Discover the unexpected in northwestern Wisconsin with a trip to Polk County – home of the Dalles of St. Croix at beautiful Wisconsin Interstate Park, the equally impressive St. Croix National Scenic Riverway, two outstanding state parks, charming downtowns, county parks, more than 400 lakes, and several trails that invite hikers, cyclists, XC skiers, snowmobilers, ATVers and horseback riders to explore.
Families will make memories for a lifetime at the wildlife park, the zipline park, and other Polk County attractions and events. Wisconsin is famed for its fishing opportunities, and Polk County will reward anglers in pursuit of a trophy muskie or a bag limit of walleye and perch to cook over the campfire. Those same lakes will provide fun on the water for kayakers, waterskiers, and sailboat enthusiasts. There are wineries and craft breweries, unique shops and art galleries to discover, too.
Polk County Recreation Viewer
Area Map 5 Communities 6-7 Four Seasons of Fun 8 All-Terrain Excitement .............................9 Snowmobile Trails 10 Rev It Up 11 Our Trails 12 Saddle Up 13 Gandy Dancer State Trail ................ 14-15 Rivers & Lakes 16 Amazing Area Parks 17
Interstate Park 18-19 Arts & Theater
This publication was marketed and published by 5 Star Marketing & Distribution 715-453-4511, for and under the direction of the Polk County Tourism Council. All rights reserved by 5 Star Marketing & Distribution for Polk County Tourism Council.
Learn more about all your travel possibilities with a stop at the Polk County Information Center in St. Croix Falls. The staff will answer all your questions and suggest places to see, activities to do, as well as dining and lodging info when it’s time to eat and refresh for the next day’s adventures with a restful night’s sleep. More resources and statewide travel information can be found at TravelWisconsin.com.
On behalf of Wisconsin’s tourism industry, welcome to beautiful Polk County! We hope you enjoy your stay and discover all the fun this area has to offer.
Julie Fox Travel Wisconsin
38-45 Balsam Lake 26-32 Centuria 33-34 Clayton
........................................................................... 72-75 Out of Area ................................................................................ 80 Vintage Trail 77 Business Directory .............................................................. 78-79
Polk County Information Center
710 Hwy. 35 South, St. Croix Falls, WI 54024 715-483-1410 • 800-222-POLK email@example.com discoverpolkcountywis.com
The Polk County Information Center has been a destination for information and tourist resources since 1994. Located at the juncture of Hwy. 8 and Hwy. 35, south of St. Croix Falls.
Recently the Center has added a mini gallery including art styles ranging from photography, pottery, fiber arts to knitted items and iron works. Local authors from Cushing, St. Croix Falls, and north of Hwy. 8, have written books on the region’s local fiction and non-fiction. Other books that can be found are Wisconsin history, nature, cookbooks, and children’s books.
The Information Center has been added to the Earth Arts Tour, which is held the first full weekend in May. This threeday event features over 25 artists from all over the county.
Polk County Area Map
Let the adventures begin in Polk County
A heartfelt welcome to all to discover and explore the many recreational pursuits and indoor fun that Polk County has to offer.
Our towns may be small, but they’re big on home-town friendliness. Along the way, you’ll meet the people who make this part of the state so special. They’re hard-working folks and eager to welcome you to their business, whether they be a chef, winemaker, craft brewer, artist or crafter, hardware clerk, naturalist, golf pro or innkeeper.
Our communities are loaded with contemporary charm, flanked by bucolic byways, picturesque farms, and lots of lakes. Balsam Lake, Clear Lake and Turtle Lake take their names from lakes of the same name. St. Croix Falls grew up with the lumbering era that relied on the St. Croix River to move logs downstream. Amery is on an isthmus nestled between the Apple River and Pike, North Twin and South Twin lakes. Brighten up the holidays with a visit to Turtle Lake where they turn their park into a magical, lighted winter wonderland. Osceola has a historical downtown. With a waterfall! Other towns such as Frederic, Luck, Centuria, Cushing, Milltown, and Dresser hold fun festivals and other surprises too.
Inside this guide we outline places to see, trails to hike, ride or snowmobile, good eats and great theatre, art galleries to appreciate, a wildlife park that’s educational for all ages, and county parks to relax with a picnic lunch. There are outstanding golf courses and their cousin, the disc golf courses to work on your handicap.
Among the 17 designated recreation trails (see inside for details)
are the scenic Gandy Dancer State Trail that connects several of our communities, the quirky Pothole Trail in the Wisconsin Interstate Park and Woolly Mountain Bike Trail in St. Croix Falls.
Enjoy a professional theater production at the St. Croix Festival Theatre, a bluegrass festival, summertime concerts in the park, and browse the jewelry, paintings, and other art created by skilled artists and artisans.
Stroll through history with a visit to one of several museums here. Clear Lake has a museum devoted to U.S. Sen. Gaylord Nelson, founder of Earth Day, and Burleigh Grimes, the last legal spitballer and member of the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Frederic Area Museum is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. The former county courthouse and now Polk County Historical Museum in Balsam Lake has an amazing three stories of exhibits and displays, including a Nye bison bone exhibit.
Every community goes all out with festivals and celebrations, some throughout the year. Milltown hosts an outstanding Fisherman’s Party each summer, as does Osceola with its “Wheels & Wings” festival. Cushing Fun Days features a soapbox derby for adults! Tractor pulls, ATV pulls, county fairs, and much, much more can be seen at various communities throughout the year.
We’re proud of where we live and hope you find a meaningful connection to this place also.
Polk County Information Center on behalf of the Polk County Tourism Council
So get out there & stir up something amazing!
Four Seasons of Fun in
April and May are favorite months for many of us in Polk County as the calendar transitions us to warm weather sports such as 5K and 10K races, golfing, biking, and hiking. Local nurseries welcome homeowners and others who want to add a splash of color to their homes after a long winter.
Our 438 lakes and many streams and rivers attract anglers and boaters. There are 36 officially designated trout streams in the county. Parks and beaches swell with campers and swimmers. Popular attractions include a zipline park and wildlife education park. Your bucket list should include Wisconsin Interstate Park and its fabulous gorge flanked by rocky cliffs. ATVers can explore three trails. Numerous summer festivals spring up across the landscape.
At the height of Colorama, the reds, oranges, and yellows of leaves create picture-perfect scenery to be enjoyed from about mid-September to mid-October. Be sure to check with the Polk County Information Center or local chambers for the latest color reports. We recommend visits to local farmer’s markets and apple orchards for fresh produce and the award-winning wineries to tour and sample their selections.
Bundle up and frolic in the snow — snowmobiling, ice fishing, sledding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, downhill skiing, and snowboarding are among the favorite activities. Enjoy the bonfires, hot cocoa, cookies, and toasted marshmallows that warm you up. Polk County has 365 miles of state-funded snowmobile trails that network with other counties’ trails for days of riding adventures. Ice fishing has a long tradition in Polk County, and you can spot small villages of ice shanties over popular fishing spots.
All-Terrain Excitement in Polk County
Polk County is in the heart of northern wilderness and farmland with beautiful scenery. ATV and motorbike enthusiasts can find three ATV trails in Polk County that will provide hours of riding enjoyment.
This scenic trail runs from Amery to Almena for a total of 18 miles, of which 12 miles are in Polk County. The trailhead is in Amery, where restrooms and picnic areas can be found. Along the trail, you will enjoy some of Wisconsin’s most picturesque farms and forests and have the opportunity to spot lots of wildlife. The trail is a former railroad bed that runs across six bridges. The multi-use trail is open all year to ATVs and motorcycles. Because of the different types of trail users on the trail at any time, it is important to have proper trail etiquette to ensure the safety and enjoyment of all.
Sterling Trail/Jack Pine Loop Trail & Campground
The Sterling campground and ATV trails are located 7 miles west of Cushing. The campground is located at the ATV trailhead that includes picnic area and four primitive camping sites. Each site includes enough room for a camping unit and hauling trailer. The sites are available on a first come, first serve basis available Memorial Weekend thru October 1. The ATV trails consist of two gravel closed loop trails open June to November 15. The Sterling Loop ATV tail is 5.2 miles and the Jack Pine Loop ATV Trail that links into the Sterling Loop Trail is 13.7 miles giving a total of 18.91 miles of ATV trails. Both trails start at the trailhead located on Evergreen. From St. Croix Falls go 15 miles north on US-87, take a left onto Evergreen Avenue for 9 miles. For more information, call 715-4859294.
The Sawmill Trail is open year-round and is accessible to ATVs and motorcycles. It follows 11 miles of former railroad bed. There is an ATV trail through the Village of Clear Lake. Motorcycles not licensed for highway use cannot use that village trail.
Lisa Anderson, 715-554-1689
Angel Olsen, 612-201-3853 PoCo
Safety First! Your machine must be registered in the state of Wisconsin or have a trail pass in order to use these trails. Remember to obey all speed limits and other signs. ATV and UTV operators who were born after December 31, 1987 – and who are at least 12 years old for ATV and 16 years old for UTV – must complete an ATV and UTV safety certification course in order to operate on public ATV/ UTV trails and areas in Wisconsin. However, DNR Conservation Wardens recommend that all ATV and UTV operators complete a safety course. For more information, call the Polk County Parks Department at 715-485-9278 or visit discoverpolkcountywis.com.
Rev It Up in Polk County
Polk County is home to over 365 miles of state-funded snowmobile trails that are nicely groomed and well marked. Major routes such as the Gandy Dancer State Trail will take you quickly to your destination. Or ease off the throttle, and explore remote trails as they meander through breathtaking scenery.
The trails pass through farmland and forests of Polk County. Enjoy the hospitality of the communities and businesses along the way. You can find sled repairs, fuel, dining, lodging, and other necessities for your snowmobiling adventure. Snowmobile trail maps are available at many businesses.
Polk County trails connect to those in neighboring counties for extended trips. The Cattail State Trail travels nearly 18 miles on a former rail corridor from Amery to Almena in neighboring Barron County. All-terrain vehicles are allowed on the trail year-round. There are six bridges and one tunnel along the way.
Polk County’s 14 snowmobile clubs lead the way in brushing, signing, and grooming the trails. They invite out-of-area riders to join them for a club ride. The public can also enjoy the fun at their fundraisers, such as poker runs and meals. They welcome new members anytime. The clubs are also excellent sources of information for trail rides. Contact a representative from the listing below:
The Wisconsin Trail Pass is $30 for snowmobilers who are NOT members of a snowmobile club and the Association of Wisconsin Snowmobile Clubs (AWSC).
A $10 discounted annual Wisconsin Trail Pass will be available to members who currently belong to BOTH a Wisconsin snowmobile club and the AWSC. Non-resident trail pass fee is $50 per year. There is NO discounted option for non-resident trail pass if the sled is registered outside of Wisconsin. Non-residents may buy a discounted trail pass if their snowmobile is registered in Wisconsin and they belong to a snowmobile club and the AWSC.
For more details on finding a WI snowmobile club to join or further details on the WI Trail Pass, please visit the AWSC website at www.awsc.org. For more information on the trail pass and snowmobiling in Wisconsin, visit the WI DNR website at dnr.wi.gov and search “snowmobile” or call 1-888-936-7463.
If your sled is not registered in the state of Wisconsin, you will need a non-resident snowmobile trail pass on all county trails. Trail passes are available at any DNR licensing station: Amery True Value, Amery; Arrow Marine, St. Croix Falls; St. Croix Outdoors, St. Croix Falls; Breezy Bay Motor Sports, Balsam Lake; Brenizer Motorsports, Frederic; Deer Lake Sports, St. Croix Falls; Lakeland Power Sports, Inc., Clear Lake; Luck Sport and Marine, Luck; and Morks Big Lake Store, Osceola.
Amery Snowmobile Club 715-554-1833 amerysnowmobileclub.com
Balsam Lake Snociables 651-756-1382
Clear Lake Ditch Dusters
Second Wednesday of the month, 7 p.m. 715-977-2819
Cushing Jack Pine Savages 715-417-1155
Fox Creek Foxtrotters
First Saturday of the month, 10 a.m., October-April, DN Campground, Balsam Lake 715-441-5584
First Sunday of the month, 7 p.m., 715-554-2051
Second Sunday of the month, 7 p.m. Sundown Saloon, Lewis, 715-553-0731
Second Wednesday of the month, 7 p.m., Luck Township Hall, Hwy 48, Luck 715-419-0116
Milltown SnowRovers 715-491-3298
Osceola Valley Sno-Goers osceolavalleysnogoers.com 715-684-9115
Polk County KAOS Club 715-222-2495
Snow Neighbors of West Sweden (S.N.O.W.S.)
Second Sunday of the month, 3:30 p.m., Sundown Saloon Lewis, 612-799-0531
Snow Packers of Polk Co
Second Saturday of the month, 3 p.m. County Line Bar or Dale's Twin Pines 715-822-2418
St. Croix Falls/Wild River First Tuesday of the month 7 p.m. 715-557-0600
1. Gandy Dancer State Trail
Starts at the Polk County Information Center, 98 miles along old railroad grade between St. Croix Falls and Superior. 47 miles from St. Croix Falls to Danbury is surfaced with crushed limestone and is a state recreational trail. (800) 222-POLK
SUMMER: Hiking, Biking: Bikers 16 and older need bike pass or DNR patron license. Passes available at local retailers or Polk County Information Center.
2. Cattail Trail
18 miles from Amery to Almena. Trailhead & trailer parking next to Apple River in Amery. (800) 222-7655 or (715) 483-1410
SUMMER: Hiking, Biking, ATVing, Horseback Riding, Motorcycling
WINTER: Snowmobiling, ATVing
3. Interstate Park
12 trails, 10 miles through unique glacial terrain overlooking St. Croix River. Four observation points; warming shelter for skiers. Ice Age Interpretive Center serves as trailhead, access to the Ice Age Trail.
WINTER: Cross-Country Skiing & Snowshoeing
4. Sterling Forest
7-mile closed loop, wooded. Dirt bikes, motorcycles and horses prohibited. (800) 222-7655
5. Somers Lake Trail
2-mile closed loop divided into shorter loops. Woods and lakeview. (715) 485-9294 or 1-800-222-POLK
SUMMER: Hiking, Horseback Riding
6. Balsam Branch
Adjacent to Kennedy Environmental Area near Amery. Groomed for classic & skate skiing. (715) 268-7565 or (715) 268-2920
WINTER: Cross-Country Skiing. For skiing conditions: skinnyski.com
7. Coon Lake Trail
(715) 327-4294 or (800) 222-POLK
SUMMER: Hiking WINTER: Hiking, Snowshoeing
8. Trade River Trail
8.5K groomed for classical and skate skiing. (715) 327-4294 or (800) 222-POLK
WINTER: Cross-Country Skiing. For skiing conditions: skinnyski.com
9. Sawmill Trail
Between Clear Lake and Clayton. Popular for mountain biking. (800) 222-7655
SUMMER: Hiking, ATVing, Motorcycling WINTER: Snowmobiling, ATVing
10. Ice Age Trail
National Scenic Trail. Starts in St. Croix Falls and crosses the state. Hiking only. (800) 222-7655
11. Dry Creek Trails
North of Hwy. 8 near Deer Lake. Park on 140th Ave.
