>

Segway the Fox tours

Experience a fun adventure in Green Bay with Segway the Fox tours, a locally owned entrepreneurial company that offers guided tours throughout Northeast Wisconsin on ultra smart, ultra cool Segways. Invented by Dean Kamen, these awesome machines are officially called the Segway Human Transporter, the first self-balancing, electric-powered transportation machine. The Segway Human Transporter is a personal transport device that uses five gyroscopes and a built-in computer to remain upright. They are amazingly simple to operate. Our group of four started out with a few quick lessons taught by our trainer and tour guide, Al. We learned how to control our Segways, turn, and stop. Then we went over some things you might need to know when out on the road, like directional signals for the group and etiquette for pedestrians. In just a few minutes, we started out on our adventure, The Packer Heritage Trail in downtown Green Bay. Al was a veritable gold mind of Packer knowledge. Al is someone who genuinely loves his job which is evident by all the stories of ancient Packer history he talks about during the tour. I suggest looking over The Packer Heritage Trail website before taking the tour to familiarize yourself with it all before you go. A little bit of reading ahead of time is bound to enrich your experience. PackerHeritageTrailMap Along the way, we zipped along the river walk, went over bridges, through underpasses and basically blanketed the older section of Green Bay. We were able to see more in one hour on our Segways than we could have seen in several hours, if walking. The minimum age and weight allowances are 11 years old and 70 lbs. The parent company, Glide N.E.W, also operates Segway the Door with tours in many localities, Penninsula State Park, and even a 5-hour tour to Washington Island that includes the ferry ride to the island and lunch. Watch for it! We plan to do a Segway the Door tour next.

Continue reading Segway the Fox tours

Natural Air Conditioning on Wisconsin's East Coast

A couple of us from Relax Wisconsin headed out to the shores of Lake Michigan on Sunday, June 10th, and spent the afternoon at beautiful Point Beach State Forest near Two Rivers. As the thermometer on our van said it was 88 degrees, it was clearly much more comfortable on the beach.

Point Beach offers 127 campsites, a self-guided nature trail, Hiking/Ski trails, picnic areas as well as a sandy beach for family activities. Along the beach you can view Rawley Point Lighthouse (see picture). The lighthouse was originally built in 1853 and was replaced with the current steel tower in 1894.

If you park at the north end of the park, near the concession stand, there is wheelchair access to the beach (see picture).

During our walk on the beach we saw many families enjoying their day. From just laying in the sun, building sand castles, getting buried in the sand (see picture), to flying kites, the possibilities are endless.

To top it off, we ended at the concession stand and we both enjoyed a waffle cone with some delicious Cedar Crest ice cream.

Continue reading Natural Air Conditioning on Wisconsin’s East Coast

Laura Lake Campground

Laura Lake

Laura Lake Campground- If you could create an ideal campground, what would it include? For setting, maybe it should lie between two beautiful lakes. Of course, the lakes would be clear, with good fishing and excellent swimming. There would need to be a trail (about two miles) circling one of those beautiful lakes for scenic walks. And, naturally there would be no development on either lake. Sound perfect? Don’t bother creating it. It already exists at Laura Lake.

Continue reading Laura Lake Campground

Willow River State Park

Willow River State Park

With 2,891 acres of prairie, forests, and panoramic river scenery, Willow River State Park offers year-round recreational and scenic attractions in western Wisconsin. Located 5 miles northeast of Hudson on County Road A, the park has a campground, a boat launch, and a 400-foot beach and picnic area centered on 172-acre Little Falls Lake. Willow River State Park draws more than 300,000 visitors each year.

Continue reading Willow River State Park

Miller Brewery Tour

the caves

Stopping by Miller Valley and taking a tour of the Miller Brewery is a fun way to pass a Saturday afternoon in Milwaukee. Start in the gift shop of the Visitor’s Center, and then enter the theatre with a movie that presents a significant part of Milwaukee’s history.

New media throughout the tour is cutting edge, like later in the tour when Herman Miller pops out of the cave painting with a hologram effect. Sometimes we felt, their presentation material was a little cheesy, like the tour introduction of the “Miller High Life Girl In The Moon”. I see what they are trying to do, but in my opinion, it didn’t really deliver their message well. Video’s were used rather extensively throughout the guided tour, leaving a commercialized feeling, but overall the presentations were well done.

You definitely learn about the Miller brands. They try to have a brand for every beer lover and take every opportunity to impress upon you what their many brands are. The list is extensive, here are just a few:

  • Coors
  • Miller
  • Leinenkugels
  • Blue Moon
  • Keystone
  • Molson
  • Carling
  • Foster’s
  • Grolsch
  • Peroni
  • Sharp’s
  • Amstel Light
  • Astika
  • Aguila
  • Hamm’s
  • Mickey’s
  • Milwaukee’s Best

After the movie, a guide will take you to several places of importance along the beer making process like the brewhouse, packaging and the warehouse.

Discover what massive beer distribution looks like with a chance to see a million cases of beer as you walk through the warehouse. Did you know that 40% of their production goes to Chicago? The rest is transported throughout the Midwest. Who says Milwaukee is America’s Beer City? I guess that depends on production vs. consumption.

