See why Smithsonian Magazine has voted Menomonie #15 of the best small towns in America. See a play, enjoy a live band, wet a fishing line, hike to the top of a hill, visit a gallery, dance under the stars, pick your own strawberries, pet the llamas or enjoy the fireworks… You might run out of time, but you won’t run out of things to do.
North Star Bicycle Festival
On Saturday, June 14, 2014 the North Star Bicycle Festival (formerly the Nature Valley Grand Prix) will roll through Menomonie for the fifth year. Menomonie is known for it’s bicycle friendly roads and rolling hills, come and try the same route the pros ride and enjoy all the biking opportunities that Menomonie has to offer! The North Star Bicycle Festival is the top ranked stage race on the 2011 USA Cycling National Racing Calendar. This will be the Fifth time in the Festival’s 13-year history that a stage race will roll through Wisconsin.
Dunn County is known for its bicycle-friendly roads, with rolling hills and long climbs that could affect the math of the entire race. “The Menomonie Road Race will favor climbers and strong all-arounders,” said Grand Prix executive director, David LaPorte.
Dunn County has become known as a premier bicycle destination. The Chamber has been a driving force behind organizing the Menomonie Road Race. The Grand Prix offers family activities, great food, interactive expo events, stunt riders, amateur races and a kids fun race.
The North Star Bicycle Festival comes to Menomonie on Saturday June 14, 2014 with stops in St. Paul, Minneapolis, Cannon Falls, MN, Menomonie and Stillwater, MN.
Attractions in and around Menomonie
The University of Wisconsin-Stout has been an integral part of Menomonie since 1891. James H. Stout founded the Manual Training School with a vision that propelled the institution and its evolution. From training school to the Stout Institute, to Stout College, to its current position as one of 13 Wisconsin four-year campuses, UW-Stout’s mission has guided its progress to an internationally respected polytechnical university.
It just takes one word, nostalgia, to describe Wilson Park and its bandshell. Picnic baskets and evening serenades that have been a part of a Menomonie summer for almost 120 years. This city block of green space has towering trees, broad green lawns, a restored Victorian fountain and focal point– a large white band shell. Today, one is likely to visit Wilson Park for an art festival, community concert, church picnic or per chance, a Shakespeare performance.
The summer’s Tuesday evening concerts are not to be missed. Weekly serenades are presented by the Ludington Guard Band, one of Wisconsin’s oldest performing city bands. No summer is complete without some rousing John Philip Sousa, the strains of show tunes and a little circus music for the kids. Pull up a park bench and be quick to step in line at intermission for your choice from an array of homemade pies, ala-mode, if you desire. For more>
Mabel Tainter Center for the Arts. Historic landmark. Intimate theater.
Performing arts center. Community treasure. Construction began in 1889 for the Mabel Tainter Memorial and it was dedicated a year later. The historic sandstone structure has held a prominent place on Main Street for almost 120 years. Built as a community center and Unitarian church, the center now bustles with visual and performing arts events year round. For more>
The Menomonie Theater Guild has played a feature role in the cultural community since 1958. For more than 50 years area actors, musicians and volunteers have worked together to create that special spark known as community theater. A loyal audience base continues to attend and support their performances each season. For performance schedules>
Live performances. Quality local talent and professional entertainment can be found in area venues. UW-Stout, the Mabel Tainter Center for the Arts and the Menomonie Theater Guild, as well as numerous coffee houses, restaurants and pubs, offer live music and entertainment on a regular basis and at special events. Directory of Arts, Culture & Entertainment>
Dunn County’s history reflects the booming lumbering era. The Knapp, Stout & Co. Company extended its reach north into the Red Cedar River Valley. For several decades, the smell of sawdust permeated the air. Merchants and laborers sparked the growth of businesses along Main Street. The remnants of bricks from Menomonie’s brickyards can still be found in garden paths. The Stout Institute, now University of Wisconsin-Stout, attracted students and faculty, who helped to infuse new ideas and form a community that cared about its future.
Located nine miles south of Menomonie on State Highway 25, Caddie Woodlawn Park attracts visitors to explore the original Woodlawn homestead. Children enjoy running through the grass and peering in the windows, as Caroline Augusta had done more than a century before. Her story was captured in the 1935 Newbery Award winning children’s book, written by her granddaughter, Carol Ryrie Brink.
Empire in the Pine Museum located in Downsville, six miles south of Menomonie on State Highway 25, introduces you to the life of the lumberjacks, the circumstances that brought them here and their way of life. For more >.
Russell J. Rassbach Heritage Museum – operated by the Dunn County Historical Society, is located in Wakanda Park, just off I-94, exit 41. The curated museum is a blend of history, geography, technology and a bit of notoriety to peak your curiosity. Find information regarding the permanent collections, visiting exhibits, special events and directions.