WINTER: Cross-Country Skiing, Snowshoeing
12. Trade River
40 miles of maintained and marked trails, primitive camping. Located in southern half of Gov. Knowles State Forest. (715) 463-2898
ALL YEAR: Horseback Riding, Horse-Drawn Driving
13. Ridge View Trail
Near the St. Croix River south of St. Croix Falls. Trailhead parking off County Road S.
WINTER: Cross-Country Skiing, Snowshoeing
14. St. Croix Falls Trails
“City of Trails,” excellent hiking trails within scenic, hilly city limits.
SUMMER: Hiking, Biking
WINTER: Cross-Country Skiing, Snowshoeing
15. Wilke Glen & Osceola Bluff Trail
Descend 156 steps into Wilkie Glen, past Cascade Falls and along the St. Croix River.
SUMMER: Hiking WINTER: Snowshoeing
16. Standing Cedars
On the bluffs of the St. Croix River south of Osceola. One trail extends to the riverbank.
WINTER: Cross-Country Skiing, Snowshoeing
17. Stower Seven Lakes State Trail
Non-motorized 14-mile Stower Seven Lakes State Trail begins at Soo Line Park (off Harriman Avenue) in Amery and ends at Lotus Lake County Park, about one mile from Dresser on 90th Avenue.
SUMMER: Hiking, Biking
WINTER: Cross-Country Skiing, Snowshoeing. For skiing conditions: skinnyski.com
Equestrian Trails Will Take You Places
There is a variety of equestrian trails and related camping opportunities in Polk County. The crown jewel of these equestrian trails is in the Polk County portion of Governor Knowles State Forest. Located within the forest are the Trade River Equestrian Campground and Trade River Day Use Area. There are more than 40 miles of well-maintained and marked horse trails, including the Barrens Loop, Harris Loop, Sunrise Shortcut, River View Trail and Wolf Creek Trail. You will experience breathtaking upland terrain, peaceful, fragrant forest, babbling creek crossings and scenic river overlooks.
The Trade River Equestrian Campground with its 40 campsites, many with electrical hookups, come complete with picnic tables, fire rings and horse tie-out areas. Restrooms and water stations are located within the campground and firewood is available to purchase. Water is available through mid-October.
For a single day ride, parking/picnic use try the Trade River Day Use Area, located just east of the equestrian campground with another located at 340th Street and 290th Avenue. An information center with trail passes, maps, water and restrooms is conveniently located there. Self-registration is available on-site. All vehicles require an annual admission sticker or payment of a daily fee. Wisconsin state trail passes are required for anyone 16 years and older.
The campground is open from May 1 through October 31. Trails are open year-round, but are not plowed in winter. You can now make reservations online for campsites at: wisconsin.goingtocamp.gov. You can also call 1-888-947-2757. For more information, contact Governor Knowles State Forest Headquarters at 325 West State Road 70, Grantsburg or call 715-463-2898 or visit dnr.wisconsin.gov and search Governor Knowles.
Other great equestrian trails to explore in Polk County are the Cattail State Trail and the Stower Seven Lakes State Trail. Both are rails-to-trails and make for excellent horseback riding. These trails traverse forest, farms, picturesque lakes, wetlands and the remnants of prairie.
The Cattail extends 17.8 miles through Barron and Polk counties. The trailhead at Amery has restrooms and picnic areas. From the endpoint and Amery, you continue west on the Stower Seven Lakes Trail. This county-operated trail surface is of crushed limestone and
River Equestrian Trail System
extends for 13.5 miles ending 1 mile before Dresser at 90th Avenue.
In 2020 the Polk County Board of Supervisors added a horseback riding season beginning October 1 and through mid-November. Polk County built new parking areas with lighting and other amenities to accommodate horse trailers near the Village of Wanderoos. This is centrally located north of the Stower Seven Lakes State Trail. For information and maps of the two state trails please visit the Polk County website polkcounty.gov and look under equestrian trails.
GANDY DANCER TRAIL
Enjoy the Scenic Gandy Dancer State Trail
You’re never far from an outdoor recreation al pursuit in Polk County, and one of the top trail attractions is the Gandy Dancer State Trail. About half of the very scenic trail lies within Polk and Burnett counties. More than two dozen events, including a marathon, are held on this trail each year.
The name Gandy Dancer invokes images of lively feet as summer-time users walk or pedal bicycles along the 98-mile route that follows the old Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Sault Ste. Marie railroad grade from St. Croix Falls north to Superior.
Gandy Dancer is actually derived from the nickname bestowed on railroad hand crews who built and maintained the tracks, using tools manufactured by the Chicago-based Gandy Tool Company. Chanting in unison, they were quick on their feet as they synchronize the swinging of hand tools, hence earning the “Gandy Dancer” label.
After 100 years as an active rail grade, the abandoned route became a “rails-to-trails” success story. The southern 47 miles of the multi-use state trail in Polk County is non-motorized, April through November, for hiking and biking, and motorized in winter for snowmobiling and frozen ground ATV/ UTV riders.
From the Polk County Information Center in St. Croix Falls (via the blacktopped 1.5-mile Interlink Trail) it passes through the small towns of Centuria, Milltown, Luck, Frederic, and Lewis. The short distances between these towns makes the Gandy Dancer the most user-friendly trail in the Midwest with easy access for food, lodging, parking, and other areas to explore. It continues through Burnett County to Danbury. The level grade and hard packed limestone surface is safe and accessible for people of all abilities.
The northern section, from Danbury to Superior, is a gravel trail open year-round to both motorized and non-motorized use. The entire Gandy Dancer State Trail is marked with mile post signs.
A state trail pass ($5 day, $25 annual) is required of all bicyclists 16 years of age or older riding the Gandy Dancer between St. Croix Falls and Danbury. A Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Conservation Patron license will be honored as a bike pass. Trail passes are available at the Polk County Information Center and from business vendors located in communities along the trail. Trail passes are issued to individuals, not bikes. As such trail passes cannot be passed from person to person or shared with others.
An ATV or UTV operated on a public trail or corridor needs to display a valid Wisconsin public use registration or needs to display a valid non-resident ATV or UTV trail pass. Riders should not go on side trails, as they are not open to ATV/UTVs.
The Polk County Information Center has trail maps and information on the many attractions along the trail, as well as in the county.
RIVERS & LAKES
Rivers & Lakes
Where it All Begins
Thousands of years ago, a massive glacier inched its way from the north and onto this land. The weight of the glacier and ensuing meltwater carved up the landscape upon its retreat, leaving spectacular features such as the 200-foot-high bluffs that guard the mighty St. Croix River. Elsewhere, lakes by the hundreds were formed – 438 in all – in what would become modern-day Polk County. Rivers and streams carved their own niches. The St. Croix and Apple rivers attract boating, fishing, kayaking, canoeing, and tubing enthusiasts. Over 36 trout streams cover 98 miles, offering fly fishermen fantastic casting opportunities. These bodies of water provide resting, feeding, and nesting places for bald eagles, ospreys, and other wildlife, including the shy white-tailed deer that come to drink at water’s edge. Sandy beaches with easy public access and clean water for swimming can be found most anyplace in the county.
LARGER FISHING LAKES WITH PUBLIC BOAT ACCESS | PUBLIC BEACHES*
Balsam Lake 2,054 acres *
Public Boat Access: 1 on West shore off Hwy. 46 1 on Northwest shore off Hwy. 46 1 on Northeast shore off Co. Rd. I 1 on Northeast shore off Co. Rd’s G & GG
Big Round Lake . 1,015 acres
Public Boat Access: Located on West shore of lake off Co. Rd. I & Big Round Ave.
Bone Lake ...... 1,781 acres *
Public Boat Access: 1 on North end off Hwy. 48 & Co. Rd. I 1 on South end off Co. Rd’s I & G.
Bass Lake ............. 138 acres
Public Boat Access: Located on North end of lake off Hwy. 48.
Bear Trap ............. 241 acres Lake is located off Hwy. 46 & Co.Rd. F.
Big Blake Lake.......302 acres
Public Boat Access: Located on Northeast shore of lake off Co. Rd. G & 80th St.
Big Butternut Lake..378 acres
Public Boat Access: 1 on Northwest shore off Hwy. 48 1 on North end off Hwy. 35.
Big Lake ............... 259 acres
Public Boat Access: Located on Southeast shore of lake off Hwy. 65 & Co. Rd. K.
Bridget Lake 95 acres
Public Boat Access: Located on South end of lake off Hwy. 65 & 120th Ave.
Church Pine Lake .. 107 acres
Public Boat Access: Located on South end of lake off Co. Rd. K & 180th St.
Coon Lake .............. 54 acres
Public Boat Access: Located on East shore of lake off Hwy. 35 & Ash St.
Deer Lake 807 acres
Public Boat Access: Located on West shore of lake off Hwy. 35.
Diamond Lake ....... 126 acres
Public Boat Access: Located on North shore of lake off 360th Ave./ County Line 150th St.
Half Moon Lake . 579 acres *
Public Boat Access: 1 on West end off Hwy. 46 & 200th Ave. 1 on Southeast shore off Co. Rd’s GG & G.
Herby Lake ............. 69 acres
Public Boat Access: Located on West shore of lake off Hwy. 87 & 240th St. Maximum depth of 37 ft.
Horse Lake ........... 228 acres
Public Boat Access: Located on South end of lake off Co. Rd’s M & Y.
Horseshoe Lake .... 377 acres
Public Boat Access: Located on South-west shore of lake off Hwy. 8 & Co. Rd. T.
Lake Mckenzie ........ 60 acres
Public Boat Access: Located on North end of lake off Co. Rd. I & 280th Ave.
Lake Wapogasset 1,186 acres
Public Boat Access: 3 located along West shore off Co. Rd’s C & F 2 on Southeast shore off Co. Rd’s C & F.
Largon Lake 129 acres
Public Boat Access: Located on South shore of lake off Co. Rd. E & 280th Ave.
Little Butternut Lake 189 acres
Public Boat Access: Located on North end of lake off Hwy. 35 & Co. Rd. N.
Long Lake ............ 272 acres Lake is located off Hwy. 46 & Co. I.
Long Trade Lake ... 153 acres
Public Boat Access: Located on Northeast shore of lake off Co. Rd’s Z & B.
Lotus Lake 246 acres
Public Boat Access:
Located on North end of lake off Co. Rd. MM & 90th Ave. Maximum depth of 17 ft.
Loveless Lake ....... 141 acres
Public Boat Access: Located on South end of lake off Hwy. 46 & 150th Ave.
Lower Pine Lake 90 acres
Public Boat Access: Located on Southeast shore of lake off Co. Rd. M & 192nd St.
Magnor Lake 224 acres
Public Boat Access: Located on South end of lake off Hwy. 63.
Pike Lake ............. 159 acres
Public Boat Access: Located on West shore of lake off Co. Rd. H & Pike Lake Rd.
Pine Lake ...............82 acres
Public Boat Access: Located on Northwest shore of lake off Co. Rd. M & W. Church Rd.
Pipe Lake .............270 acres
Public Boat Access: Located on Northeast shore of lake off Co. Rd. G & 220th Ave. Maximum depth of 68 ft. Connects to North Pipe Lake.
Pipe Lake (north) ...55 acres Maximum depth of 38 ft. Connects to Pipe Lake.
Poplar Lake ..........125 acres
Public Boat Access: Located on North shore of lake off Hwy. 8 & 208th St.
Rice Lake ............. 128 acres
Public Boat Access: Located on South end of lake off Hwy. 35 & 200th Ave.
Sand Lake 187 acres *
Public Boat Access: Located on Southeast shore of lake off Co. Rd. Y & 110th Ave.
Sandhill Lake 44 acres
Public Boat Access: Located on Northwest shore of lake off Hwy’s 87 & 35 and Co. Rd. N.
Somers Lake ........ 101 acres
Public Boat Access: Located on Northeast shore of lake off Co. Rd. I & 320th Ave.
Staples Lake ......... 305 acres
Public Boat Access: Located on North shore of lake.
Swede Lake 68 acres
Public Boat Access: Located on North end of lake off Co. Rd. M & 35th Ave.
Twin Lake (north) . 135 acres
Public Boat Access: Located on East shore of lake off Hwy. 46.
Twin Lake (south) 74 acres
Public Boat Access: Located on North shore of lake off Co. Rd. F & 105th St.
Lake Vincent ........... 70 acres
Public Boat Access: Located on Southeast shore of lake off Co. Rd. I & Vincent Lake Rd.
Ward Lake .............. 91 acres
Public Boat Access: Located on West shore of lake off Hwy. 48 & Co. Rd. O.
White Ash Lake ..... 153 acres
Public Boat Access: 2 located on West shore off Co. Rd. E 1 on East shore off Co. Rd. G & 70th St.
White Ash Lake (north)
................................. 119 acres
Public Boat Access: Located on North shore of lake off Co. Rd. E & 180th Ave.
AreaAmazing Parks in Polk County
Saint Croix National Scenic River Way
Extends for some 250 miles along both sides of the St. Croix and Namekagon Rivers. Primitive camping only. Excellent fishing, canoeing, and wildlife watching. Visit www.nps.gov/sacn or call (715) 483-3284.
Wisconsin Interstate Park
Oldest state park in Wisconsin. Unique geology found nowhere else. Ice Age Interpretive Center open daily. Year-round camping on St. Croix River; some sites handicap accessible. Several picnic shelters, scenic overlooks. Swimming beach with bathhouse but no lifeguards. Hiking, snowshoe & cross-country ski trails, boat access, shore fishing. Open year-round, Wisconsin park sticker required. Call (715) 483-3747 or visit www.dnr.state.wi.us/ org/land/parks/specific/interstate/.
Apple River County Park
Woods, trails, 18 acres along the Apple River north of Amery. Picnic shelter, playground, restrooms, well. Hike, canoe, snowmobile. Camping available.
Atlas County Park
On Long Trade Lake northwest of Luck. Comprises three land areas separated by water. Footbridge, ballfield, boat landing, picnic shelter, and playground. Fishing, hiking, snowmobiling.
Black Brook County Park
Large dam creates the Black Brook Flowage of the Apple River southwest of Amery. Boat landing, picnic shelter, playground.
Somers Lake Recreation Area
East of Frederic. Hiking trail plus hunting in season; snowshoe trail.
D.D. Kennedy Environmental Area
106 acres along Balsam Branch Waterway south of Balsam Lake. Canoeing, fishing, hiking and cross-country ski trails. Picnic shelter and playground.
A 188-acre area in Garfield Township between Balsam Lake and Amery south of Hwy. 8. Cross-country skiing and mountain biking, plus hunting in season.
Lotus Lake Park
Southeast of Dresser. This 18-acre park offers flowery views of American lotus beds. Picnic shelter, playground, and well. Boat landing, fishing, hiking on interpretive trail. Access to Stower Seven Lakes State Trail.
