15 Best Things to Do in Land o’ Lakes, WI

Land o’ Lakes, WI
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Recreational activities on land and water mainly comprise the sights and activities in Land o’ Lakes, Wisconsin.

This town is in Vilas County, one of five counties that make up the Northwoods of Wisconsin.

Founded in 1907, Land o’ Lakes started as the Town of State Line.

This original name denotes the town’s north-central location in Vilas County along Wisconsin’s border with the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

In 1948, the town was renamed Land o’ Lakes, paying tribute to its several water bodies.

The lush woodlands in and around the town complement these water features to create an unforgettable itinerary.

Discover the best things to do in Land o’ Lakes, Wisconsin!

Go on a Paddling Adventure with Land o’ Lakes Boat Rentals

Kayaking on Wisconsin River
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Many paddlers launch their canoeing and kayaking trips on the 430-mile Wisconsin River at Lac Vieux Desert.

Boat ramps are readily available in Lac Vieux Desert Park just southeast of the Land o’ Lakes town center.

The more daring of paddlers can go on a week-long adventure on the Wisconsin River, the state’s largest, and one of the Mississippi River’s major tributaries.

The waters of Wisconsin River
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Such an extended river outing can lead you to the confluence of the two rivers just upstream of Wyalusing State Park in the Wisconsin town of Bagley.

Paddlers can grab gear at Land O’ Lakes Boat Rentals on County Highway B.

With convenient pickup and delivery of boats to several Wisconsin lakes, its rental fleet includes paddleboards, fishing boats, sport towables, and pontoon boats.

Start your boating adventure with Land O’ Lakes Boat Rentals!

Enjoy the Outdoors at Lac Vieux Desert Recreation Area

The mighty Wisconsin River draws its headwaters from Lac Vieux Desert, a 4,017-acre lake east of Land o’ Lakes.

This lake is among the largest in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest that extends to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Visitors of the lake gravitate to the Lac Vieux Desert Recreation Area, accessible via West Shore Landing Road.

This recreation area features a campground, picnic facilities, and a boat launch/landing for anglers.

The potential fish catch at Lac Vieux Desert includes northern pike, walleye, musky, and bass.

The open season in the Lac Vieux Desert is May to October.

Pick a Cottage at Sunrise Lodge

Overnight visits to the Lac Vieux Desert can get much more comfortable and enjoyable with a stay at one of the lake resorts.

One of the choices is Sunrise Lodge, conveniently located on West Shore Road.

Besides lodging, it offers several facilities, including a tennis court, softball field, mini-golf, and basketball court.

Sunrise Lodge likewise boasts a beachfront and well-landscaped grounds where its guests can enjoy views of beautiful flowers and the lake scenery.

Its guests can rent canoes, motorboats, pontoon boats, and fishing boats.

Sunrise Lodge can provide a local guide to its guests fishing in the lake.

For accommodations, the choices in Sunrise Lodge include ten executive units and 14 cottages, all luxurious and well-furnished.

During winter, the lodge is an ideal base for snowmobiling on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Rent a Cabin at Deerwood Resort

You can reach this pristine lake amid woodlands via East Big Portage Lake Road off Berry Road.

Renting a cabin at Deerwood Resort on the south shore of Big Portage Lake is one of the best ways to enjoy a visit to Land o’ Lakes.

The public boat landing of the 586-acre lake is just off this resort, which also maintains a 76-foot fishing pier.

Panfish, walleye, and bass are the potential catch in Big Portage Lake’s clear waters that have a maximum depth of 40 feet.

Other resort facilities include a 400-foot sandy beachfront, swimming pier, raft, and boat trailer parking.

Deerwood Resort provides guests with complimentary non-motorized watercraft, such as kayaks and paddle boats.

Guests can also use a rowboat with a trolling motor for optional use, plus an indoor facility for cleaning the fish catch.

The resort’s cabins have large-screen TV, DVD player, high-speed internet connection, game tables, player, kitchenette, restroom, comfortable seating, and a children’s play space.

The resort provides off-water facilities, including a playground, basketball/pickleball court, horseshoe pits, and a community grill.

In addition, the resort provides a community room with a coin-operated laundry facility.

The family-owned Deerwood Resort has operated since 1935.

Tackle the Land O’Lakes Bike and Pedestrian Trail

This trail is accessible about a quarter mile west of the junction of Highway 45 and County Highway B.

Restrooms for trail users are available at the nearby Land O’ Lakes Town Hall and the Chamber of Commerce.

From this starting point, the Land o’ Lakes Bike and Pedestrian Trail head westerly for 12 miles along the scenic County Highway B.

The forested landscape that the trail traverses includes Black Oak Lake’s woodlands, touted as having Wisconsin’s clearest lake waters.

This lake is an ideal rest stop for bikers and hikers, as it provides a picnic area, restrooms, and a beach.

Some dining options in Land O’ Lakes are accessible along the trail, like TJ Grizzlies and The Bear Trap Inn.

The Land O’ Lakes Bike and Pedestrian trail opens in spring, summer, and fall, closing some 2.7 miles in winter.

The far westernmost section of the trail opens for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing during winter.

Enjoy Family Fun at the Snowflake Ice Rink

Located on Town Hall Road, the Snowflake Ice Rink is a family-oriented facility that the Land o’ Lakes town government runts.

As a traditional ice skating rink, this facility opens from late November to late March, depending on weather conditions.

The Snowflake Ice Rink has a warming house where you can borrow skates.

Likewise, the rink has lights, thus making it available for night skating.

Saturdays are the best time to skate there, as the rink offers hot cocoa and hot dogs.

Visit the Northern Waters Museum

Take a glimpse at the quaint history of Land O’ Lakes in the displays and exhibits of the Northern Waters Museum on Chippewa Drive.

