Mar 10, 2015

Tomahawk

By: Director Christine Vorpagel

A recreational gem - Tomahawk in Lincoln County.  Whether you’re choosing one of the many silent sports like hiking, biking or fishing or you have a need for speed on a snowmobile, ATV or boat, or to go fishing or hunting in the quiet solitude of the Northwoods; you’ll discover multiple opportunities to do ALL of them in Tomahawk.  Considered the “Gateway to the Northwoods…the quiet side of the north,” many consider the Tomahawk area, “Life the way it was meant to be lived,” to quote www.gototomahawk.com, the local Chamber of Commerce.  

The Tomahawk area features 15 flowages and lakes offering great fishing and recreational opportunities for musky, northern pike, bass, walleye and panfish. Every year, several trophy size musky, largemouth and smallmouth bass are caught in Tomahawk’s beautiful waters. Check the local bait shops if you don’t believe this fisherman’s story or check the Tomahawk Leader, a local newspaper. In fact, Chuck’s Sport Shop on North 4th Street in Tomahawk sponsors a fishing report written by Buck’s Taxidermy & Guide service each week in the Tomahawk Leader that is also featured on www.gototomahawk.com .

Where else will you find a local radio station that is staffed so they can give you local news throughout the day? WJJQ FM 92.5 features major and minor fish activity/feeding announcements daily twice an hour along with the local weather report.  Snowmobile trail reports with information from the 400 miles of trails in the Tomahawk area are also reported by the groomers from area snowmobile clubs: Northwoods Passage Snowmobile Club, Northern Trails Unlimited Snowmobile Club, Knight Owls Snowmobile Club. Locals and tourists give news flashes on current hunting and fishing intel.  A Home, Sport and Travel Expo is hosted by WJJQ the first weekend in April at the Tomahawk Area High School which is free to attend.  Listen online at www.wjjq.com prior to your visit. After listening you will be sure to plan a trip to the Tomahawk area!

“Jump on the Trail” has become an informal slogan of Tomahawk Main Street Inc. The August 2014 completion of connecting Lincoln County’s Hiawatha Trail to the DNR Bearskin Trail, has resulted in 32 miles of multi-use trail from downtown Tomahawk to Minocqua; 25 years in the making!! This trail system is enjoyed by snowmobilers in the winter, and hiking and biking families in the warmer weather months. The six and a half mile Hiawatha Trail cuts through some of the most attractive lake country in all the Northwoods. The trail follows the abandoned railroad bed of the old Milwaukee Road railroad line that once brought thousands of visitors to the Northwoods. Today, the rails are gone, but the railroad bed remains, and the well-compacted granite surface is a joy to ride. Relax and take in the breathtaking scenery. The level railroad bed is also ideal for youngsters or riders who aren’t looking for too much grade. The trail begins at the Sara Park Activity Center near Tomahawk. Through the tenacity of Jim Wise, a local businessman who was relentless in the completion of phase 1, made this trail connection complete. For a trail map and info go to www.northwoodsbiking.com or just stop in the Tomahawk Surplus Store or the Tomahawk Main Street office right in the heart of historic downtown Tomahawk. After all, “All Trails Lead to Downtown Tomahawk!”

Lodging choices in the Tomahawk area are numerous. There are campgrounds for the true outdoors experience and cottages, hotels and resorts for a less rustic adventure. Over 50 choices give visitors and outdoor enthusiasts plenty of options in the Greater Tomahawk area. You can request information regarding lodging and area activities for the Tomahawk Chamber of Commerce.

The City of Tomahawk features numerous parks including Sara Park. The Sara Park Primitive Campground features ten sites on the Wisconsin River.  These spots, found right on the shores of Lake Mohawksin, include a public beach, playground, the Hiawatha hiking and biking trail, as well as bathrooms and showers.  Discover this Wisconsin River boat landing that is within walking distance of the historic Downtown Main Street of Tomahawk; a rare combination you’ll be hard to find. It also features a multipurpose building, baseball diamonds, volleyball court and a dog park for those folks bringing along their four legged friends.

Lake Mohawksin is one of the premier musky fishing lakes in Wisconsin.  This 1,910 acre lake is part of the Wisconsin River system.  It’s named for the three rivers that feed into it. “Mo” from the Somo River, “Hawk” from the Tomahawk River and “Sin” from the Wisconsin River.  If you’re not familiar with the area, it is suggested you visit one of the area bait shops like Chuck’s Sport Shop or Aquatic Arts Fishing Pro Shop to get the tips and layout of this portion of the Wisconsin River. Or, hire a guide for even a half day trip and they’ll ensure you find the most likely fishing areas for walleye, bass, northern pike, bluegills or to hunt for that elusive trophy musky.

