Group Trail Walk Opportunities this Summer!

Click here for printable version: Group Trail Walks 2017 

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Join the 100 Mile Challenge this summer!

This summer the Forest County Health Department encourages people of all ages to get out and enjoy the beautiful scenery of Forest County and improve your health by completing our 100 Mile Challenge.  The challenge starts June 1st and ends August 31st and you can walk, run, stroll, bike or paddle your way to better health!  Physical activity decreases your risk of disease, makes you stronger, improves your mental health and helps you sleep better.  It is also a healthy way to socialize and connect with others.

Keep track of your miles on the tracking log and turn them in at the end of August.  Those who complete 100 miles or more will receive a custom “100 Mile” pin, will be entered into a drawing for a $100 gift card and will also be added to our 100 Mile Club list of all people who completed the challenge.

There are some other great programs this summer that you won’t want to miss and will help you reach your mile goals.  There is a 30 Days Wild Program that will get you and your family out exploring nature and a Library Summer Bingo Program- watch for more information coming soon from the Crandon Public Library.   There will be a Garden Tour in July and there are multiple opportunities to enter 5K walk/runs this summer.  You can stay tuned of current events on the Forest County Chamber of Commerce Website at

Also, Forest County has received designation as a Scenic Byway in honor of two of its nationally recognized resources; the Wolf River and the Nicolet National Forest.  A variety of recreational opportunities are available ranging from activities on the multi-use trail systems to water based sports.  There is a mobile friendly website that will allow you to explore the Byway’s trails maps with parking information, campgrounds and more.

If you have ever wanted to visit some of the walking/hiking trails but you are not sure where to go or how to get there, we will be having some group walks this summer to help you out.  The first walk will be June 14th at Rat River Trail in Blackwell.  We will meet at the Blackwell Town Hall at 6:00 pm.  On June 21st we will meet at the Crandon Farmer’s Market on the courthouse grounds at 3:30 pm and walk part of the Crandon City Pedestrian Trail.  We will publish a full list of other group walks soon.

Visit the Health Department at the courthouse in Crandon or a Forest County library to pick up a packet.  Like us on Facebook to follow the progress and get more tips.  If you have questions about your health or your activity level, please talk with your doctor.  Please feel free to call us with any questions at 715-478-3371.

Click here to view the printable 100 Mile Tracking Log

Click here for printable Forest County Area Trails Brochure and Forest County Area Canoe Trails Brochure


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Celebrate Screen-Free Week!

Screen-Free Week, May 1st -7th, is a chance to take a much needed break from the screen media dominating the lives of so many children.  On average, preschool kids spend over 4 hours a day in front of screens.  Older kids can easily spend 7 hours a day including multitasking.  Over a year, that adds up to 114 full days of watching a screen for fun.  That doesn’t include the time on the computer for homework or educational purposes.

The American Academy of Pediatrics, the White House Task Force on Obesity, and others recommend no screen time for children under the age of 2, and less than 2 hours per day for older children.  The CDC recommends kids get at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day.  The time kids spend watching TV, playing video games, surfing the web, is time they could be physically active.  Too much screen time is linked to a number of problems for children, including childhood obesity, poor school performance, and problems with sleep and attention span.

During Screen-free week the Forest County Health Department and the Forest County CAN Coalition encourage you to limit screen time in your homes to 2 hours per day.  Use this opportunity to reconnect with your children by reading, playing, creating, being more active, and enjoying family meals, spending more time with family and friends, exploring nature, visiting your library, attending a school or community event.

We would also like to encourage you to attend a community showing of the documentary Screenagers, sponsored by the Crandon Public Library and the School District of Crandon on May 4th at the Crandon High School at 7:00 p.m. The movie takes a look at the impact of screens and gives tips on how parents can raise happy, healthy and responsible teens in a digital world.

Like us on Facebook to keep up to date with facts and tips.  You can also visit

Join us for a Screen-Free Challenge this week!

Click here for the flyer: Screen-Free Flyer

Click here for the tracking log: Screen-Free Tracking Log

Bring the completed tracking log back for a chance to win a prize!

Click here for Screen-Free activity ideas: 101 Scree-Free Activities

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National Public Health Week


National Public Health Week 2017 is April 3rd- 9th. National Public Health week is used to support strong public health systems and raise awareness about their role in creating the healthiest nation in one generation!

Forest, Oneida and Vilas counties have worked together to develop the 2017 Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP). This is accomplished by assessing the needs of our communities as a whole, and developing a plan to address those needs.

Please view the video posted below to learn more about what we are doing and what you can do to help build a healthy community!



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New County Health Rankings Released!

New Rankings Show Healthiest and Least Healthy Counties in Wisconsin

Forest County ranked 67 out of 72 counties for health outcomes and 68 for health factors, according to the seventh annual County Health Rankings, released today by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute (UWPHI). It is a snapshot that compares counties within states and shows that where you live influences how well and how long you live. The local level data makes it clear that good health is influenced by many factors beyond medical care including housing, education, jobs, access to healthy foods, and more.   According to the 2017 Rankings, the five healthiest counties in Wisconsin, starting with most healthy, are Ozaukee County, followed by Kewaunee County, St. Croix County, Taylor County, and Washington County. The five counties in the poorest health, starting with least healthy, are Menominee County, Milwaukee County, Sawyer County, Adams County, and Washburn County.

Health Outcomes is measured by Length of Life and Quality of Life. Forest County has improved its premature death rates and number of low birthweight babies, but has worsened in the percentage of people reporting poor physical and mental health. These factors contribute to the health outcomes ranking of 67.

The Health Factors ranking is at 68 and is measured by four different categories; Health Behaviors, Clinical Care, Social and Economic Factors and Physical Environment. In the Health Behaviors category, percentage of adults smoking stayed the same and adult obesity increased. Excessive drinking and alcohol impaired driving deaths improved slightly while teen pregnancy numbers worsened. The number of sexually transmitted infections declined. Clinical Care is measured by the number of uninsured and the ratio of medical providers to residents, percentage of people with diabetes monitoring and mammography screenings, all which have improved slightly. The most weight is given to the Social and Economic factors, such as graduation rates, college education, unemployment, social supports, violent crime and injury. This year we do not have data for graduation rates, we showed slight improvement in unemployment and children in poverty and single-parent households but we worsened in violent crime and injury deaths. The last category, Physical Environment looks at clean air and water, housing and percentage of people driving alone. Once again we are ranked number one out of all 72 counties in this area.

While we are pleased to report that Forest County has improved from 69th to 67th in the health rankings across the state, there is much work to be done to continue to improve and make Forest County a healthy and safe place for everyone.  The Rankings can be used to bring community leaders and residents together to find solutions to the challenges that communities face.  They show us that where people live plays a key role in how long and how well they live.  Forest County is fortunate to have multiple medical clinics, community health programs, tribal health programs and active coalitions and partners working to improve the health of the community by providing more opportunities to become physically active and eat healthier foods, offering health screenings and follow up care for chronic diseases, providing health education, prenatal programs, safety programs, prescription drug collections and drug and alcohol abuse programs.  The Forest County Health Department has recently collaborated with Oneida and Vilas County to complete a Community Health Needs Assessment and Health Improvement Plan.  The plan outlines the steps necessary to improve the health of our residents.

If you would like more information about the Rankings they are available at

Click here to view the plan: 2017 Community Health Improvement Plan


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