Inn at Lonesome Hollow
Get Into the Winter Activities in Driftless Wisconsin 16 Dec 2014, 3:00 am
Oftentimes, people relegate outdoor activities to the spring, summer, and even fall months when the weather outside is mild and pleasurable. However, Driftless Wisconsin is a virtual playground any time of year, including the cold, snowy winter months. Winter activities, including hiking/snowshoeing, cross country skiing, and snowmobiling in the Driftless Area are wonderous and beautiful experiences, suitable for people of all ages and experience levels. Head outside in the Driftless Area this winter and explore ice caves, race along miles of trails on a snowmobile, enjoy the quiet solitude of ice fishing, or explore new landscapes atop a pair of skies or snowshoes. Book your room at our Driftless Area Bed and Breakfast this winter, and discover just how much fun the winter activities can be in Driftless Wisconsin.
Explore Winter Activities in the Driftless Area
Instead of staying indoors this winter dreaming of the far off days of a hiking-filled spring or summer, strap on a pair of snowshoes and explore the trails in a whole new way. The many miles of designated trails at the Kickapoo Valley Reserve are a great place for snowshoers and cross country skiiers to discover the wonderous solititude of the Driftless Area during the winter. While there, don’t miss your chance to explore the beautiful ice caves. Old Highway 131 is a popular place for cross country skiiers, and you’ll even find many of them making their own pathways through nearby wooded areas, as they take in the beautiful scenery of the area. Wildcat Mountain State Park, Wyalusing State Park, and nearby La Riviere Park in Prairie du Chien also all feature several miles of groomed and designated cross country ski trails and would make for a wonderful winter outing in the Driftless Area.
Snowmobiling in Wisconsin is a popular winter pasttime. According to the State DNR, there are over 200,000 registered snowmobiles in the state that use the 25,000+ miles of designated snowmobiling trails. There are many well-established networks of snowmobile trails across the state, part of which happens to run through the Kickapoo Valley Reserve. As the season progresses, and once the cold winter weather settles firmly upon us, it will be time to enjoy another ice fishing season. Avid fishermen who don’t want to wait until the spring trout runs will huddle along the Great River Road’s Highway 35, in search of their ideal ice-fishing spots for the winter. From the lakes, fishermen will find bluegill and crappie, where those along the Mississippi will find walleye, northern pike, bass, and panfish. As you can see, Driftless Wisconsin in the winter is a playgrond for the avid outdoorsmen. Book your stay with us this winter, and bring pleny of warm gear so you can enjoy the full range of winter activities the Driftless Area.
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Unique Holiday Shopping in Driftless Wisconsin 18 Nov 2014, 3:00 am
Crisp, cool nights are upon us, and the magic of the holiday season is just around the corner. The holidays are a time to break from our hectic schedules, get together, and enjoy the traditions that have been bringing us closer together for years. Driftless Wisconsin is a place where the festive winter spirit and the gentle glow of a fire warms us even on the coldest of winter days. Treat yourself to a winter getaway to Driftless Wisconsin this year, and you’ll find that time spent here is a wonderful and relaxing way to kickoff the busy holiday season. While you’re here, take advantage of the unique holiday shopping opportunities throughout the Driftless Wisconsin region. You’re sure to find that perfect, unique gift for everyone on your list. Book your winter stay at our quiet Driftless Area Bed and Breakfast today, and start the holiday season off relaxed and ready for the hustle and bustle of the season.
Holiday Shopping in Driftless Wisconsin
You won’t find the traditional big box stores in the Driftless Area. Instead, you’ll find something far better. You’ll find quaint shops, festively decorated, and waiting to sell you the often hand-crafted, locally made goods that our region is known for. Walk down the streets of Viroqu’a downtown, and let the gentle jingle of opening doors lure you into the local bookstore. Spend time browsing the local art that the Driftless Area is famous for at the VIVA Artists Cooperative, then stop in for some wordly goods at a fair-trade emporium. There are plenty of other unique stores to browse, including antique stores, a knit shop, a fly shop, a music store, and much more. Prairie du Chien’s newly revitalized main street features a wonderful variety of antique and gift shops, as well as a large hunting/camping/fishing outfitter, which is the perfect place to shop for the outdoor lover in your life.