Straight Lake Wilderness State Park
Wisconsin’s newest state park and Straight River Wildlife Area located northeast of Luck near intersection of Hwy. 48 and County Road I. Over 2,700 acres includes mature hardwood forest, three flowages, and varied habitat for rare plant and bird species.
Lake Wapogasset Park
Located off County Road F on the southeast shore of Lake Wapogasset in the town of Garfield. Fishing piers, 24-hour boat launch, playground, picnic shelters, restrooms.
Plus Many More Local Parks
Call (800) 222-POLK for information on the many fine county and city parks offered in every part of the county.
Enchanting Wisconsin Interstate Park
A Park for All Seasons and Ages
Wisconsin Interstate Park on the Wisconsin-Minnesota border is “Interstate Park” by state statute. While there is an Interstate Park in Minnesota on the other side of the St. Croix River, the two Interstate Parks are not affiliated in any way. They straddle the Dalles of the St. Croix River, a deep basalt gorge with glacial potholes and other rock formations. Entrance to Wisconsin Interstate Park is in St. Croix Falls, on Highway 35 just a half mile south of U.S. Highway 8.
There is so much to do and see at Wisconsin’s Interstate State Park, the state’s oldest park, established in 1900 and located along the picturesque St. Croix National Scenic Riverway. Visitors can climb the cliffs of the St. Croix River Dalles, canoe the flatwater, watch kayakers rush through the rapids, enjoy the sandy beach, camp at over 80 campsites, go fishing, or hike the many trails in this beautiful 1,300-acre natural wonder. The Pothole Trail is a “must see” as hikers are treated to awesome views of the Dalles, as well as potholes drilled in solid rock by glacial runoff.
Spring brings a great diversity of wildflowers and birdwatchers. In summer, camping with beach access and dozens of hiking trails are the major draws to Wisconsin Interstate Park. In fall, the St. Croix River Valley forest is ablaze in the autumn colors of red, gold, and orange. Trails are multi-use and are open to hiking, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing. The terminus of the 1,200-mile-long Ice Age Trail through Wisconsin ends/begins in Wisconsin Interstate Park! Pets are welcome but must be on a leash and under control at all times. Snowshoers, hikers and pets are not allowed on the Skyline Trail when it is groomed for skiing. Certain other areas may be off limits to pets.
The geology that formed this park intrigues visitors and brings geologists from all over the world. At least 10 different lava flows are exposed in the park, along with 2 distinct glacial deposits, and traces of old streams, valleys and faults. Learn more at the Wisconsin Interstate Park’s Ice Age Interpretive Center, which features a 20-minute free theater video, photographs, murals, and information about the great glaciers that shaped the Dalles.
Wisconsin’s Interstate Park is open year-round from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. A Wisconsin vehicle admission sticker is required and some National Park passports allow visitors to receive a waiver of the vehicle admission fee, but camping fees are not affected. The Ice Age Interpretive Center is open most days and Glacier’s Gift Shop is open daily when volunteers are available.
Come explore and experience the beauty of nature in fabulous Wisconsin Interstate Park!
Arts & Theater in Polk County
Art unlocks our imagination, makes life richer, and, most importantly, brings us to life! So live life to its fullest with a visit to Polk County’s art galleries and theaters. You might even get a surprise when you stop to catch a bite to eat or have banking or medical appointments: art pieces are regularly featured on walls of local businesses and medical facilities. Our art and theater groups create works to be enjoyed by people of all ages. We invite you to embark on an art adventure you will long remember, whether viewing a painting that will stir your soul or taking in a comedy performance that will have your ribs aching with laughter!
ARTS IN HAND
www.artsinhand.com • 715-635-9303
Arts in Hand (formerly known as WI Northwest Heritage Passage or WNHP Artworks) represents artists in the 13 counties, whose works are for sale at the gallery in Spooner. Mission – The mission of Arts in Hand is to celebrate and showcase northwest Wisconsin’s artisan products that are handmade and homegrown and educate the public about the contribution of the creative community to the quality of life in northwest Wisconsin promote and foster growth in northwest Wisconsin’s creative industry.
www.fredericarts.org • 715-327-8181
The Frederic-area organization supports artistic opportunities for people of all ages and enhances and preserves the cultural fabric of the community through educational events and programs. It sponsors various events such as writer readings and music concerts, as well as projects and exhibits. Some of these happenings take place at the Frederic Art Center, 310 S. Lake Avenue, open AprilNovember.
NORTHERN LAKES SCHOOL FOR THE ARTS
www.northernlakescenter.org • 715-268-6811
Amery ranks as one of the nation’s top 100 small arts towns. The center is where musicians practice, Community Theater performs, writers gather, and visual artists display works. Along with several permanent exhibits, rotating exhibits display works of up to 40 artists each year. Northern Lakes is the only rural school of this kind in the state. More than 150 students study theater, music, writing, and art. Northern Lakes partners with schools by offering enrichment programs in writing, literature and theater. The 55-member orchestra performs throughout the year and the Northern Lakes community theater group offers four productions annually. The writers’ group publishes a semi-annual collection of works.
POLK COUNTY EARTH ARTS
www.earthartswi.org • 800-222-POLK
Earth Arts is an organization of local artists from throughout the Upper St. Croix Valley. Members include painters (varied media), photographers, potters, glass blowers, writers, book makers, musicians, basket makers, sculptors, chainsaw carvers, jewelers, and crafters. Earth Arts makes local galleries and studios available as sites for tour groups. This group also presents special events, sales and festivals, including the Earth Arts Art Tour, the first weekend in May.
ST. CROIX ARTBARN
www.stcroixartbarn.com • 715-294-2787
St. Croix ArtBarn is a bi-state community arts organization. Guilds include theater, visual arts, music, writing, and dance. ArtBarn has received national, state and local awards for original as well as collaborative programming with other arts and civic organizations and schools. ArtBarn offers intergenerational theatrical opportunities April through October and a month-long summer art camp for children. Other annual events include a concert series, bluegrass festival, garden tour, and art classes. ArtBarn is located at 1040 Oak Ridge Drive, one block east of State Hwy. 35 behind the Osceola Middle School.
ST. CROIX FESTIVAL THEATRE
www.festivaltheatre.org • 715-483-3387 (box office)
One Festival Theatre patron described the past 20 years of professional theater in St. Croix Falls as “world class theater in a small town package.” And, that’s what audiences have to come to expect from St. Croix Festival Theatre as they gather professional actors, directors and designers from all over the country and bring them to the St. Croix Valley each year. Combine inspiring live entertainment with Festival Theatre's beautiful atmosphere and you’ll have a perfect getaway for couples, groups, or the entire family. The yearlong schedule includes live theater, children’s productions, concerts and other events.
OTHER ARTSY PLACES
Your art adventure trip won’t be complete without a visit to ArtZ Fine Arts Gallery, Cafe Wren and One 10 Gallery. ArtZ Fine Arts Gallery in downtown Amery is a treasure trove of art ranging from mixed media, pastels, watercolors and oils to photography, pottery, fabrics, blown glass, sculptures, and much more, all created by prominent local artists. ArtZ Gallery is located in the historic J. E. Harkinson building. Cafe Wren in Luck is a great place for your taste buds to try out their unique recipes crafted from locally grown produce. Your eyes will be treated to wonderful original art displayed on the cafe’s walls. One 10 Gallery in Frederic has handcrafted and creative designed work with a great choice of art and fine craft. Polk County Information Center has a mini gallery featuring local artists.
There's a lot going on in Polk County
1-31 Amery - Art Exhibit at artZ Gallery 715-268-8600
1 Amery - First Day Hike on Stower Seven Lakes Trail – Check Facebook, “Friends of Stower Lakes Trail” for updates
6 Amery - An Art Exhibit Opening @ Northern Lakes Center 715-268-6811
21 Clear Lake - 106th Annual Fireman’s Oyster/Chili Feed @ Community Center
21 Amery - A Student Recital @ Northern Lakes Center for the Arts 715-268-6811
18 Amery - “Something for the Wearin` o the Green” @ Northern Lakes Center
25-26 Amery - 23rd Annual Maplefest @ Glenna Farms –firstname.lastname@example.org
26 St.Croix Falls - Festival Theatre – Live theatre, call for current play 715-483-3387
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
21 Frederic - Winter Fun Day - Ice Fishing Contest on Coon Lake 715-327-4294
21-22 State Wide - Free Fishing Weekend
22 Atlas - Susie Q’s Annual Fishing Tournament 715-268-5223
29 Amery - St. Joseph’s Annual Ice Fishing Contest @ North Twin Lake 7am-3pm – Church 715-268-7717
1-28 Amery - artZ Gallery Exhibition 715-268-8600
4 Amery - Candlelight Ski/Hike 6pm @ Soo Line Park
4 Wanderoos - Lion’s Club Ice Fishing Contest on Lake Wapo
4-5 Balsam Lake - WinterFest Celebration – Winter Family Fun www.balsamlakecc.com
9-11 Luck - Winter Carnival
11 Amery - Love Poems for Valentine’s Day @ Northern Lakes Center 715-268-6811
11 Centuria - Ice Fishing Contest on Long Lake
11 St. Croix Falls - Candlelight Ski @ Interstate Park 715-483-3747
14 St. Croix Falls - Singing Valentine’s 715-483-9202
18 Clam Falls - Winter Carnival/Ice Fishing Contest
18 Osceola - Ice Fishing Contest on Big Lake
19 Clayton - Ice Fishing Contest on Lake Magnor
24 Dresser - “Lord of the Ropes” @ Trollhaugen Ski Area
25 Amery - Vintage Snowmobile Ride@ Cattail Trail head. For more information www.amerysnowmobileclub.com
1-31 Amery - artZ Gallery Art Exhibition 715-268-8600
3 Amery - Art Exhibit Opening @ Northern Lakes Center 715-268-6811
4 Dresser - Master Shredder Contest @ Trollhaugen Ski Area 715-755-2955
4-5 Dresser - Demo Days at Trollhaugen Ski Area 715-755-2955
11 Dresser - Troll Cup Race @ Trollhaugen Ski Area 715-755-2955
Amery - artZ Gallery Art Exhibit 715-268-8600
1 Clear Lake - Easter Egg Hunt @ First Lutheran Church 9:30am 715-263-8847
8 Amery - Easter Egg Hunt @ Soo Line Park 715-268-7486
8 Turtle Lake - American Legion Smelt Fry
8 Luck - Easter Egg Hunt @ DBS / Lion’s Hall 715-472-8034
8 Luck - Luck Ambulance Smelt Fry
8 Balsam Lake - Easter Egg Hunt @ Pine Park 715-553-0794
14 Amery - An Art Exhibit @ Northern Lakes Center 715-268-6811
15 Cushing - Spring Bash @ Community Center
15 Clear Lake - Earth Day Celebration @ Elementary School 715-263-2233
15 Dresser - 13th Annual Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser @ Firehall 715-294-0057
15 St.Croix Falls - Festival Theatre – Live theatre, call for current play 715-483-3387
22 Amery - Earth Day -50th Anniversary ‘Restore our Earth’.
29 Balsam Lake - Rod & Gun Club Smelt Fry 715-554-4177
27 Dresser - Trollhaugen Ariel Adventure Park Opens. 715-755-2955
29 Amery - Memorial Day Ceremony @ Amery Cemetery 11am
29 St.Croix Falls - Festival Theatre – Live theatre, Call for current play 715-483-3387
1-30 Amery - artZ Gallery Art Exhibit 715-268-8600
2 St. Croix Falls - Music on the Overlook Fridays @ 6pm www.geniusoffun.com
2-4 St. Croix Falls - City of Trails Celebration
3 Milltown - Kids “R” 1st Fishing Contest
3 Taylors Falls - Scenic Boat Tours. www.taylorsfallsboat.com
3 Turtle Lake - Spring Market & Business Fair 715-986-2241
3 St. Croix Falls - City of Trails 5K & 10K Walk/Run
3 Amery - Trails Day @ Soo Line Park
3-4 Statewide - Trails Day-Free Trails, Free State Park Entrance, Free Fishing Weekend
6 Luck - Music in Triangle Park 6:30pm 715-472-2221
7 Amery - Music in the Park @ Michael Park 6pm www.amerywisconsin.org
9 St. Croix Falls - Music on the Overlook 6pm www.geniusoffun.com
9 Amery - Rural Artists of Wisconsin - Northern Lakes Center 715-268-6811
10 Turtle Lake - Museum Opens please call for hours 715-986-2241
10 Amery - Taste of Glenna Farms 12-4pm 800-310-5050
10 Osceola - Rhubarb Fest at Mill Pond Park @ Rhubarb Days
Osceola - Osceola Braves Baseball at Oakey Park @ osceolabraves.com
1-31 Amery - artZ Gallery Art Exhibit 715-268-8600
5-7 Polk County - Earth Arts Tour www.earthartswi.org
5-7 St. Croix Falls - Spring Awakening Festival www.geniusoffun.com
6 Luck - Aebleskiver Supper 3:30-7pm @ West Denmark Church
6 Milltown - River’s Run & Ride Rally
7 St. Croix Falls - Falls Sampler @ Big Rock Creek 715-501-8172
20 Osceola - Train Rides. Check website for their schedule www.trainride.org
25 Frederic - Music @The Annex at Frederic Arts @ www.fredericarts.org
26-27 Luck - Plant Sale @ Café Wren 715-472-4700
26-29 Dresser - Total Off Road Rally @ Trollhaugen 715-755-2955
27 Balsam Lake - Polk County Museum Opens www.polkcountymuseum.com
27 Frederic - Soo Line Depot Museum Opens
13 Luck - Music in the Park (Triangle) 6:30pm
14 Amery - Music in the Park at Michael Park 5 pm 715-268-7486
15-18 Frederic - Family Days-Classic Car Show, Arts & Crafts Fair, Fireworks 715-327-4294
16 Amery - Music on the River - Michael Park 5 pm www.geniusoffun.com
16 St. Croix Falls - Music on the Overlook 6pm www.geniusoffun.com
16-18 Clayton - Clayton Cheese Days-Tractor Pull, Demo Derby and more
17 Amery - Women’s Club Art Fair 9am-3pm @ North Park
17 Osceola - Train Rides. Please check their schedule at www.Trainride.org
17 St.Croix Falls - Interstate Livestock Show @ Polk County Fairgrounds 715-485-8600
17 Turtle Lake - Polk County Dairy Breakfast @ Neil & Janice Jensen Farm 715-553-2488
20 Luck - Music in the Park (Triangle) 6:30 pm
21 Amery - Music in the Park @ Michael Park 6pm www.geniusoffun.com
23 St. Croix Falls - Music on the Overlook 6pm www.geniusoffun.com
23 St. Croix Falls - Festival Theatre – Live theatre, call for current play 715-483-3387
23-25 Milltown - 75th Fisherman’s Party 10-4pm @ Bering Park - Parade, Bass Tourney
23-25 Clear Lake - Heritage Days-Parade, Dance, Arts & Crafts Fair 715-263-2157
24 Balsam Lake - Balsam Lake Ski Team @ Sunnyside Marina 7pm
24-25 St. Croix Falls - Blues, BBQ & Car Festival @ Chateau St. Croix Winery 715-483-2556
25 Cushing - Settler’s Potluck Picnic
27 Luck - Music in the Park (Triangle) 6:30pm
28 Amery - Music in the Park @ Michael Park 6pm www.geniusoffun.com
29 Frederic - Music @The Annex at Frederic Arts www.fredericarts.org
30 Amery - Giant Ice Cream Sundae @ Michael Park
30 St. Croix Falls - Music on the Overlook 6pm www.geniusoffun.com
1-31 Amery - artZ Gallery Art Exhibit 715-268-8600
1 Wanderoos - Independence Day Celebration
1-3 Balsam Lake - Freedom Fest – Tractor Pull, Arts & Craft Fair, Boat Parade 715-485-3215
4 Clam Falls - 4th of July Parade and Fireworks Dusk
4 Amery - 4th of July Fireworks @ Amery School grounds, dusk
4 Luck - Music in the Park (Triangle) 6:30pm
5 Amery - Music in the Park - Michael Park 6pm www.geniusoffun.com
7 St. Croix Falls - Music on the Overlook 6pm www.geniusoffun.com
7-9 Turtle Lake - Inter County Fair - Carnival Rides, Parade, Food Court, Tractor Pull
8 Amery - Balsam Ski Team 3pm @ Lake WapoWaterside Bar & Grill
11 Luck - Music in the Park (Triangle) 6:30pm
12 Amery - Music in the Park - Michael Park 6pm www.geniusoffun.com
14 Amery - Music on the River - Michael Park 6pm
14 St. Croix Falls - Music on the Overlook 6 pm www.geniusoffun.com
14 St. Croix Falls - Festival Theatre – Live theatre, call for current plays 715-483-3387
14 Taylors Falls - Scenic Boat Tours. For more info: www.taylorsfallsboat.com
14-16 St. Croix Falls - Wannigan Days – Parade, Fire Works, & More www.geniusoffun.com
15 Balsam Lake - Bassmaster’s Classic Fishing Contest
15 Osceola - Train Rides. Please check their schedule at www.trainride.org
15-16 Centuria - Memory Days - Parade, Food, Family Fun
join us for fun All Year Long!
