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Rib Lake WI

Rib Lake WI 

Stone Age to Euphoria

Rib Lake is a village in Taylor County, Wisconsin, United States. Rib Lake is located close to the center of Wisconsin. The population was 910 at the 2010 census, which has grown 3.64% since 2000. The village is within the Town of Rib Lake. The jewel of town is their 320-acre lake also named Rib Lake. Visitors have access to the lake from two public boat landings and three public docks that are wheel chair accessible. The Lake is located within 1000 feet of Lake view Tourist Park. Bring your fishing gear for a chance to catch Musky, Pan fish, Large mouth Bass, Northern Pike and Walleye.

There are a few benefits that add a uniqueness to this town.  One of them is the abundance of incredibly beautiful lakes that seem to be found every few miles, hidden behind a string of tree lines that appear manicured to perfection. Every lake shore is meticulously clean and accessible to anyone.  Fishing piers and boat access is available at every lake, in fact it is more uncommon for resident not to own a boat than it is to have one.   During the winter months, the lakes are used just as much as all other seasons of the year. Shanty’s are parked on top of the frozen lakes, and residents spend their days fishing and relaxing, and hosting gatherings with bomb fires and cooking their fresh catch through the night.

My favorite unique thing that Rib Lake offers are roads dedicated for the use of ATV’s. Just about every home has at least on ATV and they are the primary form of transportation used in and around the town. The roads are paved and lead you to all lakes and recreational parks.  It’s incredibly common to find groups of camper’s lake side, with a line of ATV’s parked aside them.


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Between 1870 and 1940 much of the northern Wisconsin forests were cut and the timber was used for many different usages: such as building infrastructures and wood furniture. Rib Lake, Wisconsin was an important center for the lumber industry. Using the 324-acre Rib Lake as a holding pond for a lumber mill, Rib Lake produced over 1.4 billion feet of timber. Since there were not any laws against dumping industrial organic waste into the lake, the lumber mill released their waste directly into Rib Lake. Everything from saw dust to animal hides was dumped into the lake over the 70 years of operation.

When the mill was open, logs in the holding pond would occasionally become waterlogged and sink to the bottom. Today, these logs are worth far more than any typical cut down tree, due to their age and rareness.  Several logs have been pulled from the lake already; one in particular is displayed outside of Camp 28, in Rib Lake, WI.

All the Local lakes offer amazing fishing, swimming and boating activities. The community supports many baseball and softball teams during the summer. They also provide opportunities for summer youth sports programs. Rib Lake has many parks, access to Ice Age Trail, and is surrounded by public forests. The options for outdoor activities are unlimited – ATV riding, snowmobiling, hunting, horseback riding, biking, canoeing & kayaking, skiing, camping, hiking and wildlife viewing.

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Rib Lake has a new village hall, public library and elementary school. They have invested in their future and can accommodate future growth. Current growth has been attributed to growing young families coming to raise their children and take advantage of their quality school district. Retirees are also returning to Rib Lake to take advantage of low cost of living surrounded by outdoor recreation.


From Ice Age to Euphoria

Rib Lake was once part of a large glacier. For the past 2.5 million years the climate of the Northern Hemisphere has fluctuated between conditions of warm and cold. These cycles are the result of changes in the shape of the Earth’s orbit and the tilt of the Earth’s axis. The colder periods allowed the expansion of glaciers that covered large parts of the Northern Hemisphere.



Changes in climate have followed a regular pattern for the past 700,000 years. Each cycle lasted about 100,000 years and consisted of a long period of generally cooling climate during which glaciers grew, followed by shorter periods of conditions similar to or warmer than those of today.

The last cycle of climate cooling and glacier expansion in North America is known as the Wisconsin Glaciation. About 100,000 years ago, the climate cooled again and a glacier, the Laurentide Ice Sheet, spread across the continent. Near the end of the cycle, beginning about 31,500 years ago, the glacier began its advance into Wisconsin. It expanded for 13,500 years before temperatures warmed again and it began to melt back. It took another 7,000 years before the ice finally retreated from northern Wisconsin.