Inn at Lonesome Hollow

15415 Vance Road, Soldiers Grove, Wisconsin 54655
Innkeeper(s): Pete and Nora Knapik

Fall Color in the Driftless Area 28 Sep 2015, 3:00 am

The sights and sounds of Autumn are underway in Wisconsin, bringing with it the excitement of watching the dramatic unfolding of colors that happens each fall.   Though not an exact science, the fall foliage season begins as the nightly temperatures dip and the days get shorter.  This rhythmic change of seasons acts as a signal to decidious trees to set themselves aglow in the gorgeous shades of fall.  Though there are a variety of fun an interesting ways to see these vibrant displays of color, there is perhaps no better place to enjoy fall in the Driftless Area than right here on our 100+ private acres in the Kickapoo River Valley. Before you know it, another fall foliage season will be gone, so book your getaway to our peaceful Bed and Breakfast in the heart of Wisconsin’s Driftless Area today.

See the Fall Color

Wisconsin’s fall color typically peaks towards mid-October, but the fall foliage show can be enjoyed anytime between now and the end of October.  Though there are many places from which to enjoy these stunning colors, our favorite fall activity, and probably your best bet to maximize your intake of fall color, is to map out a driving route around the Driftless Area.  A particularly pretty drive involves the shores of the Mississippi River along the Great River Road.  Right now, you’ll find about 30% of the area showing fall color.  As you travel along the roadway, you’ll find gold and red maples lighting the hillsides ablaze, while the twisted oak and wild hickory glow orange and yellow along the river valleys.  Other pretty drives include the Rustic Road of Highway 56 and Highway 131, which passes right through our beautiful town of Soldiers Grove.  While you’re touring the Driftless Area, you’ll also be witness to the spectacular fall bird migration from places such as Wyalusing State Park, Pikes Peak State Park, Wildcat Mountain State Park, the Kickapoo Valley Reserve, and Effigy Mounds National Monument.  These areas also happen to be wonderful places to take a little hike, stretch your legs, and enjoy the dramatic views out over the river valleys of Driftless Wisconsin.

Other than driving along country roads, you can see the spectacular fall color in a variety of ways. Take in the stunning vistas below the apple orchards in Gays Mills, all while enjoying fresh, seasonal produce from local farms.  There are also a great variety of biking routes through the Driftless Area, whether on road or in the hills of our parks, that will undoubtedly take you through some stunning displays of fall foliage.  If you’d like to try something a little more unique, take a fall paddle down the notoriously beautiful Kickapoo River.  It’s unbeatable in fall.  It won’t matter what you choose to do when in the Driftless Area, because Autumn in Wisconsin is all about the color. Book your room at our Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast today, so you can relax, and enjoy fall color at its most beautiful.

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Fall Activities in the Driftless Area 18 Sep 2015, 3:00 am

With the official arrival of fall just days away, we have a whole new set of reasons to head out into the forested hills and river valleys of the Driftless Area of Wisconsin. Whether you choose to get outside for some scenic fall hiking or biking, embark on a scenic drive through the region, enjoy some spectacular wine or beer at local wineries and breweries, or whether you choose to enjoy the season in an entirely different way, Fall is a wonderful season to visit the Driftless Area.  It is both less crowded and uniquely beautiful, with a wide variety of fun fall activities throughout the Driftless Area to enjoy.  Book your room at our Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast today.  

Fall Activites to Enjoy

Each season in Wisconsin’s Driftless Area is so different and enjoyable that it’s hard to pick a favorite. There is something special about the fall months though, as we slowly transition away from the warm, sunny days of summer into the cooler, more colorful days of fall.  It’s not yet time to bundle up in front of the fire indoors though.  If you’re looking for a little inspiration, there are plenty of fun fall activities and events throughout the region to enjoy.  Coming up in 1 week is the always popular Gays Mills Apple Festival in the nearby town of Gays Mills.  This great event includes an arts & crafts fair, huge flea market, 2K & 5K run and walk, horseshoe tournament, numerous food stands, music, and a parade.  After you’ve had your fill of fun, don’t miss your chance to visit regional apple orchards first hand.  If you miss the Gays Mills Apple Festival, the Shihata Orchard Fest happens the following weekend.