15-16 St. Croix Falls - Jazz Festival @ Chateau St. Croix Winery 715-483-2556
18 Luck - Music in the Park (Triangle) 6:30pm
21 Amery - Music on the River, Michael Park 5pm www.geniusoffun.com
21 St. Croix Falls - Music on the Overlook 6pm www.geniusoffun.com
21-23 Luck - Lucky Days - Classic Car Show, Bed Races, Parade & More 651-724-1440
22-23 Frederic - Gem & Mineral Show @ Frederic High School
25 Luck - Music in the Park (Triangle) 6:30pm
26 Amery - Music on the River - Michael Park 6pm www.geniusoffun.com
27 Frederic - Music @ The Annex www.fredericarts.org
27-30 St. Croix Falls - Polk County Fair –www.polkcountyfair.com
28 St. Croix Falls - Music on the Overlook 6pm www.geniusoffun.com
1-31 Amery - artZ Gallery Art Exhibit 715-268-8600
1 Amery - National Night Out - Community Wide
1 Luck - Music in the Park (Triangle) 6:30pm
1 Turtle Lake - National Night Out @ Village Park www.turtlelakewi.com
2 Amery - Music in the Park - Michael Park @ 6pm www.geniusoffun.com
4 St. Croix Falls - Music on the Overlook 6pm www.geniusoffun.com
5 Amery - Half Marathon/5K on Stower Seven Lakes Trail – “Friends of Stower Seven Lakes Trail” on Facebook for any updates
9 Amery - Music in the Park - Michael Park 6pm www.geniusoffun.com
9 St. Croix Falls - Festival Theatre – Live theatre, call for current play 715-483-3387
12 Luck - Fire Department Corn Feed 2-7pm 715-472-2221
12 St.Croix Falls - Wine & Cheese Festival @ Dancing Dragonfly Winery 715-483-WINE
13 Turtle Lake - Vintage Cars & Crafts in the Park www.turtlelakewi.com
12-13 Lewis - Charles E. Lewis Days – Games, Food & Drink. Family Fun. 715-653-2277
16 Amery - Music in the Park - Michael Park 6pm www.geniusoffun.com
18 Amery - Music on the River - Michael Park 5pm www.geniusoffun.com
18 Taylors Falls - Scenic Boat Tours. For more info: www.taylorsfallsboat.com
19 Cushing - Cushing Fun Day – Adult Soap Box Derby
19 Frederic - Pie Social @ Soo Line Park 10-3pm
19 Frederic - Festival on the Gandy www.FredericArts.org
19 Osceola - Train Ride. For their schedule please go to www.trainride.org
19-20 Turtle Lake - Moon Lake Threshing Bee 715-641-1057
23 Amery - Music in the Park - Michael Park 6pm www.geniusoffun.com
25 St. Croix Falls - Music on the Overlook 6pm www.geniusoffun.com
25-27 St. Croix Falls - Rockin` RibFest @ Big Rock Creek www.geniusoffun.com
30 Amery - Music in the Park - Michael Park 6pm www.geniusoffun.com
31 Frederic - Music @The Annex at Frederic Arts www.fredericarts.com
1-30 Amery - Art Exhibit @artZ Gallery
2 Balsam Lake - Fire Dept. Truck & Tractor Benefit Pull @Fire Dept.
2 Balsam Lake - Balsam Lake Ski Team 6 pm @ Sunnyside Marina 715-485-3393
2-3 Balsam Lake - FFA Corn on the Curb 11am - ? 715-614-1569
8-10 Osceola - Community Fair- Midway, Truck Pull, Parade. www.myosceola.com
9 Osceola - Wheels & Wings @ Osceola Airport www.myosceola.com
9 Osceola - Train Ride. Please check their schedule at www.trainride.org
14-17 Amery - Amery Fall Festival
15-16 Amery - Apple River Quilt Guild, Quilt ShowLook us up on Facebook!
16-17 St.Croix Falls - Grape Stomp Festival @ Dancing Dragonfly Winery 715-483-WINE
17 St.Croix Falls - Festival Theatre – Live theatre, call for current play 715-483-3387
19 Amery - Balsam Lake Sportsman’s Club Banquet 5pm @ BrowTine 715-268-6262
20 Taylors Falls - Scenic Boat Tours. For more info: www.taylorsfallsboat.com
23 Cushing - River Road Ramble – Historic stops from St.Croix Falls - Grantsburg
23 Osceola - 20th Annual Croixland Bike Show 715-294-4640 for more info
23-24 St.Croix Falls - Harvest Festival @ Chateau St. Croix Winery 715-483-2556
23-24 Centuria - Baker Orchard Fall Festival 763-439-9535
24 St.Croix Falls - Grape Harvest @ Dancing Dragonfly Winery 715-483-WINE
1-31 Amery - Glenna Farms, Pick your own pumpkins daily 10am-5pm 715-268-4702
1-31 Amery - artZ Gallery – Local Artists…for more info: 715-268-8600
1 Dresser - Open House @ Trollhaugen Ski Area 715-755-2955
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
7-8 St. Croix Falls - Autumn Fest- Vendors, Arts & Crafts www.geniusoffun.com
7 Osceola - Brewfest – Taste Test from many local Breweries 715-204-4022
7 Amery - Changing Colors Bike Ride on Stower Seven Lakes Trail - Check Facebook For updates. “Friends of Stower Seven Lakes Trail”
7 St. Croix Falls - Festival Theatre – Live theatre, call for current play 715-483-3387
7 Luck - Gandy Dancer Marathon – Half & Full www.gandymarathon.net
7-8 Osceola - Fall Color Tour @ St. Croix Valley Railway 651-228-0263 call for times
7-8 St. Croix Falls - Dog Fest & Fun Run www.geniusoffun.com
14 Amery - Indianhead Barbershop Chorus @ Amery High School 715-483-9202
14 Milltown - Pumpkin Fest @ Bering Park 1-3pm 651-353-8748 for more info
14 Milltown - Fire Department Taco Feed & Auction 4pm-? www.milltownfire.com
14-15 Webster - 36th Mixed Sampler Quilt Guild Show @ High School 10-4pm www.mixedsampler.wixsite.com/msqg
15 Turtle Lake - FFA Alumni Toy Show & Indoor Pedal Pull 9-3 @T.L. Elementary School
15 Clear Lake - Lutefisk Dinner @ Moe Lutheran Church 11am -4:30pm 715-948-2867
20-22 Osceola - Osceola & St. Croix Valley RailwayPumpkin Express Trains 651-228-0263
21 Amery - Annual Trick or Trot 5K @ North Park www.amerywisconsin.org
28 Luck - Trick or Treat on Main Street – Business Trick or Treat 715-472-2221
28 Frederic - Annual Halloween Party @ Frederic Elementary School 715-327-4294
1-30 Amery - artZ Gallery – Local Artists, for more info: 715-268-8600
4 Milltown - American Legion Turkey Party 715-825-3258
11 Cushing - Fire Dept Venison Feed @ Community Center 715-648-5663
11 Osceola - Lutefisk Dinner @ Emmanuel Lutheran Church 11-7pm 294-2936
11 Turtle Lake - American Legion Vet’s Dance and Dinner 715-986-2241
17-19 Osceola - Doe on the Go @ Osceola Businesses email@example.com
18 Wolf Creek - Chili Supper @ United Methodist Church 715-483-9494
21 Amery - Light up the Park, parade and chili feed www.amerywisconsin.org
23 St.Croix Fall - Polk County Information Center, closed for Thanksgiving
24-26 Luck - Holiday Art Sale @Cafe’ Wren 472-4700
24-1/1/24 St.Croix Falls - Miracle at Big Rock Creek 715-501-8172
25-27 Dresser - Trollhaugen Thanksgiving Race Camp 755-2955
25 St.Croix Falls - Festival Theatre – Live theatre, call for current play 715-483-3387
1-31 St. Croix Falls - Miracle at Big Rock Creek www.bigrockcreekwi.com Lighting Display
1-31 Amery - artZ Gallery – Local Artists, for more info: www.artzgallery.org
1–3 Luck - Holiday Art Sale @ Café Wren firstname.lastname@example.org
2 Amery - Holiday Sampler at Glenna Farms www.glennafarms.com
2 Amery - Holiday Stroll Downtown/Light up the Park www.amerywi.gov
2 Centuria - Cozy Country Christmas & Parade @ Community Center 715-553-2488
2 Clayton - Community Tree Lighting www.villageofclaytonwi.com
2 Clear Lake - Elf Escape www.clearlake-wi.gov
2 Frederic - Christmas in Frederic www.fredericwi.com
2 Luck - Holiday Experience www.luckwisconsin.com
2 Osceola - Light up Osceola at Mill Pond Park 715-294-3498
2 St. Croix Falls - Rivertown Holiday Christmas & Lighting www.scfwi.com
2 Turtle Lake - Chamber Christmas-Santa, refreshments & Light up the Park 715-986-2241 for more information
15 St.Croix Falls - Festival Theatre – Live theatre, call for current play 715-483-3387
24 St.Croix Falls - Polk County Information Center, Closed for Christmas Eve 715-483-1410
25 St.Croix Falls - Polk County Information Center, Closed for Christmas 715-483-1410
31 Clear Lake - Fireworks at the Chalet at Clear Lake Campground 715-263-2157
31 St.Croix Falls - Polk County Information Center, Closed for New Years Eve 715-483-1410
Welcome to Balsam Lake
Balsam Lake Area Chamber
PO Box 366, Balsam Lake, WI 54810 www.balsamlakecc.com email@example.com
Balsam Lake Village Office
PO Box 506, Balsam Lake, WI 54810 715-485-3424 • firstname.lastname@example.org www.balsamlakevillage.com
Visitors are Discovering Balsam Lake
Established in 1905, the Village of Balsam Lake rests on the southwest shore of Balsam Lake in one of the most prime tourist locations of northwest Wisconsin. Whether you are looking to relax or take part in a wide variety of activities, both on and off shore, Balsam Lake is the place for you!
Nestled in the center of all your entertainment options, Balsam Lake has many things to offer all year long. Just minutes away are movie theaters, golf courses, casinos, antique and boutique shopping, a water park, and downhill skiing. Many trails go through Balsam Lake, offering opportunities for cross-country skiing, hiking, snowshoeing, ATVing, and snowmobiling.
In the winter, Balsam Lake is transformed into a dreamy world of cross-country skiing and snowshoeing for the silent sports crowd. Snowmobile routes become active, as riders thrill to the rush of their sleds. A meal at their favorite local establishment provides energy for the next stretch of trail. In addition to providing trail links, the frozen lake is a magnet that draws anglers seeking a bag limit of game fish and panfish.
In the summer, the lake embraces water sport enthusiasts of all descriptions. Several quality public accesses are available where you can launch your watercraft and enjoy the lake. Take part in water sport activities, or relax while taking a leisurely cruise past the beautiful shorelines and scenery. Get out on the lake early to enjoy a beautiful sunrise, and stay out late to take in the stunning sunset views. While on the lake, you can dock up for gas, bait, and snacks at Sunny Side Marina, located right on the water. Imagine living in Balsam Lake and being adjacent to the lake of the same name with 2,054 acres of water! Anglers have a ball seeking out bass, walleye, pike, and panfish. Many come to take part in pro and amateur tournaments. Personal watercraft and skiers have plenty of room to carve up a wake. You might even see a sailboat or two catching the summer breeze. The warm months bring the opportunity to relax on a beach towel and soak up the sun or take a swim at the town beach.
Looking for a place to camp or enjoy a picnic? Point the picnic basket toward Pine Park, a local favorite. There you will find camping facilities, showers and restrooms, picnic shelter,
grills, softball field, basketball, tennis and volleyball courts, playground, disc golf course and skateboard park. Having fun must have been written in the bylaws of the community’s charter because there’s so much to see and experience during all four seasons. Don’t feel like camping? Stay at the Outdoors Inn at Balsam Lake, Ward’s Balsam Beach Resort, Sunnyside Marina & Resort, Dream Catcher Inn, or Thirsty Otter Tavern & Resort.
The Balsam Lake Chamber of Commerce sponsors several fun events! Winter Fest on Feb. 4-5, 2023 will feature a polar plunge, adult games on the ice, and UTV races on Balsam Lake. Another winter event is the Iceman 500 Races on Feb. 17-18, 2023. Freedom Fest on July 1-3, 2023, will include a craft fair, fire department’s water fights, parade, car show and many other activities. Wine Walk is set for Sept. 16, 2023. Mark the calendar for the magical Christmas Stroll on Dec. 16, 2023. The Chamber is always looking to add more fun activities, so visit their website at balsamlakecc.com or their Facebook page to keep current on them.
Looking for more things to do? The Fire Department crew holds an Easter Egg Hunt, a fundraising spaghetti dinner in March, softball tournament during the Freedom Fest, and a Demolition Derby during Corn on the Curb Days over Labor Day weekend. Enjoy delicious food at the smelt fry in April, courtesy of the Rod & Gun Club. Specific dates for all events can be found on the Chamber’s website.
