General Douglas MacArthur Statue, Milwaukee

General Douglas MacArthur Statue, Milwaukee

The General Douglas MacArthur statue stands in Milwaukee’s Veterans Park to honor this famous military general, who lived in the city for part of his life and claimed the city as his hometown.

General Douglas MacArthur remains one of the best-known and revered generals in the history of the United States Armed Forces. The man who led the Allied forces in World War II was born in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1880 but lived in Milwaukee during his high school years, a reflection of his family’s longer history in the city. Growing up in a military family and then going into the military himself, MacArthur lived in and based out of many places throughout his life, but he always referred to Milwaukee as “his old hometown.”

After emerging victorious in World War II while accepting the surrender of Japan aboard the USS Missouri on September 2, 1945 and overseeing occupation of that country for six years (plus initially leading the United Nations Command at the start of the Korean War), MacArthur returned to the United States and toured the nation. On April 27, 1951, MacArthur’s tour went from Chicago to Milwaukee, with more than one million people greeting him along the way and in the city. This article from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel chronicles that visit.

MacArthur Square, on the west side of downtown, was named in his honor in 1945 during the Milwaukee Civic Center’s redevelopment; the General Douglas MacArthur statue was originally erected there in 1979. In 2014, with full military honors, it was relocated to Veterans Park in 2014, giving MacArthur’s statue a lake view and a spot adjacent to the Milwaukee County War Memorial and the Milwaukee Art Museum.

The General Douglas MacArthur statue stands 9.5 feet tall, putting him on a marble pedestal. It’s a full-figure portrait of MacArthur, with his hands in his back pockets, now looking out over the water.

General Douglas MacArthur statue, overlooking Lake Michigan in Milwaukee

General Douglas MacArthur statue, overlooking Lake Michigan in Milwaukee. Originally erected in the city’s MacArthur Square in the Civic Center in 1979, it was moved to this location in Veterans Park in 2014.

Location of the General Douglas MacArthur Statue:

Veterans Park
1010 N. Lincoln Memorial Drive
Milwaukee, WI 53202




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Mars Cheese Castle


One of our favorite places that just screams “Wisconsin!” is the Mars Cheese Castle. This Wisconsin cheese shop, deli, bar, bakery and more is popular purveyor of cheeses, meats, hot sauce, bakery, and Wisconsin kick-knacks is a widely recognized landmark on the busy Milwaukee-Chicago corridor, with its iconic sign beckoning travelers.

Mars Cheese Castle in Kenosha, along I-41/94 and Highway 142.

Its new building, completed in 2011, finally makes it look like a castle. It didn’t for its first six decades.

Originally opened in 1947 along U.S. 41 and what was Wisconsin Highway 43 (today’s 142), the Mars Cheese Castle catered to travelers in search of a variety of cheeses and other local foods as they entered or left the state. Still a family business, Mario Ventura, Sr. started it up and added on as they could: a deli counter, a sandwich shop, a bakery, a bar, a gift shop… all of these were tacked on to the original building. He and partners built not only a successful travel stop, but a brisk mail-order and later online business, shipping cheese, sausage and other products from Wisconsin to locales all over the country. Their home brand of spreadable cheese is called “King of Clubs”, and a large tub of it with Town House crackers are available for enjoyment at the bar at all times.

Mars Cheese Castle samplesTheir deli offers an amazing selection of cheeses, sausages, crackers, and other enjoyable consumables; their wine and beer selection is extensive, their gift shop offers every Wisconsin-y thing you could imagine, their market and bakery offers everything from tons of hot sauce selections to kringle; and a State Trunk Tour favorite is a summer sausage sandwich from the deli. The bar even has a “leg lamp” – the kind popularized in the movie A Christmas Story – to add to the atmosphere… the lamps are crafted in Kenosha, after all.

Mars Cheese Castle's bar features a coveted "leg lamp"

The Mars Cheese Castle’s bar features a coveted “leg lamp,” just like Ralphie and the Old Man liked.

Mars Cheese Castle sausage selections

When I-94/U.S. 41 reconstruction began between Milwaukee and Chicago, it was determined Mars had to move to accommodate the new footprint of the freeway’s interchange with Highway 142. The new building opened in 2011 and finally resembles a castle on the outside and all the “regions of Mars” – if you will – are more easily accessible than they were in the original building. It’s still one of our favorite Wisconsin cheese shops.

Mars Cheese Castle sign at nightThe Mars Cheese Castle is open 9am-7pm, seven days a week. It’s easily accessible of I-41/I-94/U.S. 41 at Exit 340 (Highway 142), which is also famous for its “Bong Recreation Area” sign (note: it’s not what you may think.)

Address:
2800 W. Frontage Road (I-41/94 at Hwy 142)
Kenosha, WI 53144
(800) 655-6147
Website




Larry the Logroller along Highway 32 in Wabeno

Larry the Logroller

wabenobandshell_800Driving along Highway 32 through Wabeno? You can’t miss Larry the Logroller, a 22’4″ lumberjack who serves as this town’s answer to Paul Bunyan. Instead of an ax, Larry brandishes a logging tool. He stands guard over the Wabeno Logging Museum and a 1901 Phoenix Log Hauler, a steam locomotive that once helped haul logs out of town. In the city park where he stands, you’ll also find a bandshell, a mini-amphitheater, and picnic areas along the North Branch of the Oconto River, which runs right behind Larry (apparently, that’s the river in which he would do his logrolling.)

Wabeno is a town of about 1,200 in Forest County which likes to claim a title of “Dual Sport Capital of the World” based on the active ATV and snowmobile use in the area – it’s in the heart of a very extensive trail system. But the town’s history is based on logging; it’s in the heart of the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. Wabeno’s high school nickname is the “Logrollers” and Larry is their mascot – they just don’t bring him to football games. He’s tough to carry around.

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Before the 2013 repairs, Larry DID seem to slouch a bit…

Ironically, Larry the Logroller had to be repaired and reinstalled in 2013 when a log rolled on him, in a sense – a tree fell in a storm and damaged his fiberglass body. He once again stands guard over the town.

By the way, if the Phoenix Log Hauler on display is of interest, this is what it looks like when it’s just running around:

So basically, while you’re traveling through Wabeno there’s something cool to stop and check out: Larry the Logroller and his logging museum. And the train. And it’s a nice city park in general. Highway 32 goes right past it, and Highway 52 begins about a mile away on the northwest edge of town, connecting to Antigo and Wausau.



Marshfield, World's Largest Round Barn near Highway 13

World’s Largest Round Barn

marshfield_roundbarnplaqueOfficially called the Central Wisconsin State Fair Round Barn, this record-holder is the focal point of the fairgrounds in Marshfield. Round barns had a “boom period” between 1880 and 1920, particularly in the Midwest, as “progressive” farming methods built of principles of industrial efficiency were being implemented. Wind resistance and better air flow inside for cooler summertime conditions were – and still are – considered two key advantage with round barns.

This “World’s Largest Round Barn” was constructed in 1916, without the use of scaffolding. Its diameter spans 150 feet and the cupola capping the barn is 70 feet off the ground.

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The barn was built as a show barn and area, with stanchions capable of showcasing 250 head of cattle at a time. It has been used every year since its opening in 1916 for that purpose and also serves as the centerpiece for the Central Wisconsin State Fair. It has 88,000 shingles covering its expansive roof.

Tours of the World’s Largest Round Barn are available for $1 per person. You can arrange a tour by calling (715) 387-1261.

The Central Wisconsin State Fairgrounds are located on the southeast side of Marshfield, close to U.S. 10 and Highway 13. It is most easily accessed via Central Avenue, today’s Business 13. Highway 97 is just a mile or so to the north and Highway 80 approaches within a few miles from the south. Wildwood Zoo, Marshfield Clinic, and the Blue Heron Brewpub are also close by.

Address:
513 E. 17th Street
Marshfield, WI 54449
(715) 387-1261
Website

World's Largest Soup Kettle, Laona

World’s Largest Soup Kettle

Laona is known to many for its Lumberjack Steam Train, but did you also know they have the World’s Largest Soup Kettle? This tiny burg in Forest County where U.S. 8 and Highway 32 features this large gray pot, dangling by a tripod wood supports in a town park. The kettle has a seven-foot circumference and is three feet deep.

One day each August, the Laona Lions Club hosts Community Soup Day, with free soup that used to be – but no longer is – made in the kettle. That stems from a tradition dating back to the 1920s; today it continues… just bring your own bowl if you plan on attending!

Information on Laona’s Community Soup Day can be found here.

(Photo credit: J. Stephen Conn, via Flickr)

Wind Point Lighthouse Tour

Wind Point Lighthouse

Wind Point Lighthouse rises 108 feet.Wind Point Lighthouse is one the tallest and oldest lighthouses on the Great Lakes. It reaches 108 feet above the wavy waters of Lake Michigan, helping ships navigate the coast since 1880. The original fog house, walkways to the water, and parkland surrounding the lighthouse itself are all accessible year ’round.

Tours of the lighthouse itself are available the first Sunday of the month from June through October on the half-hour from 9am to 3pm. Admission is $10 for adults and kids 12 and up; kids 6-11 are $5; children under 6 are not allowed to climb the lighthouse due to safety concerns.

The Wind Point Lighthouse is accessible via Lighthouse Road or 3 Mile Road, just east of Highway 32 north of Racine. You can also connect nearby from Highways 31 and 38.

Wind Point Lighthouse history

A Capstar, one of many items on the Wind Point Lighthouse grounds.



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Check out their Video Tour!

