Aztalan State Park Mounds

Aztalan State Park & Museum

Aztalan State Park Sign“Aztalan” is the name for an original Native American settlement that thrived along the Crawfish River banks in Jefferson County from around 1000-1300 AD. Now a National Historic Landmark, Aztalan State Park sits just east of Lake Mills near I-94 between Highways 26 and 89 just south of County B, which was formerly Historic Highway 30.

The original settlement included ceremonial grounds, farmland, pyramidal mounds, even a stockade – portions of which have been reconstructed. Aztalan is an excellent showcase of Wisconsin’s rich history predating the European settlers. Archeologists have a field day unearthing remnants, which were discovered by European settlers in the 1830s.

The original village grounds today make up the park, which covers 172 acres along the river. The Crawfish River is terrific for fishing and canoeing; the grounds also feature prairie, oak woods, a picnic shelter, walking trails, and bathroom facilities.

Aztalan State Park Mounds

Plenty of mounds and re-creations of wood forts and more illustrate Aztalan’s history.

Aztalan markers and viewYou need a State Park admission sticker to use the park, which is open daily from 6am-11pm. One block north on County Q the Aztalan Museum traces the history of the village, its people, and eventual European settlement. The reconstructed historic Mamre Moravian Church sits on the museum grounds. It was a one-room log church constructed in 1861. The church has been moved twice and given a few alternations during its history, although no move was more than a few miles. It’s been sitting peacefully on its present site since 1996. The church, museum, and several outbuildings welcome explorers and visitors alike.

You’ll find Aztalan State Park along County Q just south of County B, which was once Historic Highway 30. Today, I-94 serves as the main Milwaukee-Madison route, though you can access the park between the Lake Mills/Highway 89 exit and the Johnson Creek/Highway 26 exit.

Aztalan Museum

Aztalan Museum

Address:
County Road Q
Jefferson, WI
(920) 648-8774
Website




Irvine Park & Zoo, Tiger

Irvine Park & Zoo


Chippewa Falls has an amazing place to play, relax, and observe animals in the beautiful 318-acre Irvine (pronounced “ER-vin”) Park.  the Irvine Park Zoo opened way back in 1909 with a bear exhibit. Today, the Zoo features tigers, bobcats, cougars, deer, bison, and other wildlife. Summer months also offer the Red Barn Petting Zoo, and an extensive lighted holiday display – we’re talking over 100 displays and 100,000 lights – makes the holiday season sparkle. Historical displays include the Sunny Valley Schoolhouse and Pioneer Norwegian Log Home on the weekends, which are open from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The Irvine Park Cave on the grounds runs about 20 feet long, with natural springs running through.

Cave in Irvine Park, Chippewa Falls

Rumble Bridge in Irvine Park, Chippewa Falls

The Rumble Bridge (above) is a pony truss style bridge that spans a ravine in Irvine Park. It got its name from its design that features wood planks that were only nailed down on one end. It allowed for flexing and stress relief, plus expansion and contraction with the seasons. It also created a rumbling sound when cars would drive over it, hence the name of “Rumble” or “Rumbly” Bridge. The Rumble Bridge carried vehicles all the way to 1981; it’s now for pedestrians and bicyclists in the park.

Sunny Valley School in Irvine Park, Chippewa FallsThe Sunny Valley Schoolhouse (right) was originally built in 1903, standing about 8 miles west of Chippewa Falls to serve the nearby Town of Wheaton. This one-room schoolhouse was heated with cord wood and slabs in a box stove, and lit with kerosene lamps. Almost all of the children who attended back then walked to school, as there were few automobiles and no snow plows (of course, they told their kids and grandkids it was uphill, both ways.) Sunny Valley School stayed an operating school until the early 1960’s, when the growth of Chippewa Falls and its school district took over. It was donated and moved to Irvine Park in 1965, where you can explore it – in season.

Irvine Park & Zoo is located on the north side of Chippewa Falls, near the Leinenkugel Brewery and Northern Wisconsin State Fair Park. Just off Highway 124, Highway 29 and U.S. 53 also bring you close.

The Zoo is open year ’round from 7am to sunset, with extended hours during the holidays. Admission is free.

Irvine Park & Zoo Address:

125 Bridgewater Avenue (Highway 124)
Chippewa Falls, WI 54729
(715) 723-0051
Website



Irvine Park, Chippewa Falls

GO Chippewa Falls

Back to StateTrunkTour.com

Heritage Hill State Park in winter

Heritage Hill State Historic Park


greenbay_heritagehillhistmarkerAs its name implies, Heritage Hill State Historic Park is a 48-acre outdoor museum filled with historic structures adorning a lovely hill that offers views of the Fox River, Lambeau Field, and even towards downtown Green Bay (more so when the leaves aren’t on the trees.)  Over 30 historic structures from fur trade-era log cabins to original stores and even buildings from Fort Howard, which gave rise to Green Bay, dot the hill.

During the warm months (sometimes month), you’ll find live interpreters in period clothing running around who will gladly fill you in on the history that abounds. Over 6,600 artifacts are among their collection, some pieces dating back to the 1600s when French explorers first started pulling up on the shores of Green Bay thinking they’d made it to Asia (the Native Americans already there informed them otherwise, of course.)

greenbay_heritagehill02There’s a Belgian farm and Moravian church on the grounds, as well as a newer educational center for classes and program and even events, which are increasingly popular here. Many events take place here throughout the year.

You’ll find Heritage Hill along the east bank of the Fox River in Allouez, just north of where Highways 57 and 172 (the freeway that serves southern Green Bay) meet. Highway 32 is just across the river; I-41 is also just to the west, and Highways 29, 54, and U.S. 141 are just to the north. It’s very easy to get to!

Address:
2640 S. Webster Avenue
Green Bay, WI 54301
Website

greenbay_lambeaufromhh

Lambeau Field is THIS close to Heritage Hill.