Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Inspiring, Sharing, and Promoting Health and Wellness; A Community Effort

Parks, green spaces and trails are wonderful areas to feel inspired.  They are areas to relax, run, ski, skate, sled, play, bike, and be healthy anytime of the year.  We are fortunate as a community to have an abundance of neighborhood parks, community facilities, and recreational opportunities promoting active lifestyles.  The continued development of these parks and green spaces is a shared community effort.  Development occurs through organizational partnerships, public feedback, observation of usage, and generous donations and contributions toward park projects.

We have over 150 acres of park space and 21 parks within city limits.  An additional 175 acres of beautiful rolling terrain and hardwood forest is located just south of town; at the site of an old capped landfill.  However, this site now has a new purpose offering a fun and healthy pursuit; it has become the home of a mile long loop for a single track bike trail.  The Single Track Trail located just south of town (address:  N1985 Dump Road) had an initial one mile loop roughed in late last fall.  This effort was made possible through collaboration with Antigo Bike & Ski Club members.  We will be working at parking lot development and additional trail loops this fall.  The scenery is truly breathtaking and the new park is one of my favorites.  The address may not have the most appealing name “Dump Road”, but I like to think you can “dump” your daily trials, leave your work stress at the gate, and decompress with a great ride on a beautiful and scenic trail.

The established Springbrook Trail, which includes a combination of paved trail, rough trail, and 1,800 feet of boardwalk (within city limits), is utilized by both our community and visitors to the area.  Healthy opportunities abound on, or just off, the Springbrook Trail.  A 9-hole disc golf course sponsored and funded by local businesses is a great way to involve the entire family in a fun and healthy outdoor pursuit.  You can also stop at Duffek Island (located just off of the boardwalk) and enjoy a pack lunch with your family while young children play on a newly installed play structure.  Both the play structure and gazebo were made possible through donated funds.

The winter months provide an opportunity to cross-country ski, snow shoe, or walk the Springbrook Trail.  Additionally, you can view the beautiful and creative community Christmas cards and greetings (located along the south-west section of the trail in the winter month) inspired by local businesses, individuals, and groups.  The dog sled races in February also offer a unique use of the trail system and incorporate another outdoor recreational pursuit utilizing the parks.

The Springbrook Trail will act as a pivotal connection for the signed and designated bike route.  The signed and designated bike route connects people to places through the use of existing roads and trails.  This project is in the very initial stages, but has already received generous community support.  The Antigo Optimists have funded the sign posts and each sign was donated by an individual, group, organization or business (check our website for a list of donors / sponsors: www.antigo-city.org/rec1).  The bike route will promote our local amenities providing safe connections to shopping, schools, facilities, trails, parks, restaurants, and businesses while additionally generating tourism and stimulating economic development.

The development of the Peaceful Valley Park, which includes a warming house and playground, future pavilion construction, tree plantings, and bench placement have been made possible because of donations and contributions from our community.  Development of the park has inspired community groups and businesses to offer unique community programming within the park and work collaboratively to create enriching experiences for all ages during all seasons.

The new (approximately 17 acre and completely fenced) dog park with a separate small dog area is a great way for you and your pet to release some energy.  It is located just off the Highway 64 bypass (address:  2000 Hwy 64).  This community amenity was made possible through a generous donation from an anonymous donor.  Additionally, there was an organized group of pet owners within the community that showed a strong and vested interest in the park, and helped guide the direction for the initial plan.  We hope to continue to improve and add to this new park in the form of benches, tables, shade structures, dog agility stations and access to drinking water for the pets.

Physical park connections such as trails and routes get us outside and help keep us active.  However, the physical is one component to staying active and feeling well.  There are also social connections and networking opportunities that allows us to stay updated on relevant activities, interests, and possibly expose us to new opportunities and new experiences.  Sharing information about community resources, activities, programs and park projects strengthens our community, and helps steer the direction of our parks, projects, and programs.

There are a variety of ways community members can stay connected to our community resources and the various programming that is offered year round.  Print publications, radio, community websites, social media, and just casual conversation all work together to promote our community and its programs.