1820 Wakanda Street
Menomonie, Wisconsin 54751
PO Box 437
Menomonie, WI 54751
The Mabel Tainter Memorial is a community treasure that was rescued from neglect and the temptation to build new. The impressive Memorial has recently been renovated and reenergized as the Mabel Tainter Center for the Arts. Built in 1889, the Memorial is a Wisconsin State historic site, recognized for its progressive purpose as a community center. The Mabel Tainter Memorial, built by lumber baron Andrew Tainter, housed a public library with reading room, live performance theatre, and served as home to the Unitarian Society. Today, it is a center for regional visual and performing arts events and exhibits. For more information and a schedule of performances visit www.mabeltainter.com.
Box Office and General Theater Information:
Mabel Tainter Center for the Arts
205 Main Street
Menomonie, WI 54751
The Louis Smith Tainter House was built by lumber baron Andrew Tainter and given to his son Louis Smith Tainter as a wedding gift. Built of cream-colored Dunnville sandstone, the home sits overlooking Lake Menomin, a reminder of an earlier time of elegance and craftsmanship.
Today, it is home to the UW-Stout Foundation and Alumni Association offices. For more>
The Wilson Place Museum was built as a grand Queen Anne mansion with sweeping porches and later updated to a Mediterranean stucco home. For several decades it has been a museum reflecting the Victorian era in original and intricate detail. The museum is currently closed, except by special arrangement, but the mansion’s presence on the lake bank with its broad fences and wrought iron embellishments still tells the story of the lumbering era and its impact on Wisconsin communities. For more>
Bundy Hall – John Holly Knapp was a partner in the Knapp, Stout & Co. Company that grew to be one of the largest mills in the world, harvesting the white pine to supply lumber to a growing nation. The John Holly Knapp Home was built on a hill overlooking the lumber mill. The estate was later converted to an Episcopal Church camp and retreat center named Bundy Hall. For more>
Railroads helped build and connect the small towns that still dot the Wisconsin landscape.
Originally from Boyceville, a small town northwest of Menomonie, Andy Pafko, raised the pride and competitive spirit of baseball enthusiasts throughout the area with his recruitment to the major leagues. For more>
For a bird’s eye view of the area, take a walk up to the Elk Mound tower, located just north of Elk Mound, 10 miles east of Menomonie. The small park tower was built as a WPA project in 1937.
Nature Attractions/ Caves/Hills & Devil’s Punchbowls
Crystal Cave is fun for the entire family! Discover the wonders of Crystal Cave with professionally guided tours. Explore passages descending more than 70 feet below the earth! Search for real gems and fossils at Prospector’s Creek, hike our nature trails, and enjoy our educational gift shop. There’s always something new to discover and explore at Wisconsin’s longest cave! You are guaranteed an adventure truly under this world!
Crystal Cave is located at W965 State Road 29 in Spring Valley, Wisconsin.
Web: www.acoolcave.com Phone: (715) 778-4414
For thousands of years the underground springs, melting snow and rain have percolated their way through the sandstone bluffs seeking the Red Cedar River. On a sunny day, the light illuminates the small natural canyon that locals long ago named the Devil’s Punch Bowl. The area is now protected, due to its delicate eco-environment. The Punch Bowl is located on Paradise Valley Road (410th St.), also Rustic Road #89. Parking is available for those interested in viewing the park.
Hoffman Hills Recreation Area is located northeast of Menomonie. The popular recreation area has over nine miles of hiking and cross-country ski trails of varying difficulty. The 705-acre park features 15 acres of prairie restoration, a one-mile wetland trail and a 60-foot observation tower–one of the highest points in Dunn County. During the winter, trails are groomed for cross-country skiing (traditional-stride and skate-skiing) and there is a two-mile groomed trail for snowshoeing.
Although there is no admission fee to Hoffman Hills, trail passes are required for all skiers 16 years and older. Youth group camping is available. Call the Department of Natural Resources at 715-232-1242 to make reservations. For more>
The Stokke Trail begins on the north side of Highway 29 at the Menomonie trailhead of the Red Cedar State Trail, near Riverside Park. This asphalt surfaced walking and biking trail proceeds north along the Red Cedar River about a mile to State Highway 25. Convenient parking and benches make this trail one of the easy-access treasures of the area to be shared with blue heron, bald eagles and white-tailed deer. No trail pass is required. This trail connects to the Junction Trail, an asphalt walking and biking trail that follows the old railroad bed through North Menomonie.
