Wisconsin, America’s Dairyland, is second only to Michigan in its abundance of Great Lakes shoreline. From the Northwoods to the forested wetlands and fertile prairie valleys, you are certain to enjoy a Wisconsin cabin rental in this beautiful state. Whether you want to vacation near sandstone formations, in a hardwood or coniferous forest, or settle down next to a glacial lake, Wisconsin is an amazing vacation destination year round.

1. Hayward

boats at the dock
Source: Flickr / Tom Kelly

Celebrate Northwoods charm in Hayward as you drive along the 29-mile Great Divide National Forest Scenic Byway that winds its way between Hayward and Glidden through forests that abound with black bears, timber wolves, and white-tailed deer. As you cross lakes, bogs, and swamps, keep your eyes peeled for hard-working beavers as well as loons and bald eagles. The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest is a great place for backpacking, hiking, and mountain biking, and during winter you can partake in snowmobiling, ice fishing, and cross-country skiing. During July, Hayward hosts the Lumberjack World Championships, known to locals as the ‘Olympics of the Forest’ where men and women compete in 21 events.

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2. Minocqua

flying egret above the water
Source: Flickr / JesusM..

Deemed “Up North” by locals, Minocqua is called the Lakeland area and with 3,200 lakes, streams, and ponds in the area, it’s little wonder. Cruise the lakes on 26-foot pontoon boats for inside views of the wildlife habitats and forested scenery. Minocqua is proud to host the annual Dragon Boat Festival. Held every four years, 20 breast cancer survivors participate in 45-foot dragon boats as a fundraiser. The Winter Park and Nordic Center is the place to be if you love snow, speed, and adventure. You can backcountry ski over ten miles of ungroomed trails, the 45 miles of groomed trails, or snowshoe along 10 miles of trails. From beginners to advanced, there’s a trail and activity for everyone.

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3. Lake Wisconsin

the sky at dawn
Source: lodilakewisconsin.org/

A vacation rental in Lake Wisconsin affords you 52 miles of shoreline and picturesque hills with spectacular views. Nature enthusiasts love the vistas of Lodi Valley, the lake, and the northern Baraboo Hills from Gibraltar Rock that soars 200 feet above the surrounding farmlands. The Lake Wisconsin Country Club is an ideal way to while away a day surrounded by panoramic scenery. Players of all abilities are welcome to put their skills to the test on this par 70 course with a 117 slope rating. Don’t miss the living Mid-Continent Railway Museum that celebrates the 1880-1916 Golden Age of Railroads with operating trains, restored rolling stock, and a ton of exhibits. Ideal for all ages and skills, you can hike along the glacial landscapes on the Ice Age Trail. Lake Wisconsin is a year-round destination with summers filled with swimming, boating, fishing, and water skiing and winters that provide downhill and cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, tubing, and snowboarding.

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4. Bayfield

beautiful autumn trees at the waterfront
Source: Flickr / Michael Klein

Bayfield is the gateway to “The Jewels of Lake Superior,” the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. 21 islands make up this gorgeous destination where you can camp, hike, kayak, scuba dive, and sail in addition to exploring hidden caves and visiting six historic lighthouses. The best way to see the famous water-sculpted sea caves on Meyers beach is by water, so jump in a kayak or book a tour on a larger craft. When winter comes, the sea caves become ice caves studded with humongous icicles and are easy to reach on foot over a one-mile trek of the frozen beach and lake ice. In February, catch the dog sled races on Meyers Beach, join the locals for the Polar Bear Plunge, or ski at Mt. Ashwabay.

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5. Eagle River

deer drinking at the river
Source: Flickr / ThreeIfByBike

Eagle River is the answer to the classic Northwoods vacation you dream about. When you’re not snuggled in your log cabin, you can spend time in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest that brims with fragrant forests and wetlands. Miles of trails beckon the casual hiker or backpacker, mountain bikers, and horseback riders. Pick one of the 28 area freshwater lakes and spend a leisurely day fishing or boating during the warm weather months, or cross-country ski, snowmobile or ice fish in the winter. And don’t miss the World’s Championship Snowmobile Derby held on the city’s half-mile iced oval. Enjoy some spectacular eats the Northwoods’ largest food festival, the Autumn Cranberry Festival, or pick up some souvenirs, candy, and an ice cream treat on the town’s charming Main Street.

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6. Prairie du Chien

house at the riverside
Source: Flickr / Paul Sableman

One of the oldest European settlements on the Upper Mississippi River, Prairie du Chien is a fertile prairie once inhabited by regional Indian tribes and fur traders. Located just above the confluence of the Wisconsin River in the heart of the Upper Mississippi Wildlife Refuge, breathe in fresh, clean air while hiking, boating, fishing, and bird watching in this pristine area. One of the state’s oldest parks, the Wyalusing State Park is a great place to canoe, explore the Indian burial grounds, and range over more than 14 miles of trails that vary in difficulty. Another way to explore the Mississippi is on a boat, canoe, or kayak cruise. Learn more about the history of the area at the fascinating For Crawford Museum and hospital and the Fur Trade Museum.

7. Chetel

cabin in the woods
Source: Flickr / richardsonpilot

Although Chetel is renowned for its spectacular summer vistas and activities like fishing for bass, Northern pike, and perch on the shores of six chain lakes, boating, horseback riding, and drive-in movies, a log cabin winter getaway is enchanting as well. The Dallas Trail is ideal for ATVs with more than 31 miles of marked routes around lakes and through town. Snowmobilers enjoy 250 miles of groomed and well-marked trails, including the Tuscobia State Trail that traverses 76-miles of an abandoned railroad bed.

 
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