Community support keeps our parks full of play opportunities and our green spaces green.  Community support has created beautiful facilities, necessary park improvements and well utilized and relevant programs providing healthy opportunities year round.  In summary, our parks would not be possible without the community support, volunteer efforts, and organizational partnerships and continued individual participation and involvement.

We believe in providing our community with inspiration to live a healthy lifestyle; providing resources to facilitate the pursuit of activities and wellness; fostering relationships that parlay our local resources and promote our local amenities.  We also believe in sharing; sharing our goals and vision with the community about healthy opportunities and activities that create a desirable place to live and a desirable place to visit.

Fostering positive relationships helps our programs, our parks, and our community, grow in a unified direction, which leverages our resources and subsequently accomplishes great things.

Sarah Repp
City of Antigo Parks & Recreation

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Winter Wonderland is not so Far Away!

Mother Nature has certainly been kind to us up here in the County of Trails.  Once the Polar Vortex got out of the way that is.  Earlier in the week (Jan 14) we received a gift in the amount of 9" of perfect snow.  That was then followed up with two more nights snow where we received about 8" total to set the stage for an incredible weekend of winter fun.

All the groomers then hit the trails to get them in tip-top shape for you to come and experience some of the best outdoor recreation in the State!

Snowmobilers were out in full force over the weekend, taking advantage of excellent conditions and visiting a few of the area businesses as well.  All the cross country ski trails are groomed and tracked and are also in great shape for weeks to come.

With the free fishing weekend, we saw lots of anglers on area lakes.  With over 170,000 acres of public land, snowshoers are experiencing some of the best conditions in a long time.  And, don't forget that we have forest roads open for snow biking.  

The beauty of all the trails in Langlade County is that we are centrally located and very easy to get to.  Our App (Langlade County Tourism for Apple and Android) and the langladecounty.org website will provide you maps and trail reports, along with information on what to do after a great day on the trails.

About Langlade County:
Langlade County sits in the north central part of Wisconsin and is accessed by Highways 45, 52,55, and 64.  There are over 530 miles of snowmobile trails with access to Forest, Lincoln, Marathon,Oconto, Oneida and Shawano Counties.   There are six cross country ski systems in the County, they are the City of Antigo system, Gartzke Flowage, Jack Lake (Veterans Memorial Park), Kettle Bowl ski area, Maranatha and Moccasin Lake.  All are groomed for skating and striding with the  exception of the City of Antigo and Maranatha systems which are groomed for striding only.

Langlade County also has a great downhill area, Kettle Bowl which is a tow-rope operated facility and is open on weekends only.

The County is also becoming a destination for our four-legged friends and handlers, that being dog sledding.  Nestled in the Crocker Hills you'll find a trail system that is used for mushers and their teams for training.

If you like to play outside in the Winter then check us out after all, it's all about the adventure in the County of Trails. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Discover Langlade County's Beauty by Bike

Along with the snowmobile, ATV, hiking, snowshoe and ski trails are a Mecca of biking opportunities in the County of Trails.   Whatever your skill level or mood level, there is a bike trail for you.  Recreationalists have a choice from a leisurely paved road ride on some of the most beautiful scenic country roads in the northwoods  to rolling off-road logging grades throughout the 127,000 acre County Forested lands to some of the most technical single track that Wisconsin has to offer (yes, the State).  Within the past few years, the County is being recognized as a mountain biking destination within the State.  The Wisconsin Off-Road (mountain bike) Race Series (WORS) and Wisconsin Endurance Mountain Bike Series (WEMS) has held races in the County as well as the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) and DNR holding sustainable trail building workshops in the County.

For the road-rider, there are various self-guided tours throughout the County.  Throughout these tours bikers will find fragrant evergreen forests, sparkling blue jewels of lakes, meandering brooks, and rushing rivers.  The sweeping vista of verdant farmland framed by distant wooded hills will make hearts sing.    These tours are mostly in the form of loops:  The Red River bike route is broken down into two sections, the Phlox Pond route and the Moose Lake route. Both of these routes are 21 miles in length. The Pearson scenic bike route consists of four routes, the Jack Lake route, Post Lake route, South Loop, and North Loop. To the north is the Summit Lake scenic bike route that consists of the Black Oak Lake route and the Town Line Lake route. Finally, there is the 32 mile Eau Claire Dells bike route which is mostly flat terrain with a few rolling hills.   An event that has become a favorite of many is the Annual Lakes to Leaves bike tour.   This ride, sponsored by the Antigo/Langlade Chamber of Commerce is held in the autumn, showcasing some of the most beautiful fall foliage in the State.  All skill levels are welcome and encouraged as there are various distanced-rides to choose from.