History buffs will love a fall visit to the Driftless Area during Norskadalen Nature & History Center’s annual Civil War Immersion Weekend. History will come to life over the weekend on Norskadalen’s grounds, which will feature drills, skirmishes and even authentic demonstrations of life in 1863.  Other fun fall activities in the Driftless Area this year include the Haunted Halls of Terror, Oktoberfest at St. Feriole Island, and of course the popular Ghoulees in the Coulees hikes at Norskadalen.  Come enjoy this quieter time of year at our Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast, and try to enjoy at least one of these fun fall activities while here.

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Explore Farmers Markets in the Driftless Area 8 Sep 2015, 3:00 am

Wisconsin’s Driftless Area is characterized by miles of beautiful rolling farmland, criss-crossed by cold streams and rivers, and set against dramatically rising bluffs.  Agriculture has been a fixture of Driftless Wisconsin’s identity for hundreds of years, so it should come as no surprise that it’s still an integral part of life today.  In fact, Wisconsin is a top producer of organic goods, and one of the keystone businesses to the industry, Organic Valley, is right here in the Driftless Area.  In the Driftless Area, you’ll find plenty of wonderful farmers markets selling this top-notch local produce, and can even dine at local establishments that feature locally sourced and mostly organic ingredients as well.  Book your room at our Driftless Area Bed and Breakfast today, so you can enjoy fall’s bounty at local farmers markets.

Farmers Markets in Driftless Wisconsin

One of the most popular Farmers Markets in the Driftless Area is the Viroqua Farmers Market, which brings new meaning to the term buying local.  Here, all of the 50+ vendors come from a 100-mile radius of the market, highlighting the abundance of fresh produce from Driftless Wisconsin farms. Not only will you find abundant organic produce here, but you’ll also find things like maple syrup, canned goods, honey, soap, meat, jewelry, art, furniture, fresh flowers, Amish rugs and quilts, baked goods, lotions and other seasonal goods.  Open May through October, we can’t think of a better place to explore on a Saturday in the Driftless Area.    The Prairie Street Farmers Market in Prairie du Chien is also a popular place to browse, where they feature free local entertainment and a great variety of local goods as well.

Other regional farmers markets throughout the Driftless Area are the Gays Mills Farmers Market, located just a short distance from our Bed and Breakfast Inn, and the Market in the Park in Ferryville.  Known for the variety of apples grown by sevel local orchards, the Gays Mills Farmers Market is a good place to find your favorite varietal.  The market in Ferryville is a wonderful place to find garden plants, nursery items, home made preserves, crafts items, flea market items and a great selection of Amish craft items, such as baskets, throw rugs, and toys.  Farmers Markets truly are amongst the best places to get a true feeling for the people and the culture of a certain place, and that couldn’t be more true about the varied markets of the Driftless Area.  Book your room with us today, and explore the tremendous selection of goods at our regional farmers markets this fall.

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Biking the Annual Kickapoo BRAVE Ride 25 Aug 2015, 3:00 am

Biking is a favorite pasttime for both visitors to and residents of Driftless Wisconsin.  Biking adventurists come from all over the state and country for the great variety of biking options found here, which include rugged mountain trails, challenging or leisurely on-road routes, as well as constructed bike trails.  If that’s not enough to entice you to a biking adventure in Driftless Wisconsin, then maybe the beautiful scenery you’ll encounter along the way will be.  If you’re a true biking enthusiast, then consider joining fellow riders in the 7th annual Kickapoo BRAVE Ride, which happens on the same weekend as the popular Driftless Area Art Festival.  To join in the fun at both of these spectacular events, book you room at our Driftless Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast today.  

