Nature’s Amusement Park

Wisconsin has possibly the most extensive ATV/UTV trail system in the U.S. With hundreds of miles of scenic trails, it’s no wonder ATV registration in the state has nearly doubled in the last 5 years!

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It’s a growing sport and activity that isn’t just for hotrodders or gear-heads. All ages and types are getting on board! With the variety of vehicle types available now, you can travel with 2-4 people and cover a lot of ground. It’s a great way to explore hills, forests and lakes with family and friends – of all ages. 

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If you’ve been intrigued about getting into the activity, get off the sidelines and check out the extensive trail system in this area alone. You can get a lot of good information, including trail rules and licensing information here.

Why get your thrill ride in a concrete jungle when you can roll the coasters in a natural setting? The trails are open. Go wild and get wheelin’! ~ Wanda Boldon

Metal Arts are Alive in Frederic, WI

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Take a short drive. Travel south of Siren on Hwy 35 to Frederic. As you pass through town, a distinctive looking red building with cadet blue awnings will catch your eye. Do stop and go inside. This special place was recently given life by its new owners and occupants. Once a gas station, an oil company, a Greyhound bus stop, an optometrist office and a Coast-to-Coast hardware store (not all at the same time), this building was slated to be torn down.

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Serendipity smiled and along came Jon (Jack) Route and his son, Mike. The father and son duo, metal artists through education and experience, but mostly in their hearts, were in need of working studio space. They’d both been traveling individually, doing art shows to share their work with a larger populous and were at a place in their careers where they wanted to go down a different “route”.

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Jon (Jack) Michael Route, a skilled artist in nonferrous metal work, makes collectibles, commissioned pieces and corporate art installations with materials like silver, copper and brass. He is also the owner of One10 Gallery. The gallery features new art and fine craft art from dozens of quality artists, with an ever-changing choice of pieces to collect or give as gifts. If you have an immediate itch to scratch, in the way of art, this is the place to go!

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Mike Route, an award-winning blacksmith artist occupies the other half of the building with Red Iron Studio – his studio, office and a working blacksmith shop, where custom architectural ironwork pieces are created and forged. Mike and his crew create everything from furniture, signage, sculpture and architectural pieces for indoors and out. His work shows a combination of emotional, intellectual and physical energy that makes it distinctly his. Make an appointment to meet with Mike if you want him to make something special for you!

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This short drive that you plan to take. Do it this weekend. The One10 Gallery is a part of the Earth Arts Tour with specially planned demonstrations that will amaze you – even beer tasting on Saturday from Pitchfork Brewing in Hudson. Their hours will be Friday 10am to 7pm and Saturday and Sunday 10am to 5pm. ~ Wanda Boldon

Cinco de Mayo Weekend – Up North

The list of fabulous things to do Up North on Cinco de Mayo weekend is growing! Gather your friends and family to plan your weekend and then plan a siesta after it’s all over!

Here are “cinco” events to choose from:

  1. 36th Annual Second Alarm Fish and Smelt Fry – Gather at the Jackson Town Hall at the corner of Hwys A & C on Friday, May 4th, starting at 5:00 pm for an incredible experience! Widely supported by the community for a good reason. Tickets can be purchased at the door – $10 for adults, $4 for kids 12 and under. Get your smelt on!
  2. Inaugural Fat Fish 40 Bike Race – Show your true grit in this 42 mile bike race that starts at the Central Burnett County Fairgrounds in Webster, WI. The race has a fat tire division and is also has a “non-fat” category. The race course takes you on the sugar sand fire lanes, logging roads and trails by the marshes, lakes and streams through the lost acres of Webster, WI. With a spaghetti dinner the night before, the race starts at 9:00 am on May 5th and ends with a beer and a brat, a podium ceremony and prizes. https://www.fatfishrace.com/the-race/
  3. Wisconsin Fishing Opener – The first Saturday of each May kicks off the fishing season for many species of hook and line caught fish. Make sure you get your license in advance and stock your cooler so you can be on the water by 5:00 am. You own an ice barge, right? https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/fishing/seasons/index.html
  4. 9th Annual Taste of Siren – Tickle your taste buds on Saturday, May 5th from 5:00 to 8:00 pm at the Northwoods Crossing Event Center. It’s an evening of food, festivities and fun! You can buy your tickets in advance or pay at the door. $20 per person or $35 per couple.  https://www.travelwisconsin.com/events/fairs-festivals/taste-of-siren-128205
  5. 17th Annual Spring Art Tour – Earth Arts of the Upper St. Croix organizers put together this distinctive tour of studios and galleries May 5-6th from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. One could spend the entire weekend doing this alone! Download the brochure and map so you can prioritize your stops! http://www.earthartswi.org/spring-art-tour/