Fun facts, courtesy of WindPointLighthouse.org:

  • Orlando Metcalfe Poe designed the lighthouse. He served in the Civil War as a Brigadier General.
  • The Lighthouse’s first lighting occurred on November 15, 1880.
  • The Fog Horn Building shows the original design with the huge fog horns aimed toward the Lake.
  • The fog signals traveled 10 miles out into Lake Michigan.
  • The Fresnel Lens used dozens of glass prisms to bend and focus the light which made for an immensely powerful light. The original lens is on loan from the Racine Heritage Museum. You can see it in the old Coast Guard Keepers Quarters, which now serves as the Village Hall for the Village of Wind Point.
  • A mechanism of weights, cables and pulleys rotated the enormous Fresnel Lens to create the flashing that navigators on the Lake recognized.
  • Fuel for the light had to be carried up the 144 iron steps and the Keeper or his Assistants had to make that climb daily. About 270 gallons were used in 1881.
  • The Keeper or his Assistants had to clean the Lens every day so that it sparkled.
  • 7 Head Keepers and more than 30 Assistant Keepers worked the Wind Point Lighthouse from 1880 – 1964 when the light was automated.
  • In 1997, the U.S. Coast Guard transferred the Lighthouse to the Village of Wind Point, though they continue responsibility of the light itself.

Wind Point Lighthouse Address:

4725 Lighthouse Drive
Wind Point, WI 53402
(262) 639-3777
Website




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World's Largest Can of Chili, Beloit

World’s Largest Can of Chili


At the busy interchange where I-39/90, I-43, and Wisconsin Highway 81 meet in Beloit just north of the Wisconsin-Illinois state line, you’ll find the “World’s Largest Can of Chili.”

The “can” is part of the large Hormel plant in Beloit, which cranks out plenty of chili and other meat products here. This is one of the storage tanks, visible from the interstate. How much chili can fit inside that “can”? Estimates are between 1,500 and 2,000 gallons – that amounts to a LOT of beans!




Man Mound Park & Historic Marker

Man Mound National Historic Landmark

Man Mound Historic MarkerMan Mound is the only human-shaped effigy mound left in North America – that we know of. Constructed sometime between 600AD and 900AD by Native Americans, Man Mound is 214 feet long and raises up an average of 2.5 feet up from the ground. It served as a gathering place for feasts, sacred rituals, and many believe the burial of relatives’ remains, in part to connect with spirits. When you visit, you can see where the road cut through what was part of the Man’s legs; a farm across the street preserves some of the Man’s feet. The rest of the mound, in the park, is easy to decipher as the shape of a person, including the arms and head.

Man Mound

Here you can see the legs of Man Mound, part of which were cut off the road over 150 years ago.

Construction of what is now Man Mound Road in the 19th century obliterated part of the Man’s legs, but the rest of the mound is in good shape. It was first identified and surveyed as a man-made mound in 1859 by a European settler named William Canfield. A county park was designated around it in 1908, helping to preserve the rest of the mound. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978 and became a National Historic Landmark in 2016.

Man Mound marker

Man Mound Road sign along Highway 33

This caught our eye.

We first discovered Man Mound when we saw the road sign, which we thought was an interesting name, so we followed it. What a treat to stumble on this cool piece of history!

Man Mound Park also has a playground, bathroom, and picnic tables. You’ll find it just off Highway 33 on Man Mound Road, northeast of Baraboo in Sauk County. It’s just over ten minutes from I-90/94.

Man Mound Address:

E13085 Man Mound Road
Baraboo, WI 53913
(608) 356-1001 (Sauk County Historical Society)




Tiffany Stone Bridge


This graceful, beautiful railroad crossing over Turtle Creek in rural Rock County just might be the oldest stone arch bridge in Wisconsin. Built in 1869, Union Pacific Railroad still uses the bridge on one of its main lines between Chicago and Madison. The bridge is 387 feet long and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.

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tiffanystone02When the bridge was originally built, train locomotives weighed much less; about 43 tons (yes, that’s still heavy!). But today, locomotives can weigh upwards of 250 tons. The bridge was reinforced in the 1930s and have concrete rings to help deal with today’s weights, but the original architectural splendor remains quite intact. While admiring the bridge, it takes little time to experience the rumble of the trains crossing; this is a busy line!

You’ll find the Tiffany Stone Arch Bridge in the Town of Turtle, near Shopiere, in Rock County northeast of Beloit. Rock County maintains parkland around the bridge, so feel free to run around and explore. The best way to access the bridge is via Shopiere Road/County J (Exit 183) off I-39/90, heading northeast about five miles from the freeway. From I-43, you can exit Highway 140 (Exit 6) and head north a little over two miles; just over Turtle Creek, turn left onto Creek Road and follow it to the bridge area.

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Brat Stop exterior sign

Brat Stop

Wisconsin loves brats, and Kenosha’s “World Famous” Brat Stop is among the best places in the state to enjoy them! This iconic location has been in business since 1961, when it was pretty much the only major place to eat along the rural U.S. 41, newly-minted I-94 at Highway 50. And they sell a ton of brats every week – literally.

The Brat Stop has long been heralded for its bratwurst, beer, cheese, and family-friendly atmosphere. It’s a large place, with a bakery, bar, music stage for live entertainment, huge TVs, pool, video games, rides for kids, and event space at their banquet facility, called the Parkway Chateau. Their Beer Garden is open whenever the weather allows; the food – they have a full menu – is fantastic, the beer selection is impressive, and you can get everything from a wide variety of cheese, baked goods, and Wisconsin accoutrements. This is makes is a perfect stop for people coming up from that place known as Illinois.

Brat Stop Details

Brat Stop is open 365 days a year and serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with bratwurst of course being the top seller. Other popular Brat Stop dishes include Fried Wisconsin Cheese Curds, Broasted Chicken,  their Reuben on Dark Rye, Pizzas, and the Brat Stop Prime Rib Dinner. Breakfast incorporate bratwurst.

The Brat Stop is a Live Music Venue, Too!
The Brat Stop’s huge bar is well-stocked and ready for shows, from local bands to national acts like Slaughter, Lonnie Brooks, The Charlie Daniels Band, Cheap Trick, Sugarland, Trace Adkins, Theory of a Deadman, and Jackyl. Check out their music lineup here!

The Brat Stop’s Cheese Mart opens at 8 a.m. with the rest of the place, and generally closes at 10 p.m. during the week, 11 p.m. on weekends. The products, and custom-made gift boxes, are available for shipping. Over 100 different cheeses, all from Wisconsin, are available. We’re talking Cheddar, Swiss, Brick, and specialty cheese, along with cheese spreads.

Like all good Wisconsin places popular with visitors, there’s a large selection of apparel, glassware, souvenirs, Brat Stop memorabilia, Cheesehead hats, and Bears and Packers merchandise – with this location SO close to Illinois, the proportion of Bears to Packers fans is such where they cater to both – with a lean towards the Green & Gold, of course. It’s definitely a fun place to catch the Packers-Bears and Brewers-Cubs (or White Sox) games.




The “World Famous” nature of the Brat Stop has led the likes of Bette Midler, Michael Jordan, and Steven Tyler to stop in. Sports announcers in town – for either Chicago or Milwaukee teams – tend to drop in when they’re traveling between the two cities.

The Dairy State Cheese & Beer Festival – a fundraiser for the Boys & Girls Club of Kenosha – is held there every April. There’s a Toys For Tots fundraiser held each December, and a Polar Plunge for Special Olympics each winter, where they set up a pool outside.

As you travel to or through Kenosha, the Brat Stop is a MUST stop – a definite State Trunk Tour favorite! You’ll find it right along Highway 50 just west of the busy I-41/94 interchange. Enjoy!

Address:
12304 75th Street (Highway 50)
Kenosha, WI
(262) 857-2011
Website

Historic Washington House, home of the ice cream sundae


Built as an immigrant hotel and saloon in the 1850s, the Historic Washington House lays claim to inventing the ice cream sundae.  There are seven rooms and an old ballroom to explore, all filled with items of historic interest.

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You’ll find the Washington House one block east of Highway 42 along Jefferson Street; the marker is along 42 one block north. Stop in for a sundae; they’re as good as you might imagine!

Address:
1622 Jefferson Street
Two Rivers, WI 54241
(920) 793-2490
Website

Temple Theater, Viroqua

Temple Theater logoThe Temple Theater sits inside a classical revival building constructed in 1922 along Viroqua’s Main Street. This elegant venue entertained people from across the area with vaudeville shows, silent movies, musical productions, and other civic events during the mid-20th century. Like most theaters, it closed for a while. A 2002 renovation gave the Temple Theater new life, and it entertains audiences once again.

The building evokes the high-class Neo-classical facades of both vaudeville and traditional theaters. The original interior recalls both classic European opulence and the ornate vaudeville venues in larger American cities. Motifs in the classical revival style can be seen in the cornices, friezes, and moldings of the ceiling and walls of the vestibule. These motifs extend to the lobby, theater house, around the arched stage opening, and in the metal work of the organ grill. The original art-glass globes still hang in the auditorium. The original back screen – with hand-painted local advertisements – still hangs at the rear of the stage. The original screens on either side of the stage, the orchestra pit, even the stage machinery used in live productions and the scenery loft remain intact. The original Wurlitzer organ that provided accompaniment to silent films has been re-purchased by ARTT (Associates of the Restored Temple Theater.)

Temple Theater in Viroqua

Two stores and a Masonic Temple share the building. The Temple Theater itself now serves as a civic and cultural center for the area, hosting a variety of shows and performers. The main venue features 550 seats and a new sound system installed in late 2015.

