Archive for July, 2013

Wake up early at a Wisconsin B&B Association Inn

Friday, July 19th, 2013

On this day in 1869, influential Wisconsin naturalist, John Muir penned these words in his July 19 journal entry in an effort to capture the experience of awakening for the first time in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California:

Watching the daybreak and sunrise. The pale rose and purple sky changing softly to daffodil yellow and white, sunbeams pouring through the passes between the peaks and over the Yosemite domes, making their edges burn; the silver firs in the middle ground catching the glow on their spiry tops, and our camp grove fills and thrills with the glorious light. Everything awakening alert and joyful…

John Muir,
Entry for “July 19″ from My First Summer in the Sierra, 1911.
“California As I Saw It”: First-Person Narratives of California’s Early Years, 1849-1900

Courtesy of Library of Congress.

We at the Wisconsin Bed & Breakfast Association couldn’t agree more! Our member inns are here to make daybreak a  joyful experience. Not only will you be greeted with a delightful breakfast, but many times the grounds also offer spectacular opportunities to fully experience the wonders of nature. While our highest point (Timms Hill at 1,952 ft) is not exactly as awe-inspiring as the Sierra Nevadas, we believe sunrises at our 46 rural inns are definitely camera-worthy!  Case in point: Crystal River Inn, Waupaca. Innkeepers Robert and Deb Benada got these great shots around their inn.  To plan a getaway focused on bird-watching and nature preserves, we invite you to visit our birding map which will help you locate nearly 400 birding sites within 30 miles of one of our member B&Bs.

Morning Mist at Crystal River Inn, Waupaca.

Morning Mist at Crystal River Inn, Waupaca.

 

Indigo Bunting, Crystal River Inn, Waupaca.

Indigo Bunting, Crystal River Inn, Waupaca.

Monarch Caterpillar at Crystal River Inn, Waupaca.

Monarch Caterpillar at Crystal River Inn, Waupaca.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’re Your Sherpa for Hiking Trails in Wisconsin!

Monday, July 8th, 2013

In the southern part of the state, The Roth House B&B of Soldiers Grove says there are lots of great opportunities for hiking just a short distance from the inn.  They include:  Hogback Prairie, Kickapoo Valley Reserve, and Pikes Peak State Park. All three of these provide unique opportunities to explore the Driftless Region.  Cameo Rose Victorian Inn in Belleville boasts 4 miles of beautifully groomed hiking trails right on their 120 acre wooded property.  They also have a managed forest (Gary eliminates all invasive species, prunes lower tree branches, cleans up all poison ivy, etc.) and maintains wide, mowed paths throughout the meandering hillsides complete with unique rock formations, a wide assortment of colorful songbirds, wild turkeys, hawks (even an eagle or two) and lots of deer and other wildlife. Innkeeper Donna Hofmann of Parkview B&B in Reedsburg puts in another vote for can’t-miss-hiking at famous Devil’s Lake State Park and often suggests it to enthusiastic guests. Of course, it has the best rock climbing this side of the Rocky Mountains!  Continuing east, we come to Pedal’rs Inn, Wales in the Lake Country/ Kettle Moraine area. Minutes away is Lapham Peak State Park part of the Ice Age Trail. The Ice Age Trail connects with the Glacial Drumlin Trail that will bring you right to the doorstep of Pedal’rs Inn. Further to the south is the Southern Kettle Moraine with more trails to enjoy the landforms created by during the Ice Age.  Last but not certainly not least, Artesian House in Bayfield is excited to have guests experience the brand new park called Salmo Lake Walk Trail that is just across the road from Artesian House.  The new park has a bridge, boardwalk/trail down to a Lake Superior beach for a nice stroll for after breakfast.  There is a hiking trail across Hatchery Road close to Artesian House’s driveway. For the perfect marriage between hiking and seeing the timeless city of Bayfield, cross Rt. 13 to Port Superior Road and head north along the water, you will pick up the Brownstone Trail that will take you into downtown Bayfield.  Bayfield Chamber of Commerce has put together a great list of trails along Lake Superior that will definitely make for an experience worth the drive north!

Glacial Drumlin Trail

Glacial Drumlin Trail

Kickapoo Valley Reserve

Kickapoo Valley Reserve

Inside Scoop on Great Hiking Trails Part 2

Monday, July 1st, 2013

We promised to pass along more innkeeper recommendations on nearby hiking trails and here they are! First we invite you to explore the trails close to the Eagle Harbor Inn, in Ephraim. Right in Ephraim there is a path that wanders through the town and up the bluff down small quiet back roads past all kinds of summer cottages and year around homes. The Bay of Green is never far from view. In fact at many places along the way it’s possible to dip your toes into that bay. There is a route that is mapped it takes a couple of hours. But, it is possible to walk small parts of the route at a time.   Also located close by is one of the best state parks in the state, Peninsula State Park. There are trails for all skill levels and they vary in length as well. The park is loaded with so much to see.  If those are trails too traveled for your taste there is Newport State Park a mere a 20 minute drive north. There you’ll find more secluded and rugged trails on the shores of Lake Michigan.  Also Whitefish Dunes State Park is located south of Jacksonport. Along with miles of trails over sand dunes and into the thickly wooded areas of the park, there are dunes along the shore for picnicking and sunning while you try to brave the icy cold waters of Lake Michigan.   A little further south in Appleton Judy Halma of the Franklin Street Inn shared with us that guests often enjoy hiking the Heckrodt Hiking Trail-76 acres of forested wetland, 3+ mile trail system allows access without getting your wet feet, located less than 5 miles from the inn.   Nearby in Oshkosh, Brayton B&B recommends The Wiouwash State Trail is a rail trail just a few short blocks from the inn. Its name is derived from the first two letters of the four counties it traverses: Winnebago, Outagamie, Waupaca, and Shawano. The trail is used by walkers, hikers, bikers, horseback riders, and snowmobilers during the winter months. The trail is split into two sections. The northern section runs from Aniwa to Split Rock. The southern section runs for 21 miles from Oshkosh northward to Hortonville and offers opportunities for biking, walking, jogging and bird-watching.  As it traverses the countryside, the southern section of the Wiouwash passes through a number of interesting natural habitats. Segments of the trail run through prairie and wetlands, attracting hundreds of species of birds, including sandhill cranes. The trail also crosses Dagget’s Creek, the Rat River and Black Otter Creek. It’s a scenic and relaxing journey, whether you’re on foot or two wheels.  That’s all for now! Stay tuned for Part 3 for more hiking recommendations!

 

Heckrodt Hiking Trail in Menasha offers great views of the diverse life in the wetlands.

Heckrodt Hiking Trail in Menasha offers great views of the diverse life in the wetlands.

Peninsula State Park

Peninsula State Park