Celebrating Wisconsin’s Cranberries

Did you know…

  • Wisconsin supplies more than half the world’s cranberries – we’re expecting to produce 490 million pounds of the antioxidant-rich wonder-fruit this year.
  • More than 250 growers produce cranberries on approximately 21,000 acres of land throughout 20 counties in central and northern Wisconsin.
  • The cranberry was declared Wisconsin’s official state fruit in 2004.
  • The average age of cranberry beds in Wisconsin is 39 years, with the oldest bed reported to have been planted 138 years ago.

…and the most fun fact of all: It’s harvest time!

Wisconsin’s cranberry harvest starts in September and runs through most of October, adding its brilliant red to the lush patchwork of fall colors. Cranberry farmers flood the marshes where the vines grow so that the berries will float to the top for easier harvesting – it’s quite a sight. And to make sure you see it this season, we’ve rounded up some great opportunities for visiting marshes and experiencing the harvest fun firsthand:

Cranberry Fest, Villas County Fairgrounds, Eagle River

Head to Eagle River for the world’s largest cranberry cheesecake, a walk/run/bike tour, and a cranberry cook-off, plus marsh tours. October 5-6, 2013.

Stone Lake Cranberry Festival, Stone Lake

Enjoy the parade, crate derby, and arts and crafts fair along with marsh tours at this October 5, 2013 celebration.

Cranberry Marsh Tours, Manitowish Waters

Catch the last tour of the season on Friday, October 4, 2013. It starts at the Manitowish Waters Community Center, and continues at the Vilas Cranberry Company bogs.

Glacial Lake Cranberry Tours, Wisconsin Rapids

Tours are offered daily except Sunday, during harvest through the third week of October.

Fifield Cranberry Marsh, Fifield

Tour the marsh and buy fresh cranberries, daily except Sunday, through mid-October.

DuBay Cranberry Company, Junction City

Experience the whole cranberry production process, from bog harvesting to sorting and bagging.

Wetherby Cranberry Company, Warrens

At their Public Harvest Day on October 5, 2013, you can put on waders and walk right out into the marsh. Afterwards, visit the Wisconsin Cranberry Discovery Center for tastings, exhibits, and a craft fair.

Cranberry Tour Tip: Before you head out to the marsh with your friends, it’s a good idea to call ahead – many marsh tours require reservations.

To take in more of the cranberry countryside color, head out on a bike ride or a drive. In the Wisconsin Rapids area, you can follow the Cranberry Highway, a self-guided scenic auto tour along 50 miles of century-old cranberry beds. Mountain bikers can take on its companion, the 29-mile Cranberry Trail.

This entry was posted in Tours, Fairs & Festivals Events, Fall, Local Foods, Food Tours, Trails and Hiking