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With a premier setting in the beautiful Nicolet National Forest, Maiden Lake in Oconto County, Wisconsin, is a sparkling lake amid towering trees and colorful wildflowers. To locals and visitors alike, it is an awe inspiring destination.
At approximately 269 acres, Maiden Lake offers great fishing for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, northern pike, panfish, walleye, bluegill, and crappie. With its sandy shores and beaches, the lake provides a recreational haven for those who want to relax, sunbathe, swim, picnic, boat, canoe, kayak, or water ski. Self-proclaimed to be one the most desirable spots in Northeastern Wisconsin, many visitors return each season as a family vacation, romantic getaway, fishing excursion, or just a place to unwind and rest. Vacation rentals around the lake include resorts, lodges, cabins, privately owned vacation homes, and campgrounds.
The area was named "Oconto" by the Indian tribes who once lived here which means "plentiful with fish." Besides Maiden Lake, Oconto County has over 50 more lakes with public access and miles of trout streams to lure anglers year round with the "plentiful fish." In the winter, ice fishing keeps anglers happy while miles of snow-covered trails entertain and challenge snowmobilers, cross country skiers, and snowshoers. In the spring as the area thaws, anglers keep on fishing while the rebirth of trees, plants, and wildlife begin in the warming days as hikers, bikers, and ATVs now make use of the miles of the trails. Summer time brings more visitors to enjoy the cool water of the many lakes and streams on sunny days. Fall brings the colorful changing of the leaves throughout the forest and the scampering of forest animals as they prepare for the long cold winter. It does not matter when you visit, as you will never be disappointed in all of the natural beauty and serenity. Of course, each season has festivals and celebrations that attract and entertain visitors. To accommodate all guests, many overnight accommodations are available throughout the county that include resorts, lodges, cabins, suites, condos, privately owned vacation homes, hotels, motels, RV parks, bed and breakfast inns, and campgrounds. Local shops provide any provisions that are needed while local eateries, pubs, and fine dining restaurants showcase the local cuisine.
Copper Culture State Park, near Maiden Lake, is a park and museum dedicated to preserving the ancient cultures of the area. Artifacts, first uncovered in the 1950's, have led scientists to believe the park sits on an Indian burial ground that can be dated back to 2000 years ago. Over 40 human skeletons have been uncovered that also had ceremonial offerings buried with the remains. The most distinguished finds are axe heads, spear points, harpoons, knives, fish hooks and jewelry all forged from copper. These copper tools are the oldest found in North America. The park covers over 40 acres for exploration and has several picnic areas throughout the grounds.
Situated in the northern part of Oconto County, Nicolet National Forest is home to Maiden Lake as well as over 1200 more lakes and over 1,450 miles of trout streams. Named after Jean Nicolet, a French explorer who is credited with discovering Wisconsin, the forest covers over 650,000 acres. A playground to locals and visitors, the forest boasts miles of trails for hiking, biking, camping, cross country skiing, snow shoeing, snowmobiling and ATVs. Hunting and wildlife viewing are also enjoyed among the towering pines and hemlocks.
Spring, summer, fall, and winter are all great times of the year to visit Oconto County. Whether you choose to fish, explore, or just relax, a trip to Maiden Lake will be memorable and a destination that you will return to season after season.
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