You’ll find the Temple Theater along Main Street in downtown Viroqua; four state highways (U.S. 14, U.S. 61, Highway 27, and Highway 82) go right past it. Highway 56 crosses a few blocks away.

Address:
116 S. Main Street
Viroqua, WI 54665
(608) 606-2340
Website

World's Tallest Grandfather Clock, Kewaunee

World’s Tallest Grandfather Clock


The World’s Tallest Grandfather Clock showed up as a bicentennial gift for the City of Kewaunee. Towering 36 feet above the Ahnapee State Trailhead on the north side of downtown, this (working) Colonial-style redwood grandfather clock was built by Jake Schlies and his son Rodney on behalf of Svoboda Industries, a local business, which donated it to the city in 1976.

It was moved in 1984 to the new “Top of Hill Shops” along Highway 42 north of downtown. It stood there for over three decades before the shop closed and the clock, while staying there, fell into disrepair. The building was sold in 2013; the clock was then dismantled and moved back downhill to a location on the north edge of downtown.

Parts were reconditioned and the World’s Tallest Grandfather Clock went back up in its current location on August 27, 2014. It now serves downtown with accurate time and towers above the trailhead for the Ahnapee State Trail, which runs west through the farmlands and woods of Kewaunee County on its way north towards Algoma. A pavilion and sound system were added in 2015, and now you can not only see the clock, you can hear it as it chimes every 15 minutes and has specialty music for various seasons and events.

The World’s Tallest Grandfather Clock is just north of Highway 29, at the intersection of Highway 42 and Miller Street. The Tug Ludington, a historic jail, Kewaunee’s beautiful marina and harbor with its Pierhead Lighthouse, Parallel 44 Winery, and Bruemmer Park & Zoo are all nearby.




Ten Chimneys Estate, Genesee Depot

Ten Chimneys National Historic Landmark

Ten Chimneys logoStarts of stage and screen frequented Ten Chimneys Estate , a National Historic Landmark that was home to Broadway greats Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne. The iconic couple, who married in 1922, appeared together in over 24 plays and, more recently, on a postage stamp. The Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on West 46th Street in New York City is – of course – named for them, an indication of their prowess on the big stage.

Tours of Ten Chimneys are available from May through mid-November of the grounds and the house. Furnishings, hand-painted murals, décor, art collections and other memorabilia are everywhere, and yes, the house does have 10 chimneys. Even the Gift Shop is unique: from early 20th century hat styles to jewelry to Noël Coward quotes adorning black t-shirts, there’s plenty of interesting things to check out.

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The main house at Ten Chimneys. All ten chimneys are but a fraction of the architectural splendor both inside the house and on the surrounding grounds.

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The dining room, for example, where elegance, beauty and attention to detail combined with what must have been some incredibly good meals.

Guests to Ten Chimneys over the years the Lunts lived there included Katharine Hepburn, W.C. Fields, and most infamously Noël Coward, probably the Lunt’s most frequent Ten Chimneys guest. Coward was known for many things, including some of the most famous plays ever written. Today the theatre in Westminster, London where he first performed in 1920 is named the Noël Coward Theatre, which was named in his honor in 2006. He acted in many plays and also performed intelligence work for the British Secret Service during World War II (in fact, he was approached by neighbor Ian Fleming in the 1960s to play the villan’s role in Dr. No, which he turned down… with the phrase “Dr. No? No. No. No.”) Meanwhile on the Ten Chimney grounds, he was known for walking through the house in the buff on his way to go for a swim because he liked to skinny dip in the pool, causing at least one cook to quit. Others presumably stared or did double-takes at various times.

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Part of Ten Chimneys’ Museum Store and reception area includes a variety of things to see, including a stage to check out, backstage samples, a Dick Cavett video interview of the couple from 1970, furniture and more; the stage is above. And of the many things available at Ten Chimneys, you can buy specialty shot glasses with “the great drinkers” like Yeats, Wilde, Thomas and Fields. Just don’t use them while State Trunk Touring, okay??

genesee_10chimneys01You’ll find Ten Chimneys (and tell them you’re doing a State Trunk Tour!) on Highway 83 in Genesee Depot in southwestern Waukesha County, about 10 miles south of I-94 and 10 miles north of I-43. Tours of Ten Chimneys are a must, and reservations a day or more in advance is strongly recommended. They also have numerous events and dinners to check out.

Ten Chimneys Estate Address:

S43W31575 Depot Road
Genesee Depot, WI 53127
(262) 968-4110
Website




45x90 Marker at exact point, NW of Wausau

45×90: The Center of the NW Hemisphere

Wisconsin feels like the center of it all, doesn’t it? And the 45×90 point proves that for the Northern and Western Hemispheres, it is! Technically, it’s the exact center of the northern half of the Western Hemisphere.

45x90 center sign

On Earth, the 90th Meridian (90°W) marks the halfway point between the Prime Meridian (which runs through London and other locales as 0°) and the International Date Line (180°). In other words, it’s the midpoint of the Western Hemisphere. Meanwhile, the 45th Parallel (45°N) marks the theoretical halfway between the Equator and the North Pole, making it the midpoint of the Northern Hemisphere. Now, this one is a little more debatable, since the slight flattening of the earth’s sphere near the poles means from a mileage standpoint, the halfway point between the North Pole and the Equator is actually about nine miles north, but it depends.

In western Marathon County, 45°N and 90°W meet. The point is prominent on every globe and major world map you’ve ever seen. There are four of these “double-halfway” points on the Earth; this is the only one easily accessible on land. 45×90 is a very unique geographical landmark.

45x90 Area walkup

This path leads you to the point where 45°N and 90°W meet.

45x90 Marker at exact point, NW of WausauFor centuries, this significant geographic point sat under corn stalks in a farmer’s field; Meridian Road ran north-south about 300 yards west of the 90°W line and a parking lot by the road featured a marker, noting the spot was “near.” In 2017, the exact point became marked and accessible to the general public; a walking path leading from the parking lot leads you there. Signs provide insight on the location’s significance and a concrete and stone marker notes the exact point of the exact center of the Northern Hemisphere. You can stand on it, around it, whatever you want.

45x90 marker, aerial view from drone

The 45×90 marker from above.

 

Directions from Highway 29 Eastbound: Near mile marker 149, turn north of County M and follow it to County U. Turn right on U to Meridian Road. Turn left on Meridian and 1/4 mile north the parking area will be on your right.

Directions from Highway 29 Westbound: Take Exit 150/Edgar (County H) and head north on H. After a few miles, turn left on County U and follow it to Poniatowski. At the main intersection (you’ll know it, trust us), turn left/west, which is a continuation of County U. About one mile down, turn right on Meridian Road; about 1/4 mile north the parking area will be on your right.

“45×90 Club” Guest Book
Wausau is the nearest sizable city to the 45×90 point, and if you make it to their Visitor Center, you can sign the guest book and be a part of the “45×90 Club” – showing you’ve been there. They’ll even give you a commemorative coin!

45×90 Address:

5651 Meridian Road
Athens, WI 54411




Beckman Mill County Park


Centered on an original grist mill constructed in 1868 along Racoon Creek, the 52-acre grounds of Beckman Mill Park offer both historical education and recreation near the Illinois border west of Beloit.

The mill has been fully restored and continues to work. You can learn about the mill, explore the dam, have a picnic, stroll across the river on the footbridge, and check out a vintage garden, a fish ladder, a blacksmith shop, a saw mill display, displays in cooperage, and several nature trails.

The Mill itself has a long history, including renovations in 1925 and 1999. A Visitor Center opened in 2006 and several events, such as Progress Days in spring and Heritage Days in fall, bring even more activities to the park.

Beckman Mill is just south of Highway 81 along County H, six miles west of Beloit.

Beckman Mill County Park in Winter

Northern Wisconsin Tobacco Pool Warehouse

Northern Wisconsin Co-op Tobacco Pool Warehouse

In Viroqua just east of downtown along Highways 56 & 82 you’ll find the Northern Wisconsin Co-op Tobacco Pool Warehouse. It was originally built in 1906 by Martin Bekkedal, who immigrated to Wisconsin in the 1880s and became the largest tobacco wholesaler in the state at a time when tobacco was one of Wisconsin’s biggest cash crops.

Despite the curious fact that it’s actually in southwestern Wisconsin, what makes it unique?

Well, it became the nation’s first tobacco marketing cooperative. They formed as a response to a significant drop in the price of tobacco in 1921. Its method of enlisting most of the area’s tobacco farmers to better control market prices – creating a tobacco “pool” – inspired the emerging pool of dairy farmers in the state and became the model so many ended up using.

Now privately owned, this historic building contains offices, a receiving room where tobacco got weighed, storage areas, and “sweating rooms” where tobacco was heated to 115 degrees for curing. (Today, they could do “hot yoga” classes in there.) It is not currently open for tours, but it would be a good idea.

You’ll find the Northern Wisconsin Co-op Tobacco Pool in Viroqua along Highways 56 & 82 (Decker Street) just east of the north-south main drag that is also U.S. 14/61 and Highway 27.

Northern Wisconsin Tobacco Pool Warehouse Address:

504 E. Decker Street (Highways 56/82)
Viroqua, WI 54665




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Carlin House, Palmyra

Carlin House and Turner Museum

The Carlin Museum, Palmyra

Palmyra’s historic Carlin House and Turner Museum showcases unique construction methods and authentic furnishings for a 19th century home. The Carlin House was built by laying courses of a kind of cement on top of one another, termed as a “grout house.”

