Best of the Drift­less

Country - - GOD’S COUNTRY -

1. El­roy-Sparta State Bike Trail

The na­tion’s first rail-trail runs 32.5 miles along an old rail­road line be­tween El­roy and Sparta. Three cen­tu­ry­old rail­road tun­nels are a high­light of the trail, which is a rel­a­tively flat and easy ride or walk on crushed lime­stone. el­roys­par­ta­trail.com

2. On­tario

The Ca­noe Cap­i­tal of the Kick­apoo is home to a hand­ful of liv­er­ies that rent ca­noes and kayaks for pad­dling trips on the Kick­apoo River. Try Drifty’s, driftysca­noerental.net; Kick­apoo Wild Ad­ven­tures, kick­apoow­ild .com; or Ti­tanic Ca­noe Rental, ti­tan­ic­ca­noerental.com, for your pad­dling ad­venture.

3. Wild­cat Moun­tain State Park

Perched on a hill above the Kick­apoo River south of On­tario, this scenic state park has more than 20 miles of hik­ing trails, 15 miles of trails for horse­back rid­ing and dozens of camp­sites, in­clud­ing 20 hike-in sites. dnr.wi.gov

4. Kick­apoo Val­ley Re­serve

This 8,600-acre re­serve pro­tects a seg­ment of the Kick­apoo River and has hik­ing, bik­ing and horse­back­rid­ing trails set among the area’s rolling hills. kvr.state.wi.us

5. Sol­diers Grove

In­stead of build­ing a dam or levee to stave off floods, the Main Street district de­cided to move. Busi­nesses re­lo­cated to higher ground in new en­ergy-ef­fi­cient, so­lar-pow­ered build­ings, which earned the com­mu­nity the moniker of the na­tion’s first so­lar vil­lage. sol­diers­grove.com

6. Wyalus­ing State Park

This 2,700-acre state park, one of Wis­con­sin’s old­est, over­looks the con­flu­ence of the Wis­con­sin and Mississippi Rivers. Wyalus­ing has more than 14 miles of hik­ing trails, as well as In­dian burial mounds and a ca­noe trail. dnr.wi.gov

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