The building housing the museum is itself a conversation piece.

Built in 1937, the building was once the ski chalet of the town’s historic Gateway Inn & Hotel.

John King, a radio-theater mogul from Detroit, developed this lodge where many past celebrities stayed and performed.

These entertainment icons included Bob Hope and the comedy tandem of Bud Abbot & Lou Costello.

Given its background, the Northern Waters Museum shares many unique stories about the Gateway Inn during the big band era.

Land o’ Lakes’s logging history and surrounding forest areas are another part of this museum’s display themes.

Take the Kids to Storybook Garden

Located in the town park on Chippewa Drive near the Northern Waters Museum, Storybook Garden is a kid-friendly Land O’ Lakes destination.

This garden features several book stations that bring stories to life for children’s entertainment.

The kids’ station choices include Hello Little Owl, A Night in the Dinosaur Graveyard, and Where the Wild Things Are.

Adults must accompany kids visiting the open garden stations starting Memorial Day up to October.

Pick Woods or Irons at Gateway Golf Club

Test your shot-making skills at Land o’ Lakes by visiting the Gateway Golf Club on County Road B.

As a public course, the parkland-style links of Gateway Golf Club opened in 1941, featuring nine holes.

Regulation play on this course is par 36 over 3,178 yards from its farthest tee placements.

Developed with Bluegrass on its fairways and Bentgrass on its greens, this course has a 35.3 rating and a 123 slope rating.

Also featuring a driving range, this course straddles the Wisconsin-Michigan border.

The first four holes are in Michigan, while the final five are in Wisconsin.

The golf season in this Land o’ Lakes course starts around April and ends sometime in November.

Expect excellent night play in this course every Saturday from July to September.

During this period, all nine holes open to glowing golf till late at night.

Test Your Aim at Gateway Gun Club

Established in 1938, the Gateway Gun Club appeared after constructing the Gateway Lodge complex.

The club’s shooting ranges, set up on the east side of the lodge’s grounds, subsequently hosted major Wisconsin clay shooting tournaments.

The trap fields of the gun club rank among the bigggest in the Midwest.

These facilities have been revamped into a world-class clay course, one of just three in Wisconsin.

The club’s shooting ranges open from May to November.

Grab Dinner at the Gateway Lodge

Besides its golf course and trap shooting ranges, Gateway Lodge has another enticing attraction in its restaurant and lounge.

The Gateway Lodge Restaurant and Lounge offers a superb menu lineup located on Highway B.

A starter of homemade hummus served with pita chips here can segue into a salad with tender, buttered steak slices.

Its main course picks include BBQ baby back ribs, meatball sandwiches, or prime rib sandwich specials.

Enjoy post-meal drinks at the cozy Gateway Lounge, where the nearby lobby exudes charm from its rustic fireplace and animal mounts.

Enjoy Farm-to-Table Fare at Bent’s Camp Resort

This family-owned camp on the west shore of Mamie Lake has operated its Lodge Restaurant since 1906.

Located on Helen Creek Road, Bent’s Camp takes pride in serving fantastic food including veggies grown from its gardens.

The camp’s restaurant menu offers a full range of choices, from sandwiches, pizzas, and hamburgers to its nightly specials of the finest seafood and steaks.

Its Friday treats that draw repeat customers comprise its famed deep-fried haddock served with coleslaw, potato salad, beans, French fries, lemon, and tartar sauce.

The Lodge Restaurant’s grand old building provides a cozy dining ambiance.

Its walls and ceiling flaunt a rustic decor of birch bark lining fastened with cedar bark strips.

A pictorial essay on the history of Bent’s Camp adornment hangs in the lodge to complement this adornment.

You can rent boats at Bent’s Camp, which also rents out cabins between May and October.

Bowl and Have a Drink at the Alley Lanes & Tavern

This bowling alley and bar, formerly operated as T&M Lanes, is on Country Road B.

The place rebranded as the Alley Lanes & Tavern in 2016, as its ownership changed hands and its facilities had significant upgrades.

This lone bowling center in Land O’ Lakes has six lanes and newly installed bowling monitors.

The family-friendly Alley Lanes & Tavern regularly holds bowling tournaments and features an arcade.

It offers free pool games every Tuesday and a wide range of drink choices.

Enjoy domestic bottles and weekly drink specials, including margaritas, rail mixers, and fireball shots.

Try the Comfort Food of Asana Suka

Located on US Highway 45, Asana Suka capitalizes on its name, which means “to sit in happiness,” enjoying rave reviews from its customers.

This restaurant boasts fresh and homemade food servings using meats, shellfish, seafood, poultry, or eggs.

Customers rave about the restaurant’s generous salmon servings, flaky and soft crabs, and salads with blueberry balsamic vinegar.

All entrées in Asana Suka come with a choice of salad or soup and choice of sides: French Fries, Veggie of the Day, Garlic Yukon Mash, Baked Potato, or Gnocchi of the Day.

Shop for Souvenirs at Trading Post Internationale

Located on County Highway B, Trading Post Internationale offers the perfect gift or souvenir from a visit to Land O’ Lakes.

This store’s shelves provide choices of Indian jewelry, moccasins, Navajo rugs, and unique garments for men, women, and kids.

Other wares for the picking include antiques, Victorian and early American furniture, Oriental rugs, primitive collectibles, and Native American artifacts.

Grab a unique souvenir from your Land O’ Lakes trip at Trading Post Internationale!

Final Thoughts

Land O’ Lakes has all the markings of a resort town worth a visit when on a trip to Wisconsin.

This town has masterfully woven superb guest facilities with its unspoiled lakes and other natural assets.

The places to see and things to do in Land o’ Lakes rank among Wisconsin's best.