Residents Take Advantage of Oshkosh Great Outdoors

May 6, 2011 at 4:19 pm EST
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Wet or dry, warm or winter cold, Oshkosh’s river, lakes and park system keep residents active.

A River Runs Through It

Oshkosh is a city defined by its lakes and rivers. The Fox River flows through the center of town and Lake Winnebago is just to the east. To the west are the Wolf River and its associated lakes.

Lake Winnebago is the crown jewel in the system. Twenty-eight miles long and 10 miles wide, it offers year-round recreational opportunities.

Water skiing and kayaking are popular activities, and there are a lot of fishing tournaments held here in Oshkosh every year. The chances of snagging a big one are excellent. Lurking just beneath the surface of the sparkling clean waters are northern pike, bass, perch, catfish and many other fish worthy of the dinner table. In fact, Oshkosh is famous for its annual winter Sturgeon Spearing Tournament on the ice.

Sailing is also quite popular both in summer and winter. The local yacht clubs offer sailing schools and the Otter Street Fishing Club hosts a free tournament for children.

A Trail Runs Through It

Hikers, bikers, joggers, horseback riders, cross-country skiers and snowmobilers share the picturesque WIOUWASH Trail along an abandoned Chicago & North Western Railroad corridor.

The route winds through woods, marshes, farm fields and prairies, with some portions running alongside the Fox River. Farther north, the trail winds through the scenic Rat River Wildlife Management Area.

Opened as a county recreational trail in 1978, it became a state trail in 1990. The trail’s unusual name is an acronym representing the counties through which the trail runs (Winnebago, Outagamie, Waupaca and Shawano), explains Winnebago County Parks Director Rob Way.

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