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Highway 51 is the ribbon that ties the north and south, creating a link between the people of Highway 51, and a pathway for travelers to explore the many cultures, cuisines and nostalgia of mid-America. With this Journal, you’ll discover a wealth of little known facts, fun things to do and interesting sights to see. From the historic to the quirky, you’ll find plenty of ways to turn your drive into a journey.

featured communities beloit janesville stoughton Columbia County marquette county stevens point wausau

merrill tomahawk minocqua manitowish waters MERCER hurley

map legend Historic Highway 51

Current Highway 51


Turn Your Journey Into

www.Explorehwy51.com Click your mouse before you turn the key! This website will help you design a trip that is right up your alley. A search on the website will help you find everything from the Batmobile in Beloit to the world’s largest corkscrew in Hurley. Locate the perfect stops for your journey: antique shops overflowing with nostalgic toys, festivals filled with fun and food, humble and extravagant homes of the pioneers, and more! The website has a searchable database that will help you plan your trip by just about any interest. Don’t forget to check out the extras that will add even more fun to the journey for the whole family. An entire section is there to help prevent the “Are we there yet?” syndrome that commonly befalls many trips. Downloads include printable car games, stories and travel notes. For those who wish to seek treasure, a geo-caching section has been created just for you! Share the fun of your journey with others. Tell us all about your family vacation when Dad wouldn’t stop for directions, the trip with your college buddies or the yearly trek to Grandma and Grandpa’s cabin. We want to hear all about your discoveries, your favorite memories and where you have to stop every time you travel Highway 51.

lodging specials Add a night or two to your journey with one of the many Highway 51 Lodging Specials available on the Highway 51 website. Make your planning easy with deals from some of our best hotels, motels, B&Bs, lodges and cabins. Great rates and special additions make these packages a traveler’s best friend.

can’t get out of the garage? Call for help at 1.866.HWY-51-WI or visit www.ExploreHwy51.com Contact information for each community is available on the inside back cover.


Visit Beloit 500 Public Avenue Beloit, WI 53511 • 800.423.5648

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When you visit Beloit you will see that inspiration and invention are familiar themes – home of the speedometer, electric brake, the Korn Kurl and the largest can of chili in the world. When you think of fun...you will want to be in Beloit! 1

Historic Auto Attraction is more than just a display of historic automobiles; it is home to the 1976 Bicentennial Money Car, with over 120,000 coins or 1 ton in coins.

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Near East Side Historic District – Stroll through the quiet, shaded neighborhoods that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is established on the original plat of Beloit and is centered around a public square known as Horace White Park, which is surrounded by four beautiful churches.

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Angel Museum is listed in the Guiness Book of World Records as the largest privately held angel collection in the world. Over 7500 angels are on display, including 500 from Oprah Winfrey’s private collection.

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Beckman Mill Park, South County Road H off Hwy. 81. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the mill is one of Wisconsin’s only restored working gristmills. The Rock County Park features a nature path, rebuilt dam, one-of-akind fish ladder, picnic area with shelter and a wildflower garden.

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Brown Swiss Building. This building located along the Rock River and close to Highway 51 was once a 2 story building, but over the years the road has been raised and the building now looks like a single story building.

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The World’s Largest Can of Chili is located at the Hormel Plant and can be seen from I-90.

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Historical Society is the place to take a walk back in time and learn about the history and culture of Beloit.

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Beloit Snappers Baseball. Enjoy major league fun at minor league prices with the Beloit Snappers, the Class A affiliate to the Minnesota Twins. Come out and meet the team mascot “Snappy.” Have a ball!

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Preservation Park is where the “Autorama” is held annually in September. It has become the largest automotive one day event in the Midwest. Over 1000 cars participate each year.

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Stop at the Visit Beloit Visitor Center, 500 Public Avenue, to gather more information about Beloit!


There’s plenty to do in Beloit. From angels to grist mills to museums to sports... our plate is full of both educational and entertainment fun. Choosing what to do first may be your biggest challenge. Start with your new friends at Visit Beloit and we’ll be pleased to point the way.

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A Located on 23 acres along the banks of Rock River, Riverside Park is home to Turtle Island Playground, Beloit Riverwalk, Lagoon Paddle boats, picnic shelters, lighted tennis courts and restrooms. Riverside Park is the site for Riverfest Music festival, great concerts at Music n More at Harry’s Place, Pops on the Rock, and Plein Air Event.

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Established in 1846 (two years before Wisconsin became a state) Beloit College is Wisconsin’s oldest college in continuous service. The New England style campus has 23 effigy mounds scattered throughout the campus, Logan Museum of Anthropology, the Wright Museum of Art and The Beloit Poetry Garden.

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Our downtown boasts beautifully renovated structures which house specialty retail, exciting and fun restaurants, and accommodations. There is something happening every season; Wisconsin’s First Farmers 2 Market, Downtown Days-Jaycee’s Grand Prix Race, Art Walk, Holidazzle 75 Enjoy the and Lighted Holiday Parade. City Art Center, 20 plus pieces of public art and galleries and so much more. Abraham Lincoln gave a speech from the Hanchett Hall.

