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Take A Tour Of Manitowish Waters, WI!

Monday, September 26, 2022   /   by Julie Winter-Paez

Take A Tour Of Manitowish Waters, WI!

Today we are exploring amazing Manitowish Waters up in the Northern tier of Vilas County. Manitowish Waters is one of those fantastic little communities tucked away in the Northwoods where I guess legacy properties come for sale. Generational people vacation up here. Straight up Highway 51 from Chicago, Illinois, Madison, Milwaukee. This is a really hot destination with a 10 Lake chain. So I am right in the Manitowish Waters downtown park area. You've got the Peek Patch in cross of me, Rest Lake behind me with the boat landing so you can pull your boat up on the chain, walk across the street and have lunch or walk downtown. You've got Manny's Restaurant behind me, some public restaurants back there. You've got bike racks, perfect picnic area. And again, right in the heart of downtown Manitowish Waters. A really great area filled with both historically relevant as well as fun tales up here, including the place for John Dillinger who hit out from the FBI in the 1920s when he was being hunted for all kinds of fun stuff. They even had Johnny Depp in a movie up here. You can go from Manitowish Waters Park to North Lakeland down to Boulder Junction. Miles and miles of paved bike infrastructure, which is fantastic, especially if you're an outdoor enthusiast. There's also five cranberry bogs you can tour here where you can taste and see how they make the cranberries. And it's so fascinating. It's just wonderful. And you can tour them and find out a little bit more about that part of the heritage of Manitowish Waters. You've got cross country skiing, fishing, you have lots of hiking, lots of biking, music in the park, down where we were at Rest Lake. That's also where you can see the ski show in the summertime and then of course, we're at the Koller Memorial Park. 

And of course, if you're a hunter, you're surrounded by thousands of acres of state and private land so that you can get your hunting pleasure in spades. Again, the beautiful thing about all the public land up in Vilas County is that you don't have to go far to access it so that you can come up here for the weekend and go hunting with your buddies, meet back, park on the side of the road and enjoy yourself. The other great thing about up here is again, North Lakeland Adventure. I know I hinted at that before, but what a lot of people don't know is that the North Lakeland Discovery Center is a 60 acre lake front property used as a community gathering place to explore the region's extraordinary wildlife culture and history. And that's part of Manitowish Waters heritage as well up here. And one of the great things that you can access as well as the tourists up here. So between the hiking, the biking, the boating, all of the great things you can do outdoors, there's really no excuse to be indoors if you're up in Manitowish Waters. Manitowish Waters is served by the Manitowish Waters Airport and did you know that in Manitowish Waters, they have over 6000 flights per year. So again, a very busy part of this community, especially in the summertime when you have the tourists coming and going and you've got your own airport right up here that you can fly up here from Chicago or wherever you are land and head home to your cabin. So again, over 6000 flights come in and take off per year up in Manitowish Airport.

Just getting back a little bit to that history of this area, initially named Little Spider Lake, in the 1940s it was named Manitowish Waters. Which is interesting because John Dillinger was here when he had all of his fun escapades heading up from the FBI in the 1934s. So at the time when he was actually up here, he was coming up to Little Spider Lake town instead of Manitowish Waters. Manitowish River is beautiful, quiet, pristine waterways. You can see how gorgeous this whole little area is. Lots of areas for sitting, pulling over, resting, taking a picnic lunch. Huge again, amount of biking infrastructure and a huge supplier of cranberries. Did you know that in Manitowish Waters there are actually five cranberry marshes up here around the Alder Lake Road and Cranberry Boulevard. So a huge amount of the infrastructure up here and the employment is cranberry farming.

So again, as we talked about earlier, north of us Winchester, south of us Lac Du Flambeau. East of us is Boulder Junction and west of us is actually Iron County. So this is a very 36.4 square miles township, of which 30.4 square miles is land and about 6.1 square miles is water. Part of that waterway is the Manitowish waters chain which is a ten lake chain. The Manitowish Chain of Lakes offers a combined 58.5 miles of stunning shoreline and a total of 4,074 acres of beautiful water for just about every recreational pursuit you can imagine. And of course the population here is 582 with 20 people per square mile for population density. So I know we talked about some of the other townships in northern Wisconsin and Manitowish Waters has a long beach so you can really come up here, breathe fresh air, and cease clean skies, because again, the population density is pretty limited up here. It does grow to about 700 in the summertime because of tourism, second homes and vacationers. 

A couple of other little things I may have forgot to mention, one being the fact that there's North Lakeland Elementary School in Manitowish Waters as well. I think it has about 160 students. Normally the most hospital people will go down to Minocqua for the ER. But again, 582 population blows up in the summertime because of tourism and second homeowners. And again, another thing I like to point out is the medium average selling price pre and post covid. Pre covid, it was $496,000 one of the most expensive in northern Wisconsin and post covid at $650,000.

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