The Fisk Carlin House is furnished with mostly 19th century antiques, some of which are original to the house and the historical integrity of the floors, wallpaper, lights, and furnishings have been well appointed. The house can be toured at your leisure, but it is best explored with the assistance of a docent, who is always available during museum hours and by appointment.

If you visit on your own, here are some of the items you might see while exploring the Fisk Carlin House:

Carlin House kitchen in Palmyra

The Carlin House dining room.

First Floor:

ENTRANCE (from the Turner Museum), a wide variety of farm and household items, two men playing a friendly game of cards.
KITCHEN, complete with stove, pump, boiler, utensils, and homemade jam being conspicuously consumed by a young child.
DINING ROOM, fine china, cabinetry, articles from the Carlin and other Palmyra families.
MUSIC ROOM, not originally for music but containing an Edison cylinder phonograph, carved wooden organ, restored coal stove from a local barbershop, many other antiques.
PARLOR (living room), original or near-original furnishings, Carlin and Turner family photos, “paper punch” embroidery, tiny mittens knitted with toothpicks, “stereoscope” for viewing photographs in 3-D.

Second Floor:

BEDROOM, rope net bed supporting a “tic” mattress, many other antiques.
CHILDRENS’ ROOM, dolls, books, cradles, family bathtub.
SMALL ROOM, opening in inside wall shows grout construction of the house.
SEWING ROOM, early sewing machines, shoes, women’s clothing on mannequins and in closets, chests, cabinets, jewelry boxes, etc.

The adjacent Turner Museum offers a variety of local art and a permanent exhibit called “Palmyra: Then and Now.” Get the latest updates on the Turner Museum here.

The Carlin House & Turner Museum are open Saturdays 10am-2pm May into October and by appointment. You can call 262-495-2412 for details.

You’ll find the Carlin House & Turner Museum in downtown Palmyra, right along Highway 59 just past the eastern terminus of Highway 106. Palmyra is in far southeastern Jefferson County along the Scuppernong River nestled next to the Southern Unit of Kettle Moraine.

Carlin House & Turner Museum Address:

112 N. 3rd Street (Highway 59)
Palmyra, WI 53156
(262) 495-2412
Website




Chatty Belle, the World's Largest Talking Cow

Chatty Belle, the World’s Largest Talking Cow

Chatty Belle, the World's Largest Talking CowIf you’re going to chat with a cow, why not pick one who chats back? Chatty Belle, the World’s Largest Talking Cow, is ready to converse with you in Neillsville. Chatty is a big Belle, standing 16 feet tall and 20 feet long; she’s about seven times largest than the average Holstein cow. But then again, the average Holstein doesn’t talk.

Chatty was for the 1964 World’s Fair in New York City and was installed in Neillsville, the seat of Clark County, afterward. She given her name by a 1st grader who hailed from nearby Loyal in 1966 – the prize for the little girl’s naming skills was 100 pounds of butter and a trip through the Grassland Dairy Cheese Factory.

So with Chatty’s size, how productive would she be if she were real vs. a fiberglass Holstein? James Crowley, a former Extension Dairyman at the University of Wisconsin, ran the numbers and calculated that Chatty would produce 270 pounds of milk per day – that’s 83,000 pounds per year. She’s also consumer 11 tons of grain, equivalent to 24.5 tons of silage, per year. That’s 24.5 tons of silage for 41.5 tons of milk, if you like figuring the ratios.

Chatty was originally branded as the world’s largest cow, but there was a larger one elsewhere. So a coin-operated voice box was added, allowing her to keep the title of “World’s Largest Talking Cow.” Chatty’s conversational abilities lean toward touting Wisconsin’s dairy products (shocker) but her voice box has been off-and-on in operation lately, so we can’t guarantee she’ll be in a talkative mood when you see her.

Neillsville's WCCN Station and WI World's Fair Pavilion BuildingNext door is the building used for the Wisconsin Pavilion in the 1964 World’s Fair in New York City; its design is very 60s/Jetsons/retro-but-futuristic. This cool structure now houses WCCN-AM/FM & WPKG-FM radio, along with a gift shop that sells post cards and cheese. The broadcast-style tower atop the building, with “Wisconsin” spelled out in vertical lettering, drew plenty of attention at the World’s Fair.

Chatty sits right along U.S. 10 just east of downtown Neillsville. Highway 73 comes within a few blocks to the west; Highway 95 approaches Neillsville from the south and is also a good access point.

Address for Chatty Belle, the World’s Largest Talking Cow:

1201 E. Division Street (U.S. 10)
Neillsville, WI 54456
(715) 743-2222
Facebook page

 




Rock Island Resort


Just north of Merrill along Highway 107 on Alexander Lake (yes, part of the Wisconsin River), “The Rock” has been drawing in travelers since 1928. Today, this bar hosts plenty of bands, offers camping and a boat launch, features a small beach, and has plenty of unique stuff to look at – including on top of adjacent buildings and dangling from boats perched upside down in the parking lot. Yelp categorizes it as a “dive bar”, which is probably one reason we like it. It’s a popular stop for bikers enjoying the 25-mile stretch of Highway 107 that hugs the Wisconsin River between Merrill and Tomahawk.

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Address:
N2737 Highway 107
Merrill, WI 54452
(715) 536-8560
Website

 

The Brick House Cafe, Cable


The Brick House Cafe occupies one of the oldest buildings in Cable, dating back to the late 1800’s. The building itself has been a Church parsonage, a private residence, apartments, business offices, and interior design shop. Now it’s a cafe that’s even drawn the attention of TV’s Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.

Stories abound with the cafe and its building. Cable’s original Postmaster General lived in the Brick House for while, and memorabilia was found from the 1929 Post Masters Convention during renovations. Longtime local Reverend Joe Jenkins and his family lived there for decades, and his penchant for raising chickens was discovered during a 2003 renovation; it was discovered that he had build a chicken coop in the attic, and feathers and chicken wire lined the attic walls.

The brick on the Brick House is all original, along with large stained glass windows in the front.  On the grounds, check out an original Sara Balbin sculpture called “Cable Girls”. When owners Heather and Larry Ludzack bought the building in 2003, Heather received a photograph of her Grandmother and a lifelong friend walking to Sunday School in 1924 – with the Brick House prominently in the background. Balbin’s sculupture immortalizes that moment on the lawn.

You’ll find the Brick House Cafe on Reynolds Street in downtown Cable, just off U.S. 63.

Address:
13458 Reynolds Street
Cable, WI 54821
(715) 798-5432
Website

Mickey-Lu Bar-B-Q, Marinette, along U.S. 41

Classic “burger and a shake” deliciousness awaits at Mickey-Lu Bar-B-Q. Delighting Marinette residents and visitors alike since 1942, the “Bar-B-Q” in the name refers to the charcoal grilling technique they use for cooking burgers and grilling brats – you won’t find pulled pork or brisket here. But that’s okay, because these are some of the tastiest burgers you’ll ever find in an all-American joint that looks like a trip back in time on the inside.

Mickey-Lu Grill for burgers - and buns

We hope you like your buns grilled, too.

A Mickey-Lu burger, cross-sectioned so you can see the goodness.

A Mickey-Lu burger, cross-sectioned so you can see the goodness.

The burgers are fairly small, larger than White Castles but smaller than, say, a Whopper. But they pack serious flavor, stemming from the high-quality beef, onions, pickle, and a little pat of butter – plus the cheese if you want it. Of course you have a choice of many other toppings but the basics work so well with a Mickey-Lu burger. The Zemal hard rolls are fresh bakery buns that also see some time on the grill, adding a slight crunch to the bun and holding the burger into a tight, tasty package. It’s as close to burger perfection as you’ll find. They also start at less than two bucks each.

The charm of Mickey-Lu includes not only its small size and vibrant history, but all the little authentic touches: jukeboxes on the countertop and tables (plus an original floor model that plays 45s), classic bottles, cans, and packages on shelves, even a dispenser that lets any customer have a free Tootsie Roll – but be warned: if you want another one, it’ll cost you a penny, Mr. Moneybags.

Mickey-Lu in Marinette

Mickey-Lu tabletop jukebox

The tunes crank out of these little jukeboxes at Mickey-Lu. They don’t take credit cards and they’re not hooked up to Internet. Deal with it.

Mickey-Lu is right along U.S. 41 on the south side of Marinette, near the eastern start of Highway 64; Highway 180 begins nearby on the west side of town and follows the Menomonee River. Michigan is less than two miles away, and this place draws the Yoopers. Heck, it draws Chicagoans who view this four-hour drive as worth it.




Address:
1710 Marinette Avenue (U.S. 41)
Marinette, WI 54143
(715) 735-7721

Marieke Gouda cow entrance

Marieke Gouda Store & Holland’s Family Cheese

Want to have a “Gouda” time shopping for cheese and learning about cheese and dairy? Maybe play a game or meet a cow? Enjoy some award-winning cheeses? Then a stop at the Marieke Gouda Store at Holland’s Family Cheese is a must!

Perched right along Highway 29 where it meets Highway 73 at Exit 108 in Thorp, there are several layers to this fun stop, from shopping for fun Wisconsin items to watching its favorite food getting made – and sold.

Marieke Gouda store

Marieke’s cheese and a slew of other kinds can be found here. Seriously, you want calcium? They have calcium…

The Marieke Gouda Store is the cheese factory and store, where you can buy the award-winning Marieke Gouda cheeses and all kinds of other foods, accessories, and more from Holland’s Family Farm. View the cheese factory from the store itself! They make cheese every day but Monday. Gouda varieties include everything from Black Pepper Mix to Cumin and Mustard Melange, Pesto Basil, Smoked, and many more.

