- Mercer Chamber of Commerce
- 5150N Hwy 51 - Mercer
- Wisconsin 54547 - United States
Mercer is a small town located in Iron County in northern Wisconsin, USA. It is situated in the heart of the Northwoods region, known for its pristine lakes, dense forests, and outdoor recreational opportunities. The town's history is closely tied to the development of the logging industry and its subsequent transition into a tourist destination.
Logging was the primary economic activity in Mercer during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The vast forests of northern Wisconsin attracted lumber companies and loggers seeking timber resources for construction and other purposes. The Mercer area, like many other towns in the region, was home to sawmills, logging camps, and the bustling activity of the timber industry.
As the timber resources became depleted and environmental concerns grew, the logging industry gradually declined. However, the area's natural beauty, with its numerous lakes, rivers, and forests, began to attract visitors interested in recreational activities such as fishing, boating, hiking, and hunting. This shift in focus from logging to tourism marked a significant turning point in Mercer's history.
Today, Mercer is known as the "Loon Capital of the World" due to its large loon population. The town has embraced its reputation as a destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. The Mercer Chamber of Commerce actively promotes the town's recreational offerings, including fishing tournaments, hiking trails, and snowmobiling routes.
In addition to its natural attractions, Mercer also celebrates its history through the Mercer Area Historical Society. The society operates a museum that showcases artifacts, photographs, and exhibits related to the town's logging heritage, Native American history, and the growth of tourism in the region.
Overall, Mercer holds a unique place in the state's history as a town that evolved from a bustling logging center into a charming tourist destination, all while retaining its natural beauty and cultural heritage.
Top Tourist Attractions
The town offers a variety of top tourist attractions that cater to outdoor enthusiasts, nature lovers, and those interested in the town's history and culture. Here are some of the top attractions in Mercer:
- Turtle-Flambeau Flowage: This large reservoir, created by damming the Flambeau River, is a paradise for fishing, boating, kayaking, and wildlife watching. The area's pristine waters are home to a variety of fish species, making it a popular spot for anglers.
- Biking and Hiking Trails: Mercer boasts several scenic trails that allow visitors to explore the natural beauty of the Northwoods. The Mercer Bike Trail offers a peaceful ride through forests, while the Turtle River State Trail is great for hiking and snowmobiling during winter.
- Loon Capital of the World: Mercer's numerous lakes are home to a large population of loons, and the town celebrates this with various events and festivals. The annual Loon Day Festival, held in August, features crafts, live music, food, and loon-related activities.
- Mercer Area Historical Society Museum: This museum showcases the town's history, including its logging past, Native American heritage, and the evolution of tourism. The exhibits feature artifacts, photographs, and stories that provide insight into Mercer's past.
- Mercer Depot: This historic building, known as the "Deepest Railroad Depot in the Northwoods," is a remnant of Mercer's logging era. It has been restored and now houses the Mercer Chamber of Commerce.
- Outdoor Recreation: Beyond the specific attractions, the entire Mercer area is a haven for outdoor activities such as fishing, boating, canoeing, kayaking, hiking, camping, bird-watching, and ATV riding. There are countless lakes, forests, and trails to explore.
- Events and Festivals: Mercer hosts various events throughout the year, including fishing tournaments, snowmobile races, craft fairs, and music festivals. These events offer visitors a chance to experience the local culture and community spirit.
- Winter Activities: During the winter months, Mercer becomes a winter wonderland. Snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and ice fishing are popular activities that attract visitors looking to enjoy the snowy landscapes.
- Restaurants and Local Cuisine: The town offers a range of dining options, including cozy cafes and restaurants where you can savor local cuisine and unwind after a day of exploration.
- Wildlife Viewing: In addition to loons, Mercer is home to a diverse array of wildlife. Visitors have the opportunity to spot deer, eagles, bears, and other animals in their natural habitats.
