The Mole Lake Sokaogon Chippewa Tribe located in the far Northeast of Wisconsin, in Forest County, still practices the lifestyles and traditions of long ago. Even though the tribal members are surrounded by the technologies of today, those who reside here, in Mole Lake, still follow the seasonal duties and activities.
During spring, the Sokaogon people are heading to the area lakes to practice the art of spear fishing. Families pack up their fishing gear and gather enough fish to last the year. Anyone can find a Friday Night Fishfry in just about every restaurant, fine or casual; one would have to patronize many places to find a favorite. The springtime day is spent boiling the sap from the maple trees. There is always fresh, local maple syrup for sale; and nothing makes pancakes more delicious than pouring warm, natural, and sweet maple syrup over them.
Summers will be filled with days by the lake. Our tribe is nestled by three area lakes: Rice Lake, Mole Lake and Bishop Lake; however, Mole Lake is surrounded by over 800 lakes, and 400,000 acres of public wilderness to explore. While exploring you may find wild blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, green apples or rhubarb. The locals use the fresh produce in the everyday cooking, they save some for canning, as well.
The evenings, painted with sunsets of pink and purple, have an average temperature of 70 degrees. One may find our families sewing birch bark canoes by campfire, listening to the soundtrack by the frogs and crickets. Anyone may easily enjoy the Mole Lake summer by calling one of the local campgrounds and reserving a campsite. All the campgrounds are furnished with a green carpet of grass, tall pine or birch trees and a fireplace; the only thing missing is a lawn chair.
As our hometown baseball players enjoy the weekend tournaments, the gardeners are plotting the season’s plan, and the pow-wows are moved outside, all activities are planned back to back and must be acted on quickly because there are always things going on. If not on the way to a dinner reservation or shopping in one of the many shops, one can find company on the hiking trails. We have many walking, mountain- biking, birding & nature trails to hike/ride on; or even try renting an ATV! If you like to be on the water, rent a pontoon boat or jet ski or take your car on one of the Auto Tours and see all the beauty we offer.
In the fall, as the trees transition from green to orange, red and corral, the canoes and push poles are now making the journey onto the lakes. The annual harvest of manoomin, (meaning “food grows on water”, or wild rice) is, now, in full swing. The gathering, drying, parching, dancing and fanning of the rice have been done the same way for eras, just as our ancestors before us. Rice Lake, located across from our casino, is one of the last remaining ancient wild rice beds in the State of Wisconsin. Wild rice is an essential part of the tribal diet, and it was the promise of this bountiful food that led the Sokaogon to this specific area.
Our Cafe’ Manoomin features a wild rice soup every day. Visit us and enjoy all the benefits of the Northwoods. If you need a bed, call the Mole Lake Lodge (877-478-5772) we have all the comforts of home, plus, a swim pool, whirlpool and indoor fun.