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Birchwood, Wisconsin is 20 miles north of Rice Lake, WI, one hour from Eau Claire, and 2 hours from the Twin cities. If you want a great stop on your way to the Apostle Islands, this is a great option.
The town of Birchwood is only 518 people, but in the summertime, that number triples. Locally, there is the annual Bluegill Festival consisting of fair food and street dance in the third week in July, a family friendly event that transitions into a party in the late night hours.
Birchwood is surrounded by the Ice Age Trail, a long trail used in the logging days. Mikana and Birchwood are along Red Cedar lake, an 1841 acre lake also accessible by boat to two other lakes: hemlock and balsam. Stouts island Lodge is a rather exclusive but overpriced getaway. You stay on the island the whole time you're there to hide out. Canoe Bay in Chetek is pricier and possibly better.
Tagalong Golf has lovely condos with a nice stay and play package. There is also the Spooner golf club, Turleback, Hayward Golf and Tennis, all within 3-45 minutes.
Pack plenty of sunscreen and bring your boat. Tagalong has a restaurant with a great ambience with food going to be great as new owners who had a successful place in the area now run it.
Have fun and respect your local folk. You can also rent canoes and have a great outdoor experience.