Minocqua, Wisconsin – The North Woods

When Chris said he wanted to go to the North Woods of Wisconsin I thought, ok, sure, is that like a day trip? Boy, did I have that all wrong! Where has the US been hiding all of these beautiful woods and lakes and rivers? Why aren’t they being advertised more to people in the south or in the Southwest? Maybe the Cheeseheads are trying to keep it a secret?? I don’t blame them! It is so stunningly beautiful here and the weather couldn’t be more perfect!

Our setup at Lake Patricia campground

We left our family in Minnesota and headed towards Wisconsin. We had hoped to stop at at Harvest Host (the Black Bear Casino outside of Duluth) and then get up early and spend the day in Duluth. As we’ve learned, things don’t always go as planned. We got up the next morning to find the generator not working (see blog post “Wishing I Were Handier”) and that really delayed us. We spent most of the morning in a Walmart parking lot changing the oil on the generator.

We ended up stopping in Duluth at a cute park in the harbor, made quesadillas in the motorhome while the kids played, and then went on our way. We also stopped in Bayfield to see the Apostle Islands. The ferries were all closed due to COVID and, truly, our planning in this area of the country hasn’t been stellar so we will DEFINITELY be returning here sometime soon. We ate dinner at a cute restaurant (that had outdoor seating) called Manypenny’s and then walked down to the laksehore to see the Apostle’s from there. We then got back in the car and drove to Minocqua.

Holly with the Apostle Islands in the background

We stayed at Patricia Lake Campground. This is a rather big campground right on Lake Patricia. Turns out, this was the most perfect lake we could’ve stayed at for our family.

As an aside, let me give you a little insight into how we decide where to stay. Typically, when we make reservations for places we do a little research: a) we ask friends and family who may know the area or have traveled to the area; b) we ask people in the Fulltime Families group on Facebook; c) I google a location and read copious reviews on campgrounds and, finally, d) I end up booking the only place that has an opening in the general area because everything is SO busy right now. Seriously, google it, RV sales are through the roof and people are traveling around the country. Our original plan to “play it by ear” as we traveled got tossed out the window once we couldn’t find campgrounds to stay. I’m even having trouble finding places in OCTOBER and NOVEMBER!

The reason that this lake turned out to be the ideal place for us is because they don’t allow motorized boats in it. It is a small lake. Very small. So, the kids could go out and paddleboard, kayak, swim and we could see them the entire time and knew that they were safe. Amazing! The kids spent a lot of time on the lake and Chris got in some fishing time as well (I even chauffeured him on the paddleboard one evening).

This is Holly paddling Chris around the lake as he fished.

We also took our bikes out on the Bearskin Trail one morning for a bike ride and then finished with lunch at the Thirsty Whale on Lake Minocqua. The town is so cute. We even went for ice cream afterwards before heading back to the campsite.

The kids were truly disappointed to leave this location! As for Chris and I, we are usually ready to move on and see something new after a couple days.

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