When I first created The Wisconsinista, I didn’t know of any other bloggers, travel writers, or creators who covered Wisconsin, Northwoods, and/or Upper Midwest travel and lifestyle. I simply started writing about and photographing the places I was most passionate about. While I still feel that this area is less saturated by local influencers than other parts of the country, I have since found some incredible people promoting the places I love in their own unique ways!
Focusing on “community over competition” in the social media and blogging world helps us get inspired instead of intimidated by others and make friends. While I haven’t met all of these people in-person, I am constantly inspired by their work and look forward to seeing their latest content. This is by no means an exhaustive list, just a collection of some of the creators I have followed on Instagram since starting The Wisconsinista. Read on to meet and follow some amazing northwoods bloggers!
Chrissy Bartelme (pictured above, far left) is one of Wisconsin’s biggest advocates for preserving the state’s natural features. With the help of her friend Packer-Bear, Chrissy has helped spread awareness about natural resources, invasive species, and ecology to the greater Wisconsin community. She is a recent graduate of UW – Green Bay’s Environmental Science and Policy program with a wealth of knowledge about eastern Wisconsin’s ecosystems. Chrissy aspires to hike the entirety of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail and visit all of Wisconsin’s state parks; you can follow her progress on Instagram!
I am still obsessed with the quote in Diana Kraus‘s Instagram bio: “trees are always a relief.” So true, right?! Diana (pictured above, far right) is a resident of Milwaukee, but is down for a hike almost anywhere in the state. Together with four of her friends, she helped start the Women Hiking Wisconsin online community in 2017. Since then, they have hosted group hikes throughout the state and helped foster friendships amongst female hikers in Wisconsin. You’ll want to check out her Instagram for pictures of tall trees, the Great Lakes, and the best hiking spots around!
This lady is a legend, as far as I’m concerned. Katherine Gramann is an eloquent writer, ambitious entrepreneur, and dedicated freshwater and environmental activist. Since starting her apparel and adventure brand, Lake Effect Co., back in December of 2016, she has fostered a sense of community around lake life, the northwoods, and Upper Midwest culture. When she is not investing her heart and soul into the store and its products, she is sharing insightful truths on the site’s blog and affiliated podcast, the All Tides Podcast. You will often find her chasing sunsets, loving sunrises, and embracing lake life.
Kristen Carlson is a photographer and blogger currently based in the northwoods of Wisconsin. Through social media and her blog, she showcases the beauty of “Up North” in all seasons. Her photography brings the area’s tall trees, tranquil sunrises, and secluded lakes to life. I am constantly impressed by her ability to find new ways to create and engage an online community of Wisconsinites, whether it be by asking nostalgic northwoods-inspired questions on her Instagram posts or sharing story templates for supper clubs, landmarks, and more.
This northwoods decorating pro is #pursuitofcoziness goals! Kristin Lenz shares photos of her cozy cabin home in Minocqua, as well as tips for finding and curating rustic decor. I absolutely love that the name of her blog, White Arrows Home, was inspired by the iconic white arrow signs pointing to cottages, lakes, and shops in the northwoods! Her decorations change with the seasons and holidays, but I especially love the abundance of buffalo plaid and occasional appearance by a pair of vintage water skis.
Ashley Bredemus has a post-grad story that reminds me of my own. After beginning a job in corporate America, a personal situation led her back home to Minnesota. What was initially thought to be a temporary period of working remotely has turned into longterm plans for slow living and self-employment. She is the creator of a blog promoting slow living, outdoor pursuits, and northern Minnesota travel, but has since added the title of “Summer Camp Owner” to her list of achievements. Visit her Instagram for breathtaking snapshots of the Boundary Water Canoe Area (BWCA), her dog Arlo, and her cabin home at Birchwood Wilderness Camp.
It’s never too late to become “outdoorsy.” Jenny Anderson didn’t grow up hunting, fishing, and exploring in the woods, but now considers them among her favorite activities. She promotes outdoor recreation and shares all of the places, tools, and insider knowledge you need to enjoy the outdoors, whether it’s your first time in the wilderness or your fiftieth. Jenny also knows which trips are great for families and which retreats make for the perfect girls’ weekend. You can find travel itineraries of all kinds on her blog!
Lindsey Ranzau knows how to have fun in her hometown! Though she loves to travel (often with her husband Cole), she also specializes in promoting local adventures within the greater Minneapolis area. She is a great resource for restaurants, hikes, and other fun activities that you can access in and around town. For travel guides and things to do in Minnesota and beyond, you’ll want to pay her blog a visit. For beautiful and fun travel photos from places near and far, head over to her Instagram profile.
Mae Stier shares nature, family, and poetry from her life along the northwestern shore of Lake Michigan. She practices slow living and is currently focused on house renovation projects and enjoying her time as a new mom. Lake Michigan is not only a recurring theme on her Instagram profile, but is also the inspiration for her book, Letters to Lake Michigan. It is brimming with inspiration and reflections from time spent at the lake and makes for a great addition to your northwoods reading list.
Shalee Blackmer is a Michigan native full of unique travel stories about her home state and beyond. Often with her partner, Josh, and adventure cats Aspen and Maverick, she roams and wanders new places, often “getting lost” in the process. This is especially easy to do on road trips, which Shalee takes plenty of. Even if you don’t have a ton of money in your budget for travel right now, she knows all the tips and tracks to adventure affordably!
Sheri Kowalski‘s blue a-frame cabin in northern Michigan is what dreams are made of. It is set against a forest backdrop and looks beautiful in any season! Her photography is full of unique captures that bring the spirit of the northwoods to life. Though Michigan is her home, she also has a passion for traveling around the world. Visit her blog and you’ll find beautiful photo journals of her many adventures, both at home and abroad.