Sombrero and margaritas are not required, but not discouraged. Have a great Cinco de Mayo weekend! ~ Wanda Boldon

Danbury’s Minerva Chain of Lakes

Minerva Chain of Lakes

Minerva Chain of Lakes

One of the best kept secrets just East of Danbury, WI is the Minerva Chain of Lakes. “The Chain” consists of 9 lakes created by the Loon Creek dam. Seven of the lakes, starting at Burlingame Lake and heading South, offer connected boating and recreation. Each lake has a distinct personality, fishery and unique boating conditions, giving the gift of fun and adventure around every bend and bay!

Minerva Flowage - just South of the dam

Minerva Flowage – just South of the dam

Longtime owners, Paul and Dawn have enjoyed many years of fun with their family at their cabin. “We thoroughly enjoy the variation the Minerva Chain of Lakes provides, from an assortment of boat accessible lakes and channels, to remote undeveloped waters. The Chain has clean and clear water with a mix of vintage cabins and charming homes – all while being minutes from shopping, dining and entertainment options.”

The channel between Minerva and Falk Lakes

The channel between Minerva and Falk Lakes

The Minerva Chain of Lakes is ideally located in the heart of lake country and near thousands of acres of County Land, making it a highly sought-after location for most types of recreation – fishing, boating, trail riding and hunting. There are several bars and eateries within 10 minutes of any given point and there is even a boat-up tiki bar at Houman’s Resort in the summer! Nancy and John are new owners on the lake. “Every boat ride offers a new adventure for us.  We’ve enjoyed exploring the different lakes and unique experience that each one offers.  We also enjoy access to ATV and snowmobile trails right out our door, as well as numerous restaurants and bars nearby.”

Boater's paradise in full Summer

Boater’s paradise in full Summer

The water level is controlled by a dam, which means there is little fluctuation in water depth along with easy, sloped elevation at the shore. That’s a rare combination! Some waterfront owners are even able to leave their dock in the water year around.

Natural views around every corner on The Chain of Lakes near Danbury, WI

Natural views around every corner on The Chain of Lakes near Danbury, WI

Easy elevation on Gull Lake

Easy elevation on Gull Lake

The water clarity is high due to natural vegetation in the channels acting as a filter. “When our grandkids come to the lake, they want to take the pontoon to the sandbar on Love Lake. It’s a fun social outing for them and we always run into people we know.” Steve and Peggy

Entering Love Lake on the Minerva Chain of Lakes

Entering Love Lake on the Minerva Chain of Lakes

Love Lake water clarity

Love Lake water clarity

Sunset cruise on Minerva Lake

Sunset cruise on Minerva Lake

“What has probably surprised us the most is how quiet and peaceful it is around the lakes. It has been great for personal relaxation and bringing family together. It is the highlight of our nephew’s summer to spend a week fishing and playing. That’s pretty telling as they are now in high school.” Andy and Marlene

