For more than 60 years, families visiting Wisconsin Dells have enjoyed the tradition of seeing the region’s famous scenery by way of a “Duck.” The unique amphibious vehicles shuttle visitors through exclusive scenic wilderness trails and splash down into the water for river and lake excursions.
“If you haven’t done the Ducks, you just haven’t done the Dells,” said Dan Gavinski, general manager of Original Wisconsin Ducks, the largest fleet of tour Ducks in the country. “A Duck tour is a staple part of any Wisconsin Dells vacation.”
Ducks began operating in Wisconsin Dells in 1946. World War II had just ended and surplus military equipment and supplies were abundant. Among the most unusual offerings were these quirky landing crafts that could travel on both land and water. DUKWs, as they were officially dubbed, had been nicknamed “Ducks” by the soldiers who used them during the war effort.
General Motors built more than 21,000 Ducks from 1942 to 1945 and, despite early doubts about their usefulness, they soon became a hit. Compared to most other military craft at the time, they were small but...