Kickapoo BRAVE Biking Adventures

The Kickapoo BRAVE Ride, which stands for the Bluffs, Rivers, And Valleys Event, is an exciting opportunity to bike the backroads of Driftless Wisconsin.  This year, the ride again takes place on the same weekend as the Driftless Area Art Festival, on September 19th.  Starting and ending in nearby Gays Mills, the Kickapoo BRAVE Ride will take riders on a tour through breathtaking scenery, along ridge tops with distinctive panoramic views and deep, lush valley roads.  Featuring a cloverleaf route system, cyclists can choose which route is best from them between beginner, intermediate, and advanced routes ranging from 15 – 100 miles in length.

If you aren’t up for the Kickapoo BRAVE Ride this year, there are still plenty of other beautiful ways to enjoy biking through Driftless Wisconsin.  For your convenience, Crawford County has mapped out nine different routes using a combination of country and township roads.  These loops are anywhere from 14 – 44 miles in length, and will take you through some of the most scenic portions of Driftless Wisconsin.  In addition to this, Vernon County has mapped out five different routes leaving from Westby:  the Amish Tour; Ski Jump Tour; Kickapoo Valley Tour; West Fork Tour; and Small Town Charm.  Mountain Bikers will enjoy the trails in both the Kickapoo Valley Reserve, Wyalusing State Park, and newly created Sidie Hollow County Park.  Whether it’s biking the Kickapoo BRAVE or one of these other great trails in Driftless Wisconsin, it won’t take you long to see why biking has remained a popular regional pasttime.  Pack your cycling gear, and book your room at our Driftless Area Bed and Breakfast today.

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Get Inspired at the Driftless Area Art Festival 17 Aug 2015, 3:00 am

We’ve talked many times about how important and beautiful the sculpted lands of the Driftless Area are.  The forested hillsides and steep bluffs that characterize the Driftless Area stand in sharp contrast to the typically flat lands of America’s Midwest, which were flattened by retreating glaciers in the last ice age. These untouched lands have been a lasting source of inspiration to the many artists that call this region home, including painters, potters, woodworkers, weavers, metalsmiths, musicians, and more.  While it’s possible to experience their art in various regional studios, galleries, and stores, these artists come together once a year to celebrate their art at the popular Driftless Area Art Festival in our hometown of Soldiers Grove.  To experience this artistic world at its best, book your room at our Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast today.

Driftless Area Art Festival

The Driftless Area Art Festival is a must-do activity for anyone that appreciates local art and artisans. This event only happens once a year, during the third weekend in September, and is a fantastic opportunity to explore the exceptional variety of art produced in the Driftless Area.  To experience art at this magnitude, you’d have to otherwise spend countless days exploring regional studios and galleries.  At the Driftless Area Art Festival, you’ll find traditional visual arts produced by a variety of artisans, including paintings and pieces made with clay, glass, wood, or metal.  Another popular feature of the Driftless Area Art Festival is the KidsArt and Teen Art Gallery.  Here, you’ll find the creative works of elementary and middle school students from all parts of the Driftless Area, in an effort to encourage the next generation of Driftless Area artists. All said, this spectacular event includes over 80 visual arts exhibitors, in addition to live performing artists and great local foods.

The Driftless Area Art Festival is a wonderful place to sample the flavors of the Driftless Area. All offerings in the culinary arts are made with locally grown and/or organic ingredients whenever possible.  Local favorites featured at this event are Kickapoo Coffee, Crepe Jean Luc, Driftless Brewing Company, Home Grown Pizza, and more.  You’ll also find the new edible arts exhibit, where these artisans will exhibit, offer samples, and sell their creations.  Vendors included here are Austin’s Rush Creek FarmDel Sol ChocolatesDriftless Wisconsin Grown, Got2HavPieSugar Creek Winery, and Tea for the People.  See this and more at the Driftless Area Art Festival when you book your room at our Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast.