If you know someone who’s into the local food movement, then Driftless Wisconsin won’t disappoint. There’s a wonderful local food cooperative in Viroqua, where you can find local maple syrup, local honey, and home-canned jellies, jams, chutneys, salsas, and sauces. Stop in for an afternoon of wine at Vernon Vineyards, and while there pick up a bottle to take back as a great holiday gift. We would be remiss to discuss holiday shopping in Driftless Wisconsin without mentioning the amazing variety of hand-crafted Amish goods that can be found nearby. Enjoy a day of scenic winter driving through the Driftless countryside, and as you make your way be on the lookout for handmade signs guiding you to Amish homes. There, you’ll find a variety of goods for sale, including quilts, oak and willow furniture, rugs, other handmade goods, and delicious candies. You can also head to the village of shops just outside of Cashton on State Highway 33. While you’re up there, you might as well pick up some delicious Wisconsin cheese at Pasture Pride Cheese. As you can see, the holiday shopping in Driftless Wisconsin is unique and varied. Spend some time getting into the Christmas spirit with us at our Driftless Area Bed and Breakfast this winter.
Spend a Romantic Getaway in the Driftless Area 27 Oct 2014, 3:00 am
The Driftless Area, a unique region of Wisconsin untouched by glaciers, features captivating forested hillsides and stunning valleys. If you’re looking for the perfect destination for a romantic getaway, then look no further than the peaceful Driftless Area of Wisconsin. The chilly late fall weather elicits such wonderful thoughts as walking briskly, gloved hand in gloved hand, warming each other as you take in the sights, savoring a warm, romantic meal together, or curling up together next to the warm glow of an evening fire. There is no better place to do these wonderful fall activities than in the Driftless Area, where romance is a part of everyday life. The alluring solitude offered by the Inn at Lonesome Hollow provides you with an unbeatable backdrop for your next romantic getaway. Book your stay with us today, and leave your agenda and schedule behind.
A Romantic Getaway in the Driftless Area
It doesn’t matter what time of year you choose to visit the Driftless Area. There’s always something to do, and romance is always possible when the two of you are committed to having a fun weekend enjoying each other’s company. You won’t even have to leave our property, with its exquisite view of our private part of the Kickapoo Valley and 160 peaceful wooded acres with natural gardens, nearly 2 miles of hiking trails, and a large pond to enjoy. Nature lovers will enjoy the abundant opportunities for hiking, whether it’s on-property, through the trails at the Kickapoo Valley Reserve, or taking in the views at Wyalusing State Park or Wildcat Mountain State Park. If you’d appreciate a more laid-back approach to nature, then now is the perfect time of year for some excellent bird watching in the Driftless Area, as thousands of birds find their way to warmer winter climates along the Mississippi Flyway.
When you’re ready for something a little more relaxing, we recommend heading to the nearby town of Prairie du Chien, where you can start your evening browsing the many quaint shops, before heading out to a fantastic dinner at Jones Black Angus Supper Club or The Barn. If you’ve never been to a supper club before, then it’s an old-fashioned Midwest dining tradition you simply don’t want to miss. If you’re done in time, walk along the riverfront of Prairie du Chien and watch a magnificent sunset over the river. Afterwards, head back to our luxurious and peaceful Bed and Breakfast Inn, where the Be Romantic Package can help you add a little something extra to end your perfect romantic getaway in the Driftless Area. It doesn’t matter what your idea of the perfect romantic weekend looks like, as there is something for everyone in the beautiful Driftless Area of Wisconsin. Book your next romantic getaway to the Inn at Lonesome Hollow today!
Fall Bird Migration Along the Mississippi River 22 Oct 2014, 3:00 am
In Driftless Wisconsin you’ll find flowing rivers, and steep bluffs rising in stark contrast to the beautiful valleys that make up the beautiful landscape unique to our region of southwestern Wisconsin. As you walk along the riverbanks or bluffs in Driftless Wisconsin, a simple glance skyward will reveal the many flocks of birds that make their way south during the fall bird migration. Nestled along the historic Great River Road, Driftless Wisconsin is a bird watching enthusiast’s paradise. Here you’ll find over 250 miles of incredible scenery and protected natural areas that provide the perfect habitat for birds during their fall bird migration. In fact, the scenic overlooks along the Mississippi River offer some of the best places in North America to view majestic bald eagles. If an afternoon spent overlooking this scenic beauty while you search the skies for the many migrating birds sounds appealing, then now is the time to book your room at our Bed and Breakfast, located in the heart of Driftless Wisconsin.