Who’s Marieke, you may ask? She’s Marieke Penterman, who grew up on a dairy farm in The Netherlands, came to America, met her husband Rolf, and together they started a dairy farm in Thorp in 2002. Her cheesemaking skills led to Gouda styles that started garnering awards in 2007 and the U.S. Grand Champion Award in 2013. She also won the Wisconsin Outstanding Young Farmer Award in 2015, the first female to win. Their current facility opened in November, 2013.

Marieke Gouda Cheese Factory

Marieke Gouda Cheesemaking Tour

Across from Marieke is the Penterman Farm, where you can also watch the cheesemaking but have some fun on a jumping pillow, book a tour, and hang out with Dutchess the Cow outside – she can’t be missed.

Marieke Gouda, Bacon Gouda Cheese

We’re big Gouda fans – especially when bacon is involved!

Cafe DUTCHess is also located inside, where you can enjoy the cheeses, fresh ice cream, chocolates, or a meal from their breakfast or lunch menu. Holland’s Family Cheese, LLC hosts all of this.

Visit the store, meet their cows, book a tour, and see the passion for modern family farming and handcrafted cheesemaking.

You’ll find Marieke Gouda, Holland’s Family Cheese, and the Penterman Farm along the Highway 29 expressway at Exit 108, which is right where Highway 73 has the junction and heads north into downtown Thorp. Marieke Gouda is on the southwest corner of that interchange, within full eyeshot.

Marieke Gouda Hours:
Summer (April 1 – December 31) 7:00 am – 7:00 pm
Winter (January 1 – March 31) 7:00 am – 5:30 pm

Café DUTCHess Hours:
Monday-Saturday 7:00 am – 3:00 pm

Closed on New Years Day, Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Day.

Marieke Gouda & Holland’s Family Cheese Address:

200 W. Liberty Drive (SW corner of Highways 29 & 73)
Thorp, WI 54771
(715) 669-5230
Website




Snowflake Ski Jump in summer

Snowflake Ski Jump Complex


Perched above Timber Coulee just north of Westby in Vernon County, the Snowflake Ski Jump – used for national and international competitions – is the highest of five jumps used by skiing enthusiasts and draws competitors from all over the world each winter. It is considered a “large hill,” meaning it has a K-spot (a hill’s steepest point) of at least 106 meters. The jump rises 118-meters/387 feet high, qualifying it for Olympic trials. It is the seventh largest such ski jump in North America. It was constructed in 1960, and the first ski jumping tournament took place in 1961. Tournaments have been held every year since. Currently, the record is held by Fredrik Bjerkeengen of Norway, who jumped 130 meters on February 10, 2008.

Snowflake Ski Jump during competition

The Large Hill Meet is held early each year in February and attracts not only U.S. ski jumpers but competitors from around the world. The four smaller hills at the site include a 65 meter hill, as well as smaller 40, 20, and 10 meter hills for training junior jumpers. Many Olympic and world-class ski jumpers have competed at the complex; their annual events draw thousands of spectators each year.

The Snowflake Ski Jump is high enough to catch your eye a few miles away on Highway 27 as you drive north of Westby. Here’s an example:

Snowflake Ski Jump from County P, a few miles away

This is the Snowflake Ski Jump from County P, about two miles from Highway 27. And yes, on a clear day, it towers above the horizon from the highway, too.

Snowflake Ski Club members donate many hours preparing and grooming the hills, making use of snowmaking and grooming equipment to keep the hills in good condition regardless of natural snowfall. During the summer, you can check out Snowflake for golf and more. They also host numerous events throughout the year.

Snowflake Ski Jump verticalSnowflake Ski Jump Address:

Snowflake Ski & Golf Course
E7940 County Road P (off Highway 27)
Westby, WI 54667
(608) 634-3211
Website

To reach Snowflake from Westby or Sparta: follow County P west from Highway 27. Highway P winds around for several miles before you reach the Snowflake Ski Club & Golf Course. The intersection is just a few miles north of Westby, off U.S. 14/61.

To reach Snowflake from Norskedalen: follow County P east from County PI about five miles.



 

World’s Largest Muskie

Hayward hosts the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame, an “international headquarters for education, recognition, and promotion of freshwater sport fishing” (their words from their website.)

So it’s only fitting that this Hall of Fame would host the World’s Largest Fiberglass Sculpture, which is also the World’s Largest Muskie. Standing 143 feet long and 41 feet tall, the muskie holds names of world record-holders in fishing across the world – over 3,000 entries. You can check out the names and climb the steps to show yourself from the muskie’s mouth, 4 stories off the ground. It’s a popular place to get your picture taken… how can one resist??

National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame grounds - fiberglass fishIt’s more than the big muskie, though. The six acre spread includes the “Sea of Fishes” (why not a “school of fishes”??), a sculpture garden peppered with perch, bluegill, and more. Some are clutching fiberglass frogs; some have lures in their mouths. All are fun and interesting works of art. The museum has over 5,000 fishing lures on display along with 200 rods and reels, 400 mounted fish, and a room of outboard motors (remember, the outboard motor was invented in Wisconsin!)

National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame front entrance.

You’ll find the World’s Largest Muskie at the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame in Sawyer County, just south of downtown Hayward nestled between Hayward Lake and Highway 27. U.S. 63 and Highway 77 are within blocks. The National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame is open year ’round, so feel free to attend on a hot summer day, a chilly winter day during the annual American Birkebeiner, or the World Lumberjack Championships, which takes place annually just a stone’s throw away.

Address:
10360 Hall of Fame Drive (Highway 27)
Hayward, WI
(715) 634-4440
Website

Indian Mounds Park, Whitewater


Also known as the Whitewater Effigy Mounds Preserve, Indian Mounds Park covers 22-acres and preserves a prehistoric, Native American ceremonial and burial site dating back to between 200 and 1000 A.D. You’ll find a collection of animal and geometric mounds, and along the east bank of an old river bed, a former community area that once held 30 circular huts where early mound builders lived. The dozen or so effigy mounds at the site are what survive, and they continue to serve as a setting for Native American ceremonial pow-wows.

Indian Mounds Park is open daily and admission is free. You’ll find it on the west side of Whitewater, between Historic/”Business” U.S. 12 through town and the U.S. 12 Bypass. Highways 59 and 89 are also close.

World's Largest Muskie in Hayward, along US Highway 63

World’s Largest Muskie

Hayward hosts the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame, so it’s only natural they would also have the World’s Largest Muskie. Standing 143 feet long and 41 feet tall, the muskie holds names of world record-holders in fishing across the world – over 3,000 entries. You can check out the names and climb the steps to show yourself from the muskie’s mouth, 4 stories off the ground. It’s a popular place to get your picture taken… how can one resist?? This fish also holds the title of the World’s Largest Fiberglass Sculpture, so you’re getting two for one in terms of “World’s Largest” distinctions.

National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame grounds - fiberglass fishCheck out the grounds of the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame while you’re there. The six acre spread includes the “Sea of Fishes” (why not a “school of fishes”??), a sculpture garden peppered with perch, bluegill, and more. Some are clutching fiberglass frogs; some have lures in their mouths. All are fun and interesting works of art. The museum has over 5,000 fishing lures on display along with 200 rods and reels, 400 mounted fish, and a room of outboard motors (remember, the outboard motor was invented in Wisconsin!)

We have a whole gallery of photos here.

National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame front entrance.

You’ll find the World’s Largest Muskie at the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame in Sawyer County in the midst of the vast North Woods. It’s just south of downtown Hayward nestled between Hayward Lake and Highway 27. U.S. 63 and Highway 77 are within blocks. The National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame is open year ’round, so feel free to attend on a hot summer day, a chilly winter day during the annual American Birkebeiner, or the World Lumberjack Championships, which takes place annually just a stone’s throw away.

Address:
10360 Hall of Fame Drive (Highway 27)
Hayward, WI
(715) 634-4440
Website

 

First Kindergarten in Watertown

America’s First Kindergarten

Watertown is officially recognized as the site of America’s first kindergarten. In 1856, Watertown was Wisconsin’s second largest city, sitting at the western end of the famous Watertown Plank Road from Milwaukee. Watertown resident Margarethe Meyer Schurz, wife of the famous German-American statesman Carl Schurz, learned about children’s education in her native Hamburg, Germany. She opened a school known as a “children’s garden” – aka a “kindergarten” – for her kids and some relatives’ kids. When other area kids wanted to enroll, she expanded from their home on Church Street into a building on Second and Jones in downtown Watertown.

The Schurz’ left Watertown in 1858 for Milwaukee and eventually Washington DC, where Carl Schurz became minister to Spain and served in other roles in President Abraham Lincoln’s cabinet. He later became editor of the New York Post.

The building continued to host kindergarten classes for over four decades before becoming a cigar factory, then a fish store, and then a religious bookstore. In 1956, the building was moved to its current location behind another famous historic landmark, The Octagon House. Both are now operated by the Watertown Historical Society and are open for tours. The interior depicts a day when classes were in session.

You’ll find the site of America’s first kindergarten behind the Octagon House on Charles Street. It’s southeast of downtown Watertown, just south of Highway 19, Business Highway 16 and east of Business Highway 26.