The caves were my favorite. You go down about a dozen steps, and enter the cave where, here again, you get a cool feeling of historic déjà vu as Herman Miller tells you how they used to cut massive blocks of ice out of Lake Michigan and haul it to the caves to keep the beer cold all year round.

Then head off to the tasting room, where you are served a 6-8oz glass of Miller, Miller High Life and then a third rotating beer of their choice. Their choice today was Third Shift, an Amber Lager, that no one, even the Amber beer lover in our group, could even drink. It had a strong unpleasant after taste that one just couldn’t get past. Our suggestion- do as other tours do and allow visitors to choose their own beer. Like wine lovers, beer drinkers have distinctive tastes. Miller circumvents the earlier focus of their varied brands by not allowing their guests to educate their pallets, as wineries and even Leinenkugels do so well, Miller misses an important opportunity.

Continue reading Miller Brewery Tour

Milwaukee Brewing Company

landscape view of the brewery

Check out this upstart craft brewery and tour in Milwaukee for a fun afternoon. This group of brewers take their beer making seriously, but endearingly, take themselves very lightly. From the minute you step foot in the doors of the Milwaukee Brewery Company, you’re in for some light-hearted beer loving fun. MKE Apparel

Their branding is cool with a logo that looks like a hex-nut with the airport code MKE inside. Their uniforms look like they belonged at the airport -maybe circa 1965. Bicycles hanging in the shipping area, discreetly tell you that this is one of those businesses that support and celebrate their employees.

The tour starts with a trip to the tasting bar, where you get a full 20 oz glass of beer from a choice of about 10 options on any given day. Then watch a short video that offers a bit the brewery’s background from the brewery owner. Our guide, Tim with the awesome mustache, is probably a stand up comedian when he isn’t giving tours. His love for the company, and its beer, with a strong knowledge of the process offer just the right combination.

You come away, after a couple stops back to the bar, with an appreciation of their mission (which seems to be to get you to drink and love their beer) and values (to be known for their environmental practices with the use of bio-diesel and upcoming solar). These environmental practices most recently put them in the limelight for a visit from Gov. Walker (we think he just wanted the free beer, too).

Continue reading Milwaukee Brewing Company

Fishing on Shawano Lake

crappies

Shawano Lake is a lake situated in Shawano County in northeastern Wisconsin. Shawano Lake is a hard water drainage lake with multiple inlets and one major outlet, the Wolf River. A dam on the Wolf River located in the City of Shawano raises the water levels of Shawano Lake. Shawano Lake is approximately 6,178 acres (25.00 km2), with an average depth of approximately 9 feet (2.7 m) and a maximum depth of approximately 42 feet (13 m). The shoreline length is estimated at 18 miles (29 km). The Towns of Westcott, and Washington, and the Village of Cecil border Shawano Lake.

Continue reading Fishing on Shawano Lake

Plamann Park Sledding

Plamann Park sledding

Plamann Park-

When the snow season arrives you will find these opportunities at Plamann Park:

  • Sledding Hills
  • Cross-country Ski Trails
  • Snowmobiling Parking

Plamann Park has two levels of sledding hills, fun and really fun. A large hill for the big kids and a smaller hill for the not so big. Bring the kids out for some of the most prime sledding in the area. Across from the Pavillion -just watch for the sledding hill.

There are 3.5 miles of cross-country ski trails that are groomed after most fresh snowfalls.

For snowmobilers there is a parking area giving access to the 280 mile system of snowmobile trails in Outagamie County.

Plamann Park has 257 acres of scenic hills and trails. The park is north of Appleton on Broadway Drive.

Continue reading Plamann Park Sledding

Dun-Good Riders (ATV & Snowmobile Club)

dun good riders -snowmobiles

The Northwood’s snowmobile club, Dun-Good Riders Inc. is a non profit organization of dedicated individuals, whose constant vigil is to maintain our trails to the best of their abilities. We currently care for 70 miles of snowmobile trails, through some of the most beautiful acres in God’s country. We also watch over 130 miles of year round ATV trail. Our only hope is that you will have a safe and joyful experience every time you visit our trail system.

Continue reading Dun-Good Riders (ATV & Snowmobile Club)

Necedah National Wildlife Refuge

Nestled in central Wisconsin is a landscape that was epitomized by early homesteaders as the Great Wisconsin Swamp. A mosaic habitat of sedge meadow, savanna, and pine-oak forest established in 1939 the area is an island of refuge‚ home to ringed boghaunter dragonflies, whooping cranes, trumpeter swans, wolves, Karner blue butterflies, badgers, and red-headed woodpeckers. Each species and habitat is monitored and maintained by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to ensure overall vigor within the 44,000-acre ecosystem.

Necedah’s newest addition accompanies over 230 species of birds, hundreds of mammals, reptiles, and amphibians. Visitors have a magnificent starting point for all of the opportunities to fish, hunt, hike and enjoy nature.

Directions from Nearest Town/Intersection

The main entrance to the Necedah National Wildlife Refuge is located off of Highway 21 between the Village of Necedah and the town of Tomah.

7:30am to 4:00pm, Monday through Saturday. Closed on Sundays.

Continue reading Necedah National Wildlife Refuge