Driftless Wisconsin’s Fall Bird Migration
Over 300 species of birds have been spotted along the Great River Road, and include such waterfowl as Canadian geese, mallards, tundra swans, wood ducks, canvasbacks, and diving ducks such as redheads, buffleheads, and ruddy ducks. In fact, the Audobon society claims that almost half of the continental population of canvasbacks uses the Mississippi Flyway as their migration route. If you’d like to spot some of the forest birds that migrate through Driftless Wisconsin, then you’ll want to explore the Kickapoo River Wildlife Area or the wonderful Kickapoo Valley Reserve, which is designated an Important Bird Area by the Audobon Society. Here, the fall bird migration includes such great birds as the red-shouldered hawk, Acadian flycatcher, wood thrush, cerulean warbler, and the Kentucky warbler.
There is perhaps no fall activity more majestic or beautiful than the annual fall migration of the Tunda Swan. The eastern Tundra Swan breeding grounds are located in the Arctic circle, but they winter in warmer climates along the eastern seaboard between Maryland and South Carolina. These stunning birds fly up to 3,725 miles round trip between their distant habitats, making their harrowing journey twice per year. This annual fall bird migration begins in October, and will continue over the Great Lakes region and through Driftless Wisconsin, peaking in mid-November, as the birds seek out their warmer winter homes. There may be no sight more beautiful in the Driftless Area than these majestic birds, as they winter on the water and sleep afloat. Enjoy their beauty as they take to the air with a running start, all the while listening for the rhythmic flap of their wings that has earned them the nickname “whistling swan”. Settle in this fall at our Driftless Area Bed and Breakfast, and enjoy what is sure to be another spectacular fall bird migration through the Mississippi Flyway.
Driftless Wisconsin Celebrates Fall 10 Oct 2014, 1:32 pm
Fall excitement is building in Driftless Wisconsin. Many visitors are drawn to the Driftless Area during the fall for the chance to see fall’s spectacular show of color in the regions beautiful parks and nature areas. While defining the “perfect” dates for catching peak color season is nearly impossible, we find that the entire month of October is not only a beautiful time to visit Driftless Wisconsin, but is also packed with plenty of fall-themed fun for everyone. Our last two blogs highlighted some of our favorite ways to explore the beautiful scenery waiting to be discovered during your fall visit to Driftless Wisconsin. Now, we’d like to explore some of the more unique ways to have a little fun during this time of year. Book your room at our peaceful Bed and Breakfast Inn, and help us celebrate another fantastic fall in Driftless Wisconsin.
Fall Celebrations in Driftless Wisconsin
If you’ve never heard of Ghoulees in the Coulees, then you need to get to Driftless Wisconsin this fall to participate in what has become a celebrated tradition every fall. This year, Norskedalen Nature & Heritage Center will celebrate the 22nd annual Ghoulees in the Coulees, which draws visitors from all over the Midwest looking for a little bit of haunted, spooky fun in the woods. Join other thrill-seekers on a 1/2 mile hike through the spooky woods of Driftless Wisconsin. You never know who (or what) you’ll encounter along the trail, which is lit only by the eerie glow of 400 carved pumpkins. At the end of the trail, you’ll have the chance to enjoy treats and hot apple cider at the Bekkum Homestead, where you’ll find storytelling, fortune-telling, a warm fireplace, and the Haunted Barn. If you’re not up for the thrills and chills, then you may just want to come for the family-friendly pumpkin walk before the Ghoulees in the Coulees event begins.
