Posts Tagged ‘Sparta’

Biking is the new Golf – You Heard it from Wisconsin B&Bs

Thursday, May 19th, 2016
Parkview B&B in Reedsburg

Parkview B&B in Reedsburg

Are you more interested in wheeling along than walking along? You’re not alone. Cycling is now being referred to as the new golf. Here in Wisconsin we have a great rails-to-trails bike system, 117 designated Rustic Roads spanning 669 miles through 59 counties,  plus lots of opportunities to log miles in state and county parks.  Wisconsin has some pretty awesome city cycling too. Take Madison, for example. They have a bike-share program, and commuter bike trails, with several connecting to excellent state trails, for those yearning for a longer-distance ride.  Of course, golf is pretty spectacular here too. The U.S. Open is coming to Wisconsin next year and that’s after the state hosted the PGA last year.  We’re so glad spring is here and we have a hunch we’re not alone.

Wisconsin is one of the top bicycling destinations in the U.S. and we’re not making that up. Just ask the League of American Bicyclists – they are the ones doing the rankings. Old railroad beds converted to bike trails, including the famous Elroy-Sparta trail, have helped put Wisconsin on the national bike map in a big way.

Grapevine Log Cabins in Sparta

Grapevine Log Cabins in Sparta



If you’d like to map out an extended weekend itinerary that allows you to bike during the day and pull in to B&Bs at dusk, consider one of your stops at Fountain Chateau B&B in Hustler.   The beautiful Omaha Bike Trail (originally the Omaha Railroad), connects right next door, where you can  bike all the way to the Elroy-Sparta Trail and the 400 State Park Trail.

The Grapevine Log Cabins is almost within earshot of the Elroy-Sparta bike trail, a short 1 ½ miles, where it meets the La Crosse River Trail, and Justin Trails Resort tells their guests to make sure they don’t miss the trail’s 875′ tunnel – it’s awesome.

Justin Trails Resort in Sparta

Justin Trails Resort in Sparta







Pleasant View B&B in Chippewa Falls

Pleasant View B&B in Chippewa Falls

Folks who visit Pleasant View B&B can access the Old Abe Bike Trail less than 1/2 mile away, one of 12 paved bike trails in Wisconsin, Another rail trail, Old Abe follows the Chippewa River from Chippewa Falls to Cornell, connecting Lake Wissota and Brunet Island state parks. A future addition will connect the trail with the Chippewa and Red Cedar state trails, creating a network of more than 70 miles of connected trails in the Chippewa Valley.

Innkeepers who bike themselves include Heidi and Tom at the Buckingham Inn in Madison, so you’d be in great company at their B&B.  The inn provides free passes for Madison’s city bike-share program for a quick ride to restaurants, the Capitol, and other Madison area attractions.


Pedal'rs Inn B&B

Pedal’rs Inn B&B


We couldn’t talk bicycling without mentioning the Pedal’rs Inn B&B in Wales, a bicycling inspired inn, where you can pick up the scenic Glacial Drumlin State Trail.

Located just a short drive north of Milwaukee, is Hidden Serenity B&B in West Bend and the Eisenbahn, a “rails to trails” project, where you get the beauty of biking in the Kettle Moraine without the steep hills.  Many B&Bs offer relaxing massages at their inns, so inquire, just in case you need to pamper yourself after your day’s ride.

Hidden Serenity B&B

Hidden Serenity B&B

We don’t want to leave out the golfers, so here’s a fun fact: There are three Hurdzan Fry-designed courses in Wisconsin and they’re all public courses: Erin Hills, near Hartford, site of the 2017 U.S. Open, is just 6 miles from the Westphal Mansion Inn B&B, a restored 1913 mansion.

