Tag Archive | lake

Lake Mills Knickerbocker Ice Festival


Lake Mills sign

2016-Poster Knickerbocker Festival

This was the first time Al and I went to the Knickerbocker Ice Festival in Lake Mills.  We started the fun at Rock Lake by taking a look at Icehenge, a take-off of Stonehenge. We made the mistake of not stopping by right after they finished it in late January, the warm weather over the last 5 days took its toll. Read more about it here.

Ice Henge text IMG_1720

The Fisheree was going on too, somebody was drilling a hole in the ice nearby to fish in. We found a cute fishing shack downtown promoting the Fisheree.

Ice Fisheree Shack

Ice Fisherman IMG_1712

Ice Fishermen at Lake Mills IMG_1710

After visiting Icehenge we went downtown to the square (actually a triangle) to see all the activity going on there.  We could hear the sound of multiple chainsaws as the ice sculptors were making their creations. Lets watch them!

We enjoyed a great lunch at Cafe On the Park, under new ownership as of 2015. They are open 6-2 daily. Al had a prime rib sandwich and I had a breaded chicken sandwich. Delicious!

Cafe on the Park in Lake Mills

Cafe on the Park inside IMG_1818

The park sure was busy by 12:30!

Commons Park gazebo

There was a big ice skating party going on in the park, small children were being pushed in chairs.

Ice Skating party in Lake Mills

There was also target practice with tennis balls for safety. Also to aid the kids to throw snowballs with greater accuracy  🙂

Target Practice IMG_1880

Some other kids were building a wood castle, complete with flags.

Building a castle IMG_1883

It was now 1:00, and it looks like most of the ice sculptures were getting finished. My personal favorite 3 carvings.

Favorite Ice Carvings

The Lewis carving even had little wine bottles, cute!

Ice Wine bottle in Lake Mills

The Eskimo was especially fun, since this one was interactive and we could take a fun selfie with it.

Eskimo Ice Carving selfie

Other ice sculptures of note.

Knickerbocker Ice Sculptures Collage

We had a wonderful time at this festival and got further reinforcement that Wisconsinites love festivals in any setting the whole year around.

I Love Lake Mills

Evansville-Soybean Capital and Barn Quilt City


Evansville sign

Welcome to Evansville!

Evansville downtown

This city of 5000 is located in Rock County and is a great place to visit.  Only 23 miles south of Madison,  it’s a quick getaway from the big city.   One thing that sets Evansville apart is the many barn quilts  adorning many of the buildings there.

Evansville Barn Quiltbarn quilt

Another distinctive art form Evansville is known for are windmills. They are displayed all over the downtown, made by local artists.  The large one is next to the Evansville Grove Society History Museum and visitor center. This was the former Baker Office Building.

Evansville WindmillEvansville Historic Museum

The windmill signifies Evansville’s dedication to Green Energy. It was selected as a pilot Wisconsin Energy Independent Community in 2010.

Yet another distinction of Evansville is its strong ties to the local farming community. It earned the title of “Soybean Capital of Wisconsin”  in 2007. Evansville has many beautiful historic buildings. This is the former City Hall.

Evansville Historic City Hall

This is the former Leota School for Girls, now an impressive red home.

Leota School for Girls

The Allen Funeral Home, since 1930.

Allen Funeral Home in Evansville, WI

The Eager Free Public Library.

Eager Free Public Library in Evansville WI

The former train depot, now the local VFW.

Evansville Depot

There are a great many more beautiful buildings to see.  Look here for a  walking tour you can print.

It was time for lunch, and we had a great one downtown at The Night Owl.

10-6-16 – The Night Owl had a fire overnight, it will be closed until further notice.

The Night Owl in Evansville WI

sandwich at the Nite OwlBurger at The Night Owl in Evansville WI

Our last stop in Evansville that day was Lake Leota Park.


Lake Leota Waterfall

This park is their largest,  the lake being a former millpond.  Here is a beautiful waterfall there now with a view of the rest of the lake.

I am a big fan of covered bridges, and they have one at this park.

Lake Leota Covered Bridge

We had a great visit to Evansville and hope to be back again soon.

Related Sites and Articles

* Evansville Business Info

* Barn Quilt Info

* Evansville History

* Chamber of Commerce

* Calendar of Events

* Evansville Observer Blog  Evansville History

* Mad City Mike Blog

Hike Around Devil’s Lake

Welcome to Devil’s Lake State Park! We have enjoyed coming here since 1997 when we met and got married here in 1999.

Al and Laurie Kutil vows


On the way there are the Baraboo Narrows, essentially the outside of the “bowl” that Devil’s lake is inside.

Lower Narrows

Lower Narrows_10-20-12

Now we are headed to Devil’s Lake for to hike all the way around.  It’s beautiful any time of year that you go.

Devils Lake sign

Here is a map of the park.

Devil's LakeMap

We are heading the concession area first on the north end of the lake. It was especially beautiful there this October.


Here is a rainbow sailboat in the summer.

Devils Lake sailboat

Devils Lake 10-2-12

Twin maples_10-2-12


Now we begin our hike around the lake beginning on the East Bluff Trail. Plan to take the day to do this. First Al and I pose for a self-portrait.

Al and Laurie10-2-12

East Bluff Trail sign

On the way up we first encounter Elephant Cave and rock.

Elephant Cave 2

Elephant Rock_6-14-12

At the top of the bluff trail was a spectacular view of the whole lake, especially the north shore where the concession building is. This picture was taken in Fall 2010.

Devils Lake Fall 2010

Further down the path near the south end are three interesting natural rock structures. The first one is Devil’s Doorway.

Devils Doorway caption_10-7-11

Another one is Balanced Rock.  That day there were lots of people getting their picture with the rock. We did too with a new friend we met on the trail.

Balanced Rock7-3-10

Also a great view of a rock face.


We went down the CCC Trail back behind the lake. There is an interesting history behind that as well.

CCC Trail Map



CCC statue plaque

Working our way back to the south end of the lake, there is a smaller concession building and another beach. You can see the north end of the lake.

South Concession


Now we will follow the path next to the road on the south end of the lake.


Here is the trail head for the Tumbled Rock Trail, leading us back to the north end of the lake.



We work our way back to our starting point, we pass several cabins that have been there a long time.  Here is one of them.

West Cabin 4-12-11

We pass a couple kayaking and a dad and young daughter fishing.

Kayak and Fishing 9-9-12

Now SOMETIMES, we take the West Bluff Trail that is high like the East Bluff Trail.  They have a lookout station in about the middle of the trail looking towards the East Bluff and north end.



Almost back, we see 3 people in kayaks, each a different color.

3 Kayakers

We make our way back to the north beach area and find someone doing a painting of the lake.


Al and painter 2005

We are back in the parking lot. I hope you enjoyed walking around Devil’s lake.

North Parking lot