Whether you’re exploring the trails, waterways, or winter options, here are some tips for exploring the outdoors in the Stevens Point Area.
Hit the Trail!
Portage County is a location where rich outdoor recreational spaces are abundant for year-round use. Trail systems are well-established, waterways are clean and generally easy to navigate, and people take pride in maintaining these resources for the future. Close to town, you’ll find the 280-acre Schmeeckle Reserve and the 27-mile Green Circle Trail. Rural options include the 524-acre Standing Rocks County Park or portions of the 1,000-mile Ice Age Trail. These trails and spaces provide recreational havens for residents and visitors alike.
But, for those more adventurous or curious, there are additional lands available to explore. Hidden within Portage County are 11 state natural areas with public land managed by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. They are great way to get connected to nature and explore lesser-known and lesser-used lands for recreational purposes like hiking, fishing, cross-country skiing, hunting, picking wild edibles and viewing wildlife.
This 524-acre park has trails to explore by snowshoe or ski's, as well as a great hill for beginners.
If conditions are right, try snow shoeing the Ice Age Trail. Portage County is home to a segment of the Ice Age Trail, a thousand mile walking path that winds through terrain sculpted by glaciers. This winter, visit the 7.6 mile Belmont, Emmons-Hartman Creek segment, near the Emmons Creek State Fishery, located in southeastern Portage County.
If winter biking is more your speed, check out the Steinhaugen Recreation Area in eastern Portage County, just north of Jordan Park. The new 270-acre park allows fat tire bikers when conditions exist.
Want to cover some more ground? The region’s best cross-country skiing trails can be found on the Plover River segment of the Green Circle Trail and at Standing Rocks County Park. With downhill skiing and newly added snow making equipment at Standing Rocks, this is a great choice when Mother Nature doesn’t cooperate.
For more winter fun head over to Iverson Park. Bring a sled and enjoy the sledding hills or, try the toboggan run. For a little more speed explore 300 miles of snowmobiling trails throughout the county, many conveniently located near lodging just off of the trail.
Plan your visit to this popular barrel aging brewery, powered by renewable...
Cast a line!
Many people are unaware of the diverse fishing that the Stevens Point Area has to offer. From the trout streams to the sloughs and backwaters of the Wisconsin River that are ripe with abundant species of fish and wildlife, the area offers some of Wisconsin’s premier angling. Venture out on one of the many waterways in the Stevens Point Area. More than 40 lakes and an array of rivers, streams, and flowages offer an opportunity to fish for musky, trout, channel catfish, northern pike and pan fish.
Want to know the river flow rate and the water temperature? Call 800-775-6404 for river conditions.
Have you tried fly fishing? Each year, the local Trout Unlimited club hosts workshops to help you learn everything you need to know, from fly-tying to casting.
No boat? No problem. Shoreline fishing is abundant. Try Jordan Pond, Lake Emily and Sunset Lake to start.
Don’t know where the hotspots are? Try a local guide for the inside scoop.
Paddle your way!
Whether you are a novice or a pro, explore the distinct paddling routes in the area. Popular routes are from Jordan to Iverson, the backwaters of the Wisconsin River (just north of Bukolt Park) and the Tomorrow River. (Insider Tip: Not sure of yourself in a kayak? Check them out during a demo offered by DivePoint Scuba, or rent one for the day from Nature Treks.) Find more paddling routes here, or order a Pedal Paddle Hike Guide.