May 10, 2014
Welcome to the Winneconne Area Community!
Where Four Seasons of Outdoor Fun Await You!
Winneconne is located on the Wolf River with over 160,000 acres of waterway access to Lake Winneconne, Lake Poygan, Lake Butte des Morts, and Lake Winnebago.
On behalf of the Winneconne area, it is my pleasure to welcome you. As a life-long resident of the village of Winneconne, I am very proud of our community. We are a community actively engaged in maintaining our historic, “village” atmosphere and outstanding quality of life. We are proud of our excellent schools and full service local government, our expanding industrial community and friendly village businesses, our exceptional parks system, inviting library, and our friendly neighborhoods.
Many of us who call this area home enjoy an evening walk or bicycle ride through our tree-lined streets. Our children romp and play safely in these neighborhoods. We are a community only a few miles from State Highways 45 and 41. The Wolf River bisects our community, and at the north and south boundaries of the village of Winneconne you will find Lakes Winneconne and Butte des Morts – home of the finest walleye and white bass fishing in Wisconsin.
Winneconne and the surrounding areas are also communities focused on the future. The village and township of Winneconne are completing a comprehensive “Smart Growth” plan, and the village recently underwent a massive Streetscape project to update and revitalize our downtown area.
Once again, we welcome you to Winneconne…”history’s crossing place.”
The town of Winneconah (later changed to Winneconne) was organized on the fourth day of April 1848.
According to an article in a Milwaukee paper in the late 1870’s, “Winneconne lies at the only crossing point of the Fox-Wolf rivers for many miles either way. Just above the town the river widens into a broad bay, affording the safest harbor for a thousand million logs.” This article goes on to tell the advantages of Winneconne “as a future industrial center, residential place and hunting and fishing paradise.”
Today that prediction is an exact description of what Winneconne has to offer. We have all the advantages now that were observed in the late 1870’s.
We are a community that is proud of our accomplishments and even more so of the wisdom and vision of so many residents that have long passed away.
Starting with a logging history then with the railroad, Winneconne has always been known for our waters and woods for fishing and hunting. That has remained constant and will for many years to come.
- A float bridge was constructed across the river in 1853. Prior to that a ferry was the only means of crossing the river.
- A wooden bridge followed the float bridge and served the community until 1888.
- In 1888 work began on the new iron bridge.
- In 1936 the White Bascule bridge was completed and dedicated July 4, 1936.
The fourth bridge is the current bridge that is famous for fantastic fishing.
Winnebago County Waterways
Winnebago County has over 165,000 acres of waterways including Lake Winneconne, Lake Poygan, Lake Butte des Morts, and Lake Winnebago along with the Wolf and the Fox Rivers. The Lake Winnebago System is famous for walleye fishing, beginning with the spring run on the Wolf River. This part of Wisconsin is indeed a top destination for walleye anglers.
Following the walleye spawning run spring fishing takes off and continues on into late fall. The Department of Natural Resources along with area conservation groups work together to make our waterways one of the finest in the nation. Amateur and professional fishermen find walleye in abundance, along with perch, white bass, crappies, catfish, bluegills, smallmouth bass and northern pike. The white bass are abundant in spring, and residents and guests enjoy great fishing year round.
When winter returns to our area, ice-fishing season opens and lasts until late March, weather permitting. Area conservation clubs sponsor fisheries and sturgeon spearing is held in early February.
Winneconne has been honored to host the In-Fisherman Professional Walleye Trail Tournament twice in recent years. Professional fisherman from all over the United States and Canada come to take part in the tournament and enjoy our village and beautiful waterways.
Fin ‘n’ Feather Showboats
Whether you are interested in fabulous fine dining or a delicious buffet overlooking the scenic Wolf River on Showboat I, or a fun dinner cruise on Showboat II, you are guaranteed a memorable time on a Winneconne Fin ‘n’ Feather Showboat Cruise! The Fin ‘n’ Feather Showboats, on the water’s edge in downtown Winneconne, offer a refreshing taste of the leisurely past and a wonderful view of the Wolf River – one of Wisconsin’s greatest natural resources. It’s fine dining and fun all on a gorgeous river boat!
WIOUWASH (Tri-County) Recreational Trail
This 21.8 mile trail runs from the city of Oshkosh to the northern Winnebago County line and is open to outdoor enthusiasts year-round. The base of crushed lime stone offers bicyclists, hikers, joggers, horseback riders a great experience, and in the winter months gives snowmobilers a wonderful glimpse of nature as the trail winds through marshes, farm fields, and prairies and borders beautiful Lake Butte des Morts. You may access the trail at County Y and County Road S in Butte des Morts, at Highway 116 and County S in Winneconne or Highway G in Allenville.
Wolf Wilderness Trail, Town of Winneconne
A pleasant 1.5 mile route that takes walkers and bikers around the replacement wetlands created at the intersection of Highway 116 and GG. The trail can be accessed off of Kolb Road, where a parking area exists for trail users or at the Park and Ride and County S. Wolf Wilderness Trail accesses the larger WIOUWASH Trail in Winnebago County.