Hours
11:00 to 3:00 from May 1st to Memorial Day
10:00am to 4:00pm daily from day after Memorial Day through Labor Day
11:00am to 3:00pm after Labor Day to October 31
Closed for the season Nov 1 to April 30
Tours are fully guided every hour on the hour

Admission
$9.00 for adults
$8.00 for senior citizens and AAA members
$5.00 for children 6 to 17 years of age

Address:
919 Charles Street
Watertown, WI 53094
(920) 261-2796
Website

Wedl's Hamburgers & Ice Cream Parlor, Jefferson

Wedl’s Hamburger Stand, Jefferson

Wedl's outdoor burger stand

64 square feet of hamburger heaven at Wedl’s in Jefferson, along US 18 just east of Business Highway 26.

Along U.S. 18 right by the city/”business” route of Highway 26, you’ll find that good things come in small packages. Wedl’s, perhaps one of the smallest burger stands in the nation, is ready to provide small, tasty burgers using a cast iron skillet over a century old. All from a building that measures about 64 square feet.

Wedl’s Hamburger Stand & Ice Cream Parlor is a combination burger grill and ice cream shop in downtown Jefferson with roots that go back to the shop’s original opening in 1916. The outdoor stand opened three years later. Ownership has changed through the years; previous names for the Wedl’s include Becker’s (1949-1974) and Armstrong’s (1974-2002). The seasoned cast iron skillet, an original, dates back over 100 years; it was launched into the street when an 80-year-old driver plowed into the small stand in 1999. While the stand was destroyed, the two employees inside were not seriously injured. The grill was found about a half block down the street, restored, and put back into service after a rebuild.

Wedl's Burger Stand in Jefferson, right off the more than century-old grill

This cast iron skillet, over 100 years old, seasons and cooks the tasty little burgers at one of tastiest burger stands in the country: Wedl’s in Jefferson.

Wedl’s offers their burger slider-style. The meat patties are around 1/8 pound, so a “double” is 1/4 pound. As described by Robby Wedl, manager and part owner, they start with a big mound of lard in the morning. They add the patties as orders come in, add onions and cheese when people want them, and they gradually use up all the lard. And that’s a big reason these burgers taste so good: old-fashioned lard.  It’s not the lightest way you can cook up a burger, but there’s no doubt it’s natural and delicious. And a little greasy sometimes.

Cheese, bacon, and either raw or fried onions are your choices for toppings when Wedl’s serves you; no lettuce or tomatoes. They do offer condiments and pickles you can add yourself, though, on the metal tray in front of the pick-up window. You can also get pizza burgers and – from the other kitchen inside – fish or chicken sandwhiches, hot dogs, brat, and the like. Sides range from onion rings and fries to jalapeno poppers and nachos. See their full menu here.

A double cheeseburger from Wedl's in Jefferson

Part-way through a double cheeseburger. They’re so good, you almost forget to take a picture.

Wedl’s is popular for carry-out orders. You can also eat inside the parlor or on the patio deck in the back on good weather days. You’ll find the stand right along U.S. 18/Racine Street, one block east of “Business” Highway 26 in downtown Jefferson. It’s also about a mile east of Highway 89 and the newer Highway 26 bypass. Either way, it’s definitely worth the stop!

Wedl’s Hamburgers & Ice Cream Parlor Address:

200 E. Racine Street (U.S. 18)
Jefferson, WI 53549
(920) 674-3637
Website




Wisconsin Korean War Veterans Memorial


Wisconsin’s Korean War Veterans Memorial is in Plover, just south of Stevens Point along I-39/U.S. 51 at the County B exit. It rises on an island in Lake Pacawa is a small park known as Worzella Pines Park.

The Gateway area features an “Isle of Honor” commemorating the 132,000 Wisconsin residents who served in the Armed Forces during Korean War, including 4,286 who were injured and 801 who died. The Main Wall is filled with memorials, statues commemorate soldiers, medical staff, and others who served in the line of fire, and thousands of tiles are posted in memory of individuals.

Address:
Plover, WI 54467
Website

Colonial Cheese House


Situated where Highways 21 & 116 cross the Fox River in downtown Omro, the Colonial Cheese House specializes in aged cheeses, including “super aged cheddars,” and also features fruit cheddars (like cranberry cheddar), nut cheddars, curds, beef sticks, and a variety of sausages and cheese spreads.

It’s also a popular place for sandwiches, subs, and take-home pizzas (which they’ll bake you to enjoy in their place for an extra buck.)

But it’s the Wisconsin cheese and sausage selection that makes this a State Trunk Tour pick. Check it out if you’re heading through Omro!

Address:
230 W. Main Street (Highways 21 & 116)
Omro, WI 54963
(920) 685-6570
Website

Ben Bikin statue in Sparta

Ben Bikin, the World’s Largest Bicyclist

Ben Bikin is the crown jewel in Sparta’s crown as the “Bicycling Capital of America.” Sparta is the northern terminus of the Elroy-Sparta Trail, the first rail-to-trail project in the United States. Other major trails, including the La Crosse River Trail, converge here. The city celebrates bicycling throughout the year, although summer and fall is clearly preferred.

Ben Bikin stands 32 feet high atop an 1890s-era Penny Farthing bicycle. A local company, F.A.S.T. (Fiberglass, Animals, Shapes, and Trademarks) Corp., created the statue, where he’s been stationary in his present location in 1995. He is considered the World’s Largest Bicyclist.

The statue of Ben inspired the mayor of Port Byron, Illinois to commission FAST Corp to build a similar statue for their town. This replica in Illinois was named Will B. Rollin’ and it inspired a bicycle ride between the two towns. Now, the annual Will To Ben Bike Tour gives riders the opportunity to cover over 300 miles of beautiful roadways from Will B. Rollin’ in Port Byron to Ben Bikin in Sparta. Will To Ben runs annually in early October, when fall colors are often at or close to peak.

Ben Bikin even has his own Facebook page. You’ll find him perched on his bike at the corner of Highway 16/71 (Wisconsin Street) and Water, on the edge of downtown Sparta.

Ben Bikin Address:

101 E. Wisconsin Street (Highways 16/71 at Highway 21)
Sparta, WI 54656
(800) 354-2453




Sparta is also home to the Deke Slayton Memorial & Bicycle Museum and has a lot of small town charm. Highways 16, 21, 27, and 71 reach Sparta, as well as I-90 via Exits 25 and 28. Tomah is about 15 miles to the east and La Crosse is about 25 miles to the west-southwest. The city is in the midst of Wisconsin’s beautiful Driftless Area and features abrupt hills and attractive topography.

Pete's Burger Stand, Prairie du Chien

Pete’s Hamburger Stand, Prairie du Chien

Ever had a poached burger? Pete’s, a legend in Prairie du Chien since 1909, has one of the most unusual burger cooking methods in America. And their burgers are so well loved, that’s the only thing on the menu. I mean sure, you can add chips and a soda, but that’s about it.

The origins of Pete’s date back to Pete Gokey, who would cook up hamburgers at local events. To help keep the burgers moist, he began pouring water on the flattop grill – and then flavoring that water with a pile of onions. Today, Pete’s Hamburger stand on Blackhawk Drive employs a flattop grill, onions, and water to cook smashed 4-oz balls of fresh beef in a narrow trailer along the street. They cook the burgers up 60-70 at a time, constantly smashing the patties and letting the burgers cook in the flavorful stew-like water on the grill. After about 12-15 minutes when they’re cooked – most end up well done – they dole them out to patient customers. And they come from miles around.

Pete's Burgers on the watery, oniony grill

Pete’s burgers sizzling on the flattop, stewing in water and onions for a unique and delicious flavor.

There are two ways to order burgers here: “With” or “Without”, referring to onions (all the burgers have a bit of an onion flavor because of the onion-y water they cook in, but you can have them add more stewed onions on top.) Pete’s doesn’t offer cheese on its burgers; I mean really, how are you going to properly melt cheese on a burger cooking in water? You’re welcome to add your own if you want, though – and they have the other toppings and condiments you may prefer. But really, a Pete’s plain on that small locally-make bakery bun is about as pure and tasty of a hamburger as you can get!

See more about Pete’s from this Burger Land: Wisconsin segment on the Travel Channel. Moreover, State Trunk Tour founder Eric Paulsen manned the grill at Pete’s for the Discover Wisconsin show… see how it works here!

You’ll find Pete’s on Blackhawk Drive in downtown Prairie du Chien, just north of Highway 27, a few blocks west of Highway 35, and two blocks north of U.S. 18 & Highway 60. The bridge to Iowa is mere blocks away, and all the action on St. Feriole Island from the Dousman House to Villa Louis is also close by.

Pete’s Hours:

May through October (through October 21 in 2018)
Friday 11am – 9pm
Saturday 11am – 9pm
Sunday 11am – 7pm

Pete’s Hamburger Stand Address:

118 W. Blackhawk Avenue
Prairie du Chien, WI 53821
Website




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World's Largest Corkscrew along U.S. 2 in Hurley, Wisconsin

World’s Largest Corkscrew


Some places in Vienna, Austria and Bangkok, Thailand may beg to differ, but Hurley, Wisconsin lays claim to the World’s Largest Corkscrew. It’s located along U.S. Highway 2 just west of the Wisconsin-Michigan border by about one mile on the northern side of Hurley. It’s also just west of national northern terminus of U.S. 51 and the eastern end of Highway 77.

It’s right in front of – fittingly enough – a liquor store. The owner is apparently a corkscrew collector, with none larger than the one out front.