There are several local establishments that offer both fine and casual dining. Several establishments offer Internet access as well. A farmer’s market is held in the Village on Friday afternoons, June to October. The selection covers all types of produce, flowers, plants, baked goods and many more items.
The full story of the area’s history can be found within the Polk County Historical Museum, which is housed in the historic courthouse in Balsam Lake. Nearby, the public library overflows with over 20,000 items for your reading and viewing pleasure, and it also offers Internet service.
Beautiful Polk County Museum is Rich in History
The Polk County Museum in Balsam Lake showcases the unique importance of our Polk County area by historic and cultural artifacts and exhibits – all providing a fascinating look at our past and housed in a beautiful building built in 1899.
Visitors are invited to discover the historic treasures that fill this former county courthouse, now on the National Register of Historic Places. It’s located on Main Street, downtown Balsam Lake. The handicap accessible museum also hosts special exhibits throughout its season. Call 715-485-9269 for more information.
The three floors of displays are full of unique local items –some dating back to the Revolutionary War – that speak to the diversity of cultures and people of the Polk County area. Most of what you’ll encounter is from the early 1900s. The Historical Society updated the bison bone exhibit and added two new exhibits: World War I, and Sporting Life. The courtroom has been redesigned to accommodate guest speakers focusing on the history of Polk County. Among the fascinating exhibits are the
bison bones discovered in the marl dredging pit east of Dresser in Nye and dating back to the Pleistocene Period.
Adults and children of all ages will be enthralled with the Native American exhibit, which includes a full-size wigwam, artwork and many other authentic items on display. Early life in America is rediscovered through a barbershop, country store and doctor’s office with attention given also to clothing, home furnishings, writing and musical instruments of that era. The storied logging era has a rightful place in this collection, too.
The rich diversity of the region is recognized with ethnic exhibits, including those of Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, German, Irish, Scottish, English, French and Native American.
Museum hours are Thursday through Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The museum holds sessions of Pioneer School at the restored Polk County Lanesdale School in Balsam Lake. Please visit our website at PolkCountyMuseum.org or Facebook page for more information.
Your New Destination Balsam Lake Brewery & Market
Visitors are discovering a new gathering place in downtown Balsam Lake with the opening of the Balsam Lake Brewery & Market in early 2022 by owners Mike and Christina Gondek.
Balsam Lake Brewery features live music, trivia on Tuesdays and special events throughout the year. Go to their Facebook or call 715-405-3669 for more information on those events.
They currently have 12 of their own craft beers and two craft seltzers on tap. Also available are domestic light beers, wine, champaign, and wine/seltzer-based cocktails. Their craft beer is catching on with other outlets, including on tap at Brow Tine,
Hacks Pub, The Lodge, Thirsty Otter, Wilkins Resort, Sunset Lodge and Trollhaugen Ski Resort. Their taproom features a daily happy hour and a Bloody Mary bar on weekends. During the warmer months, the patios are open for outdoor dining and drinks.
The market portion of the attractive 6,500-square-foot building houses a full grocery store stocked with fresh produce, meat and cheese, featuring offerings from local venders, including Burnett Dairy Cooperative, Wilkins Pizza, Louie’s Finer Meats, Crystal Ball Farm Dairy and Daeffler’s Quality Meats.
They are focused on their community by donating food to the food shelves, holding fundraisers for worthy causes and providing a meeting and working space for local groups. In October, they were presented the Best New Business in Polk County award by the Polk County Economic Development Corporation. They have incorporated Balsam Lake’s distinctive red colored water tower in their logo.
They are open seven days a week and are located downtown at 101 1st Avenue East. Their website is balsamlakebrewery.com.
Village of Centuria
Centuria is a Charming Community
The Village of Centuria offers many outdoor amenities for residents and visitors alike, including parks, pavilions, horseshoe pits, basketball courts, boat landing and picnic area on Long Lake. Additionally, Centuria’s beautiful village park is right off the Gandy Dancer Trail and has sheltered picnic tables, playground, the Pomeroy Schnell ball field with concession facilities, lighted horseshoe courts and bathrooms.
The Gandy Dancer State Trail goes through Centuria, offering miles and miles of snowmobiling in winter and biking/hiking in the warmer months. ATVs/UTVs are allowed on most village streets year-round.
Nearby attractions include a bowling alley, Lamar Community Events, and the St. Croix Valley Raceway. Fishing at Long Lake can be accessed by the village-maintained public boat landing, or fish from the dock or shoreline. The area includes a picnic area and restrooms. The lake offers great swimming, too.
Featured Centuria events include Memory Days in July, a celebration of small-town life. Another popular event is the Baker Orchard Art Festival in September. The artists in the Earth Group show and sell their fine art in many media. The orchard and Orchard House Gallery are open to the public. There are also hayrides and live music. The Cozy Country Christmas in December is when participants enjoy snow sculptures, games, hayrides, Santa visit, crafts and flea market.
The Village of Centuria is located on Highway 35. Centuria is known for a low tax rate and low utility rates. The village owns an industrial park, with lots available. There is police services (shared with Balsam Lake) and a fire department within the village. For more information, call 715-646-2300 or visit centuria-wi.org or e-mail email@example.com.
Solar Farm in Centuria: Generating Renewable Energy
Polk County, including the Centuria area, has plenty of dairy farms. But Centuria can also boast of having a solar farm!
SunTuria Solar at Polk-Burnett Electric Cooperative in Centuria is now generating clean, renewable energy for co-op members. The 1.25 MW array is the first utility-scale solar in Polk and Burnett counties.
Located behind the co-op office in Centuria, SunTuria Solar covers 10 acres with more than 4,800 solar panels that follow the path of the sun to increase energy production. The array generates approximately 2,363,000 kWh of electricity annually, enough to power about 200 homes.
SunTuria Solar is one of 15 new solar facilities being developed by Dairyland Power Cooperative to diversify generation resources and increase solar energy in Wisconsin.
SunTuria Solar was built and is owned and operated by Chicagobased SoCore Energy on land leased from Polk-Burnett. SoCore’s investment is more than $2 million.
Polk-Burnett and Dairyland Power Cooperative will have no initial investment but have contracted with SoCore to purchase all of the energy output at a fixed rate for 25 years.
Electricity from SunTuria Solar flows into the Sand Lake Substation south of Highway 8 and will be distributed to local members, just the same as if the power had been generated and transmitted from a distant power plant.
As a side benefit, the ground under the array will be restored as prairie to provide bee and butterfly habitat.
Clayton Has Much to Offer
The Village of Clayton is located on Hwy. 63 in the southeast corner of Polk County. Incorporated in 1909, Clayton has a population of 561. The village is located within the Town of Clayton. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 3.2 square miles of which 3.1 square miles is land and 0.1 square miles is water.
The Village of Clayton hosts a variety of opportunities within its community and the surrounding area. As the “Home of the Bears,” the Clayton School District is nestled in this small community about one-hour northeast of Minneapolis. It is comprised of a 4K-12 school building with approximately 400 students and 47 certified staff members. The Clayton School District has an excellent staff who cares a great deal about the students’ intellectual, emotional and physical development. The primary mission of the staff members is to help students develop the necessary skills and strategies to be confident life-long learners and to be productive in a global world.
The Clayton Village Board is very proactive to opportunity. Industry, manufacturing, retail and commercial businesses are located throughout the area. The vision statement of the Village of Clayton is, “To enhance small town atmosphere and continue to provide updated, quality services to support growth and opportunities.”
A recent large addition to the wastewater treatment plant provides modern utilities for residents using the water and sewer department’s services. An active industrial park and TIF district encourages development and is available for businesses looking for a place to grow.
Year-round events, festivals, and recreational activities take place in Clayton and the surrounding area. ATV, mountain bike, and snowmobile trails thread through the area, with maps available locally. Lake Camelia, Lake Magnor and Moon Lake have a mix of public boat landings, picnic areas and public docks.
Like most communities in northwestern Wisconsin, it was the loggers who first settled in Clayton. They found the greatest stand of white pine trees in the world waiting to be harvested. In 1874 the railroad arrived, making its way northward through many logging camps including Clear Lake, Summit, Pineville and Richardson. The end of the line was at the large sawmill located at what is now called Lake Camelia on the west edge of the Village of Clayton. The lumber company, Humbird and Rogers, operated the mill and owned most of the land surrounding Clayton.
Clayton Rogers was the boss of the mill and reputed to be an excellent manager and capable of the work of 10 men. Mr. Rogers was a veteran of the Union Army in the War Between the States. He was an officer of the 6th Wisconsin, which was one of the divisions of the famous “Iron Brigade.” He was in many battles, including the Battle of Gettysburg in which he performed invaluable services. On the first day of the battle his delaying action against the Confederate forces enabled the Union Army of the Potomac to march to Gettysburg and participate in the battle. In recognition of Clayton Rogers’ great accomplishments, the village was given his first name.
Another notable pioneer of the village was Worthy Prentice, also a Civil War veteran. Mr. Prentice was a surveyor who mapped out the village. He lived in Clayton most of his life. The main street through the village is named Prentice Street after him.
Following the lumbering era Scandinavian, German and Russian families settled the area and eventually went into dairy farming. The area became known for many small creameries and cheese factories. The Clayton Cooperative Creamery was purchased by Stella Cheese Company in the 1930s and became a producer of fancy Italian cheese, which was shipped throughout the entire nation. During the 1960s the factory produced blue cheese and became the largest producer of blue cheese in the world. The Clayton Lions Club promoted the Village by proclaiming it “The Blue Cheese Capital of the World.” The Wisconsin Dairies Cooperative purchased the cheese factory during the 1980s. Today it is known as Foremost Farms and is a producer of pizza cheese for America’s most popular fast food.
Strong educational traditions
The first school in Clayton was established in 1876. In 1914 the school included a four-year high school and was headed by F.M. Robey, who was the principal of the school for 50 years, retiring in 1964. The Clayton School in 2000 dedicated its second major addition in 10 years. Clayton residents are very proud of the excellent school system and have always been supportive of exceptional facilities and programs for area youth.
Year-round recreational activities take place in Clayton and its surrounding area. Richardson Sportsman Club celebrates winter with its annual ice fishing contest on Lake Magnor in February. We celebrate our annual town festival, Clayton Cheese Days, every summer over Father’s Day Weekend in June. Early June sees the local Rickety Chickety group’s sale of a collection of eclectic, historical, and re-purposed items for viewing and purchasing.
Labor Day is busy for the Clayton Fire Department, which sponsors a Tractor and Truck Pull event for the benefit of a local child or family with a young child or children.
Fall sees our area churches active with community eats and treats, including the Silver Creek Lutheran Church’s soup and sandwich.
For more information and specifics on area events please contact Village of Clayton office at 715-948-2460 or visit villageofclaytonwi. com.
The City of Amery
Welcome to Amery, a 'City of Lakes and Trails'
Find scenic beauty, a vibrant arts culture, 13 inviting parks with lots of amenities and a historic downtown when you visit Amery. Whether you are an outdoor enthusiast, art aficionado, or foodie, we have something for you!
Adventure is easy to find in this city surrounded by lakes, campgrounds, on-water resorts, marinas, and hiking, biking and OHV trails. Known as the “City of Lakes and Trails,” Amery itself boasts three in-town lakes, a river and quick access to two multi-use state trails. During summer, you’ll find people paddling on North, Twin and Pike lakes and on the picturesque Apple River. Pontoon touring is popular, while fisher-folks pursue bass and muskies, among other species. Amery is also a Wisconsin Bird City, and Tree City USA.
Amery was featured in “The 100 Best Small Arts Towns in America” and has two art galleries. Art displays abound everywhere! Visit community murals, search flea markets and vintage shops, or come to the Earth Arts Spring Art Tour in May or the Women’s Club annual Arts Fair in June.
Grab your shopping pals and head to the downtown retail shops, which range from vintage shops, to boutiques, to gift shops. The local food scene is bustling. Restaurants, grills and pubs –nearly 20 in and around Amery – guarantee you won’t go away hungry. A mouth-watering burger, sizzling steak or Friday fish fry, along with craft brews (some local) are go-to favorites.
Other recreational pursuits include the Amery Golf Club, an 18-hole course with a scenic layout and four sets of tees to challenge golfers of all ages and abilities. There is also a disc golf course available. Amery has opened up most public roads for ATV/UTV use. Check the map for exceptions.
The Cattail State Trail is a prime example of a multi-use trail open year-round for ATVing; other trail uses include hiking, mountain biking, wildlife viewing, horseback riding and snowmobiling. In Amery, the trailhead is situated near Highway 46 and the Apple River. The trail goes for 18 miles to Almena in Barron County.
The Stower Seven Lakes State Trail runs from Amery to nearly Dresser. Built on a former railroad corridor, the trail begins at Soo Line Park on Harriman Avenue in Amery, travels through Deronda, Wanderoos and Nye, ending about 1 mile from Dresser on 90th Avenue.
During the autumn masterpiece known as “Colorama,” enjoy the brilliant leaf color in a landscape of rolling ridges and lush forests. When “hard-ice” time rolls around, shanties pop up on the lakes as anglers patiently peer down a round hole, waiting for a strike. Winter trails hum with activity with snowmobilers and cross-country skiers.
Several seasonal festivals, local and area attractions, and hometown values make this friendly town of some 3,000 residents a place to enjoy and to grow your family and business.
Savor the Beauty of Stower Seven Lakes Trail
The Stower Seven Lakes State Trail is a beautiful place to run, walk, ride a bike or just sit on a bench and take in the beauty that surrounds you. Not only are there seven lakes around which to meander, there are also a variety of plants and wildlife species to be viewed. The trail itself is basically flat and goes 14 miles one way from Amery to near Dresser. It’s wheelchair accessible and accommodates all ages and skill levels.
Built on a former railroad corridor, the trail begins in Amery, travels through the communities of Deronda, Wanderoos and Nye, ending about one mile from Dresser at 90th Avenue. Each bicyclist age 16 or older needs a Wisconsin state trail pass while using the trail. It’s maintained for cross-country skiing when the snow arrives. Each October, the trail hosts the “Changing Colors” bike ride/walk.
The trail passes through maple and oak forests, wetlands, prairies and farmlands and past several picturesque lakes. The trail crosses between the North Twin and South Twin lakes in Amery, skirts the south end of Bear Trap Lake, the north end of Kinney Lake, and runs along Dwight, Horse and Lotus lakes near the western end. Rest stops have been developed, which include parking spaces, restrooms, drinking fountains and picnic tables. Mile markers and point-of-interest signs aid in identifying one’s location.
Directions: Traveling north from Interstate 94 or south from U.S. Highway 8, take Highway 46 into Amery or Highway 65 to Wanderoos. Parking is available along city streets in both communities. In Amery, the trail begins just west of Highway 46 at Harriman Avenue. There is also a public parking lot near the trail in Amery just east of Harriman Avenue. From Dresser, take County Highway F, turn south on County Highway MM and then east on 90th Avenue to the beginning of the trail near Lotus Lake. Parking is available along city streets in Dresser. There is also a parking lot at Lotus Lake County Park, just east of the trail along 90th Avenue.
