Inn at Lonesome Hollow
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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Biking the Beautiful Kickapoo Valley 12 Aug 2014, 3:00 am
Wisconsin has repeatedly been ranked as one of the top bicycling destinations in the nation, which comes as no surprise to those of us living here. Whether you choose to enjoy the 80 trails in the “rails-to-trails” system, such as the world famous Elroy-Sparta Trail, or hundreds of miles more on rolling, quiet country roads, Wisconsin boasts a biking friendly culture designed to keep visitors coming back to bike time and time again. Our quiet Bed and Breakfast is located just off the Kickapoo River, and is within easy reach of great biking destinations throughout the Driftless Area. Book your room at our quiet Inn today, where you can enjoy our one hundred and sixty mostly wooded acres, with natural gardens, hiking trails, a large pond, and even a small vineyard; the perfect way to relax after an adventurous day of biking!
The Kickapoo BRAVE Ride: Biking the Driftless Area
Crawford County, home to varied terrain and unsurpassed scenery, has charted 9 road-routes for biking enthusiasts in the Driftless Area. At the heart of these routes, bikers will enjoy a rolling ride through the stunning Kickapoo River Valley, touted as some of the most scenic cycling in the midwest. If you’re looking for more than great scenery on your bike ride, several of the loops throughout Crawford County include more challenging terrain. In neighboring Vernon County, there are an additional 5 routes starting in Westby, and include stunning rides through Amish Country, charming small towns, and the beautiful Kickapoo Valley. Bikers will also enjoy the 32-mile Elroy-Sparta State Trail, which passes through the northernmost point of the Kickapoo Valley, and has been inducted into the Rail-Trail Hall of Fame. If you aren’t enticed to bring your bike to the Driftless Area for an adventurous weekend yet, then perhaps the miles of parks, many of which within an hour’s driving distance to our Bed and Breakfast Inn, will change your mind. Popular mountain biking areas include the Kickapoo Valley Reserve, Wildcat Mountain State Park, and Wyalusing State Park.
This summer also brings exciting rides and challenges for biking enthusiasts. Join residents and visitors alike on Sunday, August 24th, for the 6th annual Kickapoo BRAVE (Bluffs, Rivers, and Valley Event) Ride. This exciting ride begins in nearby Gays Mills. Riders can choose their own route, from beginner or intermediate to advanced, and in a length of 15 to 116 miles. No matter what you choose, you’ll enjoy the route as it winds through breathtaking scenery, including ridge tops with distinctive panoramic views and deep, lush valley roads. If you’re feeling up to the challenge, we encourage you to take part in the 3rd annual Aloha Bike Tour leaving from Viroqua on Saturday, August 23rd. This wonderful community event serves as a fundraiser for student-athletes of the Viroqua Cross Country Team. This event also offers a choice of bike routes for all abilities, from a 12-mile family ride, to a 54-mile challenging ride. Whether you plan to participate in one or both events, or just want to check out the unique scenery of Driftless Wisconsin, our Bed and Breakfast Inn is the perfect choice for lodging while you’re here.
Don’t Miss the 2014 Driftless Area Art Festival 28 Jul 2014, 3:00 am
The Driftless Area of Wisconsin is a stunningly beautiful and unique region in Wisconsin, known for its picturesque river valleys and sharply rising bluffs. With so much natural beauty around us, it’s no surprise that many artists call the inspirational Driftless Area home. The hills and valleys here serve as perfect inspiration for a variety of artists, including painters, potters, woodworkers, weavers, poets, writers, and musicians. Spend days in Driftless Wisconsin visiting studios and galleries, or during the 3rd week in September, amazing local art can be seen at one spectacular event. Each year in September, art lovers from around the area head to Crawford County for the Driftless Area Art Festival. Rooms are booking up fast for this annual event, so now is the perfect time to reserve your place at our centrally located Drifltess Area bed and breakfast.
Don’t Miss the 2014 Driftless Area Art Festival
The setting of the annual Driftless Area Art Festival is as beautiful as the art that is produced here, nestled along the Kickapoo River in the beautiful town of Soldiers Grove, Wisconsin. With their stated mission being to showcase only regional artists, the popular festival features over 80 visual arts exhibitors, live music and performances, and great local foods, all representing the very best of the Driftless Area. To enjoy a day at the Driftless Area Art Festival means to enjoy a stunningly scenic drive through the Driftless countryside, and relaxed hours strolling through art exhibits, connecting with artists and the surroundings. Taste the local, often organically grown foods, sip local beer and wine, enjoy the local bands, and shop for the perfect piece of the Driftless Area to take home with you. No matter what it is you find at this years Driftless Area Art Festival, you’re sure to leave with a wonderful set of memories, and a great appreciation for this beautiful region of southeast Wisconsin. Book your room at the Inn at Lonesome Hollow today, and don’t miss this wonderful opportunity.
