and other area communities are resort destinations with their own distinct personalities, and all offer recreational opportunities within a stone’s throw.
- Canoe, kayak, or boat the streams, rivers, and lakes
- Fishing in all seasons
- Swim or sunbath on sandy beaches
- Play a few rounds of golf on a variety of greens
- Hike, bike, ATV, or snowmobile on an extensive network of trails
- Enjoy the quiet woods on cross country skis or snowshoes
- Hunt large and small game
- Participate in a wide variety of community family events
- Relax and enjoy the uncomparable beauty of the clear, deep lakes, tall pines, and amazing wildlife
In Douglas County, WI, the lake and recreation communities include Gordon, Wascott, and Solon Springs. The St Croix Flowage, the largest lake in Douglas County, is located in Gordon. At 1913 acres and 29 miles of meandering shoreline, it’s a popular year round destination for northern, bass, and panfish. Most of its shoreline is public land that’s unlikely to ever be developed. The St Croix Flowage is also great for paddling and boating.
Upper Lake St Croix and the headwaters of the St Croix River are located in Solon Springs. Upper Lake St. Croix is the center of the water highway which first brought the European explorers, missionaries, and fur traders to the interrior of the American continent. More than 300 years ago explorers and traders came from Montreal in birch bark canoes by way of the Great Lakes, then up the Brule River to what is currently known as the North Country Hiking Trail. This was the portage route from the Brule to Lake St. Croix. At 855 acres, Lake St Croix is a full recreation lake with excellent fishing for walleye, northern, bass, and panfish.
Wascott is located in the very southern edge of Douglas County. With more than 100 pristine lakes, including premier Whitefish Lake, to fish, swim and boat, the possibilities for recreation are endless. Compared to most other lakes in northwestern Wisconsin, 832-acre Whitefish (Bardon) Lake is different in two ways. First, although a number of fine homes have been built on the lake, special shoreland zoning ordinances have done much to preserve the lake’s natural and scenic beauty. From nearly anywhere on this lake, you can look out over a huge expanse of water whose shore appears largely uninhabited. The lake is wild enough, in fact, so that eagles and loons are spotted frequently.
Second, the lake is deep, cold, and clear. According to the DNR, it has a maximum depth of 102’ and a mean depth of 30 feet. Over 60% of the lake is deeper than 20’, and less than 4% is less than 3’ deep. Secchi disk readings average 22 to 23’. The littoral bottom is over 95% sand; most of the remainder is rock rubble.
The lake boasts an unusual two-story fishery, with warm-water species in shallow areas and trout in the depths. In recent years, the lake has yielded a number of trophy-class pike, walleye, largemouth, smallmouth, and trout (both brown and rainbow). The lake also contains bluegills, rock bass, perch, white suckers, and creek chubs.
The community of Minong is located in northern part of Washburn County. Popular Minong Flowage is located in Washburn County and the very northern part in Douglas County. The Minong Flowage is a 1,564-acre impoundment of the Totogatic River created by a dam completed in 1937. Most of its bottom is sand; its maximum and mean depths are 21’ and 9’. Although much of the Minong Flowage is deep, open water, some of its shallow bays contain tree stumps and aquatic vegetation. That makes for a variety of fishing and boating situations, all the way from isolated bays offering near-wilderness settings to other areas where there’s wide-open water perfect for waterskiing.
Minong is also the corporate headquarters of Link Snacks Inc., makers of internationally known Jack Link’s Beef Jerky. Minong offers a full-service grocery store, lumber and hardware supplies, fishing and hunting necessities, one of the region’s largest boat dealers, restaurants, and gift shopping.
The town of Barnes is located in the westernmost end of Bayfield County Wisconsin. Among the many lakes in the town of Barnes is the famous crystal clear and deep Eau Claire Chain, including the three largest Upper, Middle, and Lower Eau Claire, and several smaller lakes. This chain is the headwaters of the Eau Claire River, which flows into the St. Croix River at Gordon.
There’s plenty to do here in the upper NW corner of Wisconsin. This is also a hunter’s paradise with thousands of acres of public hunting land and home of big bucks.
Upper NW Wisconsin is easily accessible. From Minneapolis and St Paul, it’s a 2.5-3 hour drive, 30-minutes to an hour from Superior/Duluth, 1.5-2 hours from Eau Claire.
So, come for a visit and you may decide to stay.