Bonus attractions: Between mile markers 10 and 11, veer to the north and follow the signs to beautiful Dwight Lake. Relax at the peaceful swimming beach on this hidden gem! Also, enjoy the beautiful lotus flowers on the lake by the same name in late July.
D.D. Kennedy Environmental Area
In this issue we are highlighting one of several parks in Polk County. D.D. Kennedy Environmental Area is a 99-acre environmental area preserve located between Amery and Balsam Lake. It’s situated along the Balsam Branch, which flows through central Polk County.
Visitors will find a small dam, millpond and a prairie restoration with well-maintained trails. The preserve is listed as a stop on the Great Wisconsin Birding & Nature Trail. The prairie restoration area features native grasses and wildflowers, which attracts a large variety of birds. Signature species include Black-throated Green and Canada Warblers, Blue-headed Vireos, and Yellowbellied Flycatchers.
Interpretive hiking trails, including 1-1/2 miles of paved trails, weave through the preserve. Fishing is allowed from the bridge over the dam and handicap accessible pier. The park features a number of amenities including two picnic areas with grills, shelter with electric service, enclosed education building available for rent, newly installed playground and modern bathrooms.
Nordic skiers can enjoy the Balsam Branch Ski Trail groomed for classic and skate-skiing. This 10-mile recreation trail crosses the D.D. Kennedy Environmental Area, the Garfield Recreation Area and Lake Wapogasset Bible Camp. The trail is also available for snowshoeing and hiking on the portion of the trail that is not groomed for cross-country skiing.
For more information, call 715-485-9294. From St. Croix Falls going east on US-8, take a right on 150th Street, left on 120th
Avenue, and a right onto Kennedy Mill Avenue. From Amery going north on Highway 46, take a left on Cty. Rd. H, take a left on 120th Avenue, and then a left onto Kennedy Mill Avenue. Or set your GPS to 1459 Kennedy Mill Avenue.
Farm Table Supports A Better Food System
beer. During the warmer months, enjoy dining and drinks in the garden patio.
Farm Table Restaurant is an outreach of the Farm Table Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports local farms working to rebuild soil, protect groundwater, and practice humane animal management. The Foundation promotes a basic tenet: How we feed ourselves matters.
In the fertile fields of Polk County, there is a growing movement that supports sustainable farming practices and locally sourced food products. Known as farm-to-table, the results are showing up in farmer markets throughout the county, as well as in local restaurants, most notably Farm Table Restaurant in Amery.
The restaurant serves lunch and dinner, including their popular Friday fish fry. The made from scratch kitchen features a seasonal menu. The menu is vegetarian friendly, with vegan and gluten free options. They offer hand-made bakery items, craft cocktails and
Farm Table brings local farm produce and proteins direct to consumers. Farm Table purchases 80% or more of its ingredients from sustainable farms within 50 miles during peak season. They preserve produce in summer, pickling and freezing, for use as winter menu items. Local farms keep traditional storage crops -- cabbage, carrots, potatoes, onions and winter squash -cellared, helping Farm Table pursue its goal of serving local foods all year round.
Their art gallery features works by local artists. The restaurant is located at 110 Keller Avenue N; telephone 715-268-4500; Farmtablefoundation.org. Visit them to learn more about how soil health, seasonality and craft cooking make a difference.
Try the Tasty Treats at Z-Orchard
When you’re looking around Polk County for attractions to visit, you should not overlook Z-Orchard, located near Amery in the heart of the St. Croix River Valley. There, you will find some 130 apple trees of various varieties, hundreds of maple trees (over 1,500 taps at last count), and local honey production. It’s open seasonally for harvest sales and special events.
The Amery Schools and home schoolers have regular field trips to Z-Orchard in the spring and the fall. “It’s rewarding to teach people where their food comes from,” says owner Bill “Apple Bill” Zager. Younger kids also get a kick out of the “Bee Train” barrel rides during their special events.
Apples are great for munching and making into pies and apple crisps, but it’s the bee yard – officially called an apiary – that draws kids like, well, bees to honey! The bees help pollinate all those apple trees, as well as producing raw honey for sale. Zager now has more than a dozen hives and thousands of bees. During the “honey open house” in July, visitors can view a honey harvesting demonstration and look at a beehive (without the bees).
They kick off the season with an open house on the first weekend of April with the Northwest Wisconsin Maple Farm Tour and then are open on scheduled weekends, and by chance or appointment throughout the maple syrup season. Look for the steam coming out of the sugar shack! It’s a delight to walk the one mile through sugar bush that takes you to the Stower Seven Lakes State Trail.
In addition to the above, you won’t want to miss purchasing some CarMapleCorn – kettle corn with caramelized maple syrup, along with fresh apple cider and Guth’s Candy treats. Another Z-Orchard specialty is their own maple cream. Make sure you try a sample of this pure maple product with a butter consistency and is a customer favorite. Come fall, it’s time for apple harvesting and pumpkin picking. In addition, there’s a great variety of squash and watermelons to “thump” for ripeness. They also have wooden toys made by a real Grandpa!
Z-Orchard is located at 654 115th Street, Amery. Check the website, Z-orchard.com, and Facebook for store hours and special events, including the annual Pumpkin Extravaganza.
Village of Clear Lake
Lots to See and Do in Clear Lake
Whether you’re visiting, looking to buy a home, raising a family, or are an entrepreneur seeking a welcoming business climate, the Village of Clear Lake has so much to offer! This Northwestern Wisconsin community is located on U.S. Highway 63, just 35 minutes from the Stillwater, Minnesota, crossing.
Come for the fun! Visitors will enjoy several celebrations hosted in Clear Lake throughout the year, including Kickoff to Summer, Heritage Days, and a New Year’s Eve fireworks show. There are event centers, resorts and banquet rooms available to host your next gathering. Here you can enjoy four-seasons of fun -- from fishing to powersports, camping, outdoor recreation, and much more!
Stay for the lifestyle. Clear Lake offers a high standard of living. It’s a progressive community with strong values, highly acclaimed schools, and filled with civic-minded, friendly folks. Newly installed fiber optic Internet makes this cozy country village a viable option for any size businesses and work-at-home folks, alike. You can have the best of both worlds!
A Great Place to Visit
The village of Clear Lake, in the southeastern section of Polk County, is named after the lake which lies just outside of downtown. The lake’s water is supplied from living springs, which makes for very good fishing, and the swimming beach is the best around. The lake is situated near two others in a 260-acre park with a playground, picnic shelters, softball field, and modern, hosted campsites, which can accommodate tents, campers and RVs.
You’ll discover that Clear Lake offers visitors and residents big-city amenities with small-town charm. There’s an abundance of year-round indoor and outdoor recreational activities.
Clear Lake is also the trailhead of a multi-use trail for recreational vehicles, snowmobiles, bicycling, hiking, cross-country skiing -- just to name a few. Additionally, the village is home to a beautiful 9-hole golf course, several coffee shops, restaurants and bars, and retail, gift and thrift shops. The Clear Lake Museum features hometown heroes Senator Gaylord Nelson, also the former governor and founder of Earth Day, and Burleigh Grimes, National Baseball League Hall of Famer, in addition to hundreds of other priceless artifacts. The Clear Lake Area All Veterans Memorial, located in the Clear Lake Cemetery, commemorates 1,700 local veterans on six granite monuments.
Amenities and a Thriving Business Climate
Main Street is bustling with activity, including a unique gift shop featuring dozens of consigned local artisans, restaurants and bars, car wash, service station, banking services, hair stylists, a photography studio, a health clinic, chiropractors, an optometrist, physical therapy, and more.
Clear Lake is also home to a gas station and convenience store, large retail hardware store, and a modern grocery store well-known for its blue-ribbon meats and deli.
Job seekers and businesses should check out the large manufacturers that reside at the industrial park. They include a large food processing business, two well-established manufacturers of heavy equipment, and an industrial coating business. Space is available.
Entrepreneurs, take note. The Clear Lake Area Community Center, housed in a historic 1920s-era former high school, serves as an incubator for small business startups by providing reasonable rent, amenities and marketing support. It also features a large event center, commercial kitchen and dining room available for rent. For more info, visit CLACC.org.
Visit us, and see for yourself why Clear Lake is a great place to visit, live or work.
For more information, visit clearlakewi.com or clearlake-wi.gov
2023 Calendar of Events
Annual Fireman’s Oyster Supper & Chili Feed
Third Saturday in January at Clear Lake Area Community Center
Earth Day Celebration
Clear Lake School District and Community Annual Service Day
Kickoff to Summer
First Saturday in June at the Clear Lake Park Pavillion. Family friendly and free!
Clear Lake Heritage Days
Last Full Weekend in June on Main Street Thursday - Sunday, June 22-25, 2023
Early December at local businesses. Kids of all ages can join in the fun of finding dozens of Elves hiding throughout the area, for their chance to win prizes!
Light Up the Village Contest
Throughout December at local businesses and residences; prizes for best decorations! Whether you’re visiting or you call Clear Lake home, be sure to tour all of the gorgeous light displays and Christmas decorations around our Village to celebrate winter!
Brunch with Santa
Mid December at Clear Lake Park Chalet
Dine with Santa, fill out your wish list and have pictures taken with Santa! Then, take a wagon ride and go sledding in our winter wonderland
New Year’s Eve Fireworks
December 31, 7 pm at Clear Lake Park Chalet
All Event Details can be found on our website at ClearLakeWI.com
Village of Cushing
Cushing is Big on Small Town Charm
Rolling hills, hardwood trees and open farmland with a healthy dose of friendly, small-town America is what makes the Polk County community of Cushing so special. The community officially numbers about 200 people and is located on Hwy. 87, north of St. Croix Falls.
Residents enjoy fishing and boating with several lakes and rivers, as well as parks, just a short drive away. Several community events throughout the year draw visitors to this area. A popular summer event (3rd weekend in August) is Cushing Fun Days, which features turtle races and the Cushing Adult Soapbox Derby. The derby was started in 2009 and has been a popular attraction ever since. Cushing also has softball tournaments on both Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends. Another featured event is the “River Road & Hwy. 87 Ramble,” a self-guided tour each September that uses the River Road and Hwy. 87 loop from St. Croix Falls to the county line and back. Along the way participants are treated to historical displays, art, food, music and community garage sales.
The River Road is the oldest road in the area. Up until the 1940s it was used as a “tote road” to the white pine logging areas. Along this route you will find places of historic significance such as cemeteries, churches and logging dam sites.
The community of Cushing is on the cusp of further residential development. Factory workers and professionals, including those making the commute to the Twin Cities area for work, are joining farm families in discovering the small town charm of this community.
Welcome to Dresser Trollhaugen Outdoor Recreation Area
Established in 1950, Trollhaugen Outdoor Recreation Area, 2232 100th Ave, Dresser, is one of the longest-running snow sports resorts in the Midwest. It offers skiing and snowboarding on 23 runs, along with four terrain parks, 10 lanes of snow tubing, and an all-season zip line park.
They have 100 percent snowmaking capabilities. The runs are groomed on a regular basis. They also offer night skiing.
The vertical drop is 260 feet with the longest run at 2,500 feet. There are 90 acres of skiable terrain with 28 percent classified as advanced, 43 percent intermediate, and 29 percent beginner.
If you like sledding, you will love snow tubing. Experience the thrill of sliding down a snowy run and then effortlessly riding a moving sidewalk back up. Tubes are provided, and a conveyor surface lift is available to ride up the hill. The 10 different lanes offer varied levels of rollers and pitch. No experience or special equipment is needed. Just hop in the tube and enjoy the ride.
The professional ski instructors at Trollhaugen’s Ski/Snowboard School’s offer group, semi-private, and private lessons.
Trollhaugen’s Adventure Park is an aerial challenge course and zipline park tour. The park provides the thrill of playing on a giant, floating playground. Imagine climbing trees, hanging from tires, and swinging on ropes just like when you were a kid, but on a far bigger scale and in a more creative environment, with the backup support of world-class safety equipment.
The aerial challenge course is an extremely fun experience offering seven different circuits and five levels of difficulty – so everyone can enjoy a challenging outdoor adventure, spring through fall. The zipline tour offers six ziplines across multiple platforms, and also features a dual-zip for tandem thrills with a friend.
For information about tickets, lessons, and hours, visit trollhaugen. com or call 651-433-5141or 715-755-2955.
Village of Frederic
Celebrate the Fun Activities in Frederic
Frederic is a wonderful place for someone raising a family, for young entrepreneurs, and for persons wishing to retire.
We value the arts in our community, which is supported by the all-volunteer membership group Frederic Arts, Inc. They host a number of art, craft and design classes led by skilled instructors throughout the year. Most classes are held at the Frederic Art Center, 310 Lake Ave., South. Check out the sculpture, “Circle of Stones,” by Minnesota artist Fuller Cowles and another sculpture, “Partners,” by Sarah Balbin, as well as works by our local talented metal sculptor, Michael Route.
There are lots of fun things to see and do in Frederic. Lakes are nearby, or within an easy drive, for fishing and boating, along with beaches and parks to work on a summer tan or for the kids to swing and slide. Nearby also are the Gandy Dancer State Trail and the Ice Age National Scenic Trail for those who like to hike and bike.
Winter activities include snowmobiling, ice-skating on the public rink, cross-country skiing and ice fishing. The Trade River Trail offers 10 km of groomed trails, and the Coon Lake Trail has 5.3 km of packed trails for winter hiking and snowshoeing. The “big feet” crowd will also want to try the Somers Lake Trail where there are three wooded loops totaling almost five miles for snowshoeing.
The Frederic Area Museum is an interesting place to visit. The original Frederic Depot was built in 1901 for a sum of $1,525. Passenger service through Frederic ended in 1961 and scheduled freight service ended in 1980. Renovated in the early 1990s, the depot was converted into a museum. In 2003 the depot was formally listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. Since the museum opened in 1997, several additions to the depot have been made. Adjacent to the depot/museum is a log cabin handcrafted by Syver Torkelson.
Frederic Family Days is held annually in June. Whether you are hitting dingers in the annual softball tournament, walking the classic car show, enjoying the parade, fireworks, or any of the other fun activities there is something for everyone! In the past, they have held the annual Frederic Festival on the Gandy where local and regional artists display and sell their works of art. July brings the Indianhead
Gem & Mineral Show. You don’t have to be a rockhound to enjoy the colorful agates and minerals on display and for sale. For more information on events, visit www.discoverfrederic.com.
Originally a logging community, Frederic was founded in 1901 and over the next 70 years grew into a retail and service hub serving northern Polk County and southern Burnett County.
Nature Carved Out the Ice Age National Scenic Trail
Polk County welcomes hikers to experience the 60 miles of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail (IANST), which falls within the county. The IANST in total stretches approximately 1,200 miles from Interstate State Park on the St. Croix River near St. Croix Falls, down as far as Janesville in Rock County in southern Wisconsin, and then up to Potawatomi State Park on Green Bay in Door County. IANST lies entirely within Wisconsin and is one of only 11 National Scenic Trails.