Corkscrew Liquor Store along U.S. 2 in Hurley, home to the World's Largest Corkscrew

World’s Largest Corkscrew (and Corkscrew Liquor Store) Address:

5619 W. U.S. Highway 2
Hurley, WI 54534
(715) 561-5645
Facebook page




Timms Hill, Wisconsin’s highest natural point

At 1,951.5 feet above sea level, Timms Hill is Wisconsin’s highest natural point. Located in Price County, it’s in the Town of – wait for it – Hill (clever, no??) just south of Highway 86 and also bounded by Highways 13 and 102. The small town of Ogema is just to the west, and Tomhawk is about 17 miles to the east.

ogema_timmshillsignTimms Hill was designated the state’s official highest natural point after a survey in 1962 made the determination. For many years, Rib Mountain on the edge of Wausau was considered the highest point. Several hill peaks in this region, however, peak higher. Towering above nearby Bass Lake, Timms Hill is 48.5 feet short of being able to claim true “mountain” status, since the threshold is officially 2,000 feet (Rib still gets away with calling itself a mountain, even though official geographers call that a hill, too.)

The best access to Timms Hill (by vehicle, at least) is from Highway 86 at County C (from the west) or County RR (from the east.) They take you to Timms Hill County Park, which includes the beautiful Bass Lake and Timms Hill itself, which you access via a gorgeous, narrow, twisty drive leading to a parking area. From there, several trails let you wander the area and access the observation tower, which offers a view extending 30 miles or more in every direction.

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By the time you’ve climbed the tower, you’re at or above 2,000 feet above sea level and looking out across the chunk of Wisconsin.

Once you climb the tower, the views – especially in the fall – are fantastic! See more photos below:




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Welcome to the Only Waunakee In The World

Waunakee

The first town is Waunakee (pop. 8,995). the “only Waunankee in the world”, as they like to point out. It was founded as Leicester in 1870; the following year, two early settlers persuaded the St. Paul Railroad, via cash and land, to relocate through their property instead of the original intended location two miles north. A post office and other buildings sprouted up, and the village incorporated as Waunakee (one Native American meaning: “the fair and pleasant valley”) in 1893. For about three miles, Highway 113 joins with 19 before heading south to Madison. Highway 19, meanwhile, continues east and meets up with a fast-growing crossroads on the south end of Windsor, crossing both I-39/90/94 and U.S. Highway 51 within a mile of each other.

View of Angell Park Speedway

Sun Prairie

Downtown Sun Prairie During Sweet Corn Festival

During the Sweet Corn Festival, Sun Prairie residents and visitors take in the town square area, which combines historical buildings with new condo development rapidly working to strength the city’s downtown.

The development boom coming in from Madison is very evident along this stretch, passing U.S. Highway 151 (now an expressway from Madison all the way to Fond du Lac) and going into the heart of Sun Prairie (pop. 24,219), one of the fastest-growing cities in Wisconsin. Forget Punxsutawney Phil in Pennsylvania: Sun Prairie holds the official title of “Groundhog Capital of the World”, as noted in the Congressional Record. Jimmy the Groundhog makes his annual prediction in Sun Prairie on February 2nd. Why February 2nd, you might ask? Well, apparently it’s because that’s a “cross-quarter day”, normally the midway point between the Winter Solstice and the Vernal Equinox.

Georgia O'Keeffe's Birthplace

As Georgia O’Keeffe’s birthplace and childhood home, Sun Prairie notes her history right along Highway 19

Along with Groundhog Day, Sun Prairie is known for being the native hometown of Georgia O’Keeffe, whose famous paintings continue to inspire and influence artists worldwide. Her parents’ names were Francis Calyxtus O’Keeffe and Ida Totto O’Keeffe, in case you were worried that Wisconsin dairy farmers who sire famous artistic offspring don’t have unique enough names.

View of Angell Park SpeedwaySun Prairie is a racing town, too. Angell Park Speedway is a 1/3-mile dirt track hosting midget races from mid-May through Labor Day weekend. Drivers like Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon have hauled around this track, which also hosts the National Midget Racing Hall of Fame. Open during the racing season, the Hall salutes drivers like A.J. Foyt, Parnelli Jones and Ron “Sleepy” Tripp, who got his nickname because he would often fall asleep in the cockpit of his racer waiting for the next race to begin.

Jimmy The Groundhog

On February 2, Jimmy whispered the prognosis into Sun Prairie mayor Joe Chase’s ear (he’s in the top hat.) Jimmy is being held by Jerry Hahn, who provides Jimmy’s care during the year; State Representative Gary Hebl is to the left. (Photo courtesy of the Sun Prairie Chamber of Commerce.)

Past Sun Prairie, countryside takes over for the ride to Marshall. You come across some interesting stuff along the road sides.

Herb and Helen Haydock World of Beer Memorabilia Museum


Located in the lower level of the Minhas Craft Brewery in Monroe, the Herb and Helen Haydock World of Beer Memorabilia Museum claims to be the largest museum of its kind. You’ll find hundreds of brewery advertisements, lithographs and prints dating all the way back to the mid-1800s. An impressive collection of tap handles, growlers, model cars, trucks and trains from all around the world. It’s a must-stop if you stop in for a brewery tour or just to browse the gift shop.

The Haydock World of Beer Memorabilia Museum is just southwest of Monroe’s downtown square, with Highways 11, 59, 69, and 81 all nearby.

Address:
1208 14th Avenue
Monroe, WI 53566
(800) 233-7205
Website

World's Largest Carousel at House on the Rock

World’s Largest Carousel


Inside the legendary House on the Rock along Highway 23 south of Spring Green, Wisconsin, you’ll find the World’s Largest Carousel. This amazing, dizzying display of lights, animals, figurines and more sits inside one of the House on the Rock buildings.

This carousel, replete with music similar to the tunes emanating from so many other instruments in this dazzling attraction, features over 20,000 lights; 182 chandeliers; and 269 animals – ironically, not one of them is a horse. Making its debut in 1981, the World’s Largest Carousel measures 80 feet in diameter, is 35 feet high, and weights 36 tons!

No, you can’t ride it.




World’s Largest Carousel Address:

Inside House on the Rock
5754 Wisconsin Highway 23
Spring Green, WI 53588
(608) 935-3639
Website

Baumgartners in Monroe on the town square

Baumgartner’s Cheese Store & Tavern


Baumgartner’s Cheese Store & Tavern in Monroe is a State Trunk Tour favorite! A cheese shop and tavern established in 1931, Baumgartner’s is a highlight of any road trip, serving up selections of cheese, sausage, beer, and some terrific fresh sandwiches. Our favorite is the brick cheese and summer sausage on rye, especially if you take advantage of their variety of mustards. The house specialty is the limburger sandwich, featuring cheese direct from the only limburger cheesemaker in the United States: nearby Chalet Cheese Cooperative, which is only a few miles up the road.

Baumgartner's brick and summer sausage sandwich

Not the best lighting, but it IS one of the best sandwiches. Summer Sausage & Brick on Rye at Baumgartner’s.

The walls are adorned with murals, maps (check the pins indicating where people have visited from all over the world, especially Europe), and fascinating artwork while up top the ceiling is peppered with dollar bills, thrown up expertly by staff members who know how to incorporate a tack, a little weight, and a strong throw straight upward to help the donated bills stay there. About once a year, Baumgartner’s takes down the money and donates it to a different local charity.

Baumgartner's menu and taps

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Dollar bills, embedded in the ceiling from skillful employees, hover over you in Baumgartner’s. Each year, the money is donated to a local charity.

A festive atmosphere often permeates Baumgartner’s, as does the scent of Limburger cheese when a hearty soul orders it as part of a sandwich. They have a variety of foods to enjoy, cheese and sausage to buy, and people to meet, as this is a destination for many tourists from around the world. Check out where they’re all from on large national and world maps that adorn the south wall.

Baumgartner’s is right on Monroe’s town square, which hugs the beautiful Green County Courthouse across the street. Minhas Brewery – and its new distillery and wine-tasting room – is just down the street. Highways 11, 59, 69, and 81 all bring you to Monroe and this tasty Wisconsin experience.

Baumgartner's Limburger sign in Monroe

Baumgartner’s Address:

1023 16th Avenue
Monroe, WI 53566
(608) 325-6157
Website




Baumgartner's Cheese Store & Tavern front

The front entrance to Baumgartner’s, a destination for cheese and sausage (and beer) fans from around the world.

US Bank Tower, Milwaukee

US Bank Tower, Milwaukee

The US Bank Tower has been Wisconsin’s tallest building since 1973. Once Milwaukee’s tallest by far for decades, several newer 30 story-plus buildings give it some company and created a fuller skyline that the US Bank Tower highlights rather than dominates.

The US Bank Tower rises 42 stories; it is 601 feet from street level to the roof.  The cross-bracing horizontal rows at floors 2-3, 16-17 and 41-42 give the building its distinctive look. Constructed from 1971-1973, it’s still the tallest office tower between St. Paul and Chicago (the cities, not the nearby streets.) It has 5,000 windows and encompasses 1.3 million square feet of space – mostly offices. A lower atrium features shops, places for workers to eat and drink, and connections to nearby buildings via several skywalks.

US Bank Tower with the Milwaukee skyline from Discovery World

Milwaukee’s skyline is growing, but the US Bank Tower remains the city’s tallest.

The US Bank Tower can be seen from 25 miles out in Lake Michigan. From the road, you can spot it from I-41/94 at the Milwaukee-Racine County line coming in from Chicago. It can even be seen from I-41 southbound near Highway 60 way out in Slinger, where elevation offers a long vantage point to downtown, especially when there are few leaves on the trees.

