Skip to content

Senator Moulton Column: Traveling this summer? The Badger State has a lot to offer

By Senator Terry Moulton

One of my favorite things about living in Wisconsin is the wide variety of recreational activities that are available. Whether my family and I are spending time outdoors, learning more about Wisconsin’s history and culture or going to a fair or a show, Wisconsin always has something to offer.

 As the Chair of the Senate Tourism Committee, a member of the Governor’s Council on Tourism and the owner of a small business that relies heavily on tourism, I am well aware of the importance of Wisconsin’s tourism industry. Tourism is Wisconsin’s third largest industry and contributed more than $18 billion to Wisconsin’s economy in 2014.

The Wisconsin Department of Tourism’s website,, includes lots of information about hundreds of Wisconsin attractions. I encourage you to use this website as you plan your summer vacations. To help you narrow down your options, I’ve decided to share some of my favorite attractions that west central Wisconsin has to offer.

Wisconsin offers a wide variety of outdoor activities, including fishing, camping and boating. Apostle Islands National Lakeshore in Bayfield, the state’s only national park, consists of twenty-two beautiful islands. Whether you want to go sailing, camping or tour a lighthouse, the Apostle Islands are sure to provide a relaxing and enjoyable weekend in the great outdoors.

Wisconsin has one of the greatest state park systems in the country with nearly 900 square miles of state park and forest lands. We are lucky to have beautiful state parks including Lake Wissota, Brunet Island and Perrot State Park in west central Wisconsin. These parks offer camping, fishing, hunting, boating and hiking at family-friendly prices.

West central Wisconsin also provides access to the Ice Age Trail, a 1,200 mile scenic trail that stretches through 30 of Wisconsin’s counties, from Door County to St. Croix Falls. The trail passes through many of our local state parks, including Chippewa Moraine State Recreation Area and Brunet Island State Park. Whether you are looking for a day trip or a week-long vacation, each of Wisconsin’s state parks offers a variety of opportunities to relax and enjoy Wisconsin.

For those of you who wish to stay a little bit closer to home, our region offers a wide variety of indoor and outdoor activities. The Chippewa River State Trail, Red Cedar State Trail and Old Abe State Trail all run through our beautiful area. If you’re interested in history, the Cook-Rutledge Mansion in Chippewa Falls, Clark County Jail Museum in Marshfield, and Paul Bunyan Logging Camp Museum in Eau Claire each offer unique and interesting historical perspectives on west central Wisconsin.

I encourage you to get out and experience all of the greatness that Wisconsin has to offer this summer. Please visit for more information and begin planning your adventure today.

If you have questions or comments about any state-related issues, you can contact me at or (888) 437-9436.