Local remedies for cabin fever

By James Card


There is no excuse for moping indoors during the winter months in Waupaca County.

The region is lively throughout the year and our communities make the most of the short days, the abundance of snow and the cold weather.
Here’s a guide to getting out and enjoying the limited sunshine and the fresh air.

Luge in Swan

From a distance the huge man-made mound at the bottom of Swan Park in Waupaca doesn’t look that big but once at the top the view is quite impressive.

The slope is steep and the sleds can move very fast, so fast that the Park & ​​Rec service has some safety rules in place: go up the north side of the hill. Anyone standing or walking in the toboggan area can be smoked by an oncoming sled.

Ride in a seated position only, which means no head-first or rear positions and no surfing. Construction jumps are not allowed. Sleighs with metal parts are not allowed.

It is possible that a sled moves so fast that the rider ends up in the parking lot, much like Clark Griswold in the movie “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”. The tobogganing hours are from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. with lights on for the night tobogganing.

The Winter Rec Fest will also be held here on Saturday. February 5 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. and fireworks will be set off in the evening.

Snowmobile

The extensive network of snowmobile trails that pops up every winter in Waupaca County is an example of people working together in the community to do great things. Every year, private landowners open up a slice of their land for snowmobile use, and that stretch connects to one another and another until one person can travel for miles in the Waupaca hinterland. .

This is made possible by the Waupaca County Snowmobile Association, which is made up of small local clubs that take care of the trails in their corner of the forest. Trail maps are published and can usually be found at local gas stations and purchased for a small donation. The Waupaca County Parks Department web page has information on trail closures and openings.

The Manawa Snodeo snowmobile races will be held on Saturday and Sunday February 19 and 20 at Bear Lake Resort. Visit manawasnodeo.org for more information.

In Weyauwega, at the Waupaca County Fairgrounds, the Fire on Ice snowmobile races are held from Friday to Sunday from February 4 to 6.

Ice fishing opportunities abound in Waupaca County. Anglers can expect to catch bluegill, perch, crappie, bass and pike in the local hard water.
Photo of the James card

Ice fishing

Each community in Waupaca County has an easily accessible lake or pond for ice fishing. In addition, there are many other lakes and ponds scattered throughout the region.

Find out where the fish bite at Minnow Bucket in King, Johnny’s Little Shop of Bait in New London, Ma’s Bait & Tackle in Fremont, Butch’s Archery in Clintonville, Gill’s Landing in Weyauwega and JR’s Sport Shop in Iola.

Hockey, skating

Catch a hockey game and cheer on our local teams on their rink. The Waupaca Area Youth Hockey Association rink is located in front of the Ramada Inn and behind the Three Squares Restaurant in Waupaca.

From Friday to Sunday, January 7 to 9, the Pee Wee Faceoff tournament is held. Friday through Sunday January 21-23 is the Bantam Ice Breaker tournament. The Super Squirt Showdown tournament is scheduled for the weekend of February 18-20.

Additionally, there are skate nights open on Saturdays and Sundays throughout the winter from 6.30pm to 8.30pm. For more information, visit www.wayha.com. Additionally, Waupaca Parks and Recreation maintains an ice rink in the Lower South Park parking lot.

Ski

For downhill skiing, the closest options for residents of the Waupaca area are Nordic Mountain to the south to Wild Rose and Rib Mountain to the north to Wausau.

But Waupaca County offers cross-country skiing at the Iola Winter Sports Club. The club chalet has a wood stove, hot chocolate and coffee.

There is a special trail for ski joering – the sport where a dog pulls a skier with a harness.

There are over 20 kilometers of groomed cross-country ski trails that weave through the forest.

The club is family owned and passes, equipment rental rates, lessons, and annual memberships are very cheap compared to what a person would spend at an alpine ski resort. The Youth Skiing Program takes place every Saturday and provides a way for young people to get out of the house and participate in a structured outdoor activity.

The Central Ski Jumping Championships will also start at noon on Sunday February 6 at the Iola Winter Sports Club.

Hunt

The only game that can be hunted after New Years Day are deer (archery season ends January 9) and wild turkeys (season ends January 9). Small game still open includes rabbit (season ends February 28), squirrel (season ends January 31).

For game birds, the ruffed grouse and pheasant season ends on January 9. For furry animals, the coyote is open year round, the fox closes on February 15, the bobcat closes on January 31, the wolf closes on February 28, and the raccoon closes on February 15.

To maintain wing shooting skills, the Waupaca Conservation League will be hosting a Winter Trap League. Crushing of the clays will begin on Saturday January 8. To register, send an email to [email protected]

Early trout fishing

While many anglers focus on the ice, ambitious anglers have the opportunity to have some of the best trout water in the counties all winter on their own. The first catch and release season begins on the first Saturday in January and continues until the first Saturday. in May. The daily bag limit is zero and only flies or artificial lures may be used.

In County Waupaca, the only waters that can be fished are the North Branch of the Little Wolf River from County Trunk P to County J, the South Branch of the Little Wolf River, and the Waupaca River from Frost Valley Road to the State Highway 54.

Hit the hill

The Mosquito Hill Nature Center near New London has a calendar of events throughout the winter that includes indoor yoga classes, winter science experiments, a nighttime full moon hike, a day of family fun. , a wood duck workshop and home-making classes for native bees. , willow baskets, wooden candle holders, log planters, and a Leopold bench (a simple wooden bench named after Aldo Leopold, the famous Wisconsin environmentalist).

Snowshoeing

The Mosquito Hill Nature Center has open trails for snowshoeing and equipment rentals. They also organize snowshoeing torchlight outings in the evening.
Call ahead for times and snow conditions. The Ice Age Trail traverses a section of Waupaca County and is accessible at several locations for hiking, snowshoeing, or cross-country skiing. The Waupaca Country Club Winter Recreation Trail is open to the public, but like Mosquito Hill, check snow conditions ahead of time.

Adventure Outfitters on Main Street in Waupaca offers snowshoe rentals and runs nightly “headlamp hikes”.

Visit adventureoutfittersllc.com for more information.

Sculpting ice

As part of the Iola Winter Carnival, there will be an ice sculpting competition starting at 8 a.m. on Saturday, February 5 at Chet Krause Legacy Park next to the Shivers Ice Cream Shop. Judgment will take place at noon. To register, call Mike Mazemke at 715-445-4024.