To do in the area

Where to eat

 

The Birchwood area has a lot of great places to eat. The chamber of commerce lists some here. Have a look at their listing too, including Paul's Pizza Den right in Birchwood, but here are some of our favorites and why we like them.

 

Bear Paw. In spring 2022, Bear Paw began offering amazing seafood. Bear Paw is only 1/4 mile walk from the resort. 

 

Birch Lakes Resort has very good food, especially their burgers. Their Bacon Cheeseburger has 8 slices of bacon. No kidding. That should tell you what everything else is like. It's amazing. Only 6 miles away. And you can get there on the water. 

Birchwood Cafe has excellent breakfast food. 7 miles away in downtown Birchwood. This is where local people have breakfast. Open 6:30-2:00. 

 

Ed's Pitstop has amazing food and great ice cream with lots of unique flavors. You can fuel your car there, but this ain't no gas station food. No way. Best fried chicken around. Seating inside is limited, so we usually take out. Only 6 miles away. 

 

Summit Lake Grille also has excellent food. Great place for a Friday night fish fry. Only 6 miles away. Nice northwoods decor with a hunting theme. 

 

The Buckhorn in Exeland. Want to go where local people eat excellent food? The Buckhorn bar and grill in Exeland is the place we like to go. And it's not just because John's great-grandfather is in some of the old logging photos on the wall. It's because of the excellent food at reasonable prices. And the 15.5-mile drive through the hills past Wisconsin's second-highest point is a part of the experience. Come back via County Hwy C and see where John's great-uncles all farmed. 

 

Lehman's Supper Club. If you want something a bit more fancy, this is a great place to call. Make a reservation and make sure they are serving their famous popovers the night you are going there. It's 27.5 miles from the resort. Come back via the only slightly longer scenic route: Town Line Rd/Cheese Factory Rd/24th Ave and Cty Hwy F and you'll go right by the Ice Age Trail trailhead and beautiful Murphy Flowage. 

The Boulevard

Friends tell me the Boulevard has excellent food. Near Hayward, about 30 minutes away. 

 

Pine Ridge

Extremely popular fish fry on Friday Nights. On Friday night, people start congregating an hour before they open, so it is always at least a one-hour wait. Get the same great food on Sunday night with a much smaller crowd. 11 miles

Shopping

Visit Off-Grid Studio

Only 4 miles away, Off-Grid studio

is an amazing little shop. Looking for a Birchwood T-shirt, a gift, a decor item, arts and crafts? This is the place to look. Only 4 miles away

Where to walk or hike

Walks starting at the resort

  • The walk to the end of Ol Hayes Rd is about 1.3 miles. 

  • To the boat landing is about 1 mile. 

  • To the "Y" is .75 miles. 

  • To Hwy 48 and back is 6 miles and hilly.

  • Ol Hayes Rd to East Shore Dr to Chapel Rd and back is 8 miles round trip. 

Ice Age Trail

 

The Ice Age Trail goes through a lot of Wisconsin. The Ice Age Trail Alliance has a helpful website that even lists day hikes. Consult the list for the Northwest area of the state. Three trailheads are near us. Ice Age Trail - Hemlock Creek Segment, and Ice Age Trail - Hemlock Creek Segment eastern trailhead. Both of these take you to the Hemlock Creek Segment. The former starts close to the Tagalong golf course. The latter starts across the road from Murphy Flowage campground, 13.7 miles from the resort.

This may be the best info and map. 

The North Blue Hills Segment trailhead is also near Murphy Flowage. 

More info here and here (with first-person account of hiking it and a nice map), and here. Still more info here, but the map may be obsolete now. 

We often have a simple map of these segments in our library. 

Still more info here and here

More info about these trails

Green Lake/Sissabagama Trail

A 3.5 mile loop through the woods past four wilderness lakes. Starts about 6 miles from the resort. Map. Another map. Directions: Ol Hayes Rd to East Shore Dr. East Shore Dr north. Chapel Rd west to F. F through Edgewater. Little Sissabagama Rd.  to the trail (on the left). Watch carefully for it. 

Yarnell Creek Falls

This is a short hike but it is fun to see the falls, especially right after the rain. Easy walk for kids. Use the Google Maps link above to drive to where the ATV trail crosses Yarnell road north of where Town Line road and Yarnell road meet. The Google Map may show a trail going to the falls directly from Yarnell road, but I have never seen that trail. Then park your car along the road and walk on the ATV trail southwest until you see the walking trail through the woods to the falls on the north side of the ATV trail. Look carefully as you walk. It's easy to miss and there are no signs for the falls. Even many local people do not know where it is. But you can find it! 

Meadow Dam Trail

Nice trail above a beautiful water meadow. The trail runs along a ridge that is above Weirgor Creek. The large water meadow below is the source of Weirgor Creek. About a 30 minute walk in from the road, there is a picnic table where you can look down on the meadow and creek. Beyond that point about 20 minutes, there is a bridge and some bluffs near the site of an old logging camp that is no longer visible. 

 

Follow Meadow Dam Road east. Just after Weirgor Creek there is a parking lot on the right. This trail is a motorized vehicle trail, but it is not open to vehicles in the spring until Memorial Day. The best time to walk it is in April or May. 18.9 miles from the resort on backcountry roads, around 30 minutes. 

Blue Hills Trail System

This system of trails is just a few miles away. A nice map is here

My favorite bike rides

To Hwy 48 and back is 6 miles and hilly.

To the top of the lake and back
Ol Hayes Rd to East Shore Dr to Chapel Rd and back is 8 miles round trip. 

Around the lake 

Around Big Lake Chetac. 16.8 miles. 

Woods and Hills route

16.8 miles through the hills and woods east of the resort. Same distance as around the lake, but much more hilly. 

Around Summit Lake

About 14 miles, includes about 2 miles of gravel

One-way down hill back to the resort

Start at Chapel Rd. and N. Yarnell Rd. 

Follow Chapel Rd. down hill to the west. Come home via East Shore Dr and Ol Hayes Rd. About 7 miles, almost all downhill. 

 

Sawyer County Bicycle Route Map

 

Another Sawyer County Bike Route Map

 

4-wheeling

Birchwood Bobcats Trail Rides info

Maps are a dollar or two at Ed's Pitstop in Birchwood

 

Canoeing and Kayaking

John Nystrom's guide to flatwater paddling the area. 


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