Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about the Wisconsin Rapids area.
I need more information! Who can I call?
Call the Wisconsin Rapids Area Convention and Visitors Bureau at (800) 554-4484. Our staff would be happy to answer any questions you have about the area. Our office hours are Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm. If you call on the weekend, leave a message and we’ll get right back to you!
Where is the Visitor Center located?
The Wisconsin Rapids Area Convention and Visitors Bureau is proud of the area we promote, and our new location says it all! Within the doors on 1st Street, community information is on display at Karen’s Wines & Steins, while the services of the Convention & Visitors Bureau staff are conveniently located at the 2nd Street entrance of the same building. Our address is 131 2nd Street North, Wisconsin Rapids, WI.
Why aren’t there any rapids in Wisconsin Rapids?
Prior to the Wisconsin River being dammed, this area held a treacherous stretch of water, which descended 45 feet as it passed through the community. The Indians gave to this place along the river the name of “Ad-dah-wah-gam,” meaning the “Two-sided Rapids,” as the rapids here was divided in two by a great boulder. After the river was dammed, the increase in water level covered most of the rocks and boulders and therefore, rapids, in the area.
I heard Wisconsin Rapids used to be two cities. Is that true?
Yes. The city is a consolidation of the two early towns of Grand Rapids and Centralia, the former lying on the east side of the Wisconsin River, the latter on the west. The consolidation was effected in the spring of 1900 and the city subsequently bore the name of Grand Rapids until 1920, when its name was changed because freight and mail intended for it was frequently sent by mistake to Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Is the Cranberry Highway available year-round?
No. Although the route is in place year-round, the best time to drive the Cranberry Highway is during the fall harvest season (late September to early November). Depending on the time of day (early morning is best) and where beds are currently producing, visitors may see harvesting from the roadside. We recommend, however, a guided tour for visitors to ensure a true cranberry adventure. A tour, coupled with a stop at a local cafe for a slice of cranberry pie and a visit to one of our many stores featuring cranberry related products (soaps, foods, lotions, etc) provides visitors the best possible experience.
Was the Town of Rudolph named after the famous reindeer?
No. It was named after Rudolph Hecox, the first boy born in the town (which, subsequently, was the second town to be established in Wood County).
How many cranberries does Wood County produce each year?
Wood County holds more than 2,500 acres of cranberry beds.
I’ve just relocated to the Wisconsin Rapids Area. Where can I find more information on my community?
The Heart of Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce can help you and your family settle into our community. Call (715) 423-1830 for a relocation packet and don’t forget to stop by our Visitor Center at 2507 8th Street South to pick up information on things to do!