Taylor County Attractions
Situated in North Central Wisconsin at the edge of the area once covered by a massive sheet of ice, Taylor County's landscape was gouged-out from ancient rock and soil by the Chippewa Lobe of the Wisconsin glacier and filled with the soil and debris carried by its rushing meltwaters. While the earth's crust has risen 160 feet since its passing, the topography left by the glacier remains. Rivers rush along trenches carved by the ice, conical hills called kames formed by soil deposited by meltwater streams dot the countryside, rolling hills scoured from once towering mountains surround kettle lakes now filled with crystal clear waters.
Today Taylor County remains heavily forested, crossed by rushing rivers and gentle streams, with dozens of lakes, ponds and wetlands teeming with wildlife. The area's museums and historic sites preserve, recall and re-create the County's historic pioneer lumbering days. The county's booming lumber economy and ethnic diversity are reflected in the architecture of its churches, commercial and public buildings. The remains of its mills and lumber camps, sloughs and dams scattered throughout the county stir memories of the lumbering past.
While the county's forests and wood products industry, the railroad, and the prosperous farmsteads built on its cut-over timberland almost a century ago continue to contribute to the area's economy, outdoor recreation has become one of the county's most important and most popular economic assets.
Taylor County is one of Wisconsin's favorite hunting and fishing destinations. Its forests, lakes, rivers, ponds and streams are teeming with wildlife. Fish fill its rivers, lakes and trout streams, most of which are easily accessible with launching ramps, piers and boat landings, walk-in trails for canoe or belly boat fishing, or short treks along access trails to the best trout waters. Lakeside campgrounds and resorts rent or provide everything from boats and tackle to up-to-the-minute weather and fishing condition reports.
Most of Taylor County's lakes, forests and grasslands are open to public hunting. Waterfowl take wing over lakes and ponds, grouse and pheasants rocket skyward from grassy openings and turkey strut, gobble and soar through the underbrush.
In season, hunters find whitetail deer, black bear, foxes, coyotes, rabbits, and squirrels enough to fill their quota with plenty left for their next outing.
One-third of Taylor County is publicly owned including the Taylor County tract of the Chequamegon National Forest, the Taylor County Forest and the Pershing Wildlife Area - hundreds of thousands of acres open for recreational enjoyment; hiking, camping, hunting, fishing and ice fishing, motorized and equestrian trail riding, cycling, snowmobiling, cross country skiing, nature walking, specimen gathering, and photography.
For close-up contact with its natural wonders, Taylor County is crisscrossed by well-marked, groomed and easily accessible trails, including the county's segment of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail, the Pine Line rail trail, the Rib Lake Hiking and ski trails, and hundreds of miles of logging trails, ATV and snowmobile trails.
With two courses open to the public, Taylor County golfers don't need to miss a day on the links; curlers will find a great indoor facility and sociable teammates to keep their skills up throughout the year; and ice skating enthusiasts enjoy the county's indoor arena where there is open skating six months of the year.
The people of Taylor County's towns and villages - Lublin, Gilman and Jump River in the west, Dorchester, Rib Lake and the city of Medford in the east, and Perkinstown deep in the Chequamegon Forest - reflect both the generous old world spirit of their immigrant founders and their pioneering attachment to this outdoor wonderland.
Taylor County's family restaurants, cafes, bistros and supper clubs feature a variety of menus in many different settings including carry-out sub and sandwich shops; family operated home-style dining rooms featuring home cooking better than grandma's; pizzerias with genuine Italian cuisine and old world hospitality; authentic Chinese and European fare served in classic style; establishments with traditional and eclectic menu options; steak and chop houses; and a range of quality fast food outlets.
At day's end, Taylor County offers weary visitors a variety of lodging accommodations including primitive campsites under the stars along the forest trails, tenting grounds with water and vault toilets, full service campgrounds complete with restrooms, showers, electrical and RV hookups, camping resorts, housekeeping cabins deep in the woods, full service lakeside resorts with family cabins, boats, motors, bait and beaches, and motels with all amenities.
Located in the north central part of the state, Taylor County features some of the most spectacular scenery in the state and is paradise for outdoor fun and adventure.
Museums and Historic Sites back to top
Taylor County Historical
Parks and Nature Centers back to top
The Chequamegon National Forest has 855,000 acres of diverse landscapes and ecosystems. Located in Taylor, Price, Sawyer, Ashland and Bayfield Counties, the Forest offers rolling terrain dotted with crystal clear lakes, rushing rivers and meandering streams, a variety of scenic landscapes, rock formations, highland outlooks, varied forest environments, hundreds of wildlife species; and, hundreds of miles of easy-going to rugged hiking, mountain biking, cycling and snowmobile trails, five public and four private campgrounds.
Backcountry camping is permitted throughout the forest on public land located at least 30 feet from any trail or waters' edge. Families with young children, and others looking for short and easy paths through the forest will find several trails with interpretive stations. All are easily accessible and can be enjoyed in as little as half and hour.
Skyscraping towers, cliff-lined gorges and seventy foot waterfalls are found along the forest's more challenging trails, including the North Country National Scenic Trail, part of a 3,200 mile trail linking the Appalachian Trail in Vermont with the Lewis and Clark Trail in North Dakota.
Mountain bike enthusiasts will find hundreds of miles of mapped and marked trails developed and maintained by the Chequamegon Area Mountain Bike Association. CAMBA trails are well marked, "impossible to get lost on," and follow a variety of paths including logging roads, firelanes, snowmobile trails, ski trails and single tracks.
Hundreds of miles of excellent trail systems allow snowmobilers to travel the uncrowded solitude of the forest, over well-groomed logging roads, firelanes and converted railbeds with 200 to 585 foot bridges. In the heart of the forest, the Forest Service maintains an extensive network of trails that are open for horseback riding. The 12-mile Horseshoe Lake Saddle Trail, suitable for riders of all abilities, has two adjoining loops of varying lengths to explore. The U.S. Forest Service also maintains a number of cross-country ski trail systems in the forest, groomed for both classical and skate skiing.
In the northern sector of the forest, families will enjoy canoeing the Namakagon River as it flows south from Lake Namakagon and the north flowing White River. The Namakagon offers light rapids with occasional picnic grounds and camping areas along the shore. The White is a slower, meandering river with a deeper basin. Forest lakes and streams provide fishing thrills for novice and expert alike. Lake Namakagon is one of three Wisconsin lakes managed for trophy musky production; regularly yielding 40+ inchers. Lake Owen has walleye, too, and is known for its outstanding bass and northern yield. Forest streams yield brook trout, rainbows and browns. Crappies and other panfish are plentiful in all of the forests waters, including the many wilderness lakes that are only accessible by foot and best fished by belly boat. In winter, of course, the fish are available through the ice. Ice fishing equipment is available for rent in nearby boat, bait and tackle shops.
Forest woodlands offer great hunting with little competition from others. In season, whitetail deer, black bear, ruffed grouse, and waterfowl are most commonly hunted. But the forest also yields woodcock, gray squirrel, snowshoe hare, fox and coyote.
Private campgrounds located on the shores of the Forest's lakes offer boat ramps, sandy beaches, boat, motor and canoe rentals, electrical hookups, water, showers and flush toilets.
Gerstberger Pines County Park
Wood Lake/Camp 8 of Taylor County
Taylor County Trails
The Ice Age National Scenic Trail
The Pine Line Trail
Rib Lake Hiking and Ski Trails
Points of Interest back to top
Wisconsin Rustic Road No. 1