Hotel at a Glance: Stout’s Island Lodge
The address for Stout’s Island Lodge may only bring you to a parking lot, but don’t be discouraged: walk down the gravel path, wait for the ferry, and you’ll soon find yourself at a mansion on a small island in Red Cedar Lake. Built by a lumber and railroad baron in 1903, this fine timber lodge is an escape from city life that’s part-whimsical, part-stately. The Adirondacks-style property boasts four-inch thick plank floors, an onsite restaurant, rustic-luxe rooms in unique cabins, and relaxing views of the surrounding lake.
- Where you’ll stay: Renovated rooms maintain their original backwoods vibe. Some have sloping ceilings and knotted pine walls, while others have fireplaces and sweeping water views.
- Fork up breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the Dining Room in the Main Lodge, where the menu changes seasonally and the fare is supplemented by local organic farms. Daily breakfast is included in your stay.
- Stay busy: The Lodge offers guests the opportunity to play and relax with included activities, such as kayaking on Red Cedar Lake, hiking the main island’s perimeter path, and swimming off the dock and raft.
- Curl upwith a book from the Great Room’s library in one of their cozy Adirondack chairs, or watch a movie in the Game Room.
- Warm up by the fire: Every night at dusk, the staff lights a bonfire in front of the main lawn, where you can roast s’mores.
- Still not occupied? There’s also birdwatching, a meditation labyrinth, canoeing, and heading back to the main land for a round of golf.
Birchwood, Wisconsin: Tiny, Scenic Town on Red Cedar Lake
Birchwood is like the platonic ideal of a Wisconsin Northwoods destination. It’s located along Red Cedar Lake, a major draw for its large amounts of bluegill, largemouth bass, and walleye. Popular with boaters and swimmers in warm weather, the lake is a tranquil place to paddle a canoe and keep a lookout for wildlife. Hikers take note: Birchwood has multiple state and scenic trails to take you through the woods, including the 74-mile Tuscobia State Trail and the Ice Age National Scenic Trail, a thousand-mile footpath which starts in Door County and ends near the border with Minnesota. You’ll also be close to Chequamegon National Forest and Rustic Road drives, and there are several bike and boat rental companies in town to help you explore both.