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Beloit Travel Wisconsin Welcome Center I-90 Westbound Lane Beloit, WI 53511 608.365.8344

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www. JANESVILLECVB.com Janesville…Wisconsin’s Park Place, features over 2,000 acres of parkland and a wide variety of attractions, shopping and restaurants. 1

Traxler Park is the site of the Rock Aqua Jays Waterski Show Team with performances on Wednesdays and Sundays throughout the summer, and the site of the Veterans Memorial Walkway. The park also features a boat launch and fishing, outdoor hockey and ice rink, horticulture gardens, sand court volleyball and play equipment.

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The Janesville Mall is a large regional mall with over 70 stores including: Boston Store, JC Penney, Kohl’s and Sears.

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At the Lincoln Tallman Restorations you can tour Janesville’s award winning historic house museum including all five levels from the basement to the cupola, all restored to their 1857 splendor. This 26-room Italianate villa style mansion is the only private home still in existence in Wisconsin that can boast Abraham Lincoln as an overnight guest.

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Stop at the Janesville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, Inc.’s downtown office to learn more about Janesville.

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The Armory Dinner Theater is at the site of Janesville’s Armory built in 1930, used during World War II by the 192nd Tank Battalion, and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The historic building has been renovated into an exciting entertainment venue offering three distinctive dining experiences. The Drill Hall Theater will combine elegant dining in a theater setting, with professional musical productions.

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Janesville Performing Arts Center is at the site of the original Janesville High School, which opened in 1923. The Auditorium is full of wonderful examples of 1920s architecture. From the Prairie Style stained glass and ornate plaster molding to the original massive light fixtures, the Center is a wonderful space to sit back and enjoy a performing arts event. Well known for its tremendous acoustics, the theatre offers a wide variety of wonderful shows and performances.

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MacFarlane Pheasant Farm is one of the world’s largest private game bird farms and provides birds for Prince Charles. Be sure to visit their gift shop.

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The Southern Wisconsin Regional Airport is home to Southern Wisconsin AirFest.

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Rockport Park and Peace Park features Janesville’s largest park at 256 acres featuring an outdoor Olympic swimming pool with diving well, wading pool and bathhouse, Peace Park playground and 6 miles of hiking trails.


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The Janesville Mall is a large regional mall with over 70 stores including: Boston Store, JC Penney, Kohl’s and Sears.

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51 MacFarlane Pheasant Farm is one of the world’s largest private game bird farms and provides birds for Prince Charles. Be sure to visit their gift shop. 7 8

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Rotary Botanical Gardens is a 20-acre botanical garden showcasing a variety of internationally themed and specialty gardens. Rotary Botanical Gardens is dedicated to international peace and friendship signified by the 20-foot sculpture at the garden entrance. The gardens have something for everyone and serve as an educational resource and renowned horticultural showcase. Their unique gift shop in the visitor’s center offers gifts for all ages and tastes. READ ROAD

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Discover Stoughton, one of the most beautiful small towns in the Midwest. Victorianstyle architecture, tree-lined streets and friendly citizens are the cornerstones of this thriving community on the banks of the Yahara River. Settled by Norwegians in the late 19th century, Stoughton has retained much of its Norwegian heritage. Visitors will find an impressive variety of shops, galleries and restaurants in and around town as well as a multitude of outdoor activities. Throughout the year, Stoughton has festivals and events that reflect the community’s unique culture and charm: Syttende Mai Folk Festival, Coffee Break Festival and Victorian Holiday Weekend. 1

Just off exit 156 from I-90 you’ll see Coachman’s Golf Resort. A 27-hole regulation golf course, hotel and restaurant. It has been a local fixture for decades.

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The Yahara River runs through the center of Stoughton, creating abundant opportunities for birding, fishing, boating and more. The Yahara River Trail runs along the Yahara on the north side of town and allows the hiker or biker to really get close to this beautiful river.

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As you drive into town, visit the Chamber of Commerce (532 East Main Street) located in the historic Depot building to tour the small museum in the back. Pick up a Historic Stoughton Neighborhood Walking Tour guide and spend time viewing some of Stoughton’s vintage homes.

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Continuing down Main Street, you’ll notice a prominent Stoughton landmark, the Clock Tower. Built in 1901 it houses city offices as well as the beautifully refurbished Opera House - stop in for a tour.

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Driving further down Main Street, notice the Norwegian flags that line Main Street (during the summer months) a tribute to the town’s Norwegian heritage. Historic storefronts entice you to explore the shops, galleries and specialty stores.

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Stop by the Stoughton Historical Museum (open Sunday 1pm-4pm, May-Labor Day) where you’ll see many examples of Norwegian crafts and other special collections such as Native American, military and mid-century home. Get up close and personal in a furnished kitchen, sewing rooms, bedroom and parlor complete with mannequins.

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Lake Kegonsa State Park, offers a wide variety of outdoor activities: including camping, hiking, boating, fishing, swimming or just relaxing on the beach and catching a breeze.

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It’s only four and a half miles along Hwy. 138 North to the Madison International Speedway, where you can get your racing fix every Friday night from May until September.

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The drive from the interstate into Stoughton is Wisconsin countryside at its best. Dotted with farms, small scenic country roads and the occasional apple or farm stand, it is a beautiful way to enter Stoughton.

