UP NORTH - DOWN TO EARTH
I grew up vacationing “Up North.” It didn't take long for me to associate the Northwoods with a sense of escape. Now, even though I’m creating new memories, Up North still gives me a feeling of nostalgia.
What do you consider “Up North”? Hayden says anything north of Highway 29–that would be anything above Wausau and Eau Claire. I say anything north of Highway 8–essentially anything north of Tomahawk. Either way, to me, The Northwoods means lots of tall pines, beautiful lakes, pretty trails, and small towns. A magical place of calm waters, outdoor activities, and quality time around campfires. The only thing that could make it even better? Having your pup by your side! Here is everything you need to know to escape to the Northwoods with your pup.
Lodging = Blue
Dog-Friendly Patio = Yellow
Dogs Allowed Inside = Green
WHERE TO STAY
Affordable, high-quality, dog-friendly accommodations are not always easy to come across, and finding an incredible campground can be even harder. Lucky for you–we’ve found both!
Coady’s Point of View Resort
3932 N Primich Way, Phelps, WI 54554
If you’re looking for a cabin, look no further than Point of View Resort in Phelps, WI! No matter the time of year, POV is an amazing place to escape to. The resort sits on North Twin Lake, 15 minutes north of Eagle River and 7 minutes south of Phelps. The location is perfect—you can get away to the middle of nowhere, but also make a short trip into town if you wish. They said it best themselves when they claimed they were the place “Where Roughing it Doesn't Have to Be That Rough.” This property is beautiful and offers a bunch of amenities—swimming raft, hiking trail, canoe rentals, pool table, and so much more. The cabins are right by the lakefront, and in the summer, you can get out on the water and slay some fish or relax on the beach with your pup by your side. In the winter, you can snowshoe, ice fish, or just roam around the frozen lake. The pet fee is only $10/day. We will definitely be enjoying these cabins for years to come!
Lynn Ann’s Campground
1597 S Shore Dr, St Germain, WI 54558
We were so stoked to find the absolute gem that is Lynn Ann’s Campground in St. Germain, WI! It sits on the beautiful Big Saint Germain Lake and even has some waterfront campsites. When we spent Labor Day weekend there, the grounds were pretty full, and most sites had their pups along for the adventure!
The campground itself is wonderful. They have a private marina where you can rent a boat slip during your stay–for your own boat or one of theirs (they have dog-friendly rentals!). There are multiple piers to relax on and watch the sunset. The private beach is not dog-friendly, but it’s great if you’re looking for family friendly activities. Lynn Ann’s is strategically located very close to shops and restaurants in St. Germain, has lots of hiking trails, and is only a 20 minute ride to Eagle River. We found the rates to be reasonable, and the pet fee is only $1 per day per dog. The bathhouse was always clean, and there were pet waste bags provided around the grounds. We can’t recommend a stay at Lynn Ann’s Campground enough!
WHERE TO EAT
I absolutely love to cook over the campfire. I’ll take some s’mores and pudgy pies any day! There’s no shortage of campfire concoctions to cook up, but just in case you’re still working on perfecting your campfire cooking, we have a great list of dog-friendly dining locations!
Craftsman American Tavern
118 S Main St, Eagle River, WI 54521
Dogs are allowed on their covered patio. It’s a really nice space, and they provide water bowls for the pups and games for you to play as you wait for your meal. The food is excellent and they have a really fun cocktail menu!
Minocqua Yacht Club
8290 US-51, Minocqua, WI 54548
Dine right on Lake Minocqua at the Minocqua Yacht Club. We love waterfront dining, and the food was delicious! The pups loved the shady, grassy dining area.
2001 Indian Pine Point Rd, Tomahawk, WI 54487
This should definitely be on your list for a fish fry! They have a beautiful spot on Lake Nokomis with a big beach and a large dog-friendly deck. It can get busy, but there is plenty of room to wait for a table with a cocktail and a good view!