Overall, Mercer's top tourist attractions revolve around its natural beauty, outdoor recreational opportunities, and a commitment to preserving its history and culture. Whether you're interested in fishing, hiking, or simply enjoying the tranquility of the Northwoods, Mercer has something to offer for every type of traveler.
Mercer experiences a climate characteristic of the northern continental United States, with distinct seasons and relatively cool temperatures throughout the year. Here's an overview of Mercer's climate:
- Winter (December to February): Winters in Mercer are cold and snowy. Average temperatures during this period range from around 10°F to 20°F (-12°C to -6°C). Snowfall is common, and the town often sees significant snow accumulation, making it a popular destination for winter sports enthusiasts.
- Spring (March to May): Spring is a transitional season characterized by gradually warming temperatures. March can still be quite chilly, with temperatures starting to rise in April and May. Average highs range from the upper 30s to mid-50s°F (3°C to 13°C) in April, reaching the mid-60s°F (18°C) by May.
- Summer (June to August): Summers in Mercer are relatively short but pleasant. Average high temperatures in June range from the mid-60s to low 70s°F (18°C to 23°C), while July and August see average highs in the mid-70s to low 80s°F (24°C to 28°C). Summer is the prime time for outdoor activities, as the weather is warm and the lakes are inviting for swimming and boating.
- Fall (September to November): Fall is a picturesque season in Mercer as the leaves change colors. Average temperatures start to cool down in September, with highs in the mid-60s°F (18°C). October sees highs in the mid-50s°F (13°C), and by November, temperatures drop to the upper 30s to low 40s°F (3°C to 6°C).
- Mercer's climate is influenced by its northern location and proximity to the Great Lakes, which can contribute to lake-effect snowfall during the winter months. Visitors can enjoy a range of outdoor activities throughout the year, with winters perfect for snowmobiling, skiing, and ice fishing, while the warmer months provide opportunities for boating, fishing, hiking, and other outdoor adventures.
It's important to note that actual weather conditions can vary from year to year, and temperatures can fluctuate within each season. If you're planning a trip to Mercer, it's a good idea to check the local weather forecast closer to your travel dates to ensure you're adequately prepared for the conditions you'll encounter.
The town is situated in the Northwoods region, known for its abundant forests, pristine lakes, and natural beauty. Here's an overview of Mercer's geography:
- Lakes and Waterways: Mercer is characterized by its numerous lakes, rivers, and waterways. The Turtle-Flambeau Flowage is one of the most significant bodies of water in the area. This large reservoir, created by damming the Flambeau River, covers a substantial area and offers opportunities for fishing, boating, kayaking, and wildlife viewing.
- Forests and Woodlands: The town is surrounded by dense forests and woodlands, primarily composed of coniferous trees like pines and hemlocks, as well as deciduous trees such as maples and oaks. These forests provide habitats for a variety of wildlife and contribute to the area's natural beauty.
- Topography: The terrain in Mercer is characterized by rolling hills, rocky outcroppings, and rugged landscapes. This topography is a result of glacial activity during past ice ages, which shaped the landforms of the region.
- Natural Attractions: In addition to the lakes and forests, Mercer is home to various natural attractions, including waterfalls, wetlands, and hiking trails. These features make the area a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts looking to explore and appreciate nature.
- Wildlife: Mercer's natural environment supports a diverse range of wildlife, including white-tailed deer, black bears, eagles, loons, otters, and various bird species. The town's abundant water sources attract migratory birds and provide essential habitats for aquatic creatures.
- Climate: As mentioned earlier, Mercer experiences a northern continental climate with distinct seasons. The town's climate is influenced by its location in the upper Midwest and its proximity to the Great Lakes.
- Recreational Opportunities: The geography of Mercer lends itself to a wide range of outdoor activities, including fishing, boating, hunting, hiking, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, and more. The town's natural features create a picturesque backdrop for these activities.
Overall, Mercer's geography plays a central role in shaping the town's identity as a destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. The combination of lakes, forests, and diverse wildlife creates a unique and appealing environment for visitors and residents alike.