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Poynette • Arlington www.TRAVELCOLUMBIACOUNTY.NET 1

The MacKenzie Center is located two miles east of Poynette on Highway CS. Visitors enjoy 280 acres of nature-based experiences including hiking the themed nature trails, three different museums, native Wisconsin wildlife exhibits and more.

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The Wisconsin River Levee, located along the river and Highway 51, offers a great walking/biking trail that branches into the Ice Age National Trail. Both are great ways to enjoy the area’s breath-taking scenery.

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Portage Canal. The canal in its current location was dug by hand from 1849 to 1851 and then improved after the Civil War by the Army Corps of Engineers. Its peak use was in 1908 for recreational boat traffic.

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The Museum At The Portage is located at the corner of West Franklin and MarFarlane Road. The Portage Historical Society works to continually honor the rich history of Portage, the third oldest settlement in Wisconsin.

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Fort Winnebago Surgeons’ Quarters, located at W8687 Hwy. 33 E, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Surgeons’ Quarters is the only remaining building of the Historical Fort Winnebago.

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One of Wisconsin’s earliest houses, the Indian Agency House, is located on Agency House Road. It was built in 1832 by the US Government as a residence for the Indian Agent to the Ho-Chunk (Winnebago).

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The Portage Downtown Retail District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1995 and was designated a Main Street Community in 2003. Historic Downtown Portage has a variety of items for all shoppers. Stop in at the Portage Area Chamber at 132 W. Cook Street and get your Portage Visitor’s Guide, which includes the Historic Downtown Walking Tour Guide.

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American Legion State Headquarters and Museum, located at 2930 American Legion Drive, was built in 2001 and houses a museum full of plaques, statues, uniforms, medals, photos, and documents from the history of Wisconsin’s American Legion.

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Cascade Mountain Ski and Snowboard Area offers winter fun for all ages. Visit the site for an amazing view of the entire area.


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Portage Canal - originally developed in the 1820s and 1830s to connect the Fox and Wisconsin Rivers.

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Cascade Mountain Ski & Snowboard Area W10441 Cascade Mountain Road For more information call 1-800-992-2SKI or 608-742-SNOW, or visit www.cascademountain.com

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Typical animals on exhibit at The MacKenzie Center include mountain lions, timberwolves, American bison, badger, and many birds of prey.

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South-central Wisconsin is where you will find Marquette County, situated among rolling hills and fields of prairie grass, pine trees, and oak forests that look like they have been here for centuries. 1

Tours located just outside Westfield and Montello are where visitors will find Prairie Rustic Fall Scene Nursery and Aquaponics. Since 1972, the nursery has grown from an experiment in wildflower propagation, to a retail and wholesale source respected nationwide for hundreds of species of native plants and seed...with Aquaponics opening up their facility to workshops and tours this past year!

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Tour throughout the entire County with over 30 barn quilts and murals. Go online or call to request your PASSPORT that provides you with a map/outline for all to enjoy!

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Beautiful maples, black squirrels, artesian wells, a walking trail, a elaborate veteran memorial, ...along with a favorite grazing spot for geese on this communities mill pond.  All will welcome you when you arrive.  

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Home to a prosperous Amish community, Montello displays the traditional goods and wares of these proud people in more than two dozen old-world stores that pepper the shopping district. While downtown, visit the Granite Park Waterfall and historic buildings.

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A fan of country music and barn dancing, ...then stop on in to see our “ever popular” Maggie Mae! Greeting her fans from all over the country, ...this Nashville recording artist puts together concert appearances and Christmas tours throughout the state all year long. With Special Concerts offering “Barn Dancing” in conjunction with her show, ... its’ always a crowd pleaser! A Cafe’ with spot appearances by the artist is also a local treasure, ... right in Oxford, WI.

Four Seasons of Fun!  Bike, Auto and Motorcycle To Miles of “gre urs at” winter activ ities - for all to enjoy!  www.MARQUETTENOW .com

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Montello Waterfalls and Observatory Hill:  As you pass through downtown Montello, ... a spectacular display of granite waterfalls is put in a park like backdrop - with walking paths for all to enjoy.  Then ride into the country toBvisit Observatory Hill, where with an enjoyable hike through its woods surroundings, you will find yourself in the midst of breathtaking visuals. 

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Park Ridge • Plover • Stevens Point Whiting • Almond • Amherst • Amherst Junction Junction City • Nelsonville • Rosholt Crossing the Portage County line brings you into the heart of Wisconsin. This area is blessed with rich agricultural land, bountiful green spaces, beautiful waterways, recreational activities, industry and heritage. 1

Buena Vista Grasslands, home to the annual Prairie Chicken Festival held each April, offers more than 11,000 acres to explore.

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Standing Rocks Park, highlights why the Stevens Point Area is a recreationalist playground. The county park features mountain biking trails, archery, disc golf, as well as challenging cross-country ski trails and downhill skiing in the winter.

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Village Park at Plover is home to many shops, restaurants, and lodging facilities, sitting near Lake Pacawa and the Wisconsin Korean War Memorial.

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Heritage Park, one of four Portage County Historical Sites, features a living collection of historical buildings, portraying life in Portage County from 1870-1910.

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Stroll through Downtown Stevens Point to see art and history collide on multiple historical murals adorned on buildings throughout downtown.

