Welcome to Down To Earth Tours ~ CALL: 715-376-4260

You'll Learn Things You Never knew, You never knew!

Our day-tours are a blend of eco tourism, heritage tourism, and cultural tourism that will bring you in touch with the true Northwoods!

DTE-Trip-1-group-w-Bus-crop“Curiosity is one of the great secrets to happiness!” Bryant H. McGill

For Information or Reservations
EMAIL: dthorson@centurytel.net

Tours Offered ~ Price for each tour is $69 and that includes a scrumptious lunch.

• Headwaters Tour of the Great Divide (our original)
• First Americans Culture Tour (FACT)
• Namekagon River Road Trip Tour
• Hayward South to Blue Hills Tour
Note: Although we have identified certain days for each of our tours, we may easily adapt our schedule to fit your calendar. Call us!

If you don’t see what you are looking for, give me a call, and I’ll help you. There are many, many items on our ‘shelves’ that are located in our ‘experiences’ department. These are not easy to show our guests on a website, but are easily recognizable to those who have been one of our guests. As you browse through the ‘store’ think about how our ‘down to earth’ experience could be such a memorable occasion for your family, your friends, or your organization, or even for your business – staff or clients both.

The products we have on our shelves are not something you can take home in a bag, nor are they things you can put on your shelves at home. What we are selling is a bit more abstract than a box of fudge, a T-shirt, or even a round of golf. We offer you a window into the northwoods that no one else comes close to offering: an entertaining day of awareness, knowledge and learning.

That fudge may bring you pleasure for a day or two, but the pleasure pf knowing or learning something new can last a lifetime. Tasting a wild hazelnut in August, absorbing the autumn colors that truly take your breath away, or seeing that musky on its spawning bed are unforgettable.

I can’t guarantee you’ll see a bear or even a deer, nor can I promise a bluebird day, but I can promise that you will get my utmost attention from start to finish. And you will be getting the information and stories from a lifetime of experiences from a resource professional who is dedicated to bring you the very best information about our cultural and natural history. You will not be disappointed.

Our New Radio Ad (WRLS 92.3 Cathy Larson Producer)


Pink Lady Slipper is an early June spectacular orchid of the northwoods bogs.

Pink Lady Slipper is an early June spectacular orchid of the northwoods bogs.

Down To Earth Tours has since 2006 offered an experience that, according to our many guests, should be at the top of your ‘Wants’ list. Our tours offer our guests a diverse and educational day.

exploring ‘off the beaten path’ locales with extra-special stories and numerous ‘gee whiz’ experiences. You will learn things you never knew, you never knew and have a great day in a fascinating neck of the northwoods!

Our day blends cultural heritage and natural history with ecology and nature that will amaze residents and visitors alike. Learn the secrets of the northwoods and its past. Beauty, wildlife, and a great lunch are standard fare and a bonus to your special day. Native American cultures are a part of our regular tour and are the prime focus on our First Americans Cultural Tour.

All tours except the Hayward South Loop Tour will begin at the Sawmill Saloon in beautiful downtown Seeley on Highway 63 between Hayward and Cable. A unique place to start and end our day!
All tours begin at 9:00.

Our Guests Say It All

A short time ago a couple came on our Headwaters – Great Divide Tour and totally enjoyed their day. Just yesterday, I Googled my site and saw something from Trip Advisor about my tours. “Down To Earth Tours teaches, inspires, entertains, enlightens!”

Sawmill Saloon & Eatery  Be sure to consider breakfast or supper from the Sawmill Saloon’s spectacular menu before or after your tour!


Note: Tour dates are flexible. Call to discuss. 715-376-4260

Original Day Tours
1 – Headwaters Great Divide Tour
2 – First Americans Cultural Tour

Four New Tours Adventures for 2013!
1 – Namekagon Road Trip Tour
2- Hayward to Blue Hills South Loop Tour
3 – Exploring Northwoods Forests Tour
4 – Panorama Vista Hikes – May & Sept/Oct

Please contact us if other tour dates might work better for you.

Personal or Custom Tours ~ Personal Custom Tours for your family, friends, business,or group can easily be arranged to meet your calendar. Impress Your Guests, Friends, or Family

Experience Our Tours with Your Friends or Family or …

Over the seven years Down To Earth Tours has been bringing smiles to our guests, some of the most memorable tours are when a a family takes a tour to celebrate a special occasion, like a homecoming, a family reunion, or a gathering of friends. Not only do they have a wonderful experience on the tour, but it is enhanced because they got to share their experience with friends and family.

Some Other Possibilities: Any opportunity for having a fun time together Business: Board Meeting, Team Building, Employee Appreciation, Family Get-together: Family Reunion, Birthday Party, Anniversary, Homecoming, Bon Voyage, Grandma Camp or Grandpa Camp, Historical Societies and Museum Staff, Lake Associations, Members and Board of Directors, Volunteer Appreciation and Thank You

You get the idea – Our tours will create a memory for all of the above occasions. We can serve our special ‘feast-in-the-forest’ picnic lunch.

Our original tour works exceptionally well, or we can create a custom tour just for you and your group. Join us today!

2013 marks our 8th year of offering learning adventures in the Northwoods! You have found the right place for that ‘extra-special thing to do’ on your trip to Wisconsin’s northwoods.

Several guests have indicated that our tours are similar to an “Elderhostel’ learning adventure or a national park-like educational tour. (Without the 3-day drive to Montana!)
Our tours are designed for visitors and residents alike. It is an educational, down-to-earth experience designed to discover many fascinating things about our diverse northwoods. One can learn about the place you visit, or the place you call home.

Join us – you will learn lots and create some great memories! We see and learn many things about our neck of the woods and have fun doing it. Our original Eco-Geo-History Tour takes our guests on a day-tour going off-the-beaten-path to discover fascinating places and stories of the northwoods. The route is designed to maximize a diversity of learning experiences and topics that will enhance your knowledge of the landscapes and the history that permeates the northwoods. As suggested in the Walt Disney movie ‘Pocohontas,’ theme song, “You’ll learn things you never knew, you never knew.”

The First Americans Cultural Tour features Native American history, foods, language,places, calendars, moons, customs, villages, practices, stories, mining, and much more,dating back to people who have called northwest Wisconsin home since the Ice Age.The Ojibwa culture is our focus, but mound-builders and paleo-Indian cultures will be explored as well. (more info & link to story below)

The beauty of fall is a bonus, our tour is special even after the leaves fall. Tours through October – JOIN US!

The University of Wisconsin Press has just released a new travel book entitled

Green Travel Guide to Northern Wisconsin. Authors Pat Dillon and Lynne Biebel have researched and recommended a myriad of Green must do and see activities, lodging places, eating establishments, and other places of interest to the Green traveling public. Travelers should have a copy to plan their vacations and one to bring along with them in their vehicle to be sure they take advantage of the authors’ hard work in assembling the diverse list. Get copies at UW Press Thanks for including Down To Earth Tours in your new guide book!

Special Thanks to AAA Living magazine for their coverage of our FACT adventure.
Both tours offer a very unique activity for special occasions for your family, for a group get-together, to entertain friends and guests, or for a special business occasion such as a “pat-on-the-back” for your employees,or maybe a “Thank You Adventure” for your best clients. One family took one of our tours for their family reunion and the report was: “How are we going to top that?”

We typically require a minimum of six guests to do a group tour.


The Delta Diner is our primary lunch stop and everyone loves the food and the atmosphere of this little hidden-away eating establishment! Learn more at: www.deltadiner.com (on occasion other great restaurants may be our choice for lunch)

Spring and early summer offers a kaleidoscope of color and beauty, as amazing as does autumn.


First Americans Cultural Tour
Read about our very first FACT Tour by Mary Bergin

Travel Writer at Roads Traveled
FACT Tour Comments
“Your first tour was fantastic.”
Mary – Madison

“We had a great time yesterday! You should be overrun with business Your story telling…is very effective. That’s what makes your tour so appealing. Everyone loves a good story. ” Marge – Cumberland

“Thanks for a great tour! It gave me lots of ideas and inspiration to learn more!” Don – Birchwood

As winter winds down over the next month our big muskies, northerns, and walleyes are repeating the annual cycle of migrating upstream to spawn. Here a musky basks in the spring sunshine waiting for the right conditions to spawn and giving our guests a highlight of the day! Wabigon-gissis, the Ojibwa Moon of the Flowers occurs in May as the fields and forests are dotted with the blooms of spring.

Here a trailing arbutus emerges from under the leaves on May Day. When you smell ‘arbeauties’ as my Grandpa Louie would call them, think lilac fragrance x10. Amazing tiny bloom that emerges as the snow disappears,

FACT Tour Agenda & Topics:

• history and culture; • Ojibwa language; • Seasonal cycles; • monthly ‘moons’; • special foods and where they are found; • how they lived their lives here in the northwoods;
• ancient trails and portage routes; • important village sites; • tools and resources used; • beliefs and customs; and we share their stories and legends, that have been a part of their lives forever.

Our emphasis will cover the ‘moon of the month’ such as the ‘blueberry moon’ of August, or the ‘wild rice moon’ of September, and we will explore the topic more in depth.

First Americans Cultural Tours scheduled for Saturdays from Hayward. Paleo-Indian, archaic, woodland cultures, copper culture, mound builders, and up to the most recent, the Ojibwa are all part of our full day. We are very excited about our First Americans Cultural Tour. You will come away with an appreciation and awareness of our First Americans.

A first for Down To Earth Tours. “The tour was a great hit with my family, both young and old commented on a fantastic day spent learning and viewing the history and ecology of the area. Also for all 20 of us to be together enjoying the same event for the entire day was fantastic. This for sure will go down as the best family reunion event ever by all the families that attended our reunion this year.”

Jeff – Grandview
Maybe your family is planning a reunion?

We can make your reunion a special day of learning and of creating memories.

Why Should I Take a Down To Earth Tour?

A song from the Disney movie Pocohantas

‘Colors of the Wind’ really describes our mission – “You’ll learn things you never knew, you never knew!”

Ask Yourself: “What do I want my northwoods vacation experience to be?”
Explore the Natural History, Cultural History, & Geologic/Glacial History of Wisconsin’s northwoods. Our smaller group size is more personal and allows for better interaction, and our 14 passenger bus gets us there in comfort.

A one-of-a-kind day, a feast-in-the-forest lunch, and a special day of discovery & learning – all cheaper than the price of a round of golf! Our price is $69, $35 for youngsters under 12, and that includes the special lunch!

“There is a story on every acre and it is our mission to bring them to you!” A Down To Earth Eco-Geo-History Tour is Unique and Genuine. Nowhere in Wisconsin is there a similar type of recreational activity – nowhere.

46830 Cranberry Lake Rd Gordon, WI 54838