If you prefer fatter tires, then there is a treasure of single-track hidden away in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest just south of Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  It is currently 14 miles long with excellent flow. It has drops, boulders, and challenging climbs built from the incredible natural features found in Northern Wisconsin. The trail's surroundings include lakes, springs, creeks, giant boulders, and dramatic tornado affected areas.

Nicolet Roche is unique in several respects. It was purpose-built from scratch without the use of any existing trail or double track.  Along the way, expect to encounter incredibly sized boulders in a half-dozen trail sections.  One section is even named MOAB – “Mother of All Boulders”.  These huge landscape features dot the forest floor and offer high skill challenges.  However if your riding is not up to tackling these stone monsters there always alternate routes available.  Beyond the boulder fields, you will find more fun riding with short steep sections traversing 20 to 50 feet in elevation.  The riding here is a bit easier.  For beginners, many forest service roads offer slightly milder riding options as well as trails up in the Jack Lake/Veterans’ Memorial Park area.  Also, mountain biking is allowed on the Boulder Lake Campground Trail, a 1-1/2 mile ride around a bog on the forest floor or boardwalks.

Another great riding destination in the Summer/Fall season is out in the Polar area at Gartzke Flowage Cross Country/Snowshoe area.  There enthusiasts will find beautiful terrain that follows the ski trail system and is considered beginner through intermediate.  One of the beautiful features of the Flowage is the cabin that sits in the mid-section of the system.  This is a perfect spot for a picnic lunch as it overlooks the Flowage and its entire splendor.

Being surrounded by Menomonie County to the South and State and County Lands to the West adds to the feeling of isolation on the trail. Also using the additional forest roads and two National Forest campgrounds (Boulder Lake and Boot Lake Campground), the trails can be ridden point-to-point for an epic daylong ride. 

For maps or any information on biking or all other recreation including events in the County of Trails contact langladecounty.org or download the FREE Langlade County App for your Android or iPhone.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Always Something to do in Langlade County!

Fall in love with what Wisconsin has to offer at the first annual ATV Free Wheel’n Weekend.  Whether you are an avid ATV rider from out of state or you are local but have not used the local trail system, discover the thrill of a trail ride during the registration free weekend.  For the weekend of June 1-2, 2013, Wisconsin’s public ATV/UTV trails are open free of charge to riders from out of state as well as Wisconsinites whose machines are registered for private or agricultural use.  Take opportunity to get out on the trails free of charge and experience Wisconsin’s expansive trail system offering fun for the whole family in the great outdoors.

This is why the Parrish Highlanders, the White Lake ATVers and the Wolf River Riders, three ATV clubs in Langlade County, are offering up guided trail rides to explore some of the greatest ATVing that the state has to offer.  Meeting at Lil’ Hummers Hideway at the Corner of Highway A and TT on Saturday, June 1 from 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.  At 11:00 a.m. the clubs will have guided trail rides in the Augustine Springs section of the trail system.  After the ride, enjoy a burger or brat back at Hummers.  Festivities to wrap up around 3pm.

The registration free weekend for ATV/UTV trails also coincides with other free events happening around Wisconsin.  The weekend of June 1-2 is also Free Fishing Weekend, which allows fishing anywhere in Wisconsin, including inland waters as well as Wisconsin’s side of the Mississippi River and Great Lakes, without a trout stamp or license.  Sunday, June 2 is State Park Open House Day with free entrance to any state park without the need of a vehicle admission sticker.  A number of free events are also planned as a part of National Trails Day on Saturday, June 1, 2013.

And, don't forget to download the Langlade County Tourism app for up to date trail conditions for all your favorite trails including: ATV, Bike, hiking, and boating to name a few.  Also for fishing reports including water levels for the Wolf River for whitewater rafting and kayaking.  The app is also useful to find great places to eat and stay overnight, whether you enjoy roughing it under the stars or enjoy more modern accomodations of a hotel, cabin or bed and breakfast; the Langlade County Tourism App will help with all that.  Just go to Langladecounty.org and download it FREE today!!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Don't put the Sleds, Skis, and Snowshoes away just yet!!

