At Gathering Place Resort & Lodge, we have the distinct advantage of being located at the intersection of four wonderful counties in Northwest Wisconsin. Each of these counties has a unique flavor and allow our guests to Travel Wisconsin.
Washburn County, to our northwest, and Barron County, to our southwest, are in the Central Plain Region of Wisconsin. The Central Plain Region is primarily a hardwood forest of maple, birch, and aspen, but there are several areas of prairie as well as cranberry bogs and sandstone buttes scattered across the region.
The plain is occasionally broken by rolling hills throughout its western half.
Shell Lake is Washburn's county seat, and Spooner is the largest city. Both are less than 30 minutes from the resort. Check out the 100 miles of Washburn County’s ATV and hiking trails such as Tuscobia State Trail or the trails at Hunt Hill Audubon Sanctuary.
Explore the regional golf courses such as Spooner Golf or Butternut Hills.
Stop at the Laughing Goat Food Truck while exploring the
Shell Lake Art Festival or shop the many unique stores in Spooner
(with a stop at Round Man Brewing Co for a locally brewed craft beer).
Barron County is located to our southwest. The town of Barron is the county seat and the largest town in the area is Rice Lake. The hills in Barron County possess the region’s highest altitudes, reaching more than 1,200 feet (370 m) above sea level. The gorgeous Red Cedar River is well-known for its smallmouth bass fishing and amazing fall colors. In the summer, plan your stay around local favorites such as Rice Lake's 10-day "Aquafest" in late July or Cumberland's August "Rutabaga Festival!"
Locals refer to the Northern Highland region — Rusk County to the Southeast of the resort and Sawyer County to the Northeast of us — as “up north.” Once a mountain range similar to the Alps or Rocky Mountains, the Northern Highland mountains have been worn and flattened by erosion and glaciation over hundreds of millions of years. Today, Sugar Maple, Aspen, and Red and White Pine woodlands cover the Northern Highland.
The largest city in Rusk County, Ladysmith, is also the county seat. We recommend paddling on the scenic Flambeau River or heading to Christie Mountain to rock climb or ride the ski lift to view the fall colors. The Blue Hills, a natural formation of rolling hills located about 10 miles northwest of the village of Bruce in Rusk County, rise about 600 feet above the surrounding forest and so the views are worth the hike on the Ice Age Trail! Mountain bikers can enjoy a ride through the Blue Hills Trail System which is home to 22 miles of looping trails.
Sawyer County is located to our northeast. A beautiful drive along the coast of Lake Chetac takes you to Hayward, Sawyer's county seat. This area hosts two of the world’s top racing events – the American Birkebeiner cross country ski race and the Chequamegon Fat Tire bicycle race. Another popular riding destination for mountain bikers, the CAMBA Trail System in Cable and Hayward, has more than 300 miles of well-signed and mapped trails and has received special notice by the International Mountain Biking Association. Don’t miss a Scheer’s Lumberjack Show at the Lumberjack Bowl, which boasts the World Lumberjack Championships, or go horseback riding at Spider Lake Ranch.