The Ice Age Trail is more than a path through the woods, according to those who manage and support the IANST. “It is a place for mental and physical rejuvenation, a place to unwind after a hard day and enjoy the landscape of Wisconsin,” says the iceagetrail.org website. “More than 2.3 million people use the Ice Age Trail each year to hike and snowshoe, to backpack, to disconnect and reconnect.”
St. Croix Falls, known as “The City of Trails,” is where the Ice Age National Scenic Trail ends or begins, depending on where you start your journey. It is the home of the Western Terminus and was designated an Ice Age Trail Community in 2019
The western terminus overlooks the St. Croix River in Interstate State Park. Glacial potholes are featured trailside with the trail’s terminus perched above the riverway and the Dalles of the St. Croix gorge. A brief walk clockwise on the Pothole Trail leads to
the western terminus marker. The state park is an Ice Age National Scientific Reserve unit with an interpretive center containing educational displays about the Ice Age.
The Polk County portion of the trail leads hikers through the glacial features of St. Croix Falls, onto the Gandy Dancer multi-use state trail, past the basaltic outcroppings and glacial formations of Straight Lake State Park, through vistas of massive white pine overlooking McKenzie Creek, and into several county forests. The Gandy Dancer State Trail from Centuria to Milltown is on a glacial outwash plain along some of Polk County’s best cropland.
Key glacial features include eskers (narrow glacial ridges) in St. Croix Falls and along Long Lake, a tunnel channel carved by glacial meltwater that the Straight River follows through the park of the same name, and numerous kettles (mounds) and hummocks (depressions). Eagles and trumpeter swans may be spotted in Straight Lake Park.
For more information about group hikes and other trail events, check the Facebook page of the Ice Age Trail Alliance - Indianhead chapter. Resources for planning a hike are available at iceagetrail. org. The Polk County Information Center in St. Croix Falls has Ice Age merchandise, including the guidebook, atlas, t-shirts, pins/ medallions and patches for sale.
Welcome to Luck
Luck is Surrounded by Trails, Scenic Beauty
Luck is a progressive community with an emphasis on smalltown life. We’re proud of our excellent schools, library, museum, locally owned stores, lodging facilities, restaurants (fine and casual dining), pubs, and nightlife. Come see our Main Street renovated in 2018 with new sidewalks, streets and lighting. Our scenic beauty is abundant, and we offer lots of recreational opportunities and events for all four seasons.
Start spring afresh with a visit to Luck for a hike or bike ride on one of our many trails, including the Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Straight Lake State Park, and the Gandy Dancer State Trail. Some of your most unforgettable golfing will be experienced on Luck’s Golf Course. Nestled along the shores of Big Butternut Lake, the 18-hole course weaves through pristine pines, hardwood forest, and rolling countryside.
Summertime is playtime on Big Butternut Lake, where you can camp, fish, swim and watch the sunset light up the sky. When you’re hungry, guide your boat to the dock at the golf course, and sample their food and drink. July brings our memorable Lucky Days Festival – offering entertaining bed races, spirited softball games, a nifty parade, and one of the best classic car shows to be found anywhere.
Embracing autumn is made easy while in Luck due to its proximity to area parks and trails.
Wintertime opens the doors to abundant outdoor activities: snowmobiling on nicely groomed trails, cross-country skiing on scenic trails under snowladen pine boughs, ice-skating on ponds and rinks, and ice fishing.
Our merchants welcome you to their unique and friendly shops throughout the year, but especially for the Holiday Experience in December. Watch the kids’ eyes light up when they see Santa’s Workshop and tree-lighting ceremony! The Luck Winter Carnival arrives in February, featuring an amazing lighted ice castle, fireworks, royalty pageant, dazzling torchlight parade, and much more for the entire family.
Year-round you can visit our impressive museum/library, taking you back in time to learn Luck’s rich history. According to local folklore, loggers on their way to the St. Croix River were lucky to make it to the big hotel on Big Butternut Lake before sundown. Those who did had put in a long day and were “in luck!” – hence, our name.
Here's a Recipe For Good Eats & Wellness
Like a bicycle built for two, Natural Alternative Food Co-op and Cafe Wren (both located in Luck) will nourish your outdoor spirit with delicious food, snacks and beverages. Add in the Gandy Dancer State Trail and you have a recipe for health and wellness while visiting Polk County.
The Gandy Dancer State Trail passes one block from the Natural Alternative Food Co-op downtown and behind Café Wren just a half mile north of Luck. Both businesses enthusiastically welcome trail users and are trail pass vendors. The Food Co-op has the area’s largest selection of organic and locally sourced grocery items while Cafe Wren serves breakfast, bakery, coffee and lunch menu year-round.
The Natural Alternative Food Co-op, located at 241 Main Street, has been offering wholesome, responsibly-produced food, health and beauty products since 1974. Started by a handful of volunteers, the Co-op now supports more than 50 area farmers and small businesses by selling everything from lamb chops to organic milk and craft beer to kim chi. In addition to grocery items, they have organic wine, other fun refreshments and snacks for those on the go. More than 700 members now own the store so any profit stays in the community. The grocery store is for nonmembers too, so everyone is welcome to shop!
Cafe Wren has been a rural oasis of delicious food and community involvement since 2003 and is located at 2596 State Hwy. 35. The cafe is passionate about serving real, good food in a comfortable setting. Works from local artists adorn the walls, and the cafe’s curated retail area is a fun place to pick up one-of-a-kind treasures. Food, coffee, art, health and happiness is what the cafe provides to customers and trail users.
Handcrafted beverages such as the maple latte, hibiscus ginger palmer or lavender lemonade are just a few of Cafe Wren’s signature drinks. Morning buns, almond nutrolls and scones are front and center each day on the bakery counter, all made in-house. Lunch features seasonal soups, salads and sandwiches and breakfast items are served all day. The menu is vegetarianfriendly with vegan and gluten free options.
The Friends of Gandy Dancer State Trail contribute to the area’s economy and tourism scene by promoting the trail, helping with maintenance and advertising and sponsoring some of the more than two dozen events that take place on the trail each year. Through generous member and business support, the Friends produce and make available Gandy BINGO cards, pocket-sized trail maps and other amenities such as bike racks and fix-it stations.
Whether you’re into geocaching, bike packing or simply just want to walk your dog, the trail has a hard, crushed limestone surface and is nearly flat, making it safe and accessible for everyone. With the Friends of Gandy Dancer promoting the trail and the coop and cafe feeding your outdoor hunger, the friends of health and wellness are happy to help you discover all of what the area around Luck has to offer.
Village of Milltown
Welcome to Milltown
Milltown Township is located in Polk County, a little over an hour drive northeast of the greater Minneapolis/St. Paul area. We are blessed with several popular recreational lakes offering quality fishing, boating and swimming at the beaches. Of those, Balsam, Half-Moon and Antler lakes bring many people to our community to enjoy the wonderful lake living and recreation.
There are a number of area parks, a golf course and ski areas. The Gandy Dancer Trail runs through our township and snowmobilers can access hundreds of miles of snowmobile trails. The township has several lake accesses and boat ramps.
With our relatively close proximity to the Twin Cities, many people enjoy living in the largely rural environment of our township while commuting to the Twin Cities for their work. During the summer months, the population almost doubles as many second home residents on the lakes return.
Besides the 4th of July observance and Pumpkin Fest, the other notable event in Milltown is the Fisherman’s Party. It was organized in 1950, and now is a two-day celebration. This publicizes the great number of fishing lakes in the area, 13 of them are within eight miles of town. Held in June each year, the festival celebrates the close-knit community spirit, with old-fashioned kids’ games, grand parade, car show, softball and volleyball tournaments and more.
A bit about our heritage: Patrick Lillis, born in Ireland, came to Polk County in 1856 and made a claim on where the town of Milltown now stands. He said it reminded him of his home in Cork County, Ireland. He came from the Irish village of Milltown, so he named the territory Milltown. The northern part of the township was basically settled by the Danes and Parmigians and the southern part, by the Irish
In 1961, the three towns of Balsam Lake, Centuria and Milltown integrated and a new school, Unity, was built four miles southeast of Milltown on Highway 46. The school serves PreK-12. Fire protection is located in Milltown Village and is one of the finest in the state.
Welcome to Osceola
Historic Osceola Has Unique Shops
Rich in history and an abundance of natural playgrounds, Osceola is a place you’ll love to call home away from home. Relaxing, and rejuvenating, Osceola is your easy and walkable small-town getaway. Located in between four state parks and on the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway this friendly, historic town provides your base camp to come back to after you explore all the attractions nearby.
Osceola was originally settled in 1844. A collection of buildings dating from the 1880s forms the core of downtown, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. The village population is 2,800. It has two industrial parks and a municipal airport.
Shop in a Charming Small Town – The downtown commercial district provides visitors with one-of-a-kind shops that feature local artists and handcrafted items – providing a full day of shopping and discovery. Eateries include farm-to-table fare and outstanding outdoor dining options where you can sit next to the rushing Geiger Falls or enjoy a game at Little Lambeau.
Visit Cascade Falls – This natural attraction in downtown Osceola, Cascade Falls was created by the drop of Osceola Creek some 25 feet. Cascade Falls was a stop for excursion steamboats in the late 1880s and now provides a cooling respite on hot summer days and in winter – a backdrop of frosty natural ice sculptures. An alternate route to the falls is recommended. Follow the trail along the Osceola Creek to the St. Croix River. Bring a fishing pole and be sure to have a trout stamp on your license if you want to fish for trout in Mill Pond or upstream above Mill Pond, which is on the opposite side of the highway from Cascade Falls.
Hike the Falls Bluff
Loop Trail – For thousands of years, a limestone bluff (Osceola Bluff) that overlooks the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway has been an area landmark. Chippewa Indians camped here along the “ginseng trail.” The bluff is a resting place for resident bald eagles. Today the bluff is owned by the Village of Osceola. You can hike to the top of the bluff, which rises 300 feet above the river. The trailhead can be found behind the Cascade BP. Park on Depot Road. The trail is gated against motor vehicle traffic; walk up the hill to find the trailhead. The trail is approximately 0.7 mile in length. Take in the spectacular views of St. Croix River and downtown Osceola, especially during the fall leaf colors. There are also several local hike & bike trails to enjoy.
Osceola Landing – You can launch your kayak or canoe or go for a swim at the beach. Grab some take-out at one of our lovely restaurants and enjoy a picnic while you relax in some amazing scenic spots where you’ll likely see bald eagles resting near the bluffs.
Ride the Vintage Train
– The Osceola Depot and Railway attracts visitors to enjoy a vintage train ride through limestone bluffs, woodlands, and the river valley. Pizza, dinner, and brunch trains are popular spring through fall color season. For more info, visit TrainRide.org.
All aboard! Osceola & St. Croix Valley Railway
A bygone era comes to life when you board the Osceola & St. Croix Valley Railway train at the historic Osceola Depot in Osceola. The diesel-powered locomotives pull vintage rail cars en route through the beautiful St. Croix River Valley to the train’s destinations.
The Osceola & St. Croix Valley Railway operates from May through October, departing from the Osceola Depot with excursion train rides to Marine on St Croix, Minnesota (90 minutes) and Dresser, Wisconsin (60 minutes). The round-trip excursion then returns passengers to the Osceola Depot. The railway operates themed weekends and seasonal specials including wine tastings, pizza, Picnic on the Train, fall colors and Pumpkin Express trains.
“We strive to meet the standards when service was an art and every journey included a trip to the dining car,” their website notes. Passengers are welcomed to walk through the various cars, representing different eras when rail travel was king. Catch the breeze from their 1920s open-window coaches or enjoy airconditioned comfort in the 1950s streamline cars. Restrooms and beverage concessions are available.
Begin your rail experience by purchasing a ticket at the fullyrestored, 1916 SOO Line Depot. Parking is available near the depot, 114 Depot Road, or at the bottom of the small hill. For more information, departure times and tickets, call 651-228-0263 or visit TrainRide.org or Facebook.
The train (or individual cars) is available for charters for community groups, corporate activities, church trips, graduation and retirement dinners, weddings, receptions and more. The railway makes every effort to accommodate guests with special needs, but portions of the train are non-ADA compliant due to age and historic nature.
ST. CROIX FALLS
St. Croix Falls City of Trails
Adventure Starts in St. Croix Falls
Situated along the picturesque St. Croix River, historic St. Croix Falls boasts a regional professional theatre, a thriving downtown, a modern library, nationallyranked schools, and all-season trails. All in all, it’s a wonderful place to live, visit or do business.
St. Croix Falls, which is in western Polk County and just an hour’s drive from the Twin Cities, is home to a trio of visitor’s centers that detail the area’s rich glacial heritage. Wisconsin’s first state park, Interstate Park, is located on the edge of town. The park offers fantastic views of the Dalles and has a campground.
The Polk County Information Center, at the intersection of Highways 8 & 35-South, displays historical pictures, maps, apparel and other gift items, and Native American exhibits. It’s a wonderful source of travel information.
The town is also the headquarters of the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway. The visitor’s center has interactive displays and a wealth of information for travelers, especially those paddling the St. Croix River. The St. Croix River is one of the bestkept secrets of the Midwest – although thousands annually sing its praises for the outstanding beauty, especially in the gorge. It never disappoints!
For hikers, St. Croix Falls -- “City of Trails” -- is the western terminus of the Ice Age Trail, a national and state scenic trail that meanders 1,200 miles through Wisconsin. St. Croix Falls also offers access to the Gandy Dancer State Trail, Woolly Mountain Bike Trail and a number of hiking trails through local parks and elsewhere.
Our nationally-brand outlets as well as local stores are well stocked for travelers, whether it’s for food, drink or climbing equipment, paddles and kayaks and bikes.
There are wineries and a wildlife educational park to visit, golfing to your heart’s delight, nearby lakes teeming with fish, campgrounds, beaches, parks, outdoor concerts, great dining spots and after-hours entertainment at clubs, bars and lounges where the music is always upbeat . . . and so don’t forget your dancing shoes!
Big Rock Creek is a Special Place
Imagine a place so special that you can’t wait to tell your friends and family about it, and dream about returning there time after time. That’s Big Rock Creek, a family-style destination and lodging facility, which sits on nearly a thousand acres of beautiful countryside near the famed St. Croix River in Polk County.
Big Rock Creek has you covered, whether in their fully furnished glamping tents, the three cabins, geodesic dome, or a place to park your RV. Each cabin has an indoor fireplace and a private firepit.
Once there, you can stroll or hike or bike the 23 miles of trails, embrace the historical grounds, grab a kayak/canoe/paddleboard/ paddleboat, or fly fish on a spring fed lake for trout. Or rent an electric-powered Ranger and drive the property for a glimpse of the albino deer, a bald eagle, swans, or other animals that inhabit this property. Pontoons can be rented for trips on the St. Croix River. Estate tours and hayrides can also be accommodated.
They’re big on weddings, no matter the size of the wedding party. The historical barn (120 years old!) is decorated for weddings and receptions. A dozen chandeliers illuminate the 200-year-old timber beams (some from a Boston railroad bridge). Wedding packages begin with onsite parking, chairs and tables. Event items available include an altar/arch, audio equipment, furniture, lighting, tents, and tent accessories. Additional wedding services
offered include all-inclusive packages, accommodations for up to 24 people, bar services, outside vendor referrals, and cleanup.
