Well everyone, the year has come to a close and I will be departing our lovely corner of the Midwest to complete a field experience with Sierra Designs in Boulder, CO (totally made possible by UW Stout). However, do not fear! Menomonie is a righteous little city to spend a summer in and I have compiled a list of things for you to check out before I get back in August.
1.) The Farmer’s Market
Open Wednesday from 11AM-6PM, and Saturday from 8AM-2PM at the Fair Grounds here in town. Really inexpensive, home-grown produce and hand-made goods! I did most of my grocery shopping here last summer. Check them out on Facebook for more information.
2.) The Bottoms
The closest thing Menomonie has to a beach is the Bottoms. Grab some friends, a cooler, and a volleyball for a day full of Wisconsin beach fun. The Bottoms is located down by the Dunn State Public Hunting grounds, and its a little bit hard to find if you don’t know where you’re going. You can hop on a bike and pedal 15 miles down the Red Cedar Trail and you’ll run right into it, or you can type 524th St/Dunnville Rd into Google maps for a pretty decent set of directions. When you turn left at 524th St. (which is a sand/gravel road right next to the Red Cedar Trail), you’ll take it all the way down until it hits a dead end. From there, follow the path from the parking lot to the beach. Feel free to e-mail me with questions: Kigerc@my.uwstout.edu
3.) Tripp Falls Ravine
Really close to campus, accessible by road or by the Red Cedar Trail, and an excellent adventure whether you have a thirty minutes or three hours. Tripp Falls is a ravine with a small creek that runs through the middle. Its always about 10 degrees colder in the ravine because of the tree cover and the water. Also, because you are below ground level, water drips from the sides of the walls. Certainly a much-needed oasis on a hot summer day. See my previous post for directions, more information, and more pictures.
4.) Menomin Park
Menomin Park has a bunch of mountain biking trails and a few big loop trails through a prairie area for trail running (these are great for barefoot running as well!). To get there, you head towards the hospital on Stout Rd, then turn left onto Red Cedar Dr. Follow that until it becomes Domain Dr. (which is by the end of a residential area and the beginning of some big fields of corn) and you’ll see a sign on your right that says ‘Menomin Park’. Turn left down the driveway the sign is pointing down.
5.) The Landbank Trail
Right next to the Waterfront restaurant, the Landbank Trail is a right in town and an excellent way to get down by the water. For more information, history, and photos, check out my previous post on the Landbank Trail.
6.) Hit the Lake
Rent a SUP paddle board or a kayak from Stout Adventures and hit the water! You can go to Lake Menomin, Tainter Lake, or The Red Cedar River. Here’s a full list of gear available from Stout Adventures. To read more about the new SUP boards, check out my previous post on them.
7.) Hoffman Hills
Located around 20 minutes out of town, Hoffman Hills is an excellent place to hike or trail run. There is also a 60 ft observatory that you can climb and check out the countryside from! For directions, type in Hoffman Hills Recreation Center into Google Maps. For more information and photos, see my previous post on Hoffman Hills.
8.) Go Fishing
Head out to Lake Menomin or the Red Cedar for some crappies! There are a ton of places in town that sell bait, and don’t forget your fishing license! Read my previous post on fishing in Menomonie for more information. No poles, bait, or license? No problem. Head out to Bullfrog Fish Farm–they have pole rentals, require no licenses, and have bait for you. They will even clean the fish you catch! Check out their website for more information and directions.
9.) The Devil’s Punch Bowl
Similar to Tripp Falls, the Devil’s Punch Bowl is another great place to go if you have a little time or a lot. For directions, type in Devil’s Punch Bowl County Park into Google Maps.
Frisbee golfing (or disc golf) is basically golfing with a Frisbee. Its really fun and pretty simple no matter who you are. You can keep track of how many putts (or throws) it takes you to make it in the basket, and you can go with a big group or solo. Menomonie has two courses: the Brick Yard and Wakanda Frolfing Course. If you don’t have any discs, head over to Simple Sports on Broadway St., they sell discount discs for $5-12. Wakanda is more out in the open, whereas the Brick Yard is more of a hike. To go to Brick Yard, type in Dunn County Humane Society, Brickyard Road into Google Maps for directions, and drive all the way to the end of the road you turn on to get to the Humane Society. For Wakanda, just type in Wakanda Park for directions.
11.) Bike on the Red Cedar Trail
You can bike on the Red Cedar until you hit the Chippewa State Trail if you’re looking for an epic, day-long ride, or you can hop on by Riverside Park to get to Walmart. You can also ride down to Downsville and hit up the excellent coffee shop down there. Check out this previous post for more about Downsville.
11.) Pizza Farm in Stockholm, WI
So, there is a Pizza Farm in Stockholm that makes all of the ingredients in their pizzas, requires you to bring your own table, chairs, napkins, etc., and is only open on Tuesday nights. I have never been there, but I’ve heard its a western Wisconsin MUST. Check this website for more information and this one for directions.
There is a ton to do here over the summer. When the weather gets too hot, head over to the UW Stout Library or the Menomonie Public library to cool off. Jarvis also has some great lounges that are super chilly and excellent for summer reading. If its rainy, take in a movie at the State Cinema, grab a cup of coffee at the Blind Munchies Coffee House, or set up a lunch date with some Acoustic Cafe hoagies. For more things to do, check out this list! Have an excellent summer–I will see you in the fall!