Approximately 6,000 years ago, when Sumerian scholars were devising some of mankind's first mathematic systems, a mile-thick sheet of ice began to melt half a world away in the region known today as Minnesota. Slowly, the glacier shrank and poured gallons of water into the land around it, leaving behind gorgeous rock formations dotted with artistic ridges and eye-catching striations. Perhaps most notable of these formations is a structure that resembles a cross, which inspired settlers to name its surrounding river St. Croix, or "holy cross."
Today, modern humans can catch a glimpse of these awesome sights thanks to Wild Mountain. Seasonal activities include skiing, snowboarding, and tubing, where snow-goers explore 100 acres of hills encompassing 26 runs, bunny slopes for newcomers, and four terrain parks for the seasoned veterans. Wild Mountain also holds daily lessons, youth and adult programs, as well as racing competitions and camps run by knowledgable and trained northerners.
Anytime Fitness, which boasts 1,689 clubs in North America, makes it easier for average folks to etch out time for exercise by doing one simple thing: staying open 24 hours a day for 365 days a year. As fitness seekers challenge themselves on cardio and Hammer Strength machines and hoist Iron Grip free weights in clean, well-stocked facilities, security monitoring ensures they’re safe and producing enough sweat to meet official government standards. Members can also ramp up their exercise regimens with the help of Anytime Fitness’s staff of personal trainers, who demonstrate moves and sling motivating tips. After workouts, guests can shower in the private restrooms or hop into one of the tanning booths available 24 hours a day.
Rush Creek flows from the eastern edge of its like-named lake, and soon meets the fairways of Bulrush Golf Club. Here, it becomes either a pleasantly babbling course feature or a maddening nuisance to golfers as they direct their golf balls around the 18-hole championship course. Designed by George Shortridge and Mike Morley, the course also encompasses a handful of small ponds and wetlands, making for a soggy round for any golf ball whose owner can't control their shots or wants to make an example of it for other misbehaving golf balls. After putting the ball over the last of the course's 6,929 yards, golfers can head to the bar at Rush Hour Bar and Grill for post-round drinks and eats such as pizza and sandwiches.
Current and former military and law enforcement officers comprise the staff of instructors at Blue Line Defense, who aim to increase firearm awareness and the training level of the general public with each class they teach. The course list runs the gamut from introductory defensive handgun lessons to women's self defense and advanced group training classes. The site also provides firearm-related resources for the community, such as familiarization with use-of-force laws, firearm-sales intricacies, and gun-naming dos and don’ts. Blue Line also regularly participates in fundraisers and charities to help give back to the community.
Amid the lake-speckled country of northwestern Wisconsin and draped over the terrain’s volatile elevation changes rest the bentgrass fairways and greens of Siren National Golf Course. Sculpted into the land in 2001, the course forces players to corral golf balls over terrestrial ripples with peak-to-peak amplitudes of more than 100 feet, but it offers five sets of tees and generous landing areas as a friendly gesture to less experienced players. After starting out with a moderate-length par 5 to warm up, golfers must hit a long uphill shot—206 yards from the back tees—to reach the par 3 third hole’s green, which is fronted by an intimidating rock wall. The designers saved the hardest hole for last, however, as players must make a decision on the 18th tee to use the driver, lay up for a full wedge shot into the small green, or chip onto the back of a carrier pigeon.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Total length of 6,737 yards from the back tees * Course rating of 73.1 from the back tees * Course slope of 132 from the back tees * Five sets of tees per hole
Breezes from Big Butternut Lake coil through the surrounding hardwood forests, sweeping piney air across the fairways at Luck Golf Course. The 6,093-yard, par-71 course rests on the lake's southern shore, where undulating terrain offers scenic vistas of the lake's glassy surface. Though tree-lined fairways are a constant throughout the course, golfers will notice a shift in terrain midway through the round. Ten holes snake through pine trees and hardwoods, while the other eight regular holes and six black holes roam over rolling countryside dotted with maples and oak trees. Water hazards also come into play on 12 holes, including on the seventh?a par-four rated as the course's most difficult hole?where a pond fronts the green to summon errant approach shots and golf carts in need of a bath.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par-71 course * Length of 6,093 yards from the farthest tees * Course rating of 70.9 from the farthest tees * Slope rating of 126 from the farthest tees * Five tee options * Scorecard