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Spring - Summer 2018

Outdoor Adventure Courses

March | April | May | June | July | August | September |

Registration Form (PDF)

If you are unable to access documents here, please contact the Office of Compliance at or 715-365-4615.


Musky Fishing Seminar

One of the most prized freshwater game fish of all will receive laser focus when the two-day Musky Fishing Seminar comes to Nicolet College. Join Steve Heiting, editor of Musky Hunter magazine, and other A-list anglers as they cover 16 different topics from beginner- to expert-level to help you catch more muskies. “When you can understand and then master the fundamentals, you can go out and hit the water and expect to catch fish, not simply hope that you catch fish,” Heiting explains.

Nicolet College - Northwoods Center 208
Saturday, March 24       
10 am – 3 pm
#O916............$25 (young anglers under 18 with adult registration)

Saturday, April 7
10 am – 3 pm
#O917............$25 (young anglers under 18 with adult registration)

Both days: Saturday, March 24 and April 7


Some of the Best Paddles and Hikes of Northern Wisconsin

“Sometimes you find yourself in the middle of nowhere. Sometimes, in the middle of nowhere, you find yourself.”– Author unknown

Any good outdoor adventurer knows that the best paddles and hikes aren’t widely advertised but are rather discovered and then cherished for a lifetime. Attend this FREE presentation and discussion to get the inside track on some of the best hikes and paddles in Northern Wisconsin from people who have spent countless hours enjoying the area waters and trails. Learn about where nowhere can be found to make planning your next adventure easier so you have more time to find yourself in the outdoors! RSVPs kindly appreciated by contacting 715.365.4544 or as space is limited.

John Bates
Wednesday, April 11              
6:30-8:30 pm
Rhinelander, Northwoods Center 208

John Bates
Thursday, May 3                     
6:30-8:30 pm
Eagle River, Olson Memorial Library

John Bates
Tuesday, May 15                    
6:30-8:30 pm
Mercer, Mercer Library


50 Years of Forest Management: Striving Toward Sustainable Natural Forest Management Worldwide

Confronting the loss of global natural forests and the growing emergence of new concepts in the science of Sustainable Forest Management will be the focus of this event, which features an evening discussion and a short field trip the following morning. Natural Forest Management Specialist Robert Simeone will cover topics including a brief history of forest science, global forest trends today, conservation strategies to save the forest, wilderness and the indigenous mind, and new forestry in an ecological context.


Robert Simeone, Natural Forest Management Specialist, Sylvania Forestry LLC
Friday, May 25               
7 - 8:30 pm
Rhinelander, Nicolet - Northwoods Center 207


Robert Simeone/John Bates
Saturday, May 26           
9 – 11 am
Land O’ Lakes, Rainbo Lodge


50 Years of Wildlife Rehabilitation: Then and Now   

Wildlife rehab has advanced dramatically in recent years. Learn about these new developments along with tried and true practices that are used to nurse and nurture injured wildlife back to health and the wild. Presenters Marge Gibson and Mark Nanoit each have decades of experience in the wildlife rehabilitation field. During their morning talk, hear about the challenges they face, what the future holds for wildlife rehab, and what role the public can play to help keep wildlife safe and healthy. Then, if you choose take a trip to Antigo to tour the Raptor Education Group. Topics will range from lead poisoning to trash and how everyone can be better stewards of the land.


Marge Gibson, Executive Director of Raptor Education Group/Mark Nanoit, Founder of Wild Instincts
Friday, July 6               
10 – 11:30 am
Rhinelander, Nicolet - Northwoods Center 207


Marge Gibson
Friday, July 6              
2:30 – 4 pm
Antigo, Raptor Education Group

Mark Naniot has been rehabbing professionally for almost thirty years and another 15 non-professionally. Mark and his wife Sharon started Wild Instincts in 2011. Their center is unique in that they care for all animals that are able to be rehabbed under state and federal regulations – everything from mice to bears and hummingbirds to eagles. In 2017, they cared for 911 patients from 113 different species.