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Old Fashioned Fun at Driftless Area County Fairs 11 Aug 2015, 3:00 am

There is something magical about the slower pace of life found in the Driftless Area.  Our unique region of Southwest Wisconsin, where the landscapes were left untouched by ice-age glaciers that otherwise flattened the Midwest, is undeniably beautiful.  From the forested hillsides teeming with wildlife to the steep limestone bluffs that plunge down to the cold-water streams along the valley floors, it’s easy to see why this area is so popular with tourists.  Whether you crave adventure in the outdoors, are looking to relax and rejuvenate away from the busy stress of modern life, or want to explore the quaint and historic region in another way, there is something for you to enjoy in the Driftless Area.  For a special throwback to simpler days gone by, join us this summer for one of our two exciting county fairs; the Crawford County Fair in August, and the Vernon County Fair in September.  There is no better way to discover this magical region than to book your stay at our Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast today.

County Fairs of the Driftless Area

It’s no secret that Wisconsinsites love a good fair or festival.  In the Driftless Area, we are lucky enough to enjoy two spectacular county fairs throughout the summer months.  The first of these is the Crawford County Fair, which takes place later this month in the charming town of Gays Mills.  From August 26th-30th, you’ll be able to enjoy a healthy dose of old fashioned fun at the Crawford County Fair.  Fun events include The Kickapoo Taste on August 26th, featuring local foods from the region, the Tractor and Truck Pull Show on the 27th, Blessed FMX Sport Stunt Show featuring live Music by Menace on the 28th, an Antique Tractor Pull and Demolition Derby on the 29th, and the Ranch Rodeo & Bull Riding on the 30th.

The second of the county fairs worth seeing in the Driftless Area this summer is the Vernon County Fair.  The Vernon County Fair dates back to 1856, and is cited as one of the oldest county fairs in the state of Wisconsin.  This year, the fair takes place from September 16th-20th in the beautiful town of Viroqua, Wisconsin.  The fun kicks off on the 16th with an Antiques & Farm Tractor Pull, followed by several exciting events throughout the fair.  Events at the grandstands include the Modified Farm Tractors & Truck Pull, the Draft Horse Show, the Kids Tractor Pull, Harness Racing, and of course the Demolition Derby.  Don’t miss these exciting opportunities for old fashioned fun in the Driftless Area. Book your room at our Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast today.


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Summer Fishing on the Mississippi River 31 Jul 2015, 3:00 am

Fishing is a favorite pastime for many Wisconsinites, loved for many generations, and it is no different in the beautiful Driftless Region.  Though spring trout fishing in the cold class I-rated streams that criss-cross the Driftless Area is hard to beat, a little summer fishing along the Mississippi River is definitely worth your time.  During these warm summer days, there is nothing better than a quiet, early morning fishing trip to the Mississippi River.  Surrounded by nothing but beautiful waters, birds chirping, and the stunning landscapes of the Driftless Region, it’s hard to imagine a more restful or relaxing day.  To make this dream fishing trip a reality, book your room at our Driftless Area Bed and Breakfast today.

Fishing the Mississippi River

The Upper Mississippi River is home to an incredible variety of fish.  With over 119 different species of fish inhabiting these waters, which is more than any of Wisconsin’s inland lakes, you are sure to enjoy your fishing trip along the beautiful Mississippi. Favorites that are frequently caught here include walleye, sauger, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, channel catfish, northern pike, bluegill, and crappies.  Fishing reports for 2015 are positive, and with a continuous open season you have a great chance of a spectacular catch. With it’s intimidating size and busy boat traffic, the Mississippi River may be overlooked as a great fishing destination.  However, thanks to the many backwater lakes, running sloughs, tailwaters and main channel habitats, it is actually home to some truly spectacular fishing.

Areas that are protected by Wisconsin’s DNR not only protect water quality, but also improve fish habitats, meaning the fishing in these areas is typically better than average. These are especially great areas to start if it’s your first time fishing on the Mississippi River.  One of my favorite Mississippi River fishing spots is the Minnesota Slough. Here, you’ll find easy access to this backwater area at Blackhawk Park, a few miles north of DeSoto, WI.  Once you launch from one of the boat ramps at this park, proceed directly west and you will enter the Minnesota Slough. The slough runs perhaps 10 miles further north, and there is a respectable current running through it. Motor halfway up the slough and float back for 3 or 4 miles while dragging a night crawler or plastic jig. I’ve caught nice walleye repeatedly along this stretch of water, some up to 24 inches in length.  As always, be sure to check out all fishing regulations before you head out on the water. Now that your interest is piqued for a Mississippi River fishing trip, book your room at our wonderful Driftless Area Bed and Breakfast to make it into a reality.