State Trunk Tour Tidbit:

When Allan H. (“Bud”) Selig was Commissioner of Major League Baseball, he maintained his office in the tower (33rd floor, if we remember correctly), so in a sense the headquarters of MLB was in Milwaukee for two decades.

 

The US Bank Tower used to have a public observation deck on the 41st floor but it was closed to protect peregrine falcons, which have a hacking box up there for birthing and nesting.

US Bank Tower view of Art Museum to Lake Michigan

From the 40th floor of the US Bank Tower, you can easily see the Milwaukee Art Museum’s distinctive “wings” and quite a ways out into Lake Michigan.

The US Bank Tower is easy to spot, of course. The building is close to a ton of key attractions in Milwaukee, including Discovery World, the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum, Summerfest and Henry Maier Festival Park, the Historic Third Ward, the Milwaukee Art Museum, and many more. The view it from I-794 and the Hoan Bridge is part of a fantastic city skyline view. U.S. 18/Michigan Street literally runs under the building’s atrium, and Highway 32/Milwaukee Street is just a few blocks away. I-43, I-94, and Highways 38, 57, 59, and 145 all come within a mile of the building.

Address:
777 East Wisconsin Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53202
Website

Fort Winnebago

Fort Winnebago Surgeon’s Quarters Historic Site

Fort Winnebago was constructed at the portage between the strategically important Fox and Wisconsin Rivers at the city of Portage in Columbia County. It was one of three forts built to protect settlers and commerce along the crucial Fox-Wisconsin Waterway; the other two were Fort Crawford in Prairie du Chien at the Mississippi River and Fort Howard at Green Bay, making Fort Winnebago is only of these three built in the state’s interior.

Fort Winnebago Surgeon’s Quarters was built in 1824 as a trading post and is the only remaining building from the fort itself, which was deactivated in 1845. U.S. Army surgeons used the building for their quarters, hence the name. Next door, the Garrison School is a 19th century one-room schoolhouse built around 1850. It originally stood nearby on the corner of Garrison Road and the Military Road; it remained an active school building until 1960 and was moved to the Fort Winnebago site shortly thereafter. It has many interesting period artifacts and continues to be set up as a schoolroom.

The building is one of the oldest French Colonial log structures in the state; it’s owned, operated, and maintained by the Wisconsin Society Daughters of the American Revolution and is furnished with many 19th century period pieces throughout.

Fort Winnebago and Garrison School

Tours are available during the warmer months; they last for 90 minutes and are popular for school and senior tours. You can check it out during the season, which runs generally from mid-May through in season. Kayak, canoe, and bike tour groups can also schedule rest stops or overnights, where camping is available. The Heritage Gift Shop, located in a building dating back to 1858, will happily sell you crafts and articles related to this historic site.

You’ll find Fort Winnebago Surgeon’s Quarters Historic Site right along Highway 33 between the Fox River and Portage Canal crossings on the eastern end of the city of Portage. U.S. 51 and Highway 16 are about one mile to the west; I-39 and Highway 127 are about three miles to the west, and Highway 78 ends about four miles south, where I-90/94 runs. all of these highways bring you close.

Fort Winnebago entrance on Highway 33

Admission:
Adults $7.50
Seniors (age 65+) $6.00
Children 6-18  $3.00
Children under 5 FREE
Families (2 adults and 2 children) $18.00
Students with School ID (18-25) $3.00
School tours children and chaperones each $3.00
Military: Active, Retired, Disabled with ID Free

Address:
1824 E. Wisconsin Highway 33
Portage, WI 53901
(608) 742-2949
Website

Widmer’s Cheese Cellars

Located in Theresa at the northeast corner of Dodge County, Widmer’s makes brick, cheddar, and colby cheeses that are popular around the state and much of the country. The factory in downtown Theresa dates back to 1922 and today they crank out over 360,000 pounds of cheese per year – so yeah, about 1,000 pounds per day.

Their 12,000 square foot facility includes the original cheesemaking vats, which you can see when you walk into their store. They have a great selection of their fresh and aged cheeses – right from the source.

Their facility is just off Highways 28, 67, and 175. I-41 just a few miles to the east.

Address:
214 W. Henni Street
Theresa, WI 53091
(920) 488-2503
Website

The Pearl Ice Cream Parlor & Confectionery


One step into this old-fashioned soda fountain and ice cream parlor, and you’re whisked back to an earlier, sweeter era. Everything from home-mixed ice cream in waffle cones made right in the store to scratch-made flavored soads and rich, tasty malts from the old-school Hamilton Beach mixer and the metal cup delights the senses. A wall of candies, chocolates, nuts, and other treats make this one of the more complete confectioneries you’ll find anywhere – it could be the 1930s in here!

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lacrosse_thepearl04The Pearl is located right on (surprise!) Pearl Street in downtown La Crosse, right near the La Crosse Center. U.S. 53 begins just to the east; U.S 14/61 and Highways 16 and 33 are just a few blocks to the south; and Highway 35 is about a mile to the east. Basically, if you heard towards downtown La Crosse where all the bars, restaurants, shops, and nightlife are, you’re practically within eyeshot of The Pearl. It’s definitely a great, sweet stop.

The Pearl, waffle cone making

Want a fresh waffle cone? They don’t get any fresher than this!

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I stocked up on candy cigs; you don’t find them around very often. Don’t worry, I paid for them.

Address:
207 Pearl Street
La Crosse, WI 54601
(608) 782-6655
Website

Big Manitou Falls and some of the spectacular rock formations near it.

Big Manitou Falls, Wisconsin’s highest waterfall

With an oft-brownish tint in the water – which is just from the natural minerals in area – Big Manitou Falls sends the Black River tumbling 165 feet over a rocky drop on its way to the St. Louis River delta.

Big Manitou is Wisconsin’s highest waterfall and fourth highest east of the Rockies. Much of the year the water is either frozen or relatively light in volume, but during snow melt and after significant rains the falls generate a roaring noise and add vibrancy to the park’s already stellar natural beauty.

Big Manitou Falls drops 165 feet.The rock formations at the bottom of Big Manitou Falls make for a frothy set of swirls for the water, which eventually make their way down the rest of the Black River to the St. Louis River and Lake Superior. The noises emanating from Big Manitou caused many Native Americans to feel they were hearing the voices of a “Great Spirit,” which helped lead to the name “Gitchee Manitou.”

Big Manitou Falls is the centerpiece of Pattison State Park, named for early settler Martin Pattison. He was an early lumber man and miner, and amassed enough wealth to build a mansion in Superior, just up the road, that today is known as Fairlawn Mansion & Museum.

superior-pattison-bigmanitou08Pattison State Park’s construction in 1920 (and its 1935 expansion as part of a CCC project) allowed people to visit the falls, walk over three miles of trails, and experience the beauty of Big Manitou Falls from multiple angles. There are several scenic overlooks of the falls; one is accessible from trails that go under Highway 35, the others can be accessed just off County B.

Big Manitou Falls has essentially twin siblings upstream in the form of Little Manitou Falls, two waterfalls each 31 feet high. Those are accessible by heading south on Highway 35 about 1/2 mile; signs will point you to Little Manitou and the site of the early labor camp for the park.

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Little Manitou Falls is just upstream from Big Manitou, also in Pattison State Park.

You’ll find Big Manitou Falls and Pattison State Park along Highway 35 about 15 miles south of Superior in Douglas County – the far northwestern corner of Wisconsin. The majesty of these falls makes it worth the drive. You can access the falls and park via several county roads heading west from the U.S. 53 freeway, too.

 

 

Eau Claire River Dells Park

Located off Highway 52 via County Road Y near Aniwa, the Eau Claire River Dells is one of the special jewels in Marathon County’s park system. The Dells of the Eau Claire River Park encompasses fantastic geological features created by the Eau Claire River. Ancient volcanic rock palisades and potholes carved in the rock by the falling water create a unique place at the dells and gorge. The river runs through the heart of this 190-acre park, as does the Ice Age Trail.

A dam upstream from the falls creates an impoundment which allows for a swimming beach. There are 27 campsites (open May 1 through October 31) and a number of nature trails right on the banks of the Eau Claire River. Numerous waterfalls and rapids add to the scenic beauty amidst beautiful rock formations. Some of these formations are quite high; we’ve “cliff jumped” off some of these rocks to water 75 feet below. We wouldn’t recommend diving, however.

The Park is open from 6am-11pm, seven days a week. You can access the Dells of the Eau Claire River by following Highway 52 to County Y, northeast of Wausau. From Wausau itself, you can also follow County Z east 14 miles and then turn north on County Y.

Address:
P2150 County Road Y
Aniwa, WI 54408
(715) 261-1550
Website



Rookies

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Upper deck: Highway 19 basically starts right at Rookies; this view is from their parking lot. Turn around, and you see an authentic regulation whiffle ball field with a great ballpark look and a rather nice view behind it. Lower deck: The bar is in the front, the restaurant (pictured) is in the back and the men’s bathroom (right) could keep you in there for hours, for the right reasons. I was going to check out the women’s restroom but was blocked.

HIghway 19 in northern Dane County

Mazomanie

The Drive (West to East): Highway 19 begins along U.S. Highway 14 where Highway 78 turns off, just east of Mazomanie (pop. 1,578). It’s a good idea to start by checking out Mazomanie, a lovely little burg that was recently voted one of “America’s Coolest Small Towns” by Budget Travel magazine.

Highway 19’s start takes place right at a remarkable little sports bar called Rookies, which deserves its own little photo collage. Popular with baseball players, bikers, drivers and craft beer aficianados, Rookies is what most other sports bars strive to be. Memorabilia is here in incredible abundance. Check this out: