Green Lake doesn't shut down for 6 months, there is still so much to see and do. Whether it's outdoor fun or staying toasty warm inside, check out all of these possibilities
Outdoor sports: * Cross country skiing or a sleigh ride through the woods nearby at Mecan River Outfitters * Ice skating at Deacon Mills Park with a warming house and free use of skates * Bring your sled, over 150 miles of snowmobile trails are an easy access * Ice fishing with Mike Norton guide service will set you up from ice shanty to tip-ups to bait * White River Marsh State Wildlife Area is an excellent place to look and listen for a wide variety of birds. Sunnyside Conservancy, Winnebago Trail and Norwegian Bay boardwalk are nearby locations where ducks, swans, and grebes often gather and the majestic bald eagle is frequently spotted along the lakeshore. * Hiking trails vary in length and difficulty, here is a link with descriptions. http://mcconnellinn.com/pdf/BikingHikingGreenLake.pdf
After checking-in at the McConnell Inn, leave your car at the curb and walk to one of the many parks in our lovely community. A good stretch of the legs for the afternoon seems just right, and in any direction you can enjoy views of the water. Then a stop at one of the nearby ice cream parlors or coffee shops and a rest at the wharf atDeacon Mills Park. We have a selection of menus from area restaurants and will be happy to help with suggestions or reservations each evening.
Day 2 – Get on the Water
After a full breakfast, explore the lake by renting a pontoon boat for half the day where you can enjoy fishing on Green Lake, swimming, or a leisurely cruise around the 28-mile circumference of beautiful Green Lake. If catching your limit is your goal, you may wish to go with one of the local fishing guides who will show you the best spots and the right bait. As the day draws to a close, you might enjoy a Concert in the Park or entertainment at Thrasher Opera House.
Day 3 – Bike Day
Of course you will begin your day with another hearty breakfast at McConnell Inn in preparation for a day of activity. Biking is always a draw, and we are happy to store your bikes in our garage for the night. Biking options are diverse, whether it is the 27-mile Loop the Lake which is a paved route with both non-motorized paths and low-traffic roads, 11-mile Mascoutin Trail a crushed limestone base on an old railroad bed, or several mountain bike trails for the more adventurous. You might choose to bike the city path to the Green Lake Conference Center which has over 1,000 acres and miles of paved roads and beautiful scenery. Check out the Green Lake bike map for all trail options. Stop for a late lunch and rest before heading back to the McConnell Inn. Once back at home base, change into your swimming suits for a refreshing dip at Hattie Sherwood Beach, just a 2 block walk.
Day 4 – Hike Before You Go
Begin the day enjoying one last breakfast with other guests you have met around the breakfast table. We will be sorry to say good-bye, but hope to see you again soon. Before heading home, you will want to spend part of your morning taking in the sights of Green Lake by hiking one of the many wonderful Green Lake Hiking Trails nearby. Trails vary in length and difficulty.
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Day 1 – Golf
Check-in, leave your luggage and grab your golf bag. To kick-start you into vacation mode, head to Tuscumbia Country Club less than 1 mile from McConnell Inn for 9 or 18 holes of golf. Return to home base for a shower and relaxing on the front porch. We have a selection of menus from area restaurants and will be happy to help with suggestions or reservations each evening.
Day 2 – River Paddling
Starting your day with a full breakfast, you are now energized for activity! It's the time of year to be outdoors, and this is the location to enjoy the water in a number of ways. Options include a Mecan River canoe/kayak trip (15 minute drive), a leisurely tube ride on the Montello River (30 minute drive), or plan your trip to include one of the special dates that the Fox of the River Voyager Canoe, a 16 person hollowed tree canoe that takes you back to Father Marquette days, offers a 1-hour excursion. After a day of paddling, return to enjoy a free Concert in the Park, just 2 blocks from McConnell Inn.
Day 3 – Simple Pleasures
No hurries, today is simple pleasures. You can walk to a sub shop or deli for your picnic needs and then down the block to the bait store for all of your fishing supplies and bait. Hattie Sherwood Beach, just 2 blocks from McConnell Inn, has a nice sandy area and easy access to the water, bathrooms with showers, and a fishing pier. We provide the beach towels but don't forget the sunscreen. Bring a good book or a sun hat to snooze under. Return to McConnell Inn to freshen up and then take advantage of the number of restaurants you can easily walk to, no gas needed today.