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Top 5 Summer Activities in the Driftless Area 20 Jul 2015, 3:00 am

The Driftless Area of Wisconsin, otherwise known as the beautiful land in southwestern Wisconsin known for their dramatic bluffs and valleys, is the perfect place to spend some time this summer.  While all of Wisconsin has something to offer for resident and visitors alike, the Driftless Area is someplace special.  Here, you’ll find stunning river valleys criss-crossed by a multitude of streams, contrasted with steep forested bluffs and hillsides that were left untouched by the glacial forces of centuries past.  Here, there is a special peaceful beauty, ripe with opportunity for summer recreational activities and relaxation.  The most popular summer activities in the Driftless Area include hiking, biking fishing, bird watching, and canoeing down the rivers.  Book your room at our gorgeous Bed and Breakfast Inn today, and take advantage of the incredible summer activities found in the Driftless Area.

Top Summer Activities

With the acres upon acres of unspoiled wilderness surrounding us in the Driftless Area, it’s no wonder that hiking is a perennial favorite activity for those people who live in or visit Driftless Wisconsin.  With so many wonderful trails to choose from, it can be hard to pick a place to start. However, it’s hard to go wrong with the following favorite hiking destinations:  Wildcat Mountain State Park, Effigy Mounds National Monument, Kickapoo Valley Reserve, and Wyalusing State Park.  Each of these hiking locales will offer you a quiet respite from everyday life and spectacular views over the Driftless Area.  It just so happens that the Kickapoo Valley Reserve and Wyalusing State Park also offer some spectacular trails for mountain biking.  The country roads that criss-cross the Driftless Area are wonderful places to spend a day biking, where riders will enjoy a wonderful tour through the scenic rural countryside.

Birding has become an increasingly popular activity in Driftless Wisconsin, as the landscapes here provide habitat for an incredible variety of bird populations. Driftless Wisconsin is located near the Mississippi Flyway, which is a heavily-used bird migration route along the Mississippi River.  Popular birding hotspots include Wyalusing State Park, the Upper Mississippi River National Fish & Wildlife Refuge, St. Feriole Island in Prairie du Chien, Kickapoo Valley Reserve, and Wildcat Mountain State Park.  If you’d rather spend your days in the Driftless Area on water, there are plenty of opportunities for that as well.  With rivers such as the Mississippi, the Kickapoo, and the Wisconsin nearby, there’s no shortage of places to enjoy a little canoeing, kayaking, or fishing.  Interesting areas to check out are the Upper Mississippi River National Fish & Wildlife Refuge, the lower portion of the Wisconsin River, and the stunning Kickapoo River, which is considered to be one of the best and most photogenic rivers in the Midwest.  With these wonderful summer activities and so much more available to you in the Driftless area, don’t hesitate to book your stay at our charming retreat in the heart of Driftless Wisconsin.

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Explore the Historical Town of Prairie du Chien 10 Jul 2015, 3:00 am

One of the many wonderful reasons to visit the Driftless Area are the charming towns that dot the countryside, each alive with their own vibrant and unique personality.  One of our favorite towns to spend a day in is the historic town of Prairie du Chien, located on the banks of the stunning Mississippi River.  This quintessential river town, which happens to be the second oldest settlement in the state of Wisconsin, is brimming with pride and a deep sense of history.  Here, you’ll find plenty of historic sites to visit, some dating back to the days of fur trading on the Mississippi River, in addition to a variety of fun attractions, spectacular shopping, great restaurants, and a wide variety of opportunities for recreation and enjoyment along the way.  Book your room at our beautiful Bed and Breakfast Inn in Soldier’s Grove, and let us be your home away from home while you explore the charming towns of Driftless Wisconsin.