Farmer’s Market. From the first tender stalks of asparagus to the frost-kissed butternut squash, the vendors at the Menomonie farmer’s market offer up produce, crafts, buffalo sausage, maple syrup, jams and preserves, flowers, jewelry, egg rolls, and warm-from-the-oven pies and donuts. Each week reflects the changing bounty of the season. Of course the Wednesday afternoon and Saturday morning markets are also rituals for “getting out and about” to chat with neighbors and catch up on the latest news. For more>
Otter Creek Farm is hidden in the hills north of Menomonie. Horse owners, families and riding competitors come from all over the Midwest to train and compete in cross country, dressage, jumping and other equestrian events. For more>
Bullfrog Fish Farm Big kids and little kids scramble down the path to grab a pole and bait the hook with the anticipation of catching a fish.
Shore lunch preparation is available. For more>
Cheese Factories. We’re proud to be Cheeseheads. Small, award winning cheese factories offering traditional, organic and specialty cheeses can still be found when you venture off the beaten path. Stop and watch, taste and take home some of Wisconsin’s finest cheeses. For a directory of cheese factories in northwestern Wisconsin>
Farm Fun. No matter the season, you’ll enjoy sampling rural life in western Wisconsin. Bring the family to see newborn lambs in late March. Come back in June to pick plump juicy strawberries. Wander through the fall corn maze on an Indian Summer day. And, it’s never too late to add a new tradition to your holiday season — cutting your own Christmas tree. Directory of Agritourism>
Menomonie is home to over 20 public city parks and playgrounds, providing visitors and residents alike numerous opportunities to picnic, play and unwind. For a map of all Menomonie City parks>
Those living in Menomonie would be the first to declare that they possess a competitive spirit! The area offers ample opportunities for participation in casual sports and organized athletic activities.
UW-Stout Athletics. More than 450 student-athletes compete in 18 varsity sports within the UW-Stout Athletics program. UW-Stout is a proud member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC). The UW-Stout Recreation/Athletic Complex includes the Sports and Fitness Center, Don and Nona Williams Stadium, Alumni Field, the South Tennis Courts, Nelson Field (an outdoor track, soccer, baseball) and an outdoor adventure course. Don & Nona Williams Stadium was completed in 2001. Located on the UW-Stout campus, the stadium has a seating capacity of 4,500. The artificial surface was replaced in 2008.
Menomonie School District Athletics involves young athletes, parents, grandparents, alumni and fans. They all know and appreciate the strong sports programs offered by the Menomonie School District.
Dunn County Rec Park is a recreational facility that offers both indoor and outdoor action. Car shows, the circus, the Dunn County Fair, hockey and snowboarding are just part of the park’s annual activities. The Dunn County Ice Arena, located at the Rec Park, is used by the Menomonie Youth Hockey Association, Menomonie School District and UW-Stout skaters. Public skating hours are also available.
The Menomonie Thunderhawks are a non-profit, locally based semi-pro football team that plays at Don & Nona Williams Stadium in Menomonie. They are in the Northern Power Football League (NPFL) comprised of teams from Minnesota and Wisconsin. The team is made up of players from Menomonie and the surrounding area. For more>
The Dunn County Rifle Range offers opportunities for target practice and competitive shooting. For more>
Wakanda Park. Menomonie’s most popular park, has baseball and softball diamonds, playgrounds, walking trails, waterfront access to Lake Menomin, the Wakanda Waterpark, disc golf, picnic shelters and restrooms. Wakanda Park is in north Menomonie, on Lake Menomin’s west shore. It’s perfect for a family reunion, lounging in a lawn chair under a century-old white pine or settling in to the bleachers to watch a game of baseball.
Wakanda Waterpark is one of Menomonie’s favorite destinations on a hot summer day. The park features a multi-depth pool, 230-foot Superslide, diving boards, drop slide, giant tree slide, water lily challenge, in addition to beach volleyball. Park services include a concession stand, lifeguards, changing rooms and a reservable party room. There is a daily admission fee, as well as seasonal and group rates. Call the Menomonie Recreation Department at 715-232-1664 or For More>
The Lion’s Club Game Park, featuring elk, deer, reindeer and bison, is located adjacent to Wakanda Park.
The game park is free and includes a 20-30 minute self-guided nature walk.
Disc Golf. Menomonie has three disc golf courses. An 18-hole disc golf course winds its way through Wakanda Park. The course is 5,425 feet long and is open year round.