Marge Gibson is the founder and executive director of Raptor Education Group, Inc. (REGI), a wildlife rehabilitation, education and research facility located in Antigo. She teaches wildlife rehabilitation classes internationally and is active consulting with state and federal wildlife agencies and wildlife professionals worldwide about avian species care and conservation. Marge has been active with avian field research and wildlife rehabilitation and education for 50 years and has cared for thousands of avian patients from bald eagles and trumpeter swans to and through warblers and hummingbirds. More information about REGI can be found at


Date Night: Bent’s Camp............S2, C, SK, RK

We’ll enjoy a relaxing paddle while exploring the rich history of one of the largest inland chain of lakes, The Cisco Chain, followed by a delicious dinner at Bent's Camp. Established in 1896 for sport fishing and hunting, Charles Bent loved the Northwood's and did all he could in his lifetime to protect and improve it for others by creating Bent's Camp. It has been a recognized Mecca for fishermen since 1896 and it's still being discovered by sportsmen every year. Fee includes dinner at the camp but does not include tip and drinks.

Dan Clausen/Rae Grosman
Monday, June 25           
5 - 9 pm
Land O’ Lakes Area
#O301............$70 with kayak rental 


Looney Day Paddle............S2, C, SK, RK

Paddle down the Flambeau Flowage with loon expert Terry Dalton and learn about these iconic birds from a researcher’s perspective. Terry is a biologist and is well-versed in all loon sciences. We will travel by kayak around the Flowage with Terry as she points out the various nests around the waterway and discusses loon behavior patterns and habitat. The Flambeau Flowage is known for having the most nesting loon pairs of all the bodies of water within the state.

Terry Dalton/Dan Clausen/Rae Grosman
Tuesday, June 26
9 am - 4 pm
Lac Du Flambeau Area
#O303............$85 with canoe rental


50 Years of Wildlife Conservation    

Take a journey through the rich history of wildlife conservation in Wisconsin.  Topics will include the founding of the wildlife profession by Aldo Leopold, the establishment of the Conservation Commission and the Conservation Department, and the statewide expansion of conservation programs. Emphasis will be on conservation in the Northwoods and local conservation success stories will be emphasized.  Continue exploring this topic during a Saturday morning trek at the Thunder Marsh State Wildlife Area just north of the village of Three Lakes. Participants we will review the ecological and natural history of the marsh, view wildlife, and discuss the future of wildlife conservation on the wildlife area and in Wisconsin.


Ron Eckstein, Retired Wildlife Biologist Wisconsin DNR
Friday, July 6                
7 – 8:30 pm
Rhinelander, Nicolet - Northwoods Center 207


Ron Eckstein
Saturday, July 7           
7 – 9 am
Three Lakes, Thunder Marsh State Wildlife Area

Ron Eckstein served as a wildlife biologist for 36 years with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. In retirement, Ron volunteers for the DNR, working with bald eagles, ospreys, and old growth forests. He also volunteers with The Wildlife Society, Northwoods Land Trust, Partners in Forestry, DNR Silviculture Guidance Team, and recently, with a new conservation group called Wisconsin’s Green Fire: Voices For Conservation.


Strawberry Island: Journey through Time............S3, C, SK, RK          

Explore Waswagoning, "a place where they spear fish by torch light.'" This multifaceted tour that will take you back in time. We'll start with a paddle to Strawberry Island, where the last battle between the Sioux and Ojibwe was fought in 1745. We will transition into our journey through time with a walking tour of the George W. Brown, Jr. Museum, which offers top-notch exhibits dovetailing the old and new ways into a holistic picture of Ojibwe life and history. Following the museum tour, we will enjoy a traditional Ojibwe dinner with a guest speaker and tribal elder who will talk about the land and what life was like years ago.  Finally, we will walk to the pow-wow grounds and take part in the celebration of life, dancing to the rhythm of the drum, the heartbeat of the earth. Simple surroundings near the water's edge and traditional dance regalia accompany beautiful sunsets and gentle evening breezes. Old songs and dances float across the lakes, reminding us of the hundreds of years of continued Ojibwe presence.

Rae Grosman/Fred Maulson
Tuesday, July 10          
Noon – 9 pm
Lac Du Flambeau Area
#O311............$85 with canoe rental


Paddling the Bear River............S3, C, RK, SK

The Bear River is a pristine, small, shallow river that winds through large wetlands and stands of upland pines. The Bear looks just as it always has - only a few homes exist along its twelve mile (as the crow flies!) path. The Ojibwe people and French voyageurs utilized the Bear extensively, hauling trade goods and furs to the trading posts on Flambeau Lake in Lac du Flambeau. Wildlife viewing is excellent along this very quiet, little-known, and little-paddled river.