After breakfast we will say farewell, till next time. But don't leave Green Lake without enjoying one of the 2 challenging 18-hole courses at the Golf Courses of Lawsonia, ranked one of the top courses in the state. It will entice you to come back for more.
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Day 1 – Get a Jump on the Fun
Early check-in is always possible, just let us know in advance. You now have plenty of time to get in a round of golf, or more! The Golf Courses of Lawsonia
Day 2 – Foodies
Today is a day about local foods, starting with breakfast. Then on to Willow Creek Cheese House for a great selection of hand crafted cheeses. You will continue on your country roads journey to Vines and Rushes Winery where you can get samplings, wine by the glass, bottle or case. If beer is more to your liking, then nearby Knuth Brewing Co. is a great spot for lunch and a taste of a specialty brew. Green Lake highlights local, organic growers and producers at a Friday early evening and a Saturday morning Green Lake Farm Market, both at Town Square, our downtown community center. The rest of the day it's time to stretch your legs and your swing at Mascoutin Golf Club with 27 holes.
Day 3 – Explore the Area
You will refuel at breakfast for a day outdoors. Every Saturday late April – October is one of the state's largest outdoor flea markets in Princeton, just 8 miles away. After finding your treasures, travel back towards Green Lake where you will want to stop at the Green Lake Conference Center (GLCC), which began as a dairy farm in the 1800s and is now a treasure for the Green Lake community. There are a variety of interesting things to see and do here and with over 1,000 acres, make sure you pick up a map at McConnell Inn before exploring. Wonder through Dawson Prairie, a natural prairie with mowed paths to get a close look at flora and fauna. Climb the 121 steps of Judson Tower for wonderful panoramic views of the lake and conference center grounds. Or for a less strenuous hike, try either Hammers Trail or Winnebago Trail, both with views of Norwegian Bay on Green Lake. You will enjoy Log Cabin Row, an 1840's log home museum with tours, candle making, rug looming, quilting and stories. Another option is Troster Art Studio, if you would like to try your hand at creating jewelry, ceramics or stained glass. GLCC also offers Padelford Country Store, an old fashioned store with penny candy and ice cream treats, and the peaceful setting of the Rose Garden. If you were able to cover all of that, it is time to head back to home base for a rest, and plans for dinner.
Day 4 – Biking
Begin your day with a hearty breakfast, then on to getting exercise the fun way. Green Lake County was populated mainly with dairy farms, and because milk needed to be picked up daily, county roads were plentiful and usually very scenic. This is why our area attracts so many bikers. So whether you plan to stay on one of the Green Lake area bike paths, or venture on some of the scenic byways, biking should be on your list of things to do. There is the Loop the Lake 27-mile challenging route with a number of hills or for a more leisurely pace, try the path along Hwy 23 that takes a loop around the city, we supply bike maps. We are happy to store your bikes in the garage overnight. For your evening entertainment, try a concert at Thrasher Opera House, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This intimate venue was refurbished in 2001 and is once again an outstanding performance space committed to showcasing top-flight talent.
Day 5 – Birding
Bring your binoculars and your log book to record all of the different varieties you will spot while birding in the Green Lake area. White River Marsh State Wildlife Area, just 25 minutes from McConnell Inn, is an excellent place to look and listen for a wide variety of birds, especially April through October. A state designated rustic road, White River Rd provides easy access through the marsh. Other nearby properties that offer public access and trails include Sunnyside Conservancy, Winnebago Trail and Norwegian Bay boardwalk where ducks, swans, loons, and grebes often gather and the majestic bald eagle is frequently spotted along the lakeshore. Green Lake is a designated Bird City USA and hosts an annual bird festival every April. You will then return to Green Lake to take advantage of what Town Square, our community center, has to offer. It may be a cooking, painting or sewing class, maybe a lecture or a new artist gallery night or you might shop for a locally created artwork as a reminder of your time in Green Lake. From Town Square you can venture into the downtown shops and then one of our downtown eateries for dinner.
Day 6 -Disc Golf
This is the last morning for breakfast at McConnell Inn, at least for this trip, we hope to see you soon. But before you leave our little bit of heaven, just a few miles north on Hwy 49 at Zobel Park is an 18-hole disc golf course that is rated as one of the best in Wisconsin. It incorporates the natural flow of the park's hills, flats and varied vegetation and it is free, just bring your own discs and enjoy the outdoors before your drive home.