Fishing for bass and panfish on the Minerva Chain of Lakes

Fishing for bass and panfish on the Minerva Chain of Lakes

Summer vacations at the lake

Summer vacations at the lake

Jon and Lori have years of great experiences under their belt and are still loving it. “At the top of the list is the boat cruising!  We love the ability to take nice long boat cruises  from lake to lake. If we have friends up to visit we can load up a cooler with some beverages, put together a tray of appetizers, dial up some good beach or island music and venture out for a few hours. We think it’s fun to cruise slowly along the shoreline and look at all the other cabins and wave at everyone we see out on a dock, in their yard, or by their fire-pit. It’s fun to kayak back in the shallow bays. The water is so clear, you can see down into the water and see the little fish, turtles and underwater vegetation. On sunny days the turtles climb up on the logs along the bank and sun themselves and everyone gets excited and counts them. ”

We enjoy helping people get to know the hidden treasures of our area. After years and years of work experience, the Minerva Chain of Lakes still stands among the best! ~ Wanda Boldon

Minerva Chain of Lakes courtesy of Sportsman's Connection

Minerva Chain of Lakes courtesy of Sportsman’s Connection

Snow Day Means Snow Play

Two substantial snowfalls in the last week have added up to enough snow for a winter wonderland of fun in our area. What a great opportunity to get out and play!

Snow shoeing in Danbury, WI

Snowshoeing in Danbury, WI

This father and son were happy to get out and drill a few holes in the ice. They planned to spend the day fishing and relaxing together. 

Ice Fishing in Burnett County

Ice Fishing in Burnett County

The ice fisherman tucked away in this pop-up planned to fish into the evening. With another round of snow on the way, he expected the barometric pressure to change and the fishing to get exciting. He plans to retire in April and move here with his wife. Her workplace values her so much that they are paying to equip their home so that she can continue to contribute after the move.

Ice Fishing Near Webster, WI

Ice Fishing Near Webster, WI

The trails were open and snowmobilers were taking full advantage, including Dave and Carolyn Iverson.  “We didn’t take a warm weather vacation this year, and that’s really the result of living in God’s Country. We love it up here! Six inches of fresh snow on the trails certainly helps.”

The trails are open!

The trails are open!

Snowmobile trails in Danbury, WI

Snowmobile trails in Danbury, WI

 

Snowmobiling in Webb Lake, WI

Snowmobiling in Webb Lake, WI

After playing hard in the snow all day, you need to rest and refuel. The local businesses were happy to serve! ~ Wanda Boldon

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We ARE the Bold North.

Being a part of the “Bold North” is about embracing the unique conditions that winter brings – with others, as well as by yourself.

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It’s an opportunity to try new things and challenge yourself.

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It’s about community.

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It’s about nature.

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It’s about family.

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It’s about people.

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We’d like to help you embrace your OWN Bold North. Brace yourself for a Great Real Estate Experience! ~ Wanda Boldon

Christmas at the Forts: The Silent Auction

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Every year, an army of volunteers collects at Forts Folle Avoine to help create a magical environment for their holiday celebration event, “Christmas at the Forts”. It’s a wonderful place to share some Christmas cheer with a child!

The work that goes on behind the scenes for this event isn’t just for children during the holidays. The volunteers who give their time, energy and resources to make it all happen, work for weeks in advance to prepare for the Silent Auction. It’s their biggest fund raiser of the year, which goes on throughout the duration of the event, and ultimately helps children all year around.

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CENTURY 21 agent, Cathy Schmidt is among the volunteers and described the scene from a “before and after” perspective. They begin with a mountain of donated items from businesses and individuals, along with a small pool of money to create dozens and dozens of gift baskets and gift items – ready for giving at Christmas time, that are bid on and sold at the Silent Auction. The random items they receive as donations run the gamut from bottles of alcohol to branded sportswear to gift cards for local businesses. It’s the job of the volunteers to sift through the bounty and create themed baskets of goodies and gift packages that will catch the eyes of those who come to the event.

