Outdoors on the West Fork at Nature Nooks Retreat
Stone artifacts found on the grounds of Nature Nooks Retreat show the area has been seasonally occupied for 12,000 years. Local wildlife specialists tell us this is perhaps the single most bio-diverse property they have ever walked.
- Enjoy modestly maintained walking/skiing trails along the meandering mile of the Kickapoo West Fork that runs through the 90 acre property.
- There are also softwood bottom lands and hardwood forests with ridge-top views all connected by the trails.
- Explore several gurgling springs, a pond FULL of life, cattail and sedge marshes, and acres of restored prairie, accessible from the trails.
- Birders will find a rich variety of habitats and species.
- Help us expand our list of 275 plant and animal species.
- Wade and splash in the river, but bring protection for your feet as the bottom is rocky in places.
- Kayak the friendly white water, pools and fishing holes of the river. (Kayaks are available at no charge.)
- Fish for brown trout and brookies, catch-and-release only by rental agreement, using barbless hooks, wet hands, and no fish out of the water. A Wisconsin fishing license is required.
- Cyclists can enjoy a relaxing ride up and down the West Fork valley on County Rd. S, right from NNR, or challenge the ridges. See Blue Dog link, below.
- Driftless Café, Viroqua http://driftlesscafe.com
- Viroqua Food Coop http://www.viroquafood.coop
- Rooted Spoon, Viroqua http://rootedspoon.com
- Dave’s Pizza and Pub, Viroqua http://www.daves-pizza.com
- Tangled Hickory Wine Bar http://www.tangledhickory.com
- Rockton Bar Fish Fry and Sunday chicken BBQ http://letseatwisconsin.com/?p=431
- Organic Valley Retail Store, La Farge http://www.organicvalley.coop
- Saturday Farmers Market, seasonal, at fairgrounds in Viroqua
Out and About Locally
- Kickapoo Valley Reserve, La Farge – hiking, biking, interpretive center http://kvr.state.wi.us
- Wild Cat State Park, Ontario http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/parks/name/wildcat
- Amish Shops http://www.downacountryroad.com
- Norskedalen, Norwegian Heritage Center, Coon Valley http://www.norskedalen.org/
- Ottervale General Store, La Farge http://www.kickapoofolkart.com/2013/04/ottervale-general-store-charming-little.html
- Fly fishing maps http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/fishing/trout/streammaps.html
- Guided fly- fishing trips out of Viroqua
- Blue Dog Cycles for off-road and touring maps, Viroqua http://bluedogcycles.blogspot.com
- Serendipity Golf Course, 9 holes, 2 miles north on S, clubs to borrow
- Canoe rentals on the Kickapoo out of Ontario
- Vernon Square Cinema http://www.vernonsquarecinema.com
- Driftless Folk School http://driftlessfolkschool.org/
- Wild Things, Rockton (local furs) http://www.wildthingsfur.com
- Enchantment Playground at Eckhart Park, Viroqua http://www.viroqua-wisconsin.com/quality/cityparks.asp
Day Trips from NNR
- Wisconsin Dells http://www.wisdells.com/wisconsin-dells.htm
- Taliesin East, Frank Lloyd Wright’s home http://www.taliesinpreservation.org
- House on the Rock http://thehouseontherock.com/
- Effigy Mounds National Monument and Wyalusing State Park http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/parks/name/wyalusing
- Fish Hatchery at Genoa http://www.fws.gov/midwest/Genoa/visit.html
- Sparta Elroy bike trail, North America’s first Rails-to-Trails Project http://www.elroy-sparta-trail.com