Skip to main content

Finding community, creating community, fostering community

Timber Trail Campground receives Rose Improvement award

share arrow printer bookmark flag

June 17, 2024

ALGOMA – After years of working in a variety of different jobs while raising their four children, Eddie and Jen Owen said they knew their next step in life would revolve around working together on a business venture. 

Little did they know at the time their idea would take them from living in Jefferson – located between two of Wisconsin’s largest cities, Madison and Milwaukee – and bring them to the state’s lakeshore in Algoma. 

After brainstorming a few ideas, such as running a horse stable or a wedding venue, Eddie said Jen asked, “what about a campground?”

“We studied up on it, wrote a business plan, went to the campground association convention, met with different owners of different campgrounds throughout the state and then started our journey of looking to purchase one,” he said. 

Right from the get-go, Jen said they knew there were several aspects of some campgrounds they did not want to have on their own. 

Essentially, any qualities that make up a “destination campground” – such as a bar and restaurant and a waterpark – she said would not fit the bill for what they were looking for. 

Instead, Jen said they wanted a campground that would be a feasible distance for all of their kids and their families and where campers could unplug, relax and enjoy the camping lifestyle.

Timber Trail Campground is located at N8326 County Road M in Algoma. Photo Courtesy of Timber Trail Campground

“With our four children, we were an outdoorsy family,” she said. “We tent-camped, and our kids grew up with animals – we had a hobby farm… So, when we came across Timber Trail in Algoma, it hit everything we wanted.”

The campground, she said, had the space to bring all their farm animals with, was close enough for her and Eddie to take a day trip to visit their children and had plenty of outdoorsy aspects – such as being located by the Ice Age Trail.

“What we love about this campground is, whenever we’re in our office and our store, we can look out and see… everything, and no one’s ever on their cell phone…,” Jen said. “When we were looking for a campground, this is what we envisioned, and we’re blessed that it is.”

The Owens took over ownership of Timber Trail Campground (N8326 County Road M in Algoma) in August 2022.

Camping options galore

Whether you’re a seasonal camper or coming for the weekend, the Owens said they have a variety of different sleeping/living options to meet the needs of everyone.

Guests can choose from:

  • Rustic tent camping sites
  • RV camping
  • Mobile home rentals
  • Travel trailer rental

Eddie said those sites also have hook-ups ranging from 20-, 30- and 50-amp sites (except rustic tent sites, which do not have electricity), as well as pull-through 50-amp RV sites.

Though the mobile home rentals were a part of the campground when the Owens purchased it, adding travel trailer rentals, Eddie said, was their idea. 

“We decided when we were working on the business plan, we wanted to offer travel trailer rentals,” he said. “We felt it offered more of a camping feel.”

Many seasonal campers, Jen said, have been excited about the new camping options.

“We have more seasonal families staying because they have a place to stay,” she said. “They can stay in one of the rental travel trailers because there is room.”

Having different rental options, Eddie said, also makes camping more accessible for those who do not have a trailer or RV. 

“We’ve had people who have rented to do it as a trial to see if that is something they’d be interested in doing,” he said. “They’ll stay for multiple days to see what it’s like to take a short shower and get used to a camper life.”

Timber Trail also offers rustic tent camping sites. Photo Courtesy of Timber Trail Campground

Rustic tent camping is still popular as well, Jen said – with larger groups camping all together.

“We get a lot of group tenting where families get together and will have a reunion,” she said. “Everybody has their vision, and we like to try to make available what everybody’s looking for.”

The campground also features a variety of other amenities, such as a heated swimming pool, a game room, kayak rentals and a jumping pillow.

Rose Improvement award

The Owens said the campground has undergone a myriad of different improvements, which – unbeknownst to them – was the catalyst to them receiving the Rose Improvement award by the Algoma Area Chamber of Commerce. 

“We didn’t even know we were nominated,” Jen laughed. “Then we found out we won.”

Eddie said it was a “big honor” to receive the award.

What has helped make them successful, he said, is many of the things they envisioned when they first created their business plan – making Timber Trail their own. 

“My wife is all about kids and animals, so we knew we were bringing all the animals from our hobby farm,” Eddie said.

Jen said they have four goats, an older mini donkey, two baby donkeys and a pair of peacocks.

“I’ve always loved animals, and I had no idea what our petting zoo was going to do,” she said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s a 90-year-old person or a four year old, those animals – they touch all those people.”

Jen said she didn’t realize how much camp-goers would love having animals on the grounds.

Camp-goers can also purchase treats to feed the goats, which Jen said is a “huge hit.”