6882 S Helen Creek Rd, Land O' Lakes, WI 54540
This is such a legendary Wisconsin resort, bar, and restaurant, and on my very first visit, I understood why! It is the definition of Northwoods vibes–you drive in on a long dirt road, there’s lots of log cabins and a supper club-ish restaurant, and it sits on a beautiful chain of lakes. Grab a cocktail, order a fish fry, and kick back on their lovely dog-friendly patio or grassy picnic tables!
Ohde’s Tiki Bar
8085 State Hwy 70 E, St Germain, WI 54558
We had some light, yummy food in their grassy area with picnic tables. You and your pups can enjoy dinner there, but note that you do have to go up and order at the bar.
Cathy’s Ice Cream
106 WI-70, St Germain, WI 54558
If you’re looking for a sweet treat, look no further than Cathy’s! Their cookies are great, their ice cream is amazing, and the dog-friendly picnic tables make for a great place to end a fun day.
BETWEEN THE LAKES AND THE PINES
WHERE TO DRINK
Rocky Reef Brewing
1101 1st Ave, Woodruff, WI 54568
The space at Rocky Reef is nice and the beers we tried were excellent! I really liked Karate Boots, a fruit punch Kettle Sour. Hayden recommends the Juicer McGavin, a double dry hopped IPA. They don’t serve food, so dogs are allowed inside, and you are welcome to bring in your own food. Pack a snack or stop at Minocqua Popcorn and pick one up on your way!
1106 N Bluebird Rd, Eagle River, WI 54521
I stopped into Tribute Brewing in Eagle River this past summer. They also don't serve food, so plan accordingly, but they do have a nice space and dogs are welcome on the patio. I really enjoyed Blueberry Train, a wheat ale!
WHERE TO FUEL UP
Roots: Northwoods Juice Bar
321 E Wall St, Eagle River, WI 54521
Looking for a healthy, fresh start to the day? Roots has you covered. They have pressed juices, really good smoothies, and the cutest space with a fun vibe!
108 WI-70, St Germain, WI 54558
We visited Red Canoe this summer and everything was so good! We got breakfast and warm drinks, and it was so cozy on a chilly morning. We highly recommend them, but be sure to check their hours before you go, as I think they will be closed for a little bit this spring.
WHERE TO HIKE
7485 Shannon Lake Rd, St Germain, WI 54558
The lake itself was stunning, and the easy 2.5 mile loop trail kept opening up to show us some lovely pine and water views.
N 46º 24.528’, W 89º 7.974’ Bond Falls Road, Paulding, MI 49912
This quick 1 mile loop takes you along the water to see both the upper and lower falls. It opens up to a large boardwalk with stunning views. The trail is well used, so the snow was packed down and we didn’t need our snowshoes. But even with fresh snow, it was icy in steep spots, so I’d recommend packing your YakTrax for some extra grip if you visit in the winter or spring!
Hiawatha Trail and Bearskin State Park Trail, Minocqua, WI 54548
Taking your pups to the Bearskin Trail is always a good way to start the day! There’s a fee for this state trail, but the $5 day pass is totally worth it. It’s a beautiful, wide trail that takes you between pines and along the water. It’s 21.5 miles long in total (43 miles out and back), so go as far out and back as you and your pups choose–the views are great the whole time!
WHERE TO SHOP
Cotton + Birch
119 S Railroad St, Eagle River, WI 54521
You can find a cute look for any occasion at this women’s boutique! The prices range, but I always seem to be able to find pieces I think are totally affordable. They also have some home decor and kitchen goodies. It’s one of my favorite boutiques, and not just because I can shop with my pup by my side!
105 E Wall St, Eagle River, WI 54521
Hayden loves the occasional stogie! We were thrilled to find out the pups could shop with him as he picked out some cigars for the weekend.
Eagle River Pet Co
113 E Wall St, Eagle River, WI 54521
It’s always so fun to let the pups do some shopping too! When we stopped in over the summer, we picked up some doggie beers and really cute packers toys. It’s a great pet store!
LIFE IS GREAT NORTH OF HIGHWAY 8