Bowman's Oak Hill B&B in Wis Dells

Bowman’s Oak Hill B&B in Wis Dells

Get in a few rounds before the pros descend next year; Wild Rock, the quarry course in Wisconsin Dells, chiseled around and through a former quarry, is for the golfer who embraces a challenge.  After a day on the course relax in this cottage nestled near the edge of the woods at Bowman’s Oak Hill B&B; or Troy Burne, in Hudson, just 30 minutes from St. Paul and only 15 minutes from the premier Queen Anne Victorian Phipps Inn.  For more B&B options near these courses, just search by city on our website.


Phipps Inn in Hudson

Phipps Inn in Hudson

Head Out on the Highway

Friday, May 17th, 2013

So often we tout the bike trails in Wisconsin and suggest ideas for biking between B&Bs. Time to give some due to the other two-wheeled form of travel – motorcycling. We just learned that seven communities in the region of western Wisconsin known as the “driftless area” – an area untouched by glaciers and the drift deposits left by glaciers, and notable for deeply carved valleys – have banded together to promote “Cycle Driftless Destinations.” The seven cities are Sparta, La Crosse, Black River Falls, Hillsboro, Tomah, Onalaska and Trempealeau, and they’ve pooled resources to produce an area map showing five interconnected routes that circle through the back roads of the region. Sounds like a wonderful way to while away a weekend. Of course, lodging will be required and that’s where our lovely Wisconsin B&Bs come into play. We recommend a stay at the Franklin Victorian B&B in Sparta for starters, where they offer inside secure motorcycle storage. There’s also Grapevine Log Cabins and Justin Trails B&B. In La Crosse, choose between two inns which are both listed on the National Historic Register – Four Gables B&B and Wilson Schoolhouse Inn. On to Onalaska, where the Lumber Baron Inn offers water views of Lake Onalaska, or you can opt for a farmhouse getaway at Rainbow Ridge Farms. Happy (motor) cycling.

Franklin Victorian breakfast

Yes, you could ‘camp’ while exploring southwest Wisconsin’s driftless area … or you could start your day with this breakfast at the Franklin Victorian B&B in Sparta. While you enjoy the comforts of the inn, your bike is out of the elements too!

Lumber Baron chairsoverlake

After a day on the bike, only the water will be moving as you relax at the Lumber Baron Inn’s haven on Lake Onalaska.

Just Hear Those Sleigh Bells Ringing…

Wednesday, December 26th, 2012

Horse-Drawn Sleigh Rides Nov 24th through Jan 31st!
Listen to the sleigh bells ring while a team of Percheron pulls you on a party sleigh across forty beautiful wooded acres. Just the sleigh ride is worth the visit…but add thousands of Christmas lights to an evening sleigh ride and it’ll be a night to remember! Liz at the Stagecoach Inn, Cedarburg, welcomes back rosy-cheeked guests after their Paradise Ranch Sleigh Ride.


You’re singing the song right now, aren’t you?  It’s a heartwarming ditty that never gets old.  The imagery of being “snuggled up together like two birds of a feather” is sweet, admit it.  And what’s not to love about a winter scene that reminds you of a “picture print by Currier and Ives.”  If you’re yearning for a sleigh ride, then a winter getaway to Token Creek Eco-Inn, the Parsonage, Franklin Victorian, or Stagecoach Inn should be on your 2013 winter to-do list.  And that line that goes “There’s a happy feeling nothing in the world can buy, when they pass around the coffee and the pumpkin pie”…well, you’ll get that at these inns too.

Madison-area inns Token Creek Eco-Inn (DeForest) and The Parsonage (McFarland) recommend Rocking Acres for winter sleigh rides and warm season carriage rides to horse riding lessons. Cornerstone Carriages offers tours of downtown Madison and custom private tours at a location of your choosing.
Jean at Token Creek adds: “Hot chocolate and a warm fire are here to greet you after your ride too!”

Horse drawn sleigh rides through the scenic countryside on a group or private tour can be arranged for guests at the Franklin Victorian in Sparta, with the Red Ridge Ranch. Innkeeper Jennifer says “be sure to bring your camera!”. Peruse the pictures back at the B&B, while you’re warmed by the fireplace or whirlpool.