Rae Grosman/Fred Maulson
Thursday, July 12         
9 am – 4 pm
Lac Du Flambeau, Bear River
#O309............$80 with kayak rental


50 Years of Private Land Conservation: The Nature Conservancy and the Northwoods Land Trust

For more than 50 years, landowners have stepped up to permanently conserve their own private lands in the Northwoods. Join us as we explore the successes of five decades of private land conservation and learn how the land trust movement enabled conservation to expand statewide and internationally. Following the talk, we will drive two miles to the Holmboe Conifer Forest State Natural Area in the heart of Rhinelander. Gifted to The Nature Conservancy, dedicated as a State Natural Area, and now managed by the Northwoods Land Trust, the Holmboe property was donated to The Nature Conservancy in 1965 and represents one of the first voluntary land trust projects in the state. Hiking into the preserve is like stepping back in time—a time when huge pines and hemlocks covered the north.

Talk and Trek

Bryan Pierce, Executive Director of the Northwoods Land and Matt Dallman, Nature Conservancy-Wisconsin Director of Conservation
Friday, July 20              
9:30 am – 12:30 pm
Rhinelander, Nicolet - Northwoods Center 207

Talk: 9:30 -10:30 am followed by hike at the Holmboe State Natural Area in Rhinelander from 11 am – 12:30 pm (transportation not included).

Bryan Pierce has served as full-time Executive Director of the Northwoods Land Trust (NWLT) since January, 2004. He has helped NWLT permanently protect more than 11,000 acres of land and 60 miles of lake and river shorelines in the Northwoods.

Matt Dallman, Wisconsin Director of Conservation, oversees the Nature Conservancy’s statewide science, land protection, and land management activities. He has more than 20 years of experience with projects that focus on ensuring healthy forests in the Baraboo Hills and northern Wisconsin. In his time with the Conservancy, he has been involved with projects protecting more than 110,000 acres of natural areas to working forests.


Tramping the Trampers Trails............S3

The Tramper Trails around the Star Lake area in Vilas County are not well-known, but are quite beautiful and well-maintained. This section of the trail travels through portions of the 747-acre Plum Lake Hemlock Forest State Natural Area which stretches between Star Lake and Plum Lake and comprises one of the best old-growth hemlock-hardwoods stands remaining in Wisconsin. The stand is thought to primarily have originated from a fire that occurred around 1810, though there are hemlocks significantly older than this within the stand. We’ll stop frequently to discuss various ecological features of the area, to listen for birds, and to look for unique plants. We’ll hike at a moderate pace and eat lunch along the shores of Star Lake.

John Bates/Mary Burns
Sunday, July 22            
9:30 am – 1 pm
Star Lake Area


Treasure Hunt and Hike for Agates............S2

Join us on a treasure hunt for agates along Lake Superior. We will map out our adventure in a classroom on Friday to learn about the process and knowledge needed for agate hunting. On Saturday, we’ll venture to Little Girl’s Landing in search of agates, beach glass, driftwood, and more. Pack a lunch for the way. We will stop for dinner on our way home (cost not included.)

Gina Conkey
Classroom Session
Friday, August 3              
8 am - 12 pm
Rhinelander, Nicolet
White Pine Center 108

Field Trip Session
Saturday, August 4          
8 am - 6 pm 



50 Years of Lakes and Rivers Conservation: The Benefits of Environmental Regulation to Everyone, Industry Included

Bob Martini, retired Rivers Coordinator for Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, will describe the condition of the water resource 50 years ago and show how the problems were resolved with responsible regulation. We will then travel to key sites on the Wisconsin River to see the restored water quality. A hike along wild shores of the river in the historic Menard Island reach will end with lunch on a scenic shoreline.

Talk and Trek

Bob Martini, Retired Rivers Coordinator for WDNR
Friday, August 10          
10 am - 1 pm
Rhinelander, Nicolet – Northwoods Center 207

Talk: 10-11:15 followed by travel to Wisconsin River sites (transportation not included)

Bob Martini has been working on water issues in northern Wisconsin for more than 40 years, 32 with DNR, and many other years with multiple environmental and education boards. He received a career achievement award from the North American River Management Society for contributions to the science of river management, among them the cleanup of the Wisconsin River, dam removal, and FERC dam licensing. In retirement, he spends time almost every day in wild places with water.