The Owens said they had concerns their male peacock, Kevin, would cause some trouble by being too noisy.

Instead, Jen said he’s become something of a local celebrity about the campground.

“Male peacocks – they’re gorgeous – but peacocks make a funny sound… (Kevin) does have a loud cry,” she said. “Well, lo and behold, Kevin blew up. Now I sell coffee cups (that say), ‘I’m going to Timber Trail to see Kevin.’ We sell t-shirts, we sell stickers and we have Kevin stuffed animals.”

Eddie and Jen also have three dogs, which led them to put in a large, off-leash dog park. 

“Our campers love it because so many people travel with their pets,” Jen said. “We have a lot of cats, too. People bring them and they’ll have them out on leashes or in little tents.”

Eddie Owen said he drained one of the two ponds at Timber Trail and added sand and a windmill to aerate the water to create a beach for campers. Photo Courtesy of Timber Trail Campground

Other improvements implemented since taking over, Eddie said, include:

  • Adding brand new playground equipment
  • Repainting old equipment, such as the swingset or merry-go-round
  • Redoing the dumping station and septic
  • Adding a Little Free Library
  • Draining one of two ponds on the property and turning it into a beach

“And then, while empty still, we… put a big windmill (in) to aerate the pond and make it a swimming pond,” Eddie said. “Because we get a lot of people in the pool area, we wanted to alleviate a bit of stress on the busy weekends, where it gives that option. (If) you have a two year old, they can clump around in the sand, and it’s a nice, easy way to sit down and get wet if you want to.”

Additional improvements included:

  • Adding a gaga ball pit
  • Redoing the campground’s recreational room
  • Adding a mural of the Owen’s three dogs
  • Obtaining a beer and wine license

With as much hard work put into the campground as they did, Eddie said it was “huge” to receive the Rose Improvement award from the chamber.

“It’s been Jen and I,” he said. “We do the majority (of the work)… We’ve gotten a lot of great feedback (from campers), and the word of mouth and online reviews have been terrific. But, to be recognized by Algoma itself – the Algoma Chamber of Commerce has been nothing short of amazing.”

Community, in multiple facets

As time has gone on since taking over Timber Trail Campground, both Eddie and Jen said the community they’ve found – in multiple different aspects – has been one of the best feelings. 

The community within the chamber being one of those aspects.

“We moved from a town that – they seem to fight growth and improvement,” Jen said. “We moved here, and Algoma welcomed us.”

Jen said surrounding businesses have also been incredibly supportive.

“Everybody promotes each other,” she said. “We’re blessed we landed here. It feels like home.”

Sharing the sentiment, Eddie said Algoma – “they’re doing great things in the city.”

“There’s so many nice little restaurants starting to pop up,” he said. “Von Stiehl Winery, we’ve got Ahnapee Brewery. We’ve got great restaurants and we got another cocktail bar. The city itself is on a nice trajectory.”

Jen said they also became a part of the Wisconsin Association of Campground Owners (WACO) – which she said has been a huge help to their campground.

Timber Trail Campground, owned by Eddie and Jen Owen, received the Rose Improvement award from the Algoma Chamber of Commerce. Photo Courtesy of Timber Trail Campground

“They do so much for campgrounds,” she said. “The government is coming up with new rules for us constantly, and (WACO) tries to protect us… Every campground owner wants to see each other succeed.”

The couple said they’ve also been able to foster a solid community on the campground, interacting with campers and gaining feedback.

“One of our biggest compliments… when people come up to Eddie and me and say, ‘the minute we drove into your park, it felt different,’” Jen said. “I never thought when we bought this, that would be something we would hear. They’re coming here to have a good time, so we try to make things pleasant from the minute they drive into the park.”

Some neighbors, Jen said, have become good friends.

“I had a wonderful woman… she pulled up and said, ‘I see you have a horse. Do you want to start riding together?’” she said. “She and I became fast friends.” 

Weather-permitting, the Owens said they are excited to dip their toes into the NFL Draft set for next spring – opening the campground a little early to offer places for people to stay.

Eddie and Jen said the campground also joined the Gilbert Brown Foundation – which supports more than 156 children’s charities throughout the state.

“We’ll get a bunch of different autographed Packers gear and memorabilia and auction it off or have raffle cards,” Eddie said. “The proceeds go to that foundation.”

Through the area school district, Eddie and Jen said they now also have children come out to the campground for summer school programs.

Learn more about Timber Trail Campground at

share arrow printer bookmark flag

Trending View All Trending