There is also a 3,000 foot-long course off Brickyard Road near the Dunn County Humane Society and another one at the Menomonie Middle School. For More>
Menomonie Skatepark is located at Phelan Park. The concrete facility offers a variety of contour features to challenge the skills of all levels. Skateboards, inline skates and bikes are allowed in the skatepark. All users of the skatepark are required to wear a helmet. For More >
Dog Park. Fido is always welcome in Menomonie. Your dog can play on 11.5 acres with a 5-acre enclosure for smaller dogs. The park is located off Brickyard Rd. in Menomonie. Passes are required to use the dog park and are available through the City of Menomonie. For More >
Snow Boarding & Sledding. The Dunn County Rec Park is home to the newly developed Dunn County Snow Park.
A dedicated group of volunteers from across the community cleared the way and built the park to take advantage of Winter’s outdoor fun and adventures.
Geocaching is a high-tech game of treasure hunting, using a GPS to find the treasure. The basic idea is to find hidden containers, called geocaches, located somewhere outdoors and then share your experiences online. For More >
Kayaking, Canoeing or Tubing. Drifting on the Red Cedar River is a great way to float your troubles away. River access is available at several points. The river offers a front row seat to observe abundant wildlife and interesting birds and waterfowl. Rentals are available through Irvington Campground. For More >
Bowling. Broadway Bowl, located next to the Stout Ale House, offers family-friendly bowling as well as league and thunder alley bowling. For More>
Cross Country Skiing & Snow Shoeing. Groomed trails are available on the Red Cedar State Trail and at Hoffman Hills Recreation Area.
A trail pass is required for those 16 years of age or older. For More >
Hiking. The Red Cedar State Trail and Hoffman Hills Recreation Area as well as Menomin Park, a large rustic park located on the east side of Lake Menomonie offers picnic tables, picnic shelters and abundant opportunities to walk and hike, with frequent deer and eagle sightings.
Snowmobiling. The Dunn County Snowmobile Association provides and maintains over 300 miles of groomed trails in Dunn County, with the cooperation of 14 clubs (800+ club members strong), and many generous landowners.
Trail grooming is provided by teams of hardworking volunteers who operate and maintain the equipment. For Maps>
Kart Racing. Thunder Hill Speedway is a family-owned 1/8 -mile, clay oval track located east of Menomonie, only one hour east of Minneapolis/St.Paul, MN. At Thunder Hill Speedway they race flat track karts, winged outlaw karts and ATV’s. Great fun for the young and not so young. For More>
Red Cedar Speedway. A one-third mile clay oval track, drawing racers and avid fans from Wisconsin and Minnesota every Friday night from April through August. For More>
Hunting. For information on huntable species, regulations and licensing, visit the Department of Natural Resources http://dnr.wi.gov/org/land/wildlife/HUNT/ or call 1.888.WDNRINFO (1.888.936.7463).
Whispering Emerald Ridge offers 380 acres of managed habitat divided into seven hunting fields and two training fields nestled in the rolling hills east of Menomonie. Hunt the flight conditioned Manchurian Cross and the rare trophy Reeves Pheasant. Introduced to the United States in the early 1980’s, Sporting Clays is the fastest growing of all the shotgun sports. Whether shooting by yourself or joining/forming a Team League, shooters will find the courses at Whispering Emerald Ridge constantly challenging. For More>
Dunn County also has public shooting ranges in Boyceville, Colfax and Menomonie.
Fishing & Boat Landings.
Dunn County offers outstanding opportunities for fishing, access to trout streams and public boat landings.
For local information visit Dunn County Fish and Game .
For State information on fishing licenses, season dates, regulations, and fishing places contact Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
1-888-WDNRINFO or (1-888-936-7463)
Enjoy these events on an annual basis
Dunn County Fair. The County Fair is a “must do” each summer. Experience the smells of caramel corn and fresh straw, colorful lights pulsing to music, grandstand shows, sawdust, corn dogs and mud puddles.
Young people challenging each other to win the prize; 4-H kids displaying their projects; young and old alike coming to see and be seen. Isn’t that what the County Fair is all about? For more>
Nature Valley Grand Prix. The Nature Valley Grand Prix is a professional bicycling stage race. Dunn County is known for its bicycle-friendly roads, with rolling hills and long climbs that could affect the math of the entire Nature Valley Grand Prix. Menomonie hosts Stage 5 of the race in June. For more >
FreedomFest. This is how to spend the 4th of July, America’s favorite summer holiday.
FreedomFest is held at Wakanda Park with all-day entertainment, food, sports, and kids games, topped off by live music and magnificent fireworks reflecting over Lake Menomin. The annual event is coordinated by the Greater Menomonie Area Chamber of Commerce.
WinterDaze Parade. Santa and Swiss Miss hot chocolate are part of this Main Street tradition. The street is lined with folks all bundled up with boots and mittens for this annual illuminated parade. Immediately following the parade is a spectacular fireworks display over the shimmering ice of Lake Menomin. For more>