Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Shopping Break: Bluegill Bay Park

Less than half a mile from the hustle and bustle of Rib Mountain's shopping district you'll find Bluegill Bay Park. Most people use this park for its boat ramp and access to Lake Wausau, but there's a scenic gravel path looping around the water inlets with occasional picnic tables and benches, which make this a wonderful spot to take a break from shopping. Next time you head out to Wal-Mart, pack the dog and your boots so you can go for a quick hike around the bay! Enjoy the great view of Rib Mountain from across the lake and catch a picture-perfect sunset in the summer.

A lot of people fish along the banks of Lake Wausau and Bluegill Bay in warmer months. There are even a couple fishing piers bobbing in the bay... although they are buried in snow and ice for now.

With the longer daylight, we were able to enjoy a hike today and take in the crystal clear blue sky. The wind, however, was howling and gusting at up to 30 miles per hour sandblasting my face with snow-powder. The winds had drifted the snow into pretty sculptures on the path, which apparently had not been walked on for some time; if you weren't familiar with the park, you'd have no idea where the path was.

Snow depths have reached the bottom of the picnic table benches, practically burying them.

But if you continue on to the end of the peninsula, there's a quiet spot in the pines where hardly anyone goes.

And if you keep going all the way out to the tip, there's a bench overlooking Lake Wausau, where you can sit in the sun, listening to the wind in the pine branches and the waves breaking on shore.

This park is a great place for bird-watching, picnicking, hiking, water-sports, fishing and just plain lounging around. There are picnic shelters to provide shade, bathrooms, and plenty of parking. This is a perfect destination for anyone looking for a break from shopping or just a quiet place to get away on your lunch break.

*Insider Tip:  If you're like me, and prefer to avoid crowds but still like to participate in fun events, this park is a great place to watch the annual Balloon Rally and Glow since the Wausau Airport (where the event is held) is right across the lake!