"Minocqua Pontoon Cruises Focuses on Nature and Fun"
(Adapted from the article by Jennifer Klement, Lakeland Times Reporter)
When they step onto a boat, people are always ready to have a good time, according to Chad Bierbrauer, an experienced nature interpreter and guide.
That's why Bierbrauer started Minocqua Pontoon Cruises, which offers four intimate nature cruises each day on the Minocqua Chan of Lakes.
"It is a really fun way to share the area with others" he said.
During each cruise, Bierbrauer discusses the area wildlife, birds, fish and glacial geology with his guests. He is also eager to talk about the history and various point of interest in the Minocqua area.
Bierbrauer begins each day with the morning nature cruise from 9:00 am - 11:00 am, during which guests can enjoy the morning quiet with donuts and coffee, tea or hot chocolate.
The noon nature and lunch cruise from 11:30 am - 2:30 pm includes food from The Boathouse Restaurant.
All the cruises take place on a 26-foot Sylvan pontoon boat. They depart next to The Boathouse Restaurant on Lake Minocqua. If guests who are staying on the Minocqua chain book a cruise, Minocqua Pontoon Cruises will pick them up right at the dock of the resort or lodge.
The routes of the cruises depend on the weather and the departure spot. According to Bierbrauer, the three-hour afternoon cruises provide ample time to visit all the lakes on the chain: Lake Minocqua, Mid lake, Lake Tomahawk and Kawaguesaga Lake.
Bierbrauer began Minocqua Pontoon Cruises because he saw a need for this type of activity on the Minocqua chain of lakes. He said his service is a nice alternative for those who do not want to rent a boat.
"When people visit the Lakeland area they want to get out onto the water. This is a nice guided situation where they don't have to think about the details. They can just bring their camera and sun screen and away we go," he explained.
Because Minocqua Pontoon Cruises' emphasis is on nature discussions, Bierbrauer encourages his guests to ask questions. "People are especially curious about area birds -- the eagles, loons, cranes, herons, ospreys and ducks" said Bierbrauer.
Bierbrauer graduated from St. Cloud State University in Minnesota with a minor in environmental science and a major in English.
However, Bierbrauer said he learned the most of what he knows about nature as a whitewater rafting guide. For two summers he guided eight passenger rafts into the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve in Heines, Alaska. Bierbrauer has been a whitewater rafting guide in Steamboat Springs, Colorado as well.
Originally from Wausau, Bierbrauer spent part of his childhood at his family's cottage near Minocqua. He later spent three summers in Minocqua as a bartender and two as a boat driver for Camp Agawak.
Fore more information about Minocqua Pontoon Cruises or to schedule a cruise, call 715-892-7777.