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The Silent Auction room is arranged by theme so you can keep your focus as you bid on items. Got kids on your list? No problem. Need one last thing for a gentleman on your list? Check. Looking for a few good reads for yourself? Got it! They also have an area that is exclusively gift cards (over 90 were donated this year), if that’s what you’re after. But be sure to look closely at all the arranged items for display throughout the auction room. There are gift cards tucked into some of those as well!

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The money raised at the Silent Auction allows the Forts to keep its gate open to visitors throughout their season. Among those who visit each year are 3-4,000 school children as a supplement to their classroom learning – some from as far away as St. Paul. Part of the classroom curriculum requirements for 4th graders includes State History. What better way for the kids to learn about History than to witness and experience things in person, right here on the Yellow River at the Forts?

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If the old saying is true, that Christmas is for kids, one way to do something special for children this Christmas is to help make the Silent Auction a bountiful success! – Wanda Boldon

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Fall ATV Riding Season Begins Tomorrow

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The state funded ATV trails close tomorrow, September 16th. If you’ve enjoyed the trails all Summer, don’t panic! The Burnett County Forest Woods Trails & County Forest Roads are still open for ATV/UTV use. You can ride on any wooded trail, snowmobile trail and ATV trail that is located on County Forest Lands, as long as it is not bermed, gated or signed as closed and is at least eight feet wide. (A good rule of thumb is that if you can drive a truck down the trail, then you take your ATV/UTV down it.)

The leaves are starting to change here. So it should be a beautiful weekend to get out and ride. Have fun! – Wanda Boldon

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FOURTH OF JULY MEMORIES

Prinel Lake near Webb Lake, WI

Prinel Lake near Webb Lake, WI

Celebrating the Fourth of July in Northwestern Wisconsin is a natural! In fact, we call it “the Superbowl of Up North”, because it’s the holiday when our area swells with people and activity. Families gather and friends reunite in our beautiful surrounds to enjoy a day off work together. For many though, it’s become more than a day off work. It’s generally a few days. This year, the holiday spanned a full week, flanked by two beautiful weekends and it seemed that many people took advantage of the opportunity and took vacation time to make the most of it.

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Many of the Lake Associations in the area plan and organize a boat parade to bring neighbors together in the spirit of the holiday. Young and old get together to create a “float” that is worthy of the occasion and then motor around the perimeter of the lake to greet those watching from their docks and boats.

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It’s just one more way to create memories with those who are important in your life. If you’d like to start making some memories of your own, we can help. Our CENTURY 21 team can find the right property for you. Don’t wait – it’s never too early to make an impression on special people! – Wanda Boldon

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Saved by Wild Water

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We’re anxiously awaiting the day we can officially declare “ice out”! It won’t be long. A fragile film of ice on the surface of our lakes is slowly sinking out of sight. It’s a more gentle, less dramatic transition than we typically experience. But it brings the excitement of all the things we like to do when the water is open – a sort of annual baptism!

It couldn’t be more appropriate, then, to welcome a special visitor to our area who has written and experienced the peace of being “saved” by wild water swimming. InaNewLight Gallery, just south of Webster will be holding an artist reception on April 3rd from 5:30 – 7:30pm for Andrew Fusek Peters, an English author and photographer who has devoted his professional career to capturing and celebrating the power of water to soothe our souls. For more information about this special guest and event, visit their Event page.

If you’ve driven by the Gallery and often wondered what it’s like inside, don’t hesitate to stop. Even if you can’t make it to one of their special events, it’s worth checking out. If you’re like me, you’ll find it almost spiritual inside.

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The work that’s being done there is so healing for the kids they touch.

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And if you can’t wrap your heart around that, you’re still likely to appreciate and enjoy the beautiful and creative artwork that’s displayed and available for sale.

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It’s no surprise to most of us, the healing properties that exist all around us in this special area we’ve chosen to call “home”. But it’s sometimes a surprise to find it extends beyond the obvious. – Wanda Boldon