I went to visit my grandfather today. That is Grandfather Falls on the Wisconsin River. This is a fascinating and beautiful segment of the Ice Age Scenic Trail located north of Merrill, WI just off of State Highway 107. The dense hardwood forest that surrounds this section of the Wisconsin River makes for a gorgeous hike in the fall.
From Lac View Dessert on the Wisconsin – Michigan border to its meeting with the mighty Mississippi at Prairie du Chen, the Wisconsin River is always flowing. The Wisconsin is a living thing that man has merely harnessed but never contained. As it flows through Rhinelander, Tomahawk, Merrill, Wausau, and Mosinee, it brings to each community a sense of character and purpose.
The river shapes the way people live in each community. It makes Stevens Point special with its riverfront festivals. It draws international class paddlers to canoe and kayak competitions in Wausau. Loggers once used it to transport lumber to sawmills. Today the waters of the river flow through countless turbines to make the electricity that powers this man’s computer.
It is constantly flowing, constantly moving, like the stream of time since the dawn of creation. It brings wildlife into the cities, and along with it, the thrill of the spring walleye run. If you live along a river like the Wisconsin, it is a part of your life.