Monday, March 13, 2023 / by Julie Winter-Paez
Eagle River is a city in Vilas County, Wisconsin, United States. It is the county seat of Vilas County. Because of the many lakes in the area, the city is a popular vacation and retirement destination.
Eagle River was the site of the first permanent Indian settlement in the Wisconsin Northwoods, located on the shores of Watersmeet Lake where the Wisconsin River and Chain O' Lakes meet. These early Indians, who were called Old Copper Indians, were succeeded by the Woodland Indians from 2,600 B.C. to 800 A.D. These Indians were probably the ancestors of the Chippewa, Potawatomi, and Menominee.
Our unique area is blessed with almost unimaginable natural wonders. Eagle River is geographically centered within the largest concentration of freshwater lakes in the world. There are nearly 3000 lakes within an hour’s car ride from town. Also, Eagle River is nestled between the Nicolet National Forest and the Northern Highland American Legion State Forest. In fact, there are nearly one million acres of public land for you to explore. Additionally, Vilas and Oneida Counties have 124 rivers and streams for your enjoyment. Our area is home to the World’s Largest Chain of Freshwater Lakes, the 28-Lake Eagle River Chain. The 28-Lake Chain has over 174 miles of shoreline. It spans from 5 miles southeast of the Town of Three Lakes to 1.5 miles west of the City of Eagle River. Fishing and boating are primary summer activities, our lakes are known for their trophy sized muskies but walleyes, bass, and pan fish are plentiful as well. As the seasons change, the autumn colors of our magnificent forests are truly remarkable, so bring your camera and capture the brilliant foliage. Take a boat ride on one of our plentiful lakes and pick up the beauty of the trees duplicated by their reflections on mirror-like water. Winter is time for fun in the snow -termed “white gold” by one old-timer. Eagle River was officially designated as the Snowmobile Capital of the World®, way-back in 1966. National surveys consistently rank our area among the top in the nation for recreational snowmobiling. The popularity of cross-country skiing and snowshoeing is rapidly growing as well. Skiers will find many miles of expertly groomed trails offering anywhere from a gentle terrain for beginners to hilly terrain for experts.
Common recreational activities include boating, camping, fishing, swimming, hunting, golfing, ice fishing, and snowmobiling. Bald eagles can be viewed here, the source of the name "Eagle" River. Eagle River is known as the "Snowmobile Capital of the World" because of the World Championship Snowmobile Derby held for over 50 years at an ice oval on the north side of the city. There are over 500 miles of groomed snowmobile trails in the county. The World Snowmobile Headquarters and International Snowmobile Hall of Fame are located in Eagle River.