Photo by Mana5280
Due to ongoing changes, please check ahead with organizations and events before traveling. For more information on safe travel visit the CDC travel page.
Crawford County is often known for its water with Wisconsin’s crookedest river, the Kickapoo, flowing through it and bordered by Wisconsin’s busiest river, the Wisconsin, and the largest, the Mississippi. In the wintertime, these waters are awesome for ice fishing and raptor viewing, but there is much more to do in Crawford County no matter the season.
Sugar Creek Bluff
Sugar Creek Bluff State Natural Area is a 440-acre bluffland preserve along the Mississippi outside of Ferryville, population 182. Ferryville is unique with a Main Street that is 1.2 miles of the WI Great River Road and you cannot “go around the block”. There are none. Ferryville is the smallest “Bird City” in Wisconsin. Sugar Creek Bluff is a great location to enjoy a Wisconsin winter outdoors. Birding is exceptional in the winter months when the eagles are easy to spot. Snowmobilers take to the trails and cross country skiers do as well. Snowshoeing and winter hiking are also popular on the land. What often attracts visitors to experience Sugar Creek for the first time is the overlook into the Mississippi River Valley. The rolling 1.5 mile hiking trail takes you to a bluff top goat prairie with wide open views. Download the map to aid in your exploration.
The hills and valleys of the Driftless region, in which Crawford County is surrounded, make for a fantastic winter drive. But it’s nice to have a destination in mind. The Driftless Brewing Company in Soldier’s Grove is a great stop for anyone looking to sample quality, local brew with names like Cow Cult, Rolling Ground, and Kick Axe (named for the Kickapoo and Bad Axe Rivers). The tasting room is a great stop on your road trip, but be sure to check out their website or call ahead of time to see if you can spend some time, or if curb-side pick up is the way to go.
The greening of the hillsides and the return of the songbirds aren’t the only things to look forward to when visiting Crawford County in the spring. Fort Crawford Museum in Prairie du Chien opens a window into the history of the region and is open for visitors from May through October. Be sure to stop by the Prairie du Chien visitors center to get a local’s input of the places to visit, you’ll find the town to be steeped in history as it’s one of the oldest European settlements along the upper Mississippi River. When traveling the Wisconsin Great River Road the opening of the Dawg House in Lynxville is also anticipated each spring and is a fun stop when investigating Lock & Dam #9.
Into the Fall
The little town of Gays Mills in Crawford County booms every fall. It’s not just the beauty of the autumn leaves on the hillsides, although that in itself is worth the drive, this area of Western Wisconsin has more than its share of Apple Orchards. Gays Mills is a tiny town of just over 500 people, yet over 45,000 attend their yearly Apple Festival. The surrounding hills hold six apple orchards, many of which have online sales available and will ship their apples and country products directly to you.
Winter 2020 Events
What: Carp Fest
When: December 28-31
Where: Prairie du Chien, WI
About: Week-long family orientated activities including lighted sledding hill, torchlight ski/hike, skating party, bowling, snow bowl football, ice fishing and more