Minocqua and Potato River Falls, Wisconsin

The towns of Woodruff and Minocqua are side-by-side.  When you leave the city limits of Woodruff, you are in Minocqua.  Woodruff has a population of a little over 1,900, however, Minocqua’s population is about 4,400.  They are both clean, lovely northwoods towns right on Minocqua Lake.

During the summers these towns are busy places with tourists hiking, biking, snowmobiling (in the winter only, of course! 😊) boating, fishing, farmers’ markets, craft fairs and all kinds of places for shopping.

Minocqua, which is on an island in Minocqua Lake, started out as a logging town in the 1880s and the construction of the railroads was critical to its early growth.  Later, the railroads brought sportsmen and tourists to the area transforming it into the vacation getaway it is today.

Much of Minocqua’s business district was destroyed by a major fire in 1912, so many of the buildings on the main street today were built after that.  The business district today has a higher percentage of visitor-oriented retail stores, however, it still retains a U.S. post office, banks, restaurants, and the classic barbershop (with the red and white striped pole out front!).  Here are a few pictures of the downtown business district.


On another day, we took a day trip to a VERY small town, Gurney, WI (if you blink, you miss the town), because just outside of Gurney is the Potato River Falls.  These falls are literally in the middle of nowhere.  As we were following our GPS, one of the last turns we made was in the middle of a field and down a gravel road.  Then, out of nowhere, there is a small turn into a parking area with a sign that said “Potato Falls.”  There are two hiking paths you can take.  One says “Upper Falls” and the other says “Lower Falls.”  We chose the Upper Falls first. The trail was clearly marked, and they were wooden stairs at the steepest points (thank goodness!).


We saw this wonderful old barn on the drive to Potato Falls, and I just HAD to get a picture.


Next, we hiked to the lower falls.


Down we go to the lower falls…


…then down some more!






Now….back up we go!! It was well worth it!

It was a beautiful day; not too warm and not too cool.  However, the mosquitos were hungry.  They were somewhat disappointed when they smelled my “Ode de OFF” perfume substitute!  If you go to Potato Falls, be sure to take your bug spray!

So, for now ….. “On the Road Again!”