Historically, the first people to inhabit this area of Wisconsin were the Menominee tribe who inhabited a huge area of Wisconsin and Michigan for more than 10,000 years. Menominee, named by the Ojibwe, “Manoomini”, translates to “wild rice people”. What is now known as Lake Menomin, “Manomin” meaning “wild rice”, was once a wild rice field. The Menominee people had a different name for themselves, “Mamaceqtaw”, which roughly translates to “the people that live with the seasons”. And that’s exactly what Menomonie still provides today: a town filled with people that are connected to nature, adapting with the seasons and finding activities to soak it in. Whether rain, sun, snow, or sleet, Menomonie is a buzzing town all year round!
Spring is a special time of year in the Midwest. After a long and cold Wisconsin winter, this is perfect time of year to get outside and enjoy the fresh air and the stirring of wildlife. Start by going for a hike on the lush green trails of the Red Cedar State Trail or Hoffman Hills Recreation Area, you won’t regret it! You can plan a full weekend for the family by visiting the lambing barn, paddling down the peaceful Red Cedar River, or hitting the mountain biking trails of Menomin Park. Unpredictable spring weather got you moving indoors? No problem. Sample some of Wisconsin’s finest beer and wine, share a fresh scone, muffin, or cookie with a friend at one of Menomonie’s many cafés and browse the local art galleries, antique shops, and boutiques.
Summer is one of the busiest seasons in Menomonie, with no shortage of activities, whatever your speed. Take it slow and float down the serene Red Cedar River, browse the fresh fruit, veggies, crafts, and baked goods at the Menomonie Farmer’s Market or sip a cocktail on one of many outdoor patios. Like a little more action? Throw a disc with a friend on the frisbee golf course or splash around at the water park with the whole family. After the action, you can escape the heat and bring it indoors by sampling some of Wisconsin’s finest beer and wine, enjoying a community yoga or fitness class, or watching an evening show from the Mabel Tainter Theater.
Fall marks the changing of the seasons, when Menomonie shows its true colors. You will not want to miss the big reveal, so be sure to check the Wisconsin Fall Colors Report and book your stay before its too late! Some of our favorite activities include enjoying the views from the top of the Hoffman Hills panorama towere, biking and hiking on the colorful Red Cedar State Trail, pumpkin picking at the local farms, watching a game on the UW-Stout field, gathering the family around a tent and campfire, and sipping a spiced cider across from a friend in a cozy café.
Winter in Menomonie can offer a variety activities, depending on your preference. If you’re looking to get outside and enjoy a winter wonderland, you will love cross-country skiing on the frosty Red Cedar State Trail, snowshoeing in area parks, exploring the frozen waterfalls of the Devil’s Punchbowl, fat tire biking on the groomed trails of Menomin Park, snowmobiling on 300 miles of groomed trails, and ice fishing on Lake Menomin. If you’d rather find a cozy spot to escape the cold, there’s an abundance of cafés, coffee shops, breweries, pubs, and restaurants to explore. And don’t forget to check out the holiday events at the Mabel Tainter Center for the Arts!