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Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine

Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine

Skaters take a spin. © Robert Queen
Cool outdoor fun can be had all around Wisconsin. © Robert Queen

February 1998

Wisconsin Traveler
Big food!

The World's Longest Weenie Roast, snowmobile conditions, and night walks.

We regret to inform you that the World's Longest Weenie Roast (see following story) has been CANCELLED due to weather conditions in Northern Wisconsin. Why? It's not cold enough! The ice on Lake Namekagon – normally rock-solid this time of year – is too weak to safely support a crowd of weenie roasters and snowmobiles. Conducting the event on shore just wouldn't be the same, say organizers, as the roast is held to show support for snowmobiling and to thank those who allow snowmobile trails on their property. Sorry!

The World's Largest Cup of Hot Cocoa steamed in Appleton, Wis. The World's Hugest Hamburger sizzled in Seymour, Wis. Okay, so we like our food big here in the Badger State. Real big. But don't you ever wonder why Wisconsinites persist in pursuing such fleeting moments of gastronomic grandiosity?

Certainly not. Unlike your TRAVELER (who could expound for hours on the psychosocial ramifications of the mass consumption of massive food), you have better things to do – like marking Saturday, March 14 on your calendar for the third annual World's Longest Weenie Roast hosted by the Namekagon Snowmobile Trail Groomers Association and the Lakewoods Resort near Cable in Bayfield County.

Last year, 550 men, women and children lined up shoulder-to-shoulder along a 1,000-foot-long fire trench carved into the ice of Lake Namakagon and proceeded to roast their weenies to perfection.

Weenie roasters.

© Naomi Shapiro
Weenie roasters by Naomi Shapiro.

You can help them break their own record this year by purchasing a foot-long dog and becoming a link in the legions of frankfurter aficionados destined for glory.

Condiments for the Great Roast include snowmobile radar runs, snowmobile soccer, ice golf, ice volleyball, hot air balloon rides, and a pancake and (what else?) sausage breakfast.

Listen, you could do wurst for recreation on a late winter's day. So pack up the mustard, hold the onions and get your buns over to Cable. For details and a schedule of the weekend's events, call Lakewoods at (715) 794-2561.

Illustration of hot dog by T/Maker Company.


The heart of Wisconsin's Northwoods snowmobile network is Vilas County, where more than 600 miles of scenic trails offer hours of winter exploration and enjoyment. A leisurely ride on the trails running through the Nicolet National Forest or the Northern Highland State Forest is a great way to spend an afternoon. It's always wise to check on trail conditions before you set out, though, and the Eagle River Bureau of Information can help. Call the bureau at 1-800-359-6315, or check for a trail report.

Night walk

The crisp darkness of a late winter evening sharpens the senses. Sounds resonate with astounding clarity, and night becomes a great hidden amplifier. Why not set aside an evening simply to listen? From 6:30 to 9 pm on Saturday, Feb. 28, naturalist Steve Petznick invites you to enjoy the Wonders of the Winter Night at the Mosquito Hill Nature Center near New London in Outagamie County. Howling coyotes and hooting owls will provide the soundtrack for your stroll on the center's trails. The fee is $6.50; please register before Feb. 14. Call (414) 779-6433.