Another great way to celebrate fall in Driftless Wisconsin is by visiting local farms and farmer’s markets. The small town of Viroqua is the center of one of the greatest organic farming regions of the United States, and thus is also the home of a spectacular farmer’s market that should be on everyone’s itinerary this fall. Over 50 farmers bring their seasonal bounty to the Viroqua Farmer’s Market each Saturday through the month of October, highlighting fall’s gorgeous bounty of goods. You’ll also be able to find fine-crafted Amish goods, and other handmade treasures. A beautiful way to end your day in Driftless Wisconsin would be to head to Prairie du Chien, where you can take a stunning Sunset Fall Foliage Cruise along the Mississippi River. Whether you’re looking for laid back fun or the thrills of the season, Driftless Wisconsin is the place to be this fall. Book your room at our Bed and Breakfast today!
Road Tour Through Beautiful Fall Foliage 26 Sep 2014, 11:09 am
Fall is a stunning and much celebrated time of the year in the Driftless Area, whether you’re here for the fall harvest, the beautiful outdoors, or just the quiet hush that falls over us this time of year. While there are many wonderful reasons to visit Driftless Wisconsin during the fall, there are perhaps none more spectacular than the fall foliage that colors the bluffs and valleys with rich tones of red, orange, and gold. There are many different ways to experience the glory of fall. As our previous blog post suggests, a fall hike through the regional parks is a wonderful way to connect with nature and view the beautiful fall colors. Or perhaps you’d rather take a bike ride along the scenic country roads, or get a completely different vantage point from the water. One of the most popular ways to view a variety of fall foliage in the Driftless Area is to take a road tour through the area. If the idea of hitting the open road, finding hidden small-town treasures and beautiful scenery along the way, sounds like a great way to spend some time, then book your room at our Driftless Area Bed and Breakfast today.
Scenic Fall Foliage Road Tours
The Driftless Area in Wisconsin, which covers the southwestern portion of Wisconsin, is home to many scenic country roads that offer willing visitors spectacular drives through fall foliage. Travel along these quiet roads, and you’ll find farmsteads, beautiful natural landscapes, traditional and quickly disappearing round barns, Amish farms, and quaint towns and villages. Those things in their own right make the drive worth it, but add to the drive the beautifully changing colors of the fall foliage, and you’ll find yourself blissfully enjoying your time in the Driftless Area. Two of Wisconsin’s Rustic Roads, which are thoughtfully preserved portions of the state’s scenic, lightly-traveled country roads, are found here; Rustic Roads 55 and 56. Both roads are found within Vernon County, and will give you a glimpse of historic, beautiful Wisconsin, which includes the beautiful vistas of Wildcat Mountain State Park, as well as Amish farms, log cabins, a round barn, and contour farming.
While the short stretches of Rustic Roads 55 and 56 are certainly worth exploring, there are also some incredibly scenic byways nearby that put on a spectacular fall show. Perhaps the most popular road tour destination is the Wisconsin Great River Road. A drive along this beautiful stretch of road that follows the Mississippi River should be on everyone’s itinerary. The Great River Road offers a little bit of everything, with glimpses into regional history, as well as the scenic beauty as you travel along beside the soaring bluffs and beautiful vistas that this region is famous for. From there, head to the Lower Wisconsin River Road. You’ll be rewarded with spectacular fall foliage and color along this 100-mile road, which offers some of the best scenery in southwestern Wisconsin. Keep an eye on the fall color report, but book your room with us today so you don’t miss your chance to see Driftless Wisconsin in the fall.
Get Inspired by Fall Hiking in the Driftless Area 22 Sep 2014, 3:00 am
With the official arrival of fall, comes a whole new set of reasons to head out into the forested hills and parks in the Driftless Area for an invigorating hike. While there are plenty of rewarding reasons to embark on a spring or summer hiking, the rewards of fall hiking in the Driftless Area may be even greater. Fall puts on a spectacular show that is revered by all, and the vibrant hues of red, orange, and yellow frame the dramatic vistas of the Driftless Area, captivating visitors, old and new. Fall is a wonderful season to visit the Driftless Area, as it is both less crowded and uniquely beautiful. Book your room with us today and let the beauty of a fall hike inspire you.
Fall Hiking in the Driftless Area
The difficulty of fall hiking in the Driftless Area lies not in finding somewhere to go, but in choosing which hike appeals to you the most. Whether you choose a relaxed nature trail, or a more challenging hike in one of our many state parks, all will have their own unique draw, each sure to reward you with a spectacular show of fall colors. To the south, you’ll find plenty of spectacular vistas, and a range of trail difficulties at the beautiful Wyalusing State Park, which is home to the popular Sentinel Ridge Trail, and the always stunning view from Point Lookout, which gives you a birds-eye view of the confluence of the Mississippi and Wisconsin Rivers. For another beuatiful fall view of the confluence, head just across the border to Pikes Peak State Park or Effigy Mounds National Monument.
