Northern Wisconsin


Ashland is the seat of Ashland County and the commercial hub of the region. Historic downtown Ashland is characterized by the turn-of-the-century brownstone buildings, unique shops, and distinct architectural styles.  From inland lakes to Hiking, Snowmobile, ATV, Bicycle, and Motorcycle Trails and Roadways, leading up to the Greatest of the Great Lakes: Lake Superior and Chequamegon Bay, enjoy year-round outdoor recreation. Experience fishing, scenic views, spectacular waterfalls, friendly people, charming shops, restaurants, and lodging.

Iron County is a destination for four-season recreation and a getaway from all the hustle and bustle of busy city life. The county is recognized as a Telecommuter Forward Community, making “workcations” more feasible. The tourism industry is a big part of Iron County’s economy by providing one in five jobs. Modern healthcare facilities and medical professionals are readily available in the greater Iron County area as well as the greatest concentration of fine arts and cultural events of any northern Wisconsin community.

Price County is the 5th largest in land area of the state’s 72 counties. Price County is known for its spectacular natural beauty, including vast areas of national, state and county forestland, and 18,000 acres of water. Price County is home to 15,581 people scattered throughout the area in small cities, villages, and townships. The major industries are wood and paper products, tourism, and manufacturing. Additional industries include farming, transportation, and health care.

Communities throughout the Northern Wisconsin Community Network have aging infrastructure. Public facilities including wastewater treatment facilities, public water systems, roadways, and outdoor recreational features require repairs and upgrades. Infrastructure is critical to the continued economic well-being of these rural communities. Local leaders are working together to find ways to address the infrastructure needs while also collaborating to expand broadband services, affordable housing options, childcare, and emergency services. Infrastructure improvements and expanded services will better serve residents and catalyze business expansion and growth of quality jobs.


  • Priority Areas

    • Broadband 
    • Infrastructure (municipal utilities, roads/highways, bridges, transit, renewable energy) 
    • Housing 
    • Job Retention and Growth 

Rural Partners Network Contacts for Northern Wisconsin

  • Image of Laura Kralcik-West

    Laura West-Kralcik

    Community Liaison
  • Photo of Nathan Sandwick

    Nathan Sandwick

    Supervisory Community Liaison

Host Entity

Northwest Regional Planning Commission
Sheldon Johnson