See the Sites in Prairie du Chien

A favorite and historic destination in Prairie du Chien is St. Feriole Island.  If you want an authentic glimpse into what frontier life was like for French Canadians that engaged in the fur trade was like, this is the place to visit.  On the island, you’ll find many historic destinations, including the Villa Louis, the Brisbois Store and Fur Trade Museum, the Brisbois House, the Rolette House, and the Dousman House Hotel.  In addition to being a significant location to the fur trade, St. Feriole Island was the home of the first Fort Crawford, which was where the Battle of Prairie du Chien in 1814 occurred, and was where three important Indian treaties were signed.  On the site of the former Fort Crawford is Villa louis, which was built in the 1890’s by Louis Dousman.  Villa Louis is open for tours, and hosts many annual events each year such as the Carriage Classic in September.  Also, coming up in July is a historic encampment and battle re-enactment at Villa Louis, which is the site of Wisconsin’s only War of 1812 battlefield.

The Fort Crawford Museum is also an interesting place to spend an afternoon in Prairie du Chien, discovering the history of this rich region.  In addition to these wonderful historic sites in Prairie du Chien, there are also many other historic sites worth visiting throughout the surrounding counties.  End your day on a relaxing note with a cruise up the historic Mississippi River, and see the beauty of this area in a whole new way.  After a long day of exploring, you’ll be ready for the deluxe accommodations awaiting you at our Bed and Breakfast Inn.  Book your room at our Inn today, and discover the towns of Driftless Wisconsin.

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The Best Way to Spend a Driftless Area Getaway 26 Jun 2015, 3:00 am

In the Driftless Area of Wisconsin, we are passionate about who we are and where we live, and this passion is visible in every aspect of day-to-day life here.  We live in a unique and beautiful area, left untouched by the glacial forces that flattened so much of the Midwest.  The vistas out over the forested hillsides and deep valleys alone will leave you breathless, and the diversity of activities to enjoy while in the Driftless Area will keep you entertained for days.  No matter whether you’re coming from near or far, the Driftless Area should be at the top of your list for your next getaway destination.   Settle in for a few days or more at our serene Bed and Breakfast, and start making the most of a Driftless Area getaway.

Top Things to Do on a Driftless Area Getaway

Once you’re here in the Driftless Area, there are an abundance of fun and exciting things to enjoy, and also a variety of quiet and relaxing activities to enjoy if you’re just looking for a little rest and relaxation.  You don’t even need to leave our spectacular property to enjoy your Driftless Area getaway, as we are situated on 160 pristine acres, including natural gardens, nearly 2 miles of hiking trails, and a large pond to enjoy.  We do recommend you get out to explore though, and some of the regional hiking trails are the most popular way to enjoy the stunning beauty of Driftless Wisconsin. Our favorite places include the Kickapoo Valley Reserve, Wyalusing State Park, Effigy Mounds National Monument, and Wildcat Mountian State Park.  There are also wonderful mountain biking trails in these areas, as well as a network of beautiful country roads and biking routes that make for an excellent day of touring across the dramatic landscapes of the Driftless Area.

If working up a sweat in the outdoors isn’t how you’d like to spend your time during your Driftless Area getaway, then there are still plenty of other fun and exciting places to discover.  The charming towns of the Driftless Area are full of personality and worth exploring.  Prairie du Chien is your quintessential Mississippi River town, complete with plenty of historical attractions dating back to the fur trade, and even a Mississippi River cruise.  Be sure not to miss the Fort Crawford Museum, St. Feriole Island, and Villa Louis.  Viroqua is a wonderful shopping destination, especially if you’re looking for the best locally made works of art. Westby is a charming Scandinavian town full of character, Cashton will reward you with handmade Amish goods at places like Down a Country Road, and the history of our very own solar-powered village of Soldiers Grove will pique your interest.  With the seemingly endless variety of things to enjoy in the Driftless Area, it’s no wonderful it’s become such a popular getaway destination for people from near or far.  Get in on the fun, and book your next Driftless Area getaway today.



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