The Friendship Trail, Town of Clayton
The Friendship Trail runs east and west through the Town of Clayton parallel to U.S. Highway 10. The Friendship Trail also connects with the WIOUWASH Trail, and helps connect other Fox Valley Trails including the Little Lake Butte des Morts Trestle Bridge. The trail will eventually travel from Manitowoc to Stevens Point.
Village of Winneconne Walking Paths
In 2004, The Village of Winneconne, in conjunction with the Winnebago County Health Department, initiated the designation of a number of different walking paths throughout the village. With as many as four routes offering distances of one to three miles, these paths provide walkers, roller blading or even cyclists a chance to enjoy the great outdoors and some invigorating exercise in a measurable and safe manner. Various routes are color coded, and sponsorships have helped to pay for the painting, benches, and signage along path routes.
Calendar of Events
March – April – May
- Spring Fishing jump starts with the annual spring Walleye Run
- Folks from all over Wisconsin come to fish off of our famous bridge. White Bass fishing heats up, with the warm weather right around the corner
- Annual Civic League Style Show & Luncheon
- Village-Wide Rummage Sale (Sponsored by the Winneconne Chamber of Commerce)
- Memorial Day Parade & Program
- Winneconne Historical Society Museum Complex opens for the season
- Fin ‘n’ Feather Showboat begins cruising the waterways, now through the fall season. Weekend bands to be enjoyed. Sit back and watch the fishing and boating on the brand new expanded deck.
June – July – August
- Annual Spring Classic Car Show in downtown Winneconne in June (hosted by the Winneconne Chamber of Commerce)
- Numerous Fishing Tournaments
April 27 - AIM Pro Walleye Series
May 4 - Women's Walleye Weekend
May 10 - Critter's Sports/Woodeye's Walleye Tournament
May 31 - Wolf River House Open
June 21 - Walmart BFL
July 26 - Winneconne Open Bass Tournament
Sept 27 - Winneconne Open Bass Tournament
There are also kid's tournaments -
Upper Lakes Kids Fisheree **
Critters Fisheree held on Sunday of Sovereign State weekend (3rd weekend in July)
Mikey Janasik Memorial **
**(watch Chamber of Commerce Calendar of Events for dates)
- Fourth of July Fireworks
- Mid- July: Sovereign State Days weekend long celebration. One of the states biggest parades, flea market fun, live concerts at Waterfront Park, kids trout fishing pond and much more.
- Oshkosh Triathlon hosted at Lake Winneconne Park
- Butte des Morts Lions Carp fest in Butte des Morts, WI
- Winneconne Chamber of Commerce Cash Raffl
Sovereign State Days
The now infamous story of Winneconne’s sovereignty – hence the creation of Sovereign State Days – finds its start in 1967. In that year, Wisconsin mapmakers carelessly left the village off the new state highway map. C.O. Rogers, then publisher of The Winneconne News, became aware of the situation from a salesman attempting to locate his office in Winneconne, “There’s just a dot between Butte des Morts and Omro” he said. “The map-makers were napping when they should have been mapping!” commented Rogers. That innocent remark began the whole crazy; much discussed, thoroughly enjoyed, and endlessly celebrated secession of Winneconne from the great state of Wisconsin.
Then Village President James P. Coughlin said of the events:
“It could be called the greatest thing to ever happen to Winneconne…what might have been a disaster was turned into the greatest publicity stunt in the history of the area…we were able to bring our governor, our congressional representative and a good part of the country to join in the fun. Dozens of people were part of that busy summer of 1967, and dozens more have contributed a great deal of time and effort in the years since…”
Now, over 40 years later, the village still celebrates its short-lived and much loved day of sovereignty with its annual Sovereign State Days Celebration. Every July, one full weekend is set aside for traditional festivities including “the best community parade” in the entire state, street dances, fireworks, a huge carnival featuring rides, games and concessions, fireman’s water fights and sandcastle building competitions, flea markets, art shows and much, much, more.
Winneconne welcomes all community members and visitors alike to join the fun, but reminds everyone – if you choose to cross our bridge, be prepared to pay a toll into “The Sovereign State of Winneconne!”
For information, call or write:
Winneconne Area Chamber of Commerce
P.O. Box 126
Winneconne, WI 54986
Or Visit or office in the Winneconne Municipal Center
Please take a look at our website for a calendar of events.
Winneconne is located in East Central Wisconsin where Highway 116 crosses the famous Wolf River. Designated as one of the original nine ‘Wild Rivers’ by the Federal Wilderness Act, the Wolf flows through the heart of our village and is enjoyed by boaters and fisherman from all over the country. Our many attractions – including museums, parks, a golf course, shops, and many restaurants – make Winneconne a great place to visit and a wonderful place to live.