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Plan to tour the Stevens Point Brewery, brewing continuously since 1857, which offers tours 6 days a week, complete with a sample.

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SentryWorld Golf Course has been voted one of Wisconsin’s top golf courses. Visit the signature 16th hole, with over 60,000 individual annual flowers.

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Green Circle, a 30.5-mile hiking and biking trail, winds through natural scenic areas and follows the Wisconsin and Plover Rivers.

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The Stevens Point Sculpture Park, a 20-acre park, features sculptures from national and local artists, tucked along a scenic nature trail.

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Schmeekle Reserve, a 280-acre nature preserve, is home to the Wisconsin Conservation Hall of Fame, open 7 days a week.

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Looking for things to see and do in Portage County, visit the Visitor Information Center, 340 Division Street North, Stevens Point, WI 54481; 800-236-4636.

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Like to Paddle? Explore the Wisconsin River’s sloughs and backwaters by canoe or kayak to experience some of the area’s most scenic views and stunning wildlife.

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Bringing the Kids? Stop at K.A.S.H. Playground, the area’s only universally accessible playground, less than a mile from the Central Wisconsin Children’s Museum.

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Visit a Local Favorite! Belt’s Soft Serve is a must stop for sweet treats. Home to the Largest Ice Cream Cone!

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The Wellness Spa, nestled on 8 acres of natural beauty, is a perfect place for a relaxing spa experience.

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Visitors Center 219 Jefferson Street Wausau, WI 54403 888-WI-VISIT

Kronenwetter • Mosinee Rib Mountain • Rothschild Schofield • Wausau • Weston

Entering Marathon County, you will notice the scenery starting to take on a more “Northwoods” feel. Cropland becomes more sparse; tall pines, birch trees, rolling hills, meandering rivers and sparkling lakes take its place. 1

At the intersection of Highway 153 and Highway 51 you can’t miss the Wausau Paper Company, built in 1910. Today they make specialized papers.

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Stop at the Visitor Center to learn more about the Wausau Area.

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Newly restored, this Blue Star Memorial is the halfway mark on Wisconsin’s Highway 51. This is a salute to all who have served their country.

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The Rothschild Pavilion has been rejuvenated and is once again hosting dances and concerts. Built in 1911, the dance floor sits on a bed of railroad springs. Today there is an aquatic center for those hot summer days.

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In Rib Mountain, between Exits 188 and 190, shoppers will find a wide variety of national chains and locally owned shops.

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Take a walk along the Wisconsin River on the River Edge Walkway. Enjoy Oak and Fern Island Parks, the Wausau Farmers Market (held Wednesdays and Saturdays), and Whitewater Park where international kayak and canoe competitions are held.

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The River District, in downtown Wausau, features a mix of eclectic boutiques, a mall, fine dining establishments and is home to The Grand Theater and the Center for the Visual Arts.

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The Cyrus Yawkey home, built in 1901, reflects the opulence of the home as it was in 1915. Home to the Marathon County Historical Museum and a part of the Andrew Warren Historic District.

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The Woodson Art Museum is known for its extensive avian art collection, hosting the internationally known Birds In Art exhibit each fall. Their sculpture garden is the perfect place for a relaxing walk.

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Van Der Geest Dairy is a high tech facility capable of milking 3,000 cows three times a day with only five pairs of hands per shift. Open daily for tours.

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Pine Grove Cemetery is the final resting place of Mary Glovchaski, a woman who lived in 3 different centuries (1798 – 1910), and Wausau native Elroy “Crazy Legs” Hirsch (1923 – 2004) of NFL fame.

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Rib Mountain State Park is great fun year round. Head to the top to check out the great view, climb the observation tower and have a picnic.

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Granite Peak Take Exit 190 for the Midwest’s best downhill skiing. Granite Peak boasts 74 runs and 9 lifts, as well as terrain parks.

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Nine Mile Forest Recreation Area features 20 miles (33 km) of groomed trails, with 6.3 km of lit trails. Bring skis, or rent them at the chalet. In the summer the trails welcome mountain bikes.

The Cedar Creek Village offers lodging, entertainment, mini golf, the Cedar Creek Mall and several restaurants.

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Knowlton

Take the Scenic Route To enjoy the scenic route, take Exit 171 (County Hwy. DB), which will take you through Lake DuBay and into Knowlton. Stop in for some fresh cheese curds at Mullins Cheese just off of Hwy. DB on Seagull Drive.

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“There’s a reason for every season” in Merrill! Nestled in the heart of the scenic “Northwood’s,” we are a Discover Wisconsin Choice Destination boosting 300 acres of parkland. Council Grounds State Park and a portion of the Ice Age Trail also call Merrill home. 1

Enjoy the view on the drive to Merrill. Great rolling hills offer magnificent views. Cattle graze in the pastures amidst the rolling meadows. The acres of covered vegetation you see are ginseng growing fields. In the fall, the varieties of trees display an exceptional show of color.

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Turn east on O’Day Street to enjoy 18 challenging holes of golf at the Merrill Public Golf Course.

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Stop by one of the last “Chips” Burgers in Wisconsin for an original char-broiled burger. You will smell the grill flames as you approach!