See Driftless Wisconsin From the Mississippi River 21 Jul 2014, 3:00 am
Summer is the perfect time to escape the hustle and bustle of modern day city life. Head to the Driftless Area in southeast Wisconsin for a mini-vacation, and experience the solitude and beauty that can only be found in this unique region of Wisconsin. One of the most unique and beautiful ways to see Driftless Wisconsin is from a boat, on one of our beautiful regional rivers. Whether you choose to take a pleasurable Mississippi river cruise on one of the local boats, or whether you experience the rivers on your own on a fishing trip, or even by piloting a rented houseboat on a vacation adventure, cruising down the rivers of Driftless Wisconsin will be a truly unforgettable experience. Start your vacation off right, by booking a room at our beautiful Driftless Area bed and breakfast today.
Experience the Beauty of the Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is a wonderful place to spend time relaxing, enjoying the scenery and abundant wildlife as you float down the river. Each year, thousands of pleasure boats make their way through the waters surrounding the Driftless Area, and the Mississippi River’s unique lock and dam system make some exceptional waters for fishing and other recreation. One of the most beautiful areas of protected water to explore is the Upper Mississippi River Fish and Wildlife Refuge, which covers 240,000 acres and 261 river miles. This habitat is one of the most productive fish and wildlife habitats in the country, and provides some of the most beautiful scenery in the region.
Located just a short distance away from our bed and breakfast is the town of Prairie du Chien, one of the many boarding sights to the popular Mississippi Explorer Cruises. Taking a cruise down the Mississippi River on one of the Mississippi Explorer riverboats is a unique experience, centered around the ecological diversity of the river. The cruises take guests down the backwaters of the Mississippi River, where you’ll see views of Effigy Mounds National Monument, the bluffs of Pikes Peak State Park, the mouth of the beautiful Wisconsin River, and of course the protected waters of the Upper Mississippi River Fish and Wildlife Refuge. Along the way, you’ll see Driftless Wisconsin at its most beautiful, and will encounter a wide variety of the wildlife that calls this region home. Don’t miss this once in a lifetime opportunity to explore and learn about the beautiful Mississippi River, as it flows through Driftless Wisconsin. Start your Journey by booking your room at the Inn at Lonesome Hollow today.
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Unwind at the Driftless Brewing Company After a Full Day of Adventure 15 Jul 2014, 10:46 am
The state of Wisconsin has long been synonymous with great tasting beer. In the past, most beer was produced at large-scale breweries, but gradual changes and innovative local craft brewers have changed this in recent years, giving rise to craft microbreweries. Regional microbreweries have made an art form out of mixing traditional European brewing techniques with local ingredients, and as a result, produce some of the most highly regarded beers in the world. Traveling around visiting Wisconsin’s microbreweries has become a great regional tourist attraction, drawing beer lovers from all across the country. Driftless Wisconsin is home to some wonderful microbreweries worth tasting, inlcuding the Driftless Brewing Company (DBC), which is quickly growing in popularity. Driftless microbreweries provide you the perfect way to unwind after a long, hard day of adventure in the hills of the Driftless Area. To experience Driftless Wisconsin’s regional brews, book your room at our Driftless Area bed and breakfast now.
End Your Day at the Driftless Brewing Company
With the entire Driftless Area at your fingertips, there is no shortage of things to do here. If a day of adrenaline-pumping activity sounds like fun to you, then spend your time hiking or biking through the hills of the local favorites, the Kickapoo Valley Reserve and Effigy Mounds. For other beautiful areas to explore, try the miles upon miles of trails at Pikes Peak State Park, Wyalusing State Park, or Wildcat Mountain State Park, where you’ll find some of the best views of Driftless Wisconsin’s unique landscapes. If you’re looking for a quiet, slower paced day touring the Driftless Area, then you may want to visit Amish Country, or the many historic sites around the region. Learn about the rich Norwegian history of Driftless Wisconsinn at the Norskedalen Nature and Heritage Center, or visit two of our most famous historic sites; Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin and the beautifully restored Villa Louis.
With so much fun to be had around every corner in the Driftless Area, we are sure you will enjoy every second of your time spent here. When you’ve had your daily fill of adventure, come back to our small community of Soldier’s Grove, Wisconsin, where just a few minutes down the road, you’ll find the increasingly popular Driftless Brewing Company. At the Driftless Brewing Company, you can sample some of Driftless Wisconsin’s finest microbrews. Driftless Brewing Company, who currently brew approximately 300 gallons per month, are in the process of greatly expanding their business. Current local favorites include Local Buzz Honey Ale, DiRT Brown Ale, Kick-Axe Pale Ale and Hop Goddess IPA, some of which can even be found in the Viroqua Food Co-op, and the Kickapoo Exchange Natural Foods Co-op. There is no better way to experience Driftless Wisconsin than by getting out and seeing the beautiful sites, and ending your day sampling the local flavors. Stay at our restful bed and breakfast, and experience the quiet hospitality found only in the Driftless Area.
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