Tag Archive | canoe

Wonewoc -The Midpoint of the 400 Trail


IMG_1968Downtown Wonewoc

Wonewoc is a small community of 816 people in Juneau county that plays an important role in the bicycling community by being the half-way point of the 400 State Trail.  The community was originally settled by Yankee colonists from New England. The name Wonewoc means “howling hills”. This is the “driftless area”, untouched by the glacier. George and Lucinda Willard settled here in 1851. The railroad helped build this community, it is no longer here though.

Lets begin by exploring downtown Wonewoc, most buildings are made of red brick here.  I also noticed nearly every storefront was occupied too, a good sign of a healthy economy.  The town keeps the residents informed of local events and supports their business with their Facebook page, Wonewoc Main Street Merchants.

Downtown Wonewoc

The first store on our left is Beyond Boundaries, LLC (formerly Talg’s Feed Mill, over 100 years old!). They rent canoes, kayaks and bikes. The Baraboo River flows through town a short distance from here and helped power early industry. Across the street from Beyond Boundaries is the Veterans Memorial.

Wonewoc Vets Memorial

The other business on this side of the block is Degner’s Corner Bar, also serving food.

Degner's Corner Bar in Wonewoc

We begin the 2nd block on the right side.

2nd Block of downtown Wonewoc

The side street is Washington Street, where we find the original City Hall building.

1916 City Hall building in Wonewoc

I even found a plaque recognizing all the people and organizations that helped re-vitalize downtown. Also a great mural.

Center Street Renovation in Wonewoc

Wonewoc mural

We come to the other end of the street and Old Blue’s Pizzeria and the Wonewoc Bakery. I stopped in the bakery and got 6 doughnuts, only $3.60 and very good!  The owners are very friendly and would love it if you stopped by. Here are their hours.

Wonewoc Bakery and Old Blues Pizzeria

Wonewoc Bakery insideWonewoc Bakery Hours

On the other side from here are:

 Blossoms and Bouquets FTD Florist, Britnics Café, The Mayer’s Off Ice, Center Street Coffee and Treats, The Silent Rooster, the Post office, and Bernie’s Wagon Wheel II.

Downtown Wonewoc 2nd block

As you see, a great many stores and restaurants.

Wonewoc was also home to noted Dode Fisk, gravestone monument located in Pine Eden Cemetery at the edge of town. He owned a circus and traveled the country.

Fisk Monument in Wonewoc

Now for the 400 trail. Just behind downtown is the trail, with a depot, restrooms and signage listing the downtown businesses. Hungry bikers will have plenty of options for refreshment at this convenient midpoint.

The 400 Trail in Wonewoc

Wonewoc sign on 400 Trail

Wonewoc History and Map sign

Our final destination here is the Canoe Landing. This used to be where the mills were located, powered by the Baraboo River. It is now called “The Lost District”, where Wonewoc Began.

Canoe Landing in Wonewoc

Wonowoc Lost District sign

That summarizes our visit to Wonewoc. We look forward to our return, perhaps at one of their many festivals.

It’s Amore on Brady Street – Milwaukee


Brady Street is a street with character and spunk.  It was settled by mainly Italian immigrants over a century ago and their decendants still own many businesses on this colorful street.  The TV show “Around the Corner with John McGivern” inspired us to come here.  He was right, what a fun place in the heart of Wisconsin’s largest city. Watch it here too.

We arrived early on this beautiful spring morning with businesses starting to open.  Brady St. has parking meters. If you don’t mind walking a couple blocks, we parked on the side of the street by Cass Park to park free. Great park for kids to enjoy. We couldn’t resist posing under the big cat archway.

Cass Park arch Milwaukee

We continued our walk and saw another little park, redbuds in bloom.

Park at N. Marshall and E. Lyon St.

We see a banner on the light pole as we reach Brady Street.

Brady Street banner


The first business we saw was Glorioso’s Italian Market, a wonderful place with lots of great food, some imported from Italy. We even had lunch there too, yum! Bring a cooler in the summer, you may be bringing home some of their meat and cheeses.

Glorioso's Collage

Another great place we stopped at was Dryhootch Coffee House. They have a special mission, they donate part of their proceeds to help vets. Learn more about this specific store here.   Our barista made us delicious café au laits and made us welcome! Al fit right in, being a Navy vet himself.

Dryhootch Coffee House


Thumbs up to Dryhootch!

Thumbs up to Dryhootch!

Berry Me Frozen Yogurt is another popular place.

Berry Me  on Brady St. Milwaukee


We reach one end of the street, The Dogg Haus is ready to serve up Chicago specialties.

The Dogg Haus

After lunch at Glorioso’s, we went to see the part of Brady St. we missed.  The street being 9 blocks long, there was a lot to see. St. Hedwig – Three Holy Women Catholic Church has been a cornerstone of this community since 1886.

St. Hedwig Catholic Church Milwaukee

The Dragonfly is a unique store inside as well as out, a gargoyle sits atop the roof overlooking Brady Street.


