Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Crandon, WI

  • Published 2022/08/09

Have you tried exploring a low-key place that gave you a fantastic and outstanding time?

For many tourists and visitors, this experience happens in the unique city of Crandon, Wisconsin.

You can find the city in the heart of Wisconsin’s greater “Northwoods” region, home to a massive selection of activities and attractions.

Although Crandon is not as popular as other cities in the United States, its hidden destinations will surely surprise you.

Are you still unsure if Crandon is a worthy destination?

Hold on to your seats as you discover the best things to do in Crandon.

Enjoy the Mud and Dust at Crandon International Off-Road Raceway

Muddy track at Crandon International Off-Road Raceway

Royalbroil, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

When one says off-road, the thrill of racing in mud and dust fills your veins.

The Crandon International Off-Road Raceway is a heart-pumping getaway as it offers a 1.75-mile-long off-road racetrack.

You can find it on U.S. Route 8.

It is an exciting course that hosts the Red Bull World Cup, World Championship Off-Road Races, Lucas Oil Midwest Short Course League, and the Potawatomi Spring Brush Run Races.

All of these electrifying events take place within the city of Crandon.

Observing the racetrack, you’ll find oversized buggies or top-of-the-line pro-4WD trucks with giant tires screeching on the mud next to each other.

With the roaring 1,000-horsepower engines and 150-foot jumps running at 100 mph, the Crandon International Off-Road Raceway won’t disappoint.

Dirty black truck racing in Crandon International Off-Road Raceway

Royalbroil, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Ride an ATV with Ease at the Forest County ATV Trails

Of course, you don’t want to get stuck watching those roaring off-road trucks on the racetracks.

Take an excellent opportunity to ride ATVs on the scenic trails with mud and dust at the Forest County ATV Trails.

Located on Duff Road, the Forest County ATV Trails is a growing sport in the area.

On the old logging roads of the forest, there are two state ATV trails, the Wolf River State Trail and the Nicolet State Trail.

The Nicolet State Trail stretches 32 miles from North to Popple River, while the Wolf River State Trail runs from south Crandon to Langlade County.

Besides ATV rides, the trail welcomes hikers, hunters, motorcycles, and bikers.

Are your engines ready for the ride?

Relax while Fishing in Metonga Lake

Nothing beats the happiness and tranquility of catching fish.

If you’re a fishing enthusiast, spending time at Metonga Lake is the best option.

Stretching for about 2,038 acres with a maximum depth of 79 feet, it is a drainage lake with a bottom composed of sand and gravel.

The lake draws lively recreational traffic during the hot summer months.

The expansive space covered with green grass on the lakeside gives the perfect place to relax and enjoy a picnic with the family.

You can access the lake via public boat landings and enjoy its scenic surroundings and clear waters.

The lake is a relaxing haven for all anglers, with species like bluegill, walleye, jumbo perch, smallmouth bass, and northern pike.

It is also the sweet home of loons, sandhill cranes, eagles, and many more.

Prepare the picnic basket and head directly to the prime fishing spots on Metonga Lake.

Get Lost in the Wonders of the Alvin Creek Headwaters State Natural Area

Are you looking for a natural wonder within the Crandon region?

Marvel at the perpetual beauty of nature in the Alvin Creek Headwaters State Natural Area.

Located on Elliot Road, the place offers an excellent opportunity to see the protected biological communities and glacial landforms.

The Alvin Creek is a seven-acre spring pond and a watershed section of the Brule River.

It officially became a State Natural Area in 2007 under the ownership of the US Forest Service.

Explore the preserve on foot and feel the mossy, hummocky-floored lush green forest on your skin.

Different notable plant species grow within the area, such as the American starflower, lady fern, oak fern, and the Canada mayflower.

Bring your family to the Alvin Creek Headwaters State Natural Area for an afternoon of nature fun.

Make the Most of Summer and Winter at Ed’s Lake National Recreation Trail

Finding great fun in one place, whether in the summer or winter, is a rare gem.

You can find that fun gem on Ed’s Lake National Recreation Trail.

It is a six-mile trail midway between Crandon and Wabeno.

It is a good hiking place in the summer with two exciting trails called the Maple Loop and the Birth Loop.

You can go hiking or mountain biking on both loops with different difficulties.

It has become the all-time favorite trail for many cross-country skiers during the winter.

It is also a suitable skiing trail for both beginner and intermediate skiers.

No matter the season, you can’t help but wonder at the fun activities on Ed’s Lake National Recreation Trail.

Chill Out in Forest County Veteran’s Memorial Park

If you need a good resting spot, the vast open space of Forest Country Veteran’s Memorial Park should give you all the rest you need.

Its open grassy campground is good for picnic settings.

Likewise, it offers parking areas for RV trucks and trailers.

With a lovely view of Metonga Lake, the Veteran’s Memorial Park offers boating, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, hiking, and more.

There are tents and camping sites to spend the night while indulging under the sea of stars.

You can bring your furry companions, too; there is plenty of space for them to roam around.

Discover the Native Lifestyle in Forest County Potawatomi Cultural Center, Library, and Museum

Your trip to Crandon isn’t complete without exploring the indigenous life of the Potawatomi Indians.

The Forest County Potawatomi Cultural Center, Library, and Museum is a well-curated museum exhibiting the life and culture of the Potawatomi Indians.

It strives to educate the public about significant historical events and to pass their traditions and culture to the next generations.

Upon entering the museum, you’ll encounter four main sections of the tour.

First, you will join “The Long Walk,” which refers to the history of the Potawatomi.

Then, there is “People Who Share a Language,” which is an interactive language exhibit.

After that, you will join “Traditional Ways,” which features their traditional elements.