Head north to Wildcat Mountain State Park, which is also a wonderful place to enjoy fall hiking as you wander down the Old Settler’s Trail, or as you explore a nature trail that winds along the Kickapoo River before ending on Mount Pisgah. For a more relaxed interactive experience with nature in the Coulee region, head to the Norskedalen Nature & Heritage Center, where you’ll discover 400 acres of trails that take you through pine plantations, past many springs flowing into Poplar creek, along wooded hillsides and rocky outcrops, and along the beautiful valley floor. There’s also an extensive network of trails throughout the beautiful Kickapoo Valley Reserve, which at less than 30 miles away, is located much closer to our Driftless Area Bed and Breakfast. No matter where your fall hiking adventures take you, you will find a spectacular fall show of color throughout the Driftless Area. Book your stay at our quiet Bed and Breakfast today, and experience fall in the Driftless Area.
Gays Mills Fall Apple Festival 15 Sep 2014, 3:00 am
Although the official start to Fall is still a week away, the changing of the seasons is already evident in Driftless Wisconsin, and the anticipation of another autumn is in the air. Now, it’s time for us to enjoy the crisp fall air, and brightly hued red, orange, and gold leaves that color our landscapes. It’s also time again to savor in the seasonal harvests and autumn celebrations. One of the most anticipated of these fall celebrations is the Gays Mills Apple Festival, held every year in the nearby town of Gays Mills. Autumn is a beautiful time of year to visit Driftless Wisconsin. Whether you plan to stay for a week or a weekend, there is no better choice for Driftless Wisconsin lodging than the Inn at Lonesome Hollow.
Gays Mills Apple Festival
Like most towns in Driftless Wisconsin, Gays Mills is a charming little town, nestled along the Kickapoo River in a beautiful valley, surrounded by the steeply chiseled bluffs that define our region. Known as the apple capital of Wisconsin, the farmers of Gays Mills have been harvesting apples for centuries, and today the town boasts more than 1,000 acres of apple orchards. Apples are celebrated each year in the Gays Mills Apple Festival, which on average has drawn crowds of around 20,000 guests to the town of 600. Guests to the Apple Festival enjoy a range of activities, including a parade, a 2 and 5k run, lots of fun for families, a flea market, and of course plenty of apples to eat.
On Friday, kick off the fun of the Gays Mills Apple Festival with wristband Friday night at the carnival, and music by The Lost Crows. On Saturday, start your morning off right with the fun 2k or 5k walk/run, then head on down to see what you can find at the flea market or join in a horseshoe tournament. By Sunday, hopefully you’ve had plenty of fun throughout the Apple Festival weekend, but don’t forget to visit as many of the orchards that brought you here in the first place as you can. Favorites include the 75 acres of apples and petting zoo at Fleming Orchards, the heritage and tradition at Sunrise Orchards, and the Turkey Ridge Organic Apple Orchard. And finally, don’t miss out on the excitement and fun with the annual parade that travels from Main Street to Riverfront Park, starting at 1:30 PM. Get into the spirit of Driftless Wisconsin when you book your room with us at the Inn at Lonesome Hollow today.
Late Summer Trout Fishing in Driftless Wisconsin 26 Aug 2014, 3:00 am
Located in the western and southwestern portion of the state, the Driftless Area, characterized by rugged topography, coldwater streams, rock outcroppings and caves, is the perfect place to spend your final days of this years trout fishing season. Though Trout fishing started early this spring, there is still plenty of time and cold water left to be fished in the Driftless Area. Here, you’ll find yourself in one of the most picturesque fishing locales in the midwest, making Driftless Wisconsin your perfect fishing destination before trout fishing ends in late September. Book your room at our quiet Bed and Breakfast, which is located in the beautiful Kickapoo Valley. Our quiet corner of the world is the perfect place to getaway from everyday life, to relax, and to access some of the regions best trout fishing streams.