Old man Winter may have shown up a little later than usual, but with longer days, warmer temps and great snow conditions it is a perfect combination for a late winter getaway in the County of Trails...

Off the beaten path, and roughly 5 hours from the Chicagoland area and 3 hours from Milwaukee and Madison, you can find great conditions for ALL Winter activities.  Whether you hit the over 530 miles of expertly groomed snowmobile trails or one of our six groomed cross-country ski trails (most groomed for classic and skating-check the link for more info).  Click Here for all the latest reports on all our trails.  If you would rather get off the beaten path, then there's over 126,000 of playground for you to snowshoe or backcountry ski on.  And, if you want it all including some downhill skiing, then a stop up at Kettle Bowl ski area is a must. 

Also located on the snowmobile trail system, Kettle Bowl is one of Langlade County's phenomenons.  Carved out from the ice age, this tow rope down hill ski area is a winter playground.  Open only on the weekends from 12pm-4pm, it is the perfect place to base your winter fun from.   While hanging in the chalet, you can also enjoy one of the best hotdogs in the area.

Looking for something to do after hitting the trails?  then check out our Calendar of Events.

While planning your trip, be sure to check out our website for great lodging and dining options within the Antigo and the Langlade County area as well.  Already on the road heading our way?  Then be sure to download the Langlade County Tourism App.  You'll have access to all the great information that is found on the Langlade County website.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Snow has finally arrived in Langlade County

We've had an interesting week of weather here in the County of Trails....We got 5" of snow on Sunday only to have seasonalbly warm temps on Monday and freezing rain on Tuesday; followed by another beautiful 5" of white stuff on Wednesday.  Today, Thursday, the temps have plummeted a bit,  but not to fear or fret as this whole week of weird weather is setting the trails up beautifully!!!

Please check http://www.langladecounty.org/tourism/trail_reports/ for the most current information on all the great winter recreation that Langlade has to offer along with great places to stay, dine and shop.  The County has over 500 miles of snowmobile trails and 5 great x/c ski trail systems-maps can also be accessed through the link above.  If you like to snowshoe, there are plenty of opportunities for that as well.   And, if you are a snowbike enthusiast, we've got some some terrain for you as well.  Visit http://langladecounty.org with questions.

Langlade County WI is nicely nestled in North Central Wisconsin and is accessible via Hwys 45, 47, 55, or Hwy 64.  We are located about 1-1/2 hours from Green Bay, 3 hours from Madison and Milwaukee and about 5 hour from the Chicagoland area.  Our over 500 miles of snowmobile trails are also accessible to Forest, Lincoln, Oneida, Oconto and Shawano Counties.  Come on up and see how great Wisconsin's County of Trails are to play on.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Winter Fun in the Northwoods of Langlade County

Ever wonder what to do on a beautiful winter day?  Come up to the "County of Trails" and you can experience some of the best winter recreation that Wisconsin has to offer.

Just a mere five hours from the Chicago area and only three hours from Milwaukee and Madison, Langlade County, nestled in the heart of the Northwoods, can be easily accessed via highway 45, highway 55 or highway 64.

Langlade County Wisconsin's snowfall beckons cross country ski's enthusiasts to hit the 6 groomed Cross-Country Ski Trails and enjoy the beauty of the great Northwoods.  If downhill skiing or snow boarding is what your family is looking for, than you will be pleasantly surprised to find a little hidden secret known as Kettlebowl Ski Area.

Backcountry skiing or snowshoeing is more your sport?  Then enjoy the 127,000 acres of County forest lands, the Game Lake Nature Trail in Veterans Memorial Park, Gartzke Flowage, or the Moccaisn Lake Trail. 

Have you ever heard the word "snow bike"?  Then Langlade County is the place to come to try out this new adventure sport.

We can't forget about our motor sports, with over 530 miles of impeccably groomed snowmobile trails, it's a riders dream come true.

Come and enjoy ALL Langlade County has to offer and see why Langlade County is named the "County of Trails".  If you would like to find out more information on Langlade County, visit our website at www.langladecounty.org.