Finally, you’ll see a display of the present heritage of the modern-day tribe.

In its atrium, you will see twelve massive poles, which symbolize the twelve bands of the Potawatomi tribe.

Learning more about their beautiful history gives you a whole new perspective on the present day.

Broaden your horizons at the Forest County Potawatomi Cultural Center, Library, and Museum.

Start your Thrilling Adventure on the Otter Springs Trail

New trails to explore always keep your heart pumping.

Located north of Otter Creek Road, the Otter Springs Trail is one of the many scenic trails awaiting you in Crandon.

Situated in the heart of a hardwood forest, it stretches for 12 miles with rolling terrain.

During the summer, you can go hiking or mountain biking in its thick trees, with lots of hilly and challenging trails to enjoy.

Most of its trails are well-marked, with shelters constructed from cedar logs.

It is an excellent place to rest and picnic while you make your way through the forest.

You can also go skiing on the Otter Springs Trail if you visit the place during the winter.

See the Amazing Crandon Water Shows in the Water’s Edge Lodge

Do you know what happens when a bunch of waterski addicts gets together?

The result is an exquisite water skiing show that you’ll adore.

Bring the whole family to the Water’s Edge Lodge to witness the state-of-the-art water shows from the Crandon Ski Serpents Club.

You can find the lodge on County Road West.

The lodge has a good restaurant bar with beautiful outdoor seating overlooking the lovely Lake Lucerne.

Aside from the lake, it also offers a perfect view of the waterski show.

The performing club dedicates its lives to maintaining the long history of high-quality water shows.

With the continuous improvement of their equipment, their acts have become bigger and faster, performing three-tiered pyramids that will leave you in awe.

The Water’s Edge Lodge is the perfect family getaway with good food and summer water shows.

Try a Quick Hike on Sugarbush Hill

Put down Sugarbush Hill as your next destination if you are a fan of climbing high peaks.

Sugarbush Hill offers you the highest point in Forest County and the third-highest point in Wisconsin.

You can find this hill to the southeast of Bug Lake and northeast of Devils Lake.

With an elevation of 583 meters, it is home to a tall communication tower with a deep history.

In 1939, Clyde H. Spencer spent 11 days on the 110-foot forest fire lookout tower to convince the state commission to open fire lanes in the forest country lakes.

Today, it offers an overlooking view of Forest County.

Try Your Luck at Mole Lake Casino and Lodge

Are you in for great games and hot casino action?

Head to State Highway 55 to arrive at the Mole Lake Casino and Lodge.

It is an entertainment destination with over 330 best-loved slot machines, lounges, great dining, a swimming pool, a fitness center, and first-class accommodations.

It has a full-service conference center that hosts various events.

These events include stand-up comedy shows and performances by legendary artists and musicians.

If you are thirsty, order your favorite cocktails in Café Manoomin.

The Mole Lake Casino and Lodge is great for relaxing, unwinding, and having a little fun gambling.

Commune with Nature at the Little Rice Wildlife Area

Wildlife never fails to amaze people because they are essential parts of nature.

The Little Rice Wildlife Area features a 1,900-acre property with a floating bog, a massive bed of wild rice, and tamarack islands about four miles west of Crandon.

Built in 1934, the property is home to a diverse range of wetland wildlife.

You can experience many recreational activities such as trapping, fishing, hunting, boating, canoeing, kayaking, and wildlife viewing.

Its big flowage features abundant northern pike and panfish and a large population of beaver and muskrats.

Add the Little Rice Wildlife Area to your itinerary for a relaxing wildlife experience.

Try the Ice Cream in Palubicki’s Eats & Treats

If your taste buds crave good, tasty ice cream, Palubicki’s Eats and Treats will not fail you.

Found on West Glen Street, it offers over 60 different ice cream flavors, burgers, and other items, giving you a sugar rush on your trip.

Palubicki’s Eats and Treats opened in 2007.

It’s a unique family drive-in with carry-out, friendly carhops, and outdoor seating.

It truly is a sweet treat for the whole squad and family.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Marvel at the Sea of Stars in Kovac Planetarium

Have you experienced what it feels like if the universe revolved around you?

Look no further than Kovac Planetarium to get an unforgettable universe tour.

This planetarium showcases an advanced showpiece of science showmanship, engineering, and craftsman art.

Kovac Planetarium is in Rhinelander, Wisconsin, 11 minutes from Crandon.

As the fourth and largest mechanical globe planetarium in the region, it is the ultimate haven for many space enthusiasts.

You’ll view the lovely planets up close as they educate you about recent space discoveries.

Lying back in the dark will show you the star formation process and the unprecedented change of seasons.

Remarkably, only one man is responsible for the planetarium activities, Frank Kovac Sr.

It is indeed a one-of-a-kind destination for the family.

Fall in Love with the Nicolet-Wolf River Scenic Byway

You’ll find the majestic Nicolet-Wolf River Scenic Byway in Wabeno, Wisconsin, 21 minutes from Crandon.

It is a gorgeous 145-mile route, passing through the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest to the Southeastern Vilas country.

Its beautiful scenery is dotted with quiet trails, winding roads, and vistas that feature Native American culture.

On the way, you’ll hear the occasional sounds of wildlife.

The byway is rich in biodiversity, with eagles, barn owls, white-tailed deer, and loons thriving there.

Many recreational opportunities await you, including various water-based sports and extensive multi-use trail systems.

Never miss the Nicolet-Wolf River Scenic Byway once you’re done with your trip to Crandon.

Final Thoughts

The immaculate beauty of wildlife and nature defines the beautiful town of Crandon.

Mud, dust, snow, and lake water are your friendly companions on your trip while you enjoy all the recreational activities.

Book your trip today and discover the best things to do in Crandon!

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