Trout Fishing in Driftless Wisconsin
The Driftless Area is known for its elaborate network of world-class, clear, cold limestone creeks, and big trout populations. These beautiful waters are not only plentiful, but provide the best quality habitat for trout, resulting in a sustainable natural population of brook and brown trout throughout the Driftless Area. Most of the fishable waters in Driftless Wisconsin are either public, or accessible by the conservation easement partnerships between private land owners and the Wisconsin’s department of natural resources, which owns or holds easements on more than 35,000 acres along trout and smallmouth bass streams in the Driftless Area. All of that means that the possibilities of finding a great spot are virtually limitless. In the Driftless Area, you have the choice of fishing alone, or of using one of the highly qualified regional guides in the area, who often have access to the best spots and less populated private lands. We suggest teaming with the professional guides at Driftless Angler Fly Shop, so you have the successful fishing trip you’re dreaming of.
Vernon County in the Driftless Area alone boasts 65 classified trout streams, which equates to about 250 miles of fishable trout water, and includes the Class I streams of Timber Coulee and West Fork of the Kickapoo River. In fact, the Driftless Area has the highest concentration of trout waters in the Midwest. During the late summer and into fall, it’s best to spend early mornings or late afternoons on the water, when fish activity is at its highest. These days, you’ll find the brown trout conregating in local headwaters, as they get ready to spawn. Book your room at our picturesque Bed and Breakfast in the Driftless Area today, and be sure to talk to us about your fishing plans. We’ll be happy to share our favorite spots and tips with you, to help make the most of your trout fishing experience.
Prairie du Chien; One of the Many Charming Towns of the Driftless Area 18 Aug 2014, 3:00 am
Located just above the beautiful confluence of the Wisconsin and Mississippi Rivers, Prairie du Chien is the oldest European settlement on the Upper Mississippi River, and certainly a town worth visiting when you visit the Driftless Area. The history of Prairie du Chien dates back to the earliest days of the fur trade, when each spring fur traders and Native Americans would meet on the prairie to exchange furs for guns and other goods. Later, Fort Crawford was built here, which played an important role in Indian relations, the Civil War, and medical experiments attributed with advancing medical science. Eventually, as with many communities in the Midwest, the Rairoads came to Prairie du Chien, and were responsible for furthering the social and economic development of the area. Today, Prairie du Chien is a charming town to visit, full of wonderful historic sites to see and activities to do. Located just 35 miles away, our quiet Bed and Breakfast in the heart of the Driftless Area is the perfect place to stay and explore the towns of Driftless Wisconsin.
Explore the History of Prairie du Chien
With such a long and rich history, there are plenty of historic attractions worth visiting within the town of Prairie du Chien. St. Feriole Island, in the center of town and the site of the city’s earliest activities, was the center of the fur trade and the home of the first Fort Crawford, which was the site of the Battle of Prairie du Chien in 1814, as well as three important Indian treaties. The island also once served as the depot for the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad. Also located on St. Feriole Island is the Villa Louis, which is a Victorian estate that was home to three generations of the Dousmans; a family with a rich legacy in Prairie du Chien. The property was one of the first historic house museums in the Midwest, and became Wisconsin’s first State Historic Site in 1952. Every year, Prairie du Chien hosts the Villa Louis Carriage Classic, which is a a pleasure driving show held on the beautiful grounds of the historic homestead. Visitors to this beautiful event will be treated to a display that instantly takes them back in time to the 1800 and early 1900’s, where elegantly clothed drivers sit on beautiful horse drawn carriages, and are driven around the grounds by immaculately groomed horses.
Above and beyond the regional history, Prairie du Chien is also a stunning place to visit in its own right. Visitors can enjoy cruises down the Mississippi River, canoeing or kayaking down the Wisconsin River, trout fishing on the rivers or streams, hiking at Effigy Mounds National Monument, or birding and hiking at other area parks such as Wyalusing State Park or Pikes Peak State Park. There is so much to do in Prairie du Chien and the greater Driftless Area that just one weekend won’t even begin to touch it. Take advantage of our extended stay special, and enjoy 5 or more nights at our beautiful Driftless Area Bed and Breakfast, nestled on 160 beautiful acres in the heart of the Kickapoo Valley.
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