Hiking the Hidden Lakes Trail............S3

Hidden Lakes Trail meanders 13 miles through the Nicolet National Forest just east of Eagle River. We’ll hike a beautiful 4-mile stretch from McKinley Lake to Franklin Lake. The rolling trail passes through the 1,548-acre Franklin and Butternut Lakes State Natural Area which features a number of small undeveloped lakes and several old-growth stands of forest. The area is also known for the 20 archaeological sites that are part of the Butternut-Franklin Lakes archaeological district. Paleo, Archaic, and Woodland Indians all once occupied portions of this area, the Paleo Indian occupation dating back to 9,000 B.C. We’ll hike at a moderate pace, stopping now and again to observe whatever the natural world offers, and to eat lunch along the shores of Franklin Lake.

John Bates/Mary Burns
Saturday, August 11      
9:30 am – 1 pm
Eagle River Area


Full Moon Paddle on Allequash............S3, C, RK, SK

Prior to our ancestors refining agriculture and living with the cycles of the sun, we moved to lunar patterns.  Get reacquainted with these patterns on this evening paddle.  We’ll set out on shimmering, reflective waters, not for a physically demanding paddle, but rather to let the gentle strokes of the blade and the magnetism of the moon guide us like a consistent tide.

Rae Grosman/Al Bessette
Friday, August 24      
7 – 10 pm
Boulder Junction, Allequash Lake
#O305............$50 with kayak rental


The Upper Wisconsin River Dance............S3, RK, SK

The Wisconsin River near Conover passes through scenic countryside complete with rich, diverse forests and picturesque marshlands. There are no buildings along the stretch, noted for its numerous oxbow turns, giving it the feel of a wilderness river. There is one small rapid along this route that is easily portaged. While there will be no white-water paddling, participants should be comfortable paddling in moderate currents and maneuvering around rocks, especially if water is low.

Dan Clausen/Al Bessette
Thursday, August 30
9 am – 4 pm
#O500............$85 with kayak rental


Willow Flowage Picnic Paddle............S3, RK, SK

The Willow is one of our favorites, offering 6,400 acres of water with access to numerous islands and backwaters. Surrounded by swamps, bogs, and other watery lowlands, the Willow is isolated from roads and development. Its sense of remoteness, abundant wildlife, and scenic natural shoreline beckon the paddler. Bring a picnic lunch to eat along the way.

Dan Clausen/Al Bessette
Friday, August 31      
9 am – 4 pm
#O503............$85 with kayak rental


Adventures in Wild Rice Gathering............S2, C

The Ojibwe call it Ma-no’min; it is also known as wild rice. This adventure will introduce you to gathering and processing this wonderful Northwoods resource. Our harvest methods will not differ much from those traditionally used so the bulk of time will be spent in our canoes gathering rice if the gather season is open. If the rice beds are not open, we will still explore them and hear about the traditional methods for gathering and harvesting rice.  Following our paddle, we'll enjoy a shore lunch that will include dishes made with wild rice and a discussion of different processing methods. Former Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission Warden Fred Maulson will join us and provide the materials and instruction for you to make your own ricing sticks. Students will need to purchase a Wisconsin DNR wild rice harvesting permit ($8.25 per household as of 1/18) NOTE: Only Wisconsin residents may gather wild rice.

Rae Grosman/Fred Maulson
Saturday, September 8              
9 am – 5 pm
Lac Du Flambeau Area
#O505............$99 with canoe rental


Finishing Wild Rice............S1  

Ma-no’min, called "wild rice" outside the Ojibwe culture, has played a central role in tribal life. It is used in ceremonies and as a major food source. Traditionally, its harvest promoted social interaction in late summer each year. Gathering Ma-no’min and preparing it for eating is a lengthy process with many steps. You’ll observe the four stages of finishing rice: drying, parching, hulling, and winnowing. Rice will be dried and ready to be finished so you can participate in the entire finishing process and learn first-hand how to finish your own rice. This class is an excellent addition to Adventures in Wild Rice Gathering and Processing. No previous experience required.

Rae Grosman/Fred Maulson
Saturday, September 15
5 – 8 pm
Minocqua Area