Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine

Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine

Photo of a group of people jumping into water © Jack Corey

Take the Polar Plunge to support Special Olympics.
© Jack Corey

February 2011

Wisconsin Traveler

On the move in winter

If you are even a bit of a gearhead or history buff, you might enjoy the Vintage Snowmobile Races on Saturday, February 12 at noon in Curtiss. That's in northeastern Clark County about six miles west of Abbotsford on Highway 29 at the Boom Town Sno-Chasers Club House. "Vintage" in the snowmobile racing world means machines from the early 1970s, unlike the "vintage" watchers, who are considerably older! Admission: $5. Call (715) 613-5353.

Would you rather stretch your legs on a winter's day? Consider the Moonlight Guided Snowshoe Hike at the Chippewa Moraine Ice Age Visitor Center, two miles east of the intersection of Highway 40 and County Road M. The center is seven miles east of New Auburn about half way between Bloomer and Chetek on the Chippewa-Barron County line. On Saturday, February 12, bring your dinner and roast weenies or heat up a romantic tinfoil-wrapped treat and s'mores around the campfire that's provided. Then cozy up inside the center around the fireplace for a 6:30 p.m. talk about snowshoeing from naturalist Rod Gont. The free hour-long hike under the full moon starts at 7. No snowshoes? No problem! The center owns 40 pairs that can be reserved ahead of time by calling (715) 967-2800.

No fish fry is more refreshing than the Fry on Ice held February 25 from 7-10 p.m. outside on Miller's Bay at Menominee Park in Oshkosh. The park is at the corner of Hazel Street and Merritt Avenue. Eat some steaming, flaky fillets, enjoy the live music and plot your strategy for the fishing contest that starts here 6 a.m. on Saturday morning and runs through 7 p.m. that night. Maybe you can convince the band to keep playing as you dance around with the spuds and ice augers. Call (920) 303-9200 for more information or (877) 303-9200 for out of town inquiries. You can also visit Battle on Bago for details.

Want a more bracing outing? Jump over to Eau Claire on Sunday, February 27 for the Special Olympics Polar Plunge. Prizes will be awarded for the best individual plunge, best group plunge and the fastest plunge into the waters of Half Moon Lake from the beach at 100 Carson Park Drive. Call (715) 833- 0833 for registration details.

Get ready for the on-water season at Canoecopia, the world's largest expo for self-propelled boaters at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison from Friday, March 11 through Sunday, March 13. Canoers, kayakers and rowers can glide down the aisles looking over the punts and paddling craft. Talks and demonstrations run throughout the weekend. Whether you're eying up a plastic tender or a handmade, wood-stripped canoe, whatever floats your boat is on display and for sale from 4-9 on Friday night, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sunday. Call (608) 267- 3976. Admission is $10 a day or $15 for a three-day pass.

Has winter got you thinking that it's time for an exotic experience? Consider a day trip to the Wisconsin Bird & Game Breeders Spring Swap on Saturday, March 12 at the Fond du Lac County Fairground and Exposition Center, 601 Martin Avenue. Check out the exhibit and sale of peafowl, waterfowl, pheasants, cage birds and small mammals. You can buy, barter, sell or just take a good look at the colorful crowd of owners and feathered finery. If the early bird gets the worm, this crowd is full of wigglers. The show runs from 6:30 a.m. until noon. Call (800) 937-9123 or or go to Wisconsin Bird & Game Breeders Association.