The Dragonfly in Milwaukee


Well, we finally make it to the other end of Brady Street. We come upon a bridge overlooking the Milwaukee River. What a view! This is the right side.

IBridge near Brady St. Milwaukee Right side view


The left side..You can see a couple canoeing down the river.  This will take you all the way down to where we were last year, the Milwaukee Ale House.

Brady Street Bridge left side


Milwaukee Ale House

Near the bridge is McCormack-Mervis Brady Street park, ending our journey today.  We hope you enjoyed Brady Street, we plan on returning again. What a fun day!

McCormack-Mervis Brady Street Park


Brady Street Park Milwaukee

Talking Turkey in Boscobel


Boscobel sign

Its also Wisconsin’s Outdoor Recreation Destination too!

Boscobel is located in Grant County, not far from Muscoda.  This area was first discovered by French explorers  Louis Joliet and Jacque Marquette in 1673.  “Bosq” in French means “wood” and”belle” means “beautiful”.  Read about the community history here, as well as Grant County.  Today its a thriving community of 3000 ready to welcome visitors (including us) and new residents alike.

Turkey hunting takes place often several times a year. Contact the DNR for turkey season and licensing.   Boscobel has many places for lodging, including the Sands Motel.

Sands Motel

Our day began there by crossing the Blaine Bridge over the Wisconsin River on Highway 61.

Blaine Bridge in Boscobel, WI

Boscobel has many historic buildings and monuments.  The first one we saw was The Rock School,  a century-old school still in use today.

The Rock School in Boscobel WI

Next, we saw the Grand Army of the Republic Hall (G.A.R.), possibly the only remaining standing G.A.R. Hall in Wisconsin, or even the Midwest. It was placed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places on 12-27-07.  Members sponsor Muskets and Memories every August, one of the largest Civil War reenactment events in the Midwest.  They also have artifacts inside to see when open.

G.A.R. Hall in Boscobel

In nearby Memorial Park stands a Monument dedicated to Civil War Soldiers.

Civil war Monument in Boscobel

Before exploring the rest of town, we had lunch at the Unique Cafe.

Unique Cafe in Boscobel

Unique Cafe inside

Original owners of the cafe opened in 1932 and have been owned by Doyle and Nancy Lewis since 1983.  They are the nicest people and will serve you a great breakfast or lunch.  Pies are their specialty, and we had a piece of French Silk pie, yum!

French Silk Pie

Doyle proudly showed us the Packer Room downstairs and posed for a picture with us.

Doyle Lewis and us at Unique Cafe

Call them at 608-375-4465 if you want to reserve the room for your party.

Lunch done, we continued to explore their main street, Wisconsin Avenue.

Downtown Boscobel

We stopped at the historic Central House-Boscobel Hotel, also known as the Central house. This hotel is where two guests that stayed here originated the Gideon Bible. The current owners of the hotel is Charles Griesel and his wife, Dr. Jean, purchased in 2009.  Their son Jim took us up to the Gideon Room, #19 on the 2nd floor.  Thanks Jim!  Call 608-375-4714 to schedule a tour. 

Central House in Boscobel

Room 19 in Central House

Gideon Room #19

Before saying goodbye to Jim, he showed us a picture of his great-great-great uncle, who built the hotel in 1865.

Jim Griesel's 3x uncle

We enjoyed a bakery treat at Violet Dreams Bakery. (closed)

Violet Dreams Bakery

The historic Boscobel Depot Museum  is on 800 Wisconsin Ave.  The track next to it is still in use, but only for freight trains since 1960. IMG_8762

Behind the depot is Depot Park, where a tank is on display.

Army TankM60 A3 Tank stats

Also on Wisconsin Ave is the former Sylvester Grist Mill (1866),  now Wisconsin River Outings.

Wisconsin River Outings

Boscobel has a strong scouting tradition that goes back over a century.  In 1913 the Boy Scout Cabin was constructed to give scouts a central location to meet and recreate.

Boy Scout Cabin in Boscobel

You can’t leave Boscobel without a picture with their large wild turkey on 1200 Elm St.  The turkey is a staple of town parades.

Boscobel Turkey mascot

Special thanks to The Boscobel Dial newspaper company for a copy the book, “Boscobel-River and Rails”  book by Agatha Bender.

Boscobel Dial NewspaperBoscobel-River and Rails book

We give a thumbs up to the friendly people of  Boscobel.  They invite you to come visit and talk turkey with them too.

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Clean Lake Festival in Madison

4th Saturday in July

The Clean Lake Festival celebrates Madison lakes, and recreation on them.  The festival was created by the Mad-City Water Ski Team in 2007. It has become a fundraiser to help keeps the lakes clean and fun for all.  There is even live music.


Wingra Boats provided canoes to paddle around in.


Betty Lou Cruises gave free tours on the lake, I enjoyed that ride a lot.

Betty Lou Cruise boat

The Sharrows performed on the Pontoon Porch. You can rent one for your own floating party.


If you like a fun day on the water, this festival is for you!