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100 years of music can be heard each Wednesday evening (summer) by the Merrill City Band at the Gazebo in Normal Park, located in the heart of the Historic District. Come early and take a walking tour of this historic neighborhood.

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Stop to see the friendly staff at the Merrill Area Chamber of Commerce! We will help you with your tour of Merrill. Our visitor’s center is open 24 hours a day at 705 N. Center Avenue, Merrill, WI 54452; 877-907-2757.

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Walk your doggie or play “chase” with the wee ones at Prairie Trails Park. The 99 acres of parkland provides opportunities for canoeing, trout fishing, and walking or view nature from the wildlife observation overlook.

www.MERRILLCHAMBER .ORG


Larson Lake Wayside, seven miles north of the city limits, offers shoreline fishing, picnic areas and wildlife observation.

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Crossing the impressive concave bridge brings you to Downtown Merrill. Visit the historic Lincoln County Courthouse that was built in 1902 or enjoy friendly service at the variety of Merrill’s downtown shops. Grab a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants that are located along old Highway 51 (a/k/a Center Avenue).

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As you travel further north on scenic Highway 51, you will come to the small town of Tomahawk, nestled in the Northwoods where three rivers converge. Tomahawk is a natural vacation destination for all seasons. Here, you’ll notice a friendly and relaxed small-town community with an abundance of natural resources, lakes and trail systems. 1

As you enter Tomahawk on County S from Highway 51, turn north on Highway 86/Tomahawk Avenue to enter the town. This parkway is dedicated to local hero Einar Ingman, who was a Medal of Honor Winner in the Korean War.

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Bradley Park is the jewel park of Tomahawk, offering views of pristine timber and Lake Mohawksin. A playground, picnic shelters, grills, boat landing and children’s fishing lake are all found here. Enter the park from Spirit Avenue, which runs parallel to Wisconsin Avenue.

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Stop by the Tomahawk Chamber at 208 N. 4th Street to see the unofficial mascot of the city – a 700 lb. black bear shot with a bow and arrow. After you visit, be sure to walk to the Tomahawk Historical Museums located behind the Chamber.

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A visit to Tomahawk is not complete without a stop to Memorial Park on the Wisconsin River. The park is located at N. 4th Street and River Street. Pay tribute to our newly expanded Veteran’s Memorial and explore the M4 Sherman Tank from WWII.

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Are you nostalgic for old-time drive-in restaurants where you can eat out of the window of your car? Be sure to stop at Dog n’ Suds, a 50s style restaurant and root beer stand on N. 4th Street.

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Looking for some fresh berries? Visit the Tomahawk Berry Farm located on County Highway L to experience old fashioned picking of the best berries around!

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As you leave Tomahawk, stop at The Windmill Ice Cream Shoppe on County Highway L, a long-time local staple for tourists and residents. As you eat your ice cream, walk to the bridge on the Bear Skin Trail and watch the boats go by on beautiful Lake Nokomis.

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Traveling north of town, hit the links at two of our beautiful public golf courses. Edgewater Country Club off of County Highway A on Echo Valley Road east of new Highway 51 offers nine holes of golf. Inshalla Country Club, located off of Highway A on Clear Lake Road, offers 18 holes of golf.

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Explore beautiful historic downtown Tomahawk on Wisconsin Avenue where you will find unique shops, tasty local restaurants and friendly people. CHERYL AVE

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There’s no better place to boat, fish, paddle, swim, hike, bicycle, snowmobile, ski or just plain relax than the beautiful Minocqua Area. The area offers the widest selection of lodging options in northern Wisconsin, with numerous lakeside resorts, woodland cabins, hotels, motels, bed & breakfasts, campgrounds and rental homes. The area also boasts fantastic dining, excellent shopping and lots of fun attractions for the whole family. 1

The Minocqua Museum in downtown Minocqua allows you to travel back in time. It features displays of Minocqua’s early days and people who made a difference.

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The Bearskin Trail is a favorite of both hikers and bikers. The former railroad bed begins in downtown Minocqua and travels through 18, scenic miles of woodlands and lakes.

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The Minocqua Pontoon Cruises will whisk you away on a morning, afternoon or sunset cruise of the Minocqua Chain of Lakes. Beverages and food are available on each cruise.

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Bring the whole family for some fun and education at The Wildwood Wildlife Park and Nature Center. Located just down Hwy. 70 West, this park offers a unique “up close and personal” look at nature and its prey.

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Enjoy a rustic vacation favorite at Paul Bunyan’s Northwoods Cook Shanty right on Hwy. 51 in Minocqua. Offered are logging camp breakfasts, lunches and dinners for all ages. Gifts, bakery, cocktails.

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Come and learn the story about the legendary, Dr. Kate Newcomb, also known as “The Angel on Snowshoes.” The Dr. Kate Museum will tell this story and teach you of the local history.

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Stop by the Minocqua Area Chamber of Commerce at: 8216 US Hwy. 51, Minocqua, WI 54548, to get more information or just to say “Hi!”

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Just off Hwy. 51 in Hazelhurst, you’ll be dazzled by the works of Northern Lights Playhouse. A professional theater with musicals, comedies and children’s theater. May through October.

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No mile markers,no exit numbers,no stoplights. Lots of trees,acres of lakes and rivers, fresh air… ahhh, you’ve reached Manitowish Waters in Northwestern Vilas County! A fantastic selection of local dining establishments in and around the town, quaint shops and galleries, cozy accommodations, and plenty of outdoor recreation can be found here. Known for its quieter, less stressful atmosphere, we invite you to explore Manitowish Waters at your leisure during any of our four distinct seasons … winding roads, natural wildlife, scenic beauty, businesses and attractions. We’ve Got It All! 1

For area information stop at the Manitowish Waters Chamber of Commerce (located in the Community Center one mile south of CTH W on US Hwy. 51). Let the kids play on the one-acre playground, play a game of paddleball or tennis, or hit some balls at the golf driving field or baseball field.

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The John Dillinger shootout in 1934 put Manitowish Waters’ Little Bohemia Restaurant on the map. Memorabilia, including the original bullet holes, can be viewed during restaurant hours. Call ahead for more information, 715-543-8800.

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Located in the downtown area on CTH W (about ¾ mile from US Hwy. 51), the Rest Lake Dam is worth a visit. The dam was originally built to facilitate spring drives of saw logs down the Manitowish River and on to sawmills in the Chippewa Falls and Eau Claire areas. Today, it controls the lake levels of the 10-lake chain.

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Voss’ Birchwood Lodge is located on US Hwy. 51, and has the longest history of operation by its founding family – graciously carrying on the tradition of the early 1900s. Voss’ knew US Hwy. 51 as Hwy. 10 when they first began. The resort welcomes vacationers, but the main lodge is open for public dining June-October and the café serves lunch in summer.

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Powell Marsh Wildlife Area is one of the top birding and nature sites along the Great Wisconsin Birding & Nature Trail, located 3 miles off US 51 on Powell Road.

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Truly a Northwoods gem, the non-profit North Lakeland Discovery Center serves as a community-based environmental education center promoting stewardship of natural and cultural resources in the Lakeland area. Year ‘round programs, hike/ bike/ski/snowshoe and interpretive trails, special events, off-site trips, and more are offered for all ages. The Center operates on 66 acres of state land and was a former Youth Conservation Camp. Located 1.2 miles from US Hwy. 51 on CTH W.

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The original buildings at Camp Jorn YMCA were erected for Charles Nash in the early 1920s. After World War II, the camp was purchased by the Dengel Family, who developed it as a private boys’ camp named Camp Thunderbolt. During this time, Dwight D. Eisenhower visited the camp. In 1952, it was purchased by the YMCA in Waukegan, IL and became Camp Jorn. During the last 10 years, new facilities and programs were added including a year ‘round child care center. In 2007, the camp was purchased from the Lake County Family YMCA and is now an independent YMCA. On-going fundraising will create a foundation of future community service in the Northwoods as well as resident camp programs for kids near and far!


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Manitowish Waters has a spread of businesses throughout the town, but a “downtown” area is located about ½ mile off US Hwy. 51 on CTH W.

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The Manitowish Waters Chain of Lakes includes 10 connected lakes totaling 4,265 acres: Rest, Stone, Fawn, Clear, Manitowish, Island, Spider, Little Star, Alder, and Wild Rice.

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Along Alder Lake Road (between Powell and South Townline Roads) you’ll find the cranberry growers of Manitowish Waters -- five marshes totaling about 600 acres. These marshes were developed shortly after World War II, and three of the five are still owned and operated by the original families. The cranberry is Wisconsin’s official fruit!

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Mercer – “The Loon Capital.” Discover the beauty and allure of the Northwoods firsthand when you visit Mercer – a four season playground and “Home of the Turtle Flambeau Flowage”© Mercer has a reputation as a getaway to escape from the stresses and commitments that often beguile families. With over 240 lakes within a 30 mile radius and nearly 375,000 acres of public land and miles and miles of recreational trails, Mercer is most definitely the place you want to be. 1

As you enter into downtown Mercer you will see “Claire d Loon” – a sixteen foot tall Loon Statue marking Mercer’s claim to fame as the Loon Capital of the World©

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You will also find Mercer’s Historical Depot Museum. The Mercer Depot is the only remaining wooden rail depot in Iron County. It has been restored to its turn of the century quaintness and is home to fascinating collections of railroad memorabilia and Mercer’s history.

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Turning east off Hwy. 51 on Cty. J and then north on Cty. H to Cty. G is Wisconsin’s 100th Rustic Roads featuring numerous lakes and waterways, wildflowers and abundant wildlife. The route follows part of the Historic Flambeau Trail – Iron County’s first transportation route serving Native Americans.

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Turn west off Hwy. 51 on Cty. FF to take a scenic tour of the Turtle Flambeau Flowage – a 19,000 acre body of water with over 330 miles of shoreland and 377 islands. The TFF offers free camping on the islands, scenic beauty and abundant wildlife, amazing fishing and boating, and so much more….

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Also on the scenic tour on Cty. FF there is Lake of the Falls Waterfall and Campground with a scenic overlook of the falls, a swimming beach and picnic/ campground area.

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Just north of Mercer, watch for the North/South Continental Divide, the geological dividing line where water flows north to Lake Superior and the Atlantic Ocean or south to the Mississippi and the Gulf of Mexico.

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Stop at the Mercer Area Chamber of Commerce to find out more about our beautiful region at 5150N Hwy. 51, Mercer, WI 54547.

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Mercer Ranger Station is located on the north side of downtown Mercer where you can see the original Smokey Bear costume.

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You will be fascinated by the many reminders of the past at the Mercer Historical Museum featuring the rail depot and other fully restored buildings. West onto County FF, is the Turtle Flambeau Flowage. Called the “Wisconsin’s Scenic Wilderness Waters Area” this 19,000 acre flowage was purchased by the State of Wisconsin in 1990 as a “special recreation area” to preserve its natural character and pristine scenic value. 4

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Entering Iron County, visitors will notice a large sign designating the county as a State Heritage site. Throughout the county, heritage markers tell the stories of over 20 historic sites and trails. From the Turtle Flambeau Flowage in Mercer to Saxon Harbor, the Gateway to the Flambeau Trail, the markers tell the story of the first travelers to our great north country. The natural beauty that lured those first travelers is still intact and is here to be enjoyed – in Hurley, “Where 51 ends and the fun begins!” 1

In the Oma area, visitors will see two of the State’s Class A1 musky lakes, Pine Lake and the Gile Flowage. One section of the Gile Flowage has also been designated as a wildlife/wetland preserve.

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Nearing Hurley, the traveler will see the impressive tank and helicopter display in front of the Iron County Courthouse. The display is part of two Veterans’ Memorials located at the site – one for area Korean War Veterans (appropriate for Hwy. 51, which is designated as the Korean War Veterans Memorial Highway) and the other for Vietnam. Looking up you will see the clock tower of the Iron County Historical Museum, one of the few fully-functioning clock towers of its era – built more than a century ago. One block off the highway, on Iron Street, the museum is open to visitors, free of charge.

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Historic Silver Street was the Wild West of its day and ignored prohibition, serving as entertainment for the likes of John Dillinger and the Capone Brothers. Silver Street was known for nearly 100 years as the most infamous 5 blocks in America. The Hurley Area Chamber of Commerce office, located at 316 Silver Street offers lots of information about the Hurley area.

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On Hwy. 77, check out the 80 ft. high Plummer Mine Headframe, the last of the steel giants that once dominated the skyline of the Penokee Iron Range.

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Continuing west on 77 to Hwy. 122, take in the Whitecap Mountain Ski Resort or SkyeGolf in the Whitecap Mountains, featuring three unique mountains from the ancient Penokee Range.

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At the Hwy. 51 “End” sign just outside of Hurley, is a Wisconsin Rest Area. Be sure to check out the various displays of Hurley’s Heritage past and take advantage of the beautiful facility. Nearby is beautiful Peterson Falls, on the east fork of the Montreal River, just off US Hwy. 2 West. This is just one of the more than 30 waterfalls located within a half an hour of 51’s north end.

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Just a few miles north on Highways 51 and 122, is Lake Superior and the beautiful Saxon Harbor boating and camping complex, an Iron County gem.


2 While Hwy. 51 officially ends in Hurley, just a few miles north on US 2 is Lake Superior, offering bountiful rock hunting, Deep Sea fishing, camping, boating and more.

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Just a couple of blocks north of the Hwy. 51 “End” sign is beautiful Peterson Falls, on the east fork of the Montreal River. Nearby is the World’s Largest Corkscrew, a popular area landmark.

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At the crossroads of Hwy. 51 and Hwy. 77, Hurley’s Historic Silver Street offers visitors a glimpse of the “Wild West” heritage of its day. Costumed walking tours of the stretch are offered every summer during Iron County’s Heritage Festival.

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Traveling a few miles west of Hwy. 51, on Hwys. 77 and 122, the visitor will find the Whitecap Mountains Ski Resort, offering 43 runs in the winter, and a beautiful 18 hole golf course, “SkyeGolf,” in the summer.

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fficial community information

Beloit

Merrill

Beloit Travel Wisconsin Welcome Center I-90/I-39 west bound May-Oct: 9am-5pm Mon-Sat, 11am-3pm Sun Nov-April:  Tues-Sat  9am-4pm

Chip’s Hamburgers 1203 East Third Street Merrill, WI 54452 • 715.536.6532

Visit Beloit 500 Public Avenue 800.423.5648 • visitbeloit.com Monday-Friday: 8:30am-5pm

Cornelliers Super Store 2909 Ford Street Beloit, WI 53511 7 days a week  7am- 9pm

ColumbiaCounty

Columbia County Visitor’s Bureau 1800 Kutzke Road, Suite B Portage, WI  53901 608.742.6161 www.TravelColumbiaCounty.net

Merrill Area Chamber of Commerce 705 North Center Avenue Merrill, WI 54452 • 877.907.2757 www.merrillchamber.org

Highway 51 Truckstop N357 Brandenburg Avenue Merrill, WI 54452 • 715.536.1912

Minocqua

Minocqua Area Chamber of Commerce 8216 US Hwy 51 South Minocqua, WI 54548 800.44.NORTH • www.minocqua.org

Stevens Point

Visitor Information Center/ Stevens Point Area Convention & Visitors Bureau 340 Division Street North (Exit 161) Stevens Point, WI 54481 715.344.2556 • www.stevenspointarea.com Open 24 hours daily!

Portage Area Chamber of Commerce 104 West Cook Street, Suite A Portage, WI 53901 • 608.742.6242

Hurley

Hurley Area Chamber of Commerce 316 Silver Street Hurley, WI 54534 • 866.340.4334 hurleywi.com

Wisconsin Welcome Center Hwy 51 and US 2 Interchange Hurley, WI 54534 • 715.561.5310

Schmeeckle Reserve/ Visitor Information Center 2419 North Point Drive (Exit 161) Stevens Point, WI 54481 715.346.4992 Open daily: 8am-5pm

Janesville

Stoughton

Janesville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau 20 S. Main Street, Suite 17 Janesville, WI 53545 800.48.PARKS • www.janesvillecvb.com Monday-Friday: 8am-5pm

Visitor Information Center Palmer Park, Palmer & Racine Streets Mid-May - Mid-Sept: Daily 9am-5pm

Manitowish Waters

Stoughton Chamber of Commerce 523 East Main Street Stoughton, WI 53589 • 888.873.7912 www.stoughtonwi.com

Comfort Inn 660 Nygaard Lane Stoughton, WI 53589 • 608.877.9000

Tomahawk

Manitowish Waters Chamber of Commerce 4 South US Hwy 51 (Town Hall) Manitowish Waters, WI 54545 888.626.9877 www.manitowishwaters.org

Tomahawk Regional Chamber of Commerce 208 North 4th Street Tomahawk, WI • 800.569.2160 www.gototomahawk.com

Wausau

Marquette County

Westfield Pioneer Motor Inn 242 N Pioneer Park Rd, Westfield WI 7 days a week - 24 hours a day! 608.296.2135 • www.marquettenow.com

Mercer

Mercer Area Chamber of Commerce 5150N Hwy 51 Mercer, WI 54547 • 715.476.2389 www.mercercc.com

Wausau/Central Wisconsin Visitor Center 219 Jefferson Street Wausau, WI 54403 • 888.WI.VISIT www.visitwausau.com Two miles east of Hwy. 51 at Exit 192 Open daily: 9am-5pm

Wisconsin Department of Tourism 1.800.432.8747 www.travelwisconsin.com


Wisconsin Fun Facts Explorers Fr. Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet portaged June 14, 1673, en route to exploring and mapping the upper Mississippi. A monument is erected on East Wisconsin Street in Portage across from the Wisconsin River in honor of their visit. The Stevens Point Brewery is steeped in a history that has transcended the trials of the great Depression and Prohibition. Over 140 years later, the Stevens Point Brewery is the 5th oldest continuously operating brewery remaining in the United States of America. Beloit is known for many ‘firsts,’ including: First college in the Northwest Territory (1846, Beloit College); First Federation of Women’s Club in the U.S. (1894); First automobile speedometer invented by AG Warner (1901); First turn signal lights for automobiles (1927); First electric clutches for automobiles (1934). Wausau’s Rib Mountain, called a “monadnock” by geologists, is the fourth highest point in Wisconsin and, at 700 feet above the surrounding plain, is the tallest mountain in Wisconsin. Manitowish Waters is home to Little Bohemia Restaurant, famous for its original bullet holes and memorabilia displaying the 1934 shoot-out between John Dillinger, his gangster friends and the FBI. Stoughton has one of the largest Norwegian immigrant populations in the U.S. As a result, “Syttende Mai,” or “seventeenth of May,” is celebrated each spring. On that day in 1814, the Norwegian constitution was signed, giving it independence from its 500-year union with Denmark. Syttende Mai is still celebrated in Stoughton during a three-day colorful family-oriented festival with many people wearing authentic Norse costumes. There are folk dancers, Norwegian arts and crafts, a Norse costume show, and a smorgasbord of Norwegian foods. Downtown Stevens Point has the only collection of brick commercial 19th century buildings in the county. Highlighting the architecture are several beautiful murals depicting the historical past. The personification of Smokey Bear was first created by Mercer’s Forest Rangers in 1950 to teach fire safety.  The original suit can still be seen at our Mercer Area Ranger Station, ½  mile north of town on State House Circle. The public transportation system in Merrill was on the cutting edge of technology in 1889 when the electric street cars began running in the city. Merrill was the first town in the country to have a double trolley electric railway system. Pro Football Hall of Fame member Elroy “Crazylegs” Hirsch was born (1923) and raised in Wausau. He is buried at Pine Grove Cemetery in Wausau. Woodruff is home of the World’s Largest Penny. Downtown Minocqua is an island. Indiana Jones was based on the life of Roy Chapman Andrews, the famous explorer from Beloit. Janesville features six historical districts that make perfect walking tours. Much of Marquette County’s past has been captured and preserved at the Marquette County Historical Society Museum in Westfield, Wisconsin. Three buildings are dedicated to local history. The stately two-story Cochrane-Nelson House, built in 1903 with high ceilings and filigree woodwork is furnished with antiques and collectibles. The Hurley area features more than 50 waterfalls of varying heights. Superior Falls on the Montreal River near Lake Superior cascades 110 feet. Potato River Falls on the western side of the county roars 90 feet downward. Each feature cascade is taller than a 10 story building.



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