Arrowhead Students Vacation “Up North”

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Maraba Roznik, Editor and Reporter

When asked where they are going for break, lots of Arrowhead students answer “up north.” Nowhere on a map of Wisconsin marks the town of Up North, however, everyone seems to travel there. Large numbers of students spend their family vacations in northern Wisconsin in the mythical yet well visited place called “Up North”.

An article in Wisconsin State Journal defined “up north” as any town above Highway 8 in northern Wisconsin. A lot of these tourist counties are collectively known as the Northwoods. Some of these towns include Eagle River, Minocqua, Rhinelander, and Hayward. Door County peninsula is also a popular destination for families.

Rising senior Maria Turco vacations in Three Lakes, Wisconsin with her family during school breaks and over the summer. Three Lakes, a four drive from Hartland, is a small town in Oneida County where Eagle River flows through in a series of lakes.

Turco said, “We go up there about once a month during the school year and probably during half of the summer. We try to get up every time we aren’t busy.”

Recent Arrowhead graduate Cole Sandvold just returned from a trip up north with his family. Sandvold spent the weekend in an A-frame cabin his grandfather built on Lake Sherwood 50 years ago. He and his family travel there once a year for about 4 days.

Vacationing up north can give families the opportunity to get in touch with nature through various outdoor activities.

Turco said, “We are on a lake, so we go out on the boat, skiing, swimming, tubing, and hiking mostly.”

Sandvold said, “We swim, fish, play yard games, canoe, jump off the dock, read, nap, and we used to make sandcastles too.”

Northwood towns also benefit from families’ vacations because it provides them revenue. According to Wisconsin Department of Tourism, there has been an increase in visitor spending for the sixth year in a row. In 2016, the tourism industry brought in $20 billion, which was a $700 million boost from 2015.

Some of that tourism comes from people traveling up north for small vacations. During a press release Rhinelander chamber executive director Maggie Steffen commented on the effects of tourism in the county.

Steffen said, “Tourism plays a critical role in our community and continues to grow.”

Oneida County and Vilas County also reaps benefits from tourism. According to the Oneida County Tourism Council (OCTC), tourism accounted for over 2,100 jobs in their community. Vilas County’s tourism and publicity director Cindy Burzinski said that spending in Vilas has increased significantly over the years, and that the local businesses depend on the visitor spending for their livelihoods.

As families continue to make “up north” their vacation destinations, Northwood counties will continue to thrive off of the tourism. Arrowhead students travel up north to spend time with family, relax, and escape from the constant demands of life for a weekend.

Turco said, “I love going up north because it is a chance to get away from everything. We live in a fast paced world, and it feels nice to have a break from it every once in awhile.”