Fishing is so good in the Tomahawk area that the Wisconsin River Great Bass Championship was held here in September 2014. The winning results were the biggest 5 fish limit of the year (2014)
15.24 lbs. by Eric Fix and Dan Firkus of Nokomis.  The big bass of the year (2014) was 5.73 lbs. and was caught by Jef Muelver and Bobby Brigham of Mohawksin.  Make plans now to participate in this series.  For information check www.wisconsinriverseries.com.  The Central Wisconsin River Series Bass Championship will be held in Tomahawk September 26 & 27, 2015.

Council Grounds State Park is right on the Wisconsin River, south of Tomahawk off State Hwy 107. This 509 acre park is on the shores of the Wisconsin River, near a hydro dam, on the river that forms what’s locally called Lake Alexander. It is a year round park with a hiking fitness trail, shelter, swimming beach, and other amenities. The park has a family campground, which is heavily wooded with 55 campsites, showers, and flush toilets. There are 19 sites with electricity. Each site has a picnic table and fire ring. The campground also has a dumping station and recycling containers.

The Underdown Area, south of Tomahawk, is famous for biking and horseback riding.  And, there are also primitive campgrounds.  It’s part of the 1,000 miles of Ice Age Trail in Wisconsin.  You can find information at www.iceagetrail.org.  The Northwoods Chapter has been responsible for the 50 miles of trail since 1973, which stretch from Hwy 17 on the east near Parrish, Langlade County to Tower Road, Taylor County, its western border. The Northwood Chapter is always in need of donations and volunteers who maintain these trails without any government funding.  The chapter organizes a wild flower hike early in May and a snowshoe hike in winter. Be sure to appreciate the responsible forest management in the Northwoods and natural beauty along the rivers, streams, and lakes. You may just discover your new favorite fishing hole.

Also in Lincoln County, is the Prairie River Trails Park. This park is located along the banks of the spectacular Prairie River, located in Merrill on Highway K.  The Prairie River is famous for its clean waters and giant brook trout.  The 99 acre park also includes a 2.5 mile bicycling and hiking trail.

Main Street Memories Car Show, held on Memorial Weekend, is now in its 21st year will happen on Sunday, May 25, 2015. This event is truly a sight to behold! Filling four blocks of historic downtown Tomahawk, these vehicle owners show off their Detroit beauties to win trophies in a variety of classes; there’s even a Best of Show chosen by the spectators.  Entries are capped at 300 vehicles in a wide variety of competition classes. Check www.tomahawkmainstreet.org for information.  Thousands of locals and tourists alike come to this free family event on West Wisconsin Avenue in Tomahawk.  Spectators, as well as entrants, get to vote for their favorites in a variety of classes. Many unusual and expensive cars as well as locally owned sentimental Northwoods Cruisers Club members are on display from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. the Sunday of Memorial Weekend. 

In recent years, Main Street Memories Wheels in Motion have celebrated the motorcycle and it’s varied past.  Plans continue to develop for an antique or unusual motorcycle show to happen on Saturday, May 24, 2015.

An annual event for boating enthusiasts that admire the beauty in wood boats of the past, is the Antique Outboard Motor Show at Sara Park August 5 – 8, 2015. For information call 715-365-5649.

Tomahawk is further known nationwide due to Harley Davidson having two plants in Tomahawk.  Tomahawk hosts tens of thousands of bikers as they roar into Tomahawk for the Fall Ride.  The 34th Annual Fall Ride is Sept 15 – 20, 2015.  Dairyland Cycle Insurance came onboard in 2014 as a major sponsor of the Fall Ride. Enjoy the beauty and fun of the Tomahawk area as the colors begin to show in autumn. With so many folks flocking to the area in fall, Bubba’s Campground, near Lake Nokomis Fire Department just north of Tomahawk, started hosting Bubba’s Big Party. Information is available at www.tomahawkfallride.com

The Lincoln County ATV Council is hosting their first ATV/UTV Jamboree in Sara Park on Saturday, October 3, 2015 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Contact the Tomahawk Chamber 715-453-5334

You haven’t lived until you’ve had a Tomahawk venison burger. These free tasty wildlife burgers are grilled by volunteers to welcome the blaze orange army to the Northwoods for the deer gun season.  The Chamber of Commerce asks for clean frozen venison from the previous year. The 50th Anniversary Annual Venison Feed in Downtown Tomahawk is Friday November 20, 2015 beginning at 11:30 a.m. until sold out.

Where else, but Tomahawk?… Naturally.