Wisconsin: Four Seasons of Fun
To assist you plan your trip we have highlighted some of the choices available to you during each season. We are sure whenever you visit that you will enjoy your stay and leave with fond memories of this beautiful land we call home.
Enjoy the quiet peace to the Hidden Valleys by taking advantage of ample downhill or cross-country skiing, snowboarding, tubing or snowmobiling opportunities. Test your skills on the internationally recognized ski hill, Snowflake, in the city of Westby in Vernon County. Or take things a little slower and enjoy the beautiful snow-ladden woods of the Hidden Valleys region by snowshoe.
Wisconsin’s relatively mild er temperatures coupled with four months of snow cover make the state a true playground for anyone who loves the snow.
Communities throughout the area celebrate r with an array of festivals and celebrations which include sleigh rides, arts and crafts, tree lighting ceremonies and other activities.
Quaint historic downtowns throughout the region offer an array of unique stores to find the perfect gift, souvenir or keepsake for your home. For instance, take a stroll along the Nationally Registered Historic Water Street Business District in Shullsburg in Lafayette County. The district boasts 44 buildings listed on the National Register. Almost all of the buildings have been carefully restored and host an array of specialty shops, restaurants, pubs, historic inns and conference facilities.
To learn more about the rich history and culture of the Hidden Valleys, there are a variety of museums featuring everything from how cranberries are harvested to how cheese is made to steamboat, mining and farming displays. There are also several museums dedicated to telling the stories of the early pioneers including the Native Americans who settled in the area.
After a day of enjoying the outdoors, warm up in front of a fireplace at one of the many cozy bed and breakfasts or inns in the region.
Spring in the Hidden Valleys is a one-of-a-kind experience. Everywhere you look wildflowers are dotting the landscape. As the fields come alive with color, birds begin to migrate back to the region and animals awake from their winter slumber.
One of the best places to view wildlife is in northern Juneau County where you will find the Necedah National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge, established in 1939, is a 43,656-acre wonderland where you can watch giant whooping cranes display their grace in the air and while fishing.
Get to know the Hidden Valleys by renting a kayak or canoe or enjoy a rafting trip to explore one of the dozens of rivers, streams and lakes that call the area home.
For example, enjoy spring fishing along Grant County’s bluff-lined streams and riverbeds where you can tempt brown and brook trout with a simple lure. The county is bordered by the Mississippi River on the western boundary and by the Wisconsin River on the northern end.
A stop at Hyde’s Mill in Iowa County is a must during the spring. The weathered building stands proudly near a rushing waterfall created by an old dam and is a great place to photograph to capture the beauty of the area or to create a lasting family memory by having a picnic among the spring flowers.
With green grass sprouting in every corner of the region, why not try your luck at a game of golf at one of the many fine courses in the area?
The Hidden Valleys offers something for everything in the spring. Aside from plentiful recreational opportunities, the region features dozens of festivals dedicated to celebrating the season and hundreds of venues to enjoy live entertainment.
Summer in the Hidden Valleys is meant to be enjoyed outdoors bicycling, hiking, canoeing, kayaking, rafting or just walking around in the beautiful downtowns.
Ever wanted to take a tour on a riverboat complete with an authentic paddlewheel? If the answer is yes, then a trip to La Crosse County is in order.
The Black and La Crosse rivers meet with the mighty Mississippi River and continue to influence the natural history and culture of the area.
In Richland County, pass by working farms to get a taste of rural, small-town life in the area. Take one of the winding backroads which travel along valley bottoms flanked by towering hills and ridges to truly enjoy the county. Hardwood forests also call out to be explored by foot.
Swimming pools, lakes and streams throughout the region encourage you to cool off under the azure-colored sky.
Enjoy dinner outdoors at one of the many fine dining establishments in the Hidden Valleys or take a tour of a working winery.
Elroy-Sparta State Bike Trail
With warm weather, golden sunsets and a variety of things to see and do, you’re sure to enjoy summer in the Hidden Valleys.
In autumn, brightly colored leaves are highlighted by fields flooded with red as farmers prepare for the cranberry harvest, which usually takes place from late September to mid-October.
Monroe County is known as "cranberry country" and features thousands of acres of cranberries along with historic bike trails with cavernous tunnels.
Another favorite activity in the Hidden Valleys is visiting apple orchards and pumpkin fields to celebrate the bounty of the fall harvest.
If you like to hunt, you will find the region is abundant with opportunities. Leaves crackle underfoot as hunters follow winding rivers such as the great Mississippi or the Kickapoo River, which is dubbed one of the most crooked rivers in the world.
Crawford County is known as the "land of three rivers" because the Mississippi, Wisconsin and Kickapoo Rivers add to the nature beauty of the area making the county a natural wonderland.
No visit to the Hidden Valleys would be complete without a stop at one of the area¥s cheese factories to taste the best cheese in the United States. Most factories offer tours and are very generous with samples, so visit on an empty stomach.
For example, Green County is home to the nation’s only Limburger cheese factory. In addition, to the fragrant favorite a number of other cheeses from Swiss to cranberry cheddar are produced at the dozen or so factories in the county.
Whatever the season, there is always something to see and do in the Hidden Valleys. The natural beauty of our area, friendly people and rich cultural heritage combine to make our home a wonderful place to visit and live. We look forward to your visit and promise you will have a great time exploring our backyard.