In addition to weddings, Big Rock Creek can host corporate events, family reunions, festivals, hunting and fishing trips, snowmobiling trips, and family vacations. Big Rock Creek allows you to hire your own outside caterer. Big Rock Creek holds a liquor license so they can provide beverages for the event. All events come with staffing of two bartenders and a barback, if necessary.
Big Rock Creek is open year-round, and come Christmas time, you must stop by for “Miracle at Big Rock,” the newest lighting festival to hit the St. Croix Valley. The one-mile lighting tour will be enjoyed by all ages. There will be heated indoor vendors, sleigh rides, sledding, fireworks, food trucks, and much more!
Its history goes back when it was Big Rock Creek Trout Farm, which was purchased in 1914 by a group of businessmen, including the Siems brothers. In the early 1920s, the Siems brothers, who helped build local railroads, bought out the other owners. The farm would not change ownership again for almost a century.
Big Rock Creek is located at 1674 State Highway 87, St. Croix Falls. For more information, call 715-501-8172 or visit bigrockcreekwi.com.
Looking around the spacious grounds of FAWN-DOE-ROSA, you would be hard pressed not to see a kid without a broad smile on his or her face. This wildlife educational park in St. Croix Falls brings out the kid in everyone, even adults!
The park is a must-see for every animal lover. That’s because, for the most part, animals roam freely or are in accessible areas where visitors can feed and pet them. White-tailed deer actively seek out the visitors for a treat. In the interaction area, children can see and learn about the smaller animals, such as rabbits, ferrets, skunks and even porcupines! Goats, llamas, and mini horses anxiously crowd the farmyard looking for a treat, which can be purchased as you enter the grounds.
Along the path visitors can see wolves, foxes, badgers, a majestic elk, bobcat and other forest animals.
Family-owned and operated, FAWN-DOE-ROSA has been educating the public about animals, wildlife and nature since 1963. Through its partnership with national conservation departments and rehabilitators, the park has also been able to practice and to spread awareness about proper animal care. Educational tours are available for students and large groups. They also have VIP packages available for birthday parties, family reunions, company picnics, etc.
Another popular attraction at the park are the pony rides, which run Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. There
are benches along the trails to rest a spell and to enjoy what the animals have to share. There is a large gift shop, picnic area, playground and restrooms.
The park is open daily mid-May to mid-September and open weekends in September and October, weather permitting. For more information, call 715-483-3772 or visit their website at fawndoerosa.com.
St. Croix National Scenic Riverway Visitor Center Will Get You Exploring
Before you start your adventure on the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway, stop by at the St. Croix River Visitor Center in St. Croix Falls. Located on the banks of the St. Croix River, the center is an excellent resource for visitors. It has a wealth of information, from the flora and fauna that is abundant along the St. Croix River to the range of activities that are popular along the river.
The knowledgeable staff will assist with trip planning and answer any questions you may have. There are detailed maps, including a floor map display, and guides that cover a wide spectrum of interests. Even young children will enjoy the river exhibits, while adults can get their lower St. Croix River camping permits, have passport book stamped, and shop the bookstore. There are Junior Ranger programs at the visitor center. There’s also an informative 18-minute film, “The St. Croix: A Northwoods Journey.”
Be sure to check out the native pollinator garden. There’s also a covered picnic area. A couple of blocks from the Visitor Center is a scenic overlook that has wonderful views of the river as well. The center is located at 401 N. Hamilton St., St. Croix Falls. For more information, call 715-483-2274 or visit nps.gov/sacn and Facebook @StCroixNSR. Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Visitor Center typically opens mid-April and closes late October annually.
The St. Croix and Namekagon rivers, which make up the Scenic Riverway, offer 255 miles of clean water gliding past a lush green landscape, with glimpses of a human presence. You can choose to canoe and camp, or boat and fish, surrounded by wooded bluffs and historic towns. This river corridor is a haven for wildlife, including white-tailed deer and bald eagles.
Wine Finds Chateau St. Croix Winery & Vineyard
When visiting Polk County, be sure to stop at Chateau St. Croix Winery & Vineyard in St. Croix Falls, a winery created in the image of an European estate, complete with vineyards, a carriage house, stables, formal gardens and an art gallery!
It’s a perfect relaxing outing for couples, families and groups for any occasion. You can let their staff guide you on a wine tasting exhibition that will allow you to try several of their award winning wines, or buy a glass and relax by the fireplace. Nothing goes better with wine than the Chateau Deli cuisine such as their Mediterranean platters, flatbread pizzas, charcuterie boards or their world class desserts.
A robust list of over 20 wine offerings is sure to please the palate. There are award winning wines that range from sweet to dry and an option for every palate. The Chateau takes pride in their locally grown wines, as well as wines made from West Coast grapes, including their Gold medal winning Chardonnay and Petite Syrah.
The true specialty at the Chateau would be their port dessert wines which are a must try, including “Ruby Port,” their white port “Jaune d Or” and the “15 Year Reserve Port.”
If wine isn’t on your mind, you can try their hard cider made with local apples that is served on tap every day of the week. In the fall and winter look for Mulled wine options that warm the heart. They also have local craft beers showcasing the best of the St. Croix River Valley.
Throughout the season are special events, including a Jazz
Festival, Bluegrass Festival, Oktoberfest and New Year’s Eve Masquerade Party. Speaking of special events, can you think of anything more romantic than a castle and horse-drawn carriage on your wedding day at the Chateau? They welcome other special celebrations or events, such as a retirement party or corporate event.
The winery is located at 1998 State Road 87 #A. For more information, call 715-483-2556 or visit online at chateaustcroix. com.
Village of Turtle Lake
Turtle Lake Where You Can
Refresh and re-energize your inner spirit with a visit to Turtle Lake, your portal to fun year-round. You’ll find outdoor recreation just outside of our doorstep. The area is covered with many scenic waterways that draws anglers, boaters and paddlers.
Our uncrowded landscape -– we have more trees than people – beckons visitors to come and unwind from daily city life and traffic. Sit in a beach chair with a cool drink in hand and watch the kids splash around in the lake. (Turtle Lake is surrounded by a chain of lakes!) Or sit around a campfire with friends and family as you swap tales of previous adventures and those to come in Polk County.
Among the lodging facilities is the Village Park, which has six campsites with electrical and water hook-ups and other services. The sites are on a first come, first serve basis. The seasonal Turtle Lake RV Park comes fully equipped with an outdoor heated swimming pool and bathhouse with flush toilets and showers. Each of the 70 sites has a picnic table and fire ring (firewood available for purchase). Easy access pull-thru sites with city water, sewer, electric, and wi-fi. For more information, call 715-9864140. There are also hotels, motels, cabins and campgrounds to accommodate every taste.
During the summer months, be sure to check out the Turtle Lake Museum, ideal for a rainy day, but interesting anytime. Throughout the year, you’ll see festivities and celebrations. The St. Croix Chippewa Tribe hosts a weekend pow-wow that is both elaborate and educational; Music in the Park also includes food trucks, sidewalk art and vendors; July features the Inter-County Free Fair, followed by “Cars & Crafts in the Park”’ come August. Don’t miss the dazzling “Lights in the Park,” when Village Park is
Relax, Enjoy, Escape
lit by thousands of Christmas lights and displays during the entire month of December. You can drive through the park or go for an evening stroll.
We’re also not far from other attractions in the area, including the beautiful Wisconsin Interstate Park, so day-tripping from your Turtle Lake place of lodging is an easy and inexpensive venture.
Bring your ATV or UTV or bike because Turtle Lake has easy access to the Cattail State Trail, open to those vehicles, as well as snowmobiling in the winter months. Local streets in Turtle Lake are open to ATV/UTV travel, also! Continue on the Cattail Trail through the Village of Almena to the ATV Intensive Use Area. There are 20 acres of sandy hills, figure eights and curves for enthusiasts, bordered by another 20 acres of woodland for mud fun. The kids will want to check out a special area set aside for their “cc” machines.
When the sun goes down, stop by at a restaurant or bar & grill for a satisfying meal and drinks. The adults can head over to the St. Croix Casino for fun gaming action. Be sure to check out the new sports betting lounge! If placing wagers isn’t your thing, the casino also has live music and entertainment every weekend in the Event Center.
Turtle Lake is at the crossroads of Highways 8 & 63. The modern community is home to about 1,200 residents. Its various industries include commercial, manufacturing and agriculture.
Let yourself go and feel the serenity that this amazing landscape brings. We look forward to your visit, and we hope you will enjoy your stay!
Turtle Lake Events Events Worth the Trip...
Turtle Lake Inter-County
The Turtle Lake Inter-County Fair is held annually the second weekend in July. This FREE admission event offers family-friendly activities like the Livestock Expo, Horse Pull, Truck & Tractor Pull, Complete Midway with games and rides for all ages, and Live Music every night! There is also the Turtle Trot – a 5K Run/Walk and a 10K race on Saturday morning, pancake breakfasts, the Grand Parade and Kiddie Parade on Sunday, and the Legendary Turtle Derby, as well as the sawdust pile and other unique activities for the kids following the parade! Savings on admission means more food, drinks, rides, and games all weekend long.
August 13th Cars and Crafts In the Park
Cars & Crafts In The Park, started small, as a fun family event for a few close friends and relatives to get together and showcase their beautiful classic cars. The Greater Turtle Lake Area Association took over this fantastic family event, and helped it grow. This event now draws visitors from all over the beautiful state of Wisconsin as well as our neighboring states. Spectators enjoy this outdoor event which offers tasty food hot off the grill, cold beverages, and great conversations about the glory days of these beautiful cars. There are also some great deals and wonderful treasures to be found under the canopy of the trees during the craft fair. Our vendors have a great selection of unique and useful products and are ready to make a deal! Join us in our beautiful Village Park for a FREE family-friendly event that everyone is sure to enjoy!
August 19th-20th Moon Lake Threshing Bee
Always held the third weekend in August, the Moon Lake Threshing Bee offers a unique experience for the family all weekend. In addition to displays and demonstrations of yesteryear, you can enjoy old-time music, shop at the flea market and craft fair, and fill up on delicious food, including homemade pies. Bring the kids for a pedal tractor pull, sawdust pile, or a small train ride. The Sollman Farm is easy to find, located 4 miles east of Clayton and 6 miles south of Turtle Lake, off County Road K across from Big Moon Lake.
“Adventure, surprise and at least a few hearty laughs await along the Vintage Trail! Wild and whimsical or curated and deliberate, each shop has a personality all its own. So much to see! Whether a day visit or a weekend trip, you will fill your dance card. Agriculturawl and industrial, farmhouse and antique, primitive and midcentury, upcycled, repurposed and handcrafted. Furnishings, textiles, household goods, clothing, books, art, games, toys – if you can imagine it, you'll find it along the Vintage Trail!”
Acme Junk Co.
201 Keller Ave N Amery, WI 54001 715-268-5865 acmejunkco.com facebook.com/acmejunkco/ PhyllBea's of Amery 845 Hwy 46 N Amery, WI 54001 612-720-6092 phyllbeasofamery.com facebook.com/phyllbeasofamerywi/
111 Keller Ave N. Amery, Wisconsin 54001 715-268-4090 facebook.com/rubymaestreasures/
Tin Cat Studio
121 Keller Ave N Amery, WI 54001 715-554-0787 tincatstudio.com facebook.com/tincatstudio/
The Looking Glass
117 Cascade Street Osceola, WI 54020 lookingglass.com facebook.com/lookingglass3/
Treasure Alley 116 N Cascade St. Osceola, WI 54020 715-781-3851
Open Year Round facebook.com/treasurealleyoccasionalshop/
Amery Camelot Motel
pg. 43 Cameron Bridge Campground
pg. 42 Forrest Inn Motel
pg. 42 Balsam Lake Balsam Lake Lodge
pg. 32 Ward’s Balsam Beach Resort
Luck Luck Area Historical Society and Museum
pg. 56 Osceola Osceola & St. Croix Valley Railway
pg. 63 St. Croix Falls Fawn-Doe-Rosa Wildlife Educational Park
pg. 69 Friends of Interstate Park
pg. 19 Polk County Fair
pg. 24 St. Croix Festival Theatre
pg. 71 Trego Wisconsin Great Northern Railroad
pg. 80 Webster Fox Run Golf
FOOD & SPIRITS
Amery Farm Table Foundation/Restaurant
pg. 1 UW Bar & Grill
Balsam Lake Balsam Lake Brewery & Market
pg. 30 Clear Lake Raising the Bar Sports Pub
pg. 50 Luck Café Wren
pg. 59 Osceola Tippy Canoes
pg. 62 WaterShed Café
pg. 63 St. Croix Falls Chateau St. Croix Winery
Back Cover Dancing Dragonfly Winery
City of Amery ................................. pg. 38-39
WPCA Radio ........................................ pg. 44
Balsam Lake Area Chamber ................. pg. 28
Balsam Lake Public Library.................. pg. 28
Balsam Lake Pro-Lawn ........................ pg. 31
Endeavors ADC Inc ............................... pg. 28
Village of Balsam Lake ........................ pg. 27
Village of Centuria ............................... pg. 34
Berghammer Builders ......................... pg. 36
Clayton BP ........................................... pg. 36
Village of Clayton ................................ pg. 37
Village of Clear Lake ............................ pg. 49
Frederic Village of Frederic................................ pg. 54
Luck Village of Luck ..................................... pg. 57
Studio A Salon ..................................... pg. 62
Polk County Economic Development ... pg. 25
Polk County Libraries ........................... pg. 76
St. Croix Falls
Polk County Interfaith Caregivers ........ pg. 68
St. Croix Marketing Alliance ................ pg. 65
St. Croix Shipping & Handling ............. pg. 71
Engstrom’s Siding & Windows ............. pg. 80
Village of Turtle Lake .......................... pg. 73-75, inside front cover
St. Croix Falls St. Croix Health.................................... pg. 69
Balsam Lake Saphire Realty ............................... pg. 3 & 30
ACME Junk Co. ..................................... pg. 77
Amery Meat Market ............................ pg. 42
PhyllBea’s of Amery pg. 42 & 77
Ruby Mae’s Treasures pg. 77
Tin Cat Studio pg. 44 & 77
Clear Lake True Value pg. 50 Nilssen’s Market pg. 50
Three Sisters, LLC pg. 50
Quirky Quilt Shop pg. 51
Mud Hut Gifts ...................................... pg. 55
Kenneth Larson Furniture .................... pg. 59
Luck Do It Best Hardware .................... pg. 58
Luck Saddlery & Outfitters .................. pg. 56
Coming Home ..................................... pg. 61
Red Bird Music Store ........................... pg. 61
The Chocolate Gnome ......................... pg. 63
The Looking Glass........................ pg. 61 & 77
Treasure Alley pg. 77
The Shops at the Lodge ....................... pg. 80
St. Croix Falls
Bike Jacket .......................................... pg